On January 15, 2014, the United States released a document describing its new policy governing transfers of conventional weapons. The policy revision was long overdue, as the new publicly released document, Presidential Policy Directive 27 (PPD-27), replaced a classified directive that came out in 1995.
The world has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Until the release of the new policy document, however, the United States had been using policy guidance rooted in the geopolitical challenges created by the fall of the Soviet Union in making its arms transfer decisions and in outlining policy priorities and approaches to the global arms trade. According to a White House summary, a multi-year interval review of U.S. arms export policy “concluded that the 1995 conventional arms transfer policy was effective but needed to be updated to address 21st century national security and foreign policy objectives.”
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