On the Front Lines: Conflict zones and U.S. Arms Exports

The Report finds that conflict does little to alter existing intergovernmental arms trade relationships, even when recipients’ policies and practices do not serve US interests. In contrast, there is unlikely to be an established pre-conflict arms trade between supplier states and armed rebel groups. Instead, the United States may initiate or facilitate arms supplies – small arms especially – as a form of political and military support during conflict. This occurs despite the risk that small arms are frequently diverted to illicit markets or to groups opposed to the United States. This report is part of the research program “Defense Industries, Foreign Policy and Armed Conflict” funded in part by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and is carried out in partnership with the OpenSecrets.

For a concise overview, access an Executive Summary of the report.

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