A New Framework for Assessing the Risks from U.S. Arms Sales

In the past two years, Congress has tried (and failed) twice to halt American arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to that country’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war. This level of concern is historically unusual. Arms sales rarely spur much debate in Washington, where they are viewed as a critical tool of American foreign policy. The traditional refrain holds that arms sales promise leverage over recipient countries, help the United States support allies and manage regional balances of power, and generate economic benefits to boot. With some exceptions, few have challenged the wisdom of American arms sales practices.

In a recent study for the Cato Institute, however, we argue that the government’s approach to arms sales is misguided.

Read the full post at War on the Rocks.

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