International arms sales represent an enduring and prominent feature of American foreign policy. The United States sells or licenses the sale of weapons to other governments to advance its foreign policy, security, and economic interests. And the US is the biggest player in the global arms marketplace.But when US weapons fall into the wrong hands — or become associated with corruption, human rights abuses, or violations of the laws of war — US foreign policy objectives, troops, and civilians around the globe can be put at increased risk.
What can the US do to modify arms sales to reduce civilian harm? The Center for Civilians in Conflict and the Stimson Center examine.