As President Barack Obama heads out of office, he leaves behind an unexpected legacy: as arms exporter-in-chief.
“The Obama administration has made more major arms sales, by value, than any other administration in the history of the United States,” William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, said.
With billions of dollars in sales, and a foreign policy approach that emphasized partnerships and increased military support through weapons and training to compensate for minimal U.S. force presence, the Obama years were marked by a striking level of arms sales.
As Rachel Stohl, a senior associate with Stimson’s Managing Across Boundaries Initiative and an expert on the international arms trade, said, “in terms of new arms deals made, this president has certainly been a friend to U.S. defense manufacturers. And I think that will surprise people. It surprised me.”
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