Arming the Planet: the USA as the World’s Leading Weapons Dealer

For the past several decades, the United States has been the world’s leading producer of major weapons systems and the leader in global arms sales. More of these sales have taken place in the globe’s most volatile region, the Middle East, than in any other region of the world. The so-called peace deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which were brokered by the United States, were business deals designed to expand U.S. arms sales in the Persian Gulf. The Trump administration has made arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Middle East countries the focus of its foreign policy in the region.

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Breaking the Addiction to Secrets and Secrecy

There is no question that the government must protect its sources and methods in the collection of intelligence. Regarding substance, however, I believe that, with the exception of details on weapons systems as well as on sensitive negotiations, there are few legitimate secrets and almost none that must remain classified for more than ten years at most. The secrecy that surrounded the Iran-Contra affair probably saved the Reagan presidency over the short term, but greater transparency would have prevented Iran-Contra from ever getting off the ground in the first place.

Harvard’s Kennedy School: Key Part Of The Military-Industrial Complex

Harvard’s Kennedy School’s denial of a fellowship to Kenneth Roth, the former head of Human Rights Watch, because of his criticism of Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza is only the latest example of the corporate role played by Harvard’s most prestigious think tank on public policy.  Roth, who has spent the last three decades at HRW defending human rights around the world, was offered a senior fellowship at the School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.  It was quickly withdrawn.