Since 1991, the FAS Arms Sales Monitoring Project has worked for transparency, accountability and deep reductions in global conventional weapons production and trade. Our aim is to prevent dangerous and wasteful military build-ups, and thereby reduce the likelihood of warfare and the lethality of warfare when it does occur. Reducing militarism—especially in the developing world—should also alleviate much of the justification for continued large U.S. military expenditures.

Given the United States’ dominance of the arms market and of global military relations, our project focuses first and foremost on reforming U.S. export policy. Because other countries do produce and export arms, we encourage multilateral arms control/disarmament solutions to the problems posed by global weapons proliferation. However, we believe U.S. leadership is vital; the United States will not succeed in pressing other governments to limit their dangerous arms exports until it gets its own house in order.

For the past decade, we have reported and publicized the U.S. government’s arms export policies and practices through the Arms Sales Monitor, media outreach, public speaking and reports and articles. In particular, we have sought to highlight the costs of the arms trade today—in terms of lives, dollars and security. Our objective was/is to get information out to interested journalists, activists and policy makers, so that many people can act on it, achieving much more than we alone can.

Project Goals: Transparency, accountability and restraint in U.S. arms exports; elimination of taxpayer subsidies for weapons exports; broadening the coalition of citizens working to reform arms export policy; and increasing the level of pressure on policy makers to act for the public interest rather than the special interests of arms manufactures.