WASHINGTON, DC, February 23, 2023 – Today, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) and nine civil society partners launched the Arms Sales Accountability Project, a coalition that convenes diverse organizations to undertake research, advocacy, and public engagement related to US arms sales and security assistance.

Partners of the Arms Sales Accountability Project (ASAP) made the following statements: 


“The impetus behind this campaign is a real frustration with lack of systemic reform to the very broken arms trade. The United States is by far the world’s leading arms seller. A lot of Americans, including in Congress, have a false sense of security that the US can and does track where defense articles and services are going, who is using them, and how. But the reality is it’s actually still too easy for US weapons to fuel violence and civilian harm around the world. It’s time for stronger oversight, transparency, and accountability.”

Ari Tolany, US Program Manager, Center for Civilians in Conflict 


“It’s been too easy for US weapons to fuel human rights abuses and cycles of violence around the world. As the Biden administration rolls out new policies guiding US arms sales, it’s critical that promotion of human rights be at their core.”

Sarah Yager, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch 


As the world’s largest arms exporter, the United States should feel a solemn responsibility to ensure appropriate oversight and accountability over its arms transfer enterprise. Unfortunately, without urgent reforms, the United States is falling short of that obligation, and risks perpetuating a system that lacks restraint, caution, and transparency, with grave consequences for civilian protection, good governance, and global stability.”

– Rachel Stohl, Vice President of Research Programs and Director of the Conventional Defense Program, Stimson Center


“Though touted as necessary to uphold ‘peace’ and ‘security’, US arms sales too often serve as political favors to despotic regimes while enriching weapons maker CEOs. These motives guarantee that many atrocities abroad come with a ‘made in the USA’ sticker, make our foreign relations subservient to the arms trade, and encourage corruption at home and throughout the world. Congress has done tremendous work scrutinizing sales to individual bad actors in recent years, but it’s long past time to comprehensively reform US arms sales and security assistance.” 

– Eric Eikenberry, Government Relations Director, Win Without War


“The reckless transfer of US weapons around the globe has taken an unconscionable human toll. The Church of the Brethren follows the teaching and example of Jesus Christ, whose willingness to die was unaccompanied by a willingness to kill. We have consistently reaffirmed our belief that all ‘war is sin’ and that to ‘encourage, engage in, or willingly profit from armed conflict’ is immoral. The arms trade causes and increases death and mocks the God who creates and gives life. We call on the administration, Congress, and the American public to end this senseless killing and assert greater oversight over US security cooperation and arms sales.”

– Rev. Dr. Nathan Hosler, Director, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren


The full list of Arms Sales Accountability Project partners includes: Amnesty International USA, Center for Civilians in Conflict, Center for International Policy and the Security Assistance Monitor, Forum on the Arms Trade, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Human Rights Watch, Project on Middle East Democracy, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Stimson Center, and Win Without War. 

Learn more at ArmsSalesAccountabilityProject.com

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