Carter's Arms Policy

September 25, 2007

In June 1976, in one of his first major foreign policy statements, Jimmy Carter raised what was to become a principal theme of his campaign for the presidency: the uncontrolled growth in U.S. arms sales abroad. "I am particularly concerned," he told the Foreign Policy Association in New York, "by our nation's role as the world's leading arms salesman." Noting that U.S. weapons exports often fuel regional arms races in conflict-prone areas, Carter denounced those U.S. leaders who "try to justify this unsavory business on the cynical ground that by rationing out the means of violence we can somehow control the world's violence." Such fallacies must be rejected, he declared, for it is obvious that the.United States cannot be "both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war." On these grounds, he vowed that "If I become President, I will work ... to increase the emphasis on peace and to reduce the commerce in weapons." Sensing that the public was becoming increasingly uneasy about massive U.S. arms transfers to wealthy potentates abroad, Carter reiterated his pledge to reduce military sales throughout the campign. Subsequently, upon entering the White House, he promised to make such reductions a major priority of the new Administration. In his first Washington interview, on January 24th, he reported that the National Security Council was unanimous in its belief in "the necessity for reducing arms sales" and for placing "very tight restraints on future commitments" to U.S. arms producers and their overseas customers. 2 Carter assigned the task of implementing this policy to Secretary of State Vance who subsequently told reporters that "We are committed to a basic principle, and that is to find a way to reduce the sale of arms." Vance suggested that Washington would also try to persuade other arms producers to reduce their foreign sales, but added that, "as the largest seller of arms," America has "a particular responsibility to first put our own house in order. "' (emphasis added) As the first step in this effort to "put our own house in order," Vance ordered Leslie Gelb, Director of the State Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, to develop a set of policy options for the President. As Gelb began canvassing the various agencies involved-the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce, the CIA, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency-for their views on the issue, Washington observers predicted that the Administration would impose a permanent ceiling on U.S. arms exports at a level considerably lower than the total of $10 billion estimated for Fiscal Year (FY) 1977. Columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak reported in April, for instance, that a cut of 25 percent or more was not considered unlikely. 4 As Carter and Vance began to confront the corporate and bureaucratic interests involved in the arms trade, however, they instructed Gelb to consider more moderate remedies. As one official involved -in these discussions commented, "Initially, the guidance was all predicated on finding ways to scale back on arms sales overseas. The thesis was that arms sales are all wrong, but now that has changed, and the guidance for preparing the options is fairly balanced. The people in the White House now realize there are valid (sic.) reasons for selling arms." s Although Administration officials have never spelled out all of the factors which led them to adopt a more "balanced" position during these discussions, it is not difficult to identify the forces at work. As we argued in an earlier issue of the NACLA Report (see: "Arms and Power: the Political Economy of U.S. Weapons Sales to Latin America," March, 1975), the surge in U.S. military sales to the Third World is prompted by a combination of political, military and economic considerations. On the military side, Washington Northrop YF-17 jet fighter in flight demonstration at Paris air show, June 1977 (two weeks after Carter's new export guidelines were released). 1516 finds itself obliged to keep up the flow of arms to its regional deputies - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brazil, etc. - which have been charged with the task of protecting U.S. interests in troubled Third World areas where, in the wake of Vietnam, a direct U.S. intervention is politically unacceptable. Economically, arms sales are seen as a major instrument for reducing U.S. balance of payments deficits and for generating employment in the aerospace industry. Such exports are also, of course, a major source of profits for U.S. arms firms and the myriad subcontractors which survive on military orders. 6 And then there are the exigencies of diplomacy: as one White House aide remarked, "It's a lot different now that Carter is President and has to face the princes, shahs and kings of this world and tell them they can't have the weapons they have been led to believe in the past they will procure from this country."'7 These and related pressures began to affect Administration decision-making even before Gelb completed his study. On April 19th, Carter asked Congress to raise the ceiling it had imposed on sales to Turkey, from $125 million in FY 1977 to $225 million in 1978, to solicit Turkish support for an agreement permitting continued U.S. use of intelligence-gathering bases in that country. 8 Next, on April 26th, he bowed to enormous Air Force pressure and approved the sale of five super-sophisticated AWACS radar surveillance planes to the Shah of Iran.* (The AWACS, or Airborne Warning and Control System, is basically a Boeing 707 jet stuffed with advanced electronics, and industry sources speculate that Carter approved the $850 million deal in order to gain support for his energy package from Senator Henry Jackson of Washington, known as "Mr. Boeing" because of his assiduous efforts to promote the interests of that Seattle-based firm). 9 Two weeks later, during his first trip abroad as President, Carter assured America's European allies that the NATO powers would be exempted from any new restrictions on U.S. military sales. At the same time, in response to intense lobbying by supporters of Israel, he affirmed that "special treatment" would be given to future Israeli arms requests.' 0 America's other allies clamored for similar privileges, and ultimately Australia, Japan and New Zealand were added to the "special treatment" category. Despite such obvious backsliding, Carter announced his new arms policy with considerable fanfare on May 19th. After reviewing the Gelb study, he declared, "I have concluded that the United States will henceforth view arms transfers as an exceptional foreign policy implement, to be used only in instances where it can be clearly demonstrated that the transfer contributes to our national security interests." We will continue to supply arms in order to preserve U.S. and allied security, he added, "But, in the future, the burden of persuasion will be on those who favor a particular arms sale, rather than those who oppose it." In accordance with this new "policy of arms restraint," as he termed it, Carter listed several specific control measures: a reduction in the total dollar value of U.S. military exports, constraints on the introduction of new arms technologies * Despite intense lobbying by the White House, the House International Relations Committee voted on July 28th to block export of the AWACS (under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, Congress has up to 30 days to veto the sale of any major combat system worth $25 million or more), and Carter agreed to withdraw the proposed deal until later this year. into Third World areas; a ban on the retransfer of any U.S. weapons sold abroad to a third country; restrictions on the establishment of new military "coproduction" projects overseas; and the adoption of new restraints on the promotion of U.S. arms exports by American corporations." The Carter package was described by Administration supporters as a "historic" contribution to conventional (i.e., non-nuclear) arms control.' 2 But industry leaders did not exhibit the sense of panic that such measures should have produced. Noting that the Carter proposals were so vague and inconsistent as to be virtually meaningless, stock analyst John Simon of Crowell, Weedon & Co. remarked that "Carter still has not done what he said he was going to do." Another industry observer, Gerald Fleming of the Wall Street firm of Bear, Stearns & Co., suggested that "restricting spending to the 1977 level is not really an anti-export policy," since many arms firms are predicting record- breaking profits from foreign sales."' And, as we shall see, some analysts believe that U.S. military sales could actually rise under the new guidelines. In order to construct a truely accurate picture of Carter's arms sales policy, it is necessary to review his concrete proposals one by one and weigh their impact. But before proceeding to this task, it is worth reviewing the issues that provoked the furor over arms sales: THE ISSUES -Volume: U.S. government arms sales under the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales Program (FMS) rose from an average of $750 million annually in the 1950s and 1960s to approximately $9 billion per year in the mid-1970s, while arms transfers by U.S. corporations under the Commercial Sales program rose from only $100 million annually to the present rate of over $1 billion per year.* All told, the United States sold over $55 billion,worth of arms between 1971 and 1977, or three times the total for the preceding twenty years.' 4 And while competition from other producing nations is fierce, the United States remains the world's leading arms supplier with just under 50 percent of the total international arms traffic's -Recipients: whereas prior to 1970 most U.S. arms sold abroad went to the advanced nations of Europe and to such traditional allies as Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, today the bulk of U.S. weapons exports are going to the less-developed nations of the Third World. According to Pentagon statistics, Third World purchases rose from about $230 million per year in the 1950's and 60's (or one-third of total U.S. exports) to an astounding $6 billion annually in the mid-1970's (thus comprising two-thirds of the total).' 6 Most of this increase is accounted for by sales to the oil-rich kingdoms of the Middle East, but a large chunk also represents purchases by the poor, debt-ridden nations of * U.S. statutes and regulations distinguish between sales conducted by the U.S. Government directly via the Foreign Military Sales program, and sales made by U.S. corporations acting on their own (Commercial Sales). Under the FMS program, the Department of Defense negotiates a sale and then contracts with an American firm to produce the item involved; under Commercial Sales, a producer concludes a sale with a foreign buyer but then must obtain an export license from the State Department's Office of Munitions Control before delivering the item.17 Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia (see Table 1). And, according to a recent CIA study, the United States now accounts for 56 percent of all arms acquired by under- developed countries." -Sophistication: Not only is the United States selling more weapons than before, it is also selling more sophisticated arms than ever. Countries which were once armed with obsolete hand-me-downs acquired through the U.S. Military Assistance Program are now acquiring America's most advanced missiles, aircraft and warships. Thus Iran, which prior to 1964 possessed no guided missiles or supersonic aircraft, is now receiving the Hawk, Sparrow, Sidewinder, TOW, Maverick, Phoenix, and Harpoon missiles, as well as such advanced aircraft as the F-14 swing-wing fighter, the F-16 combat plane, the F-4 fighter-bomber, and the P-3C surveillance plane. Similar hardware has been sold to other Third World nations, thus assuring that future conflicts will be fought at ever-increasing levels of violence.' 8 -Co-production: Besides selling finished military products (tanks, missiles, planes, etc.), U.S. firms are increasingly exporting their technical expertise via "co-production" projects with foreign arms producers. Such transactions normally encompass joint production ventures invQjving both U.S. and foreign firms in the manufacture of a common item, or licensing arrangements whereby a foreign producer acquires the blueprints and "know-how" to produce an American-designed weapon. According to Pentagon sources, the United States is now engaged in some 50 major co-production ventures abroad as well as hundreds of minor ones.' 9 And while European and Japanese firms continue to attract the bulk of such work, more and more Third World nations are undertaking co-production projects with U.S. firms. Taiwan, for instance, is assembling Northrop F-5E jet fighters and Bell UH- I helicopters; South Korea is producing M-16 rifles and Hughes Model-500 helicopters; and Iran is building a domestic missile industry with assistance from Hughes and Westinghouse. 2 o Many experts consider technology transfers of this sort to be more dangerous over the long run than direct arms transfers because they increase the number of arms suppliers a belligerent can turn to in wartime and also complicate the task of negotiating conventional arms control measures. 2 ' -Technical Service Contracts: Besides selling arms, equipment and technology, the United States is increasingly selling its technical military skills to foreign armies. Such transactions normally take the form of contracts for the supply of training, maintenance, managerial support, or other specialized services. Typically, these activities are performed by civilian technicians or retired military personnel in the employ of U.S. defense contractors. The demand for such services is growing at a tremendous rate because many Third World armies lack the technical sophistication to operate and maintain the new high-technology arms they are acquiring from the United States and other advanced countries. 2 2 According to one Senate Foreign Relations Committee study, there are now over 25,000 U.S. technicians working on military-related projects in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the figure could well reach 50,000 by the early 1980's. 2 3 Clearly, the growing involvement of these "white collar mercenaries" in many foreign armies could lead to unintended U.S. involvement in future conflicts. -Payoffs and Promotion: Given the extraordinary expansion of the weapons market abroad (Business Week magazine estimates that over one-fifth of U.S. military aerospace production is dedicated to foreign military sales"), it is hardly surprising that U.S. arms firms make enormous efforts to promote sales of their products abroad. Normally, such efforts include advertisements in the trade press, demonstration flights or firings at special shows and exhibits (like the biennial Paris Air Show), and by hiring foreign agents who receive commissions on every sale concluded. In some documented cases, however, these "legitimate" practices have been accompanied by the payment of bribes to foreign government officials. Thus Northrop Corp., one of the most active arms peddlers, gave $450,000 to a sales agent who allegedly used the money to bribe two Saudi Arabian generals, while Lockheed paid out bribes of over $7 million to Japanese officials to secure orders for its L-101I plane. 2 5 TABLE I: U.S. FOREIGN MILITARY SALES TRENDS (By Fiscal Year; Current U.S. Dollars in millions) 1950-69 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1 9 7 6 a est.1977 est.1978 FMS Orders, Total 15,124.2 967.6 1,563.2 3,267.6 5,766.2 10,642.6 10,123.5 9,477.1 8,770.8 7,680.3 FMS Orders, Developed 8,985.3 545.6 516.2 1,367.7 707.7 829.3 3,060.3 1,674.5 1,143.9 2,702.0 Countries FMS Orders, Under- 6,138.9 422.0 1,047.0 1,899.9 5,058.5 9,813.3 7,063.2 7,802.6 7,626.9 4, 78.3 developed Countries FMS Credit Program 1,770.9 70.0 743.4 549.0 541.0 2,895.9 850.3 2,786.1 2,022.1 2,217.5 FMS Deliveries 7,859.1 1,365.4 1,365.5 1,365.6 1,365.7 2,937.9 3,379.7 5,495.1 n.a. n.a. Undelivered Backlog 7,265.1 6,867.3 7,065.0 8,967.0 13,367.5 21,072.2 28,116.0 31,798.0 n.a. n.a. (cumulative) Commercial Sales 2,053.1 437.6 396.8 423.6 362.0 502.2 580.8 1,565.1 1,241.8 1,240.8 Source: Fiscal 1950-76 data: U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, Foreign Military Sales and Military Assistance Facts (Washington: 1976); Fiscal 1977-78 data: U.S. Department of Defense, Security Assistance Program, Presentation to Congress, Fiscal Year 1978 (Washington, 1977). (n.a. = not available) Note: FMS = Foreign Military Sales, i.e., sales by U.S. Government directly to foreign governments; Commercial Sales are sales by U.S. corporations to foreign governments or arms dealers. alncludes Transition Quarter, F.Y. 197T (July 1, 1976 - Sept. 30, 1976).18 -Retransfers: Under existing regulations, prospective foreign buyers of U.S. arms must sign a statement to the effect that they will not "retransfer" their American hardware to another country. Occasionally a buyer will request such authority in order to sell off older equipment and thereby acquire the funds to obtain new weaponry; normally, Washington will grant such authority so long as U.S. security interests are not jeopardized. As foreign holdings of U.S. weapons grows, however, so has the tefnptation to sell such hardware on the open market in order to profit from the booming demand for armaments. Obviously this practice adds to the difficulty of controlling the arms trade, while increasing the supply of weapons available to the poorer countries which cannot afford first-line equipment. -Human Rights: Although the bulk of U.S. arms exports consist of major combat equipment (tanks, fighter planes, missiles) designed for external defensive purposes, a substantial fraction involves sales of police-type equipment and weapons designed for internal security exclusively. According to documents acquired by NACLA under the Freedom of Information Act, the major U.S. gun producers sold some 50,000 pistols and revolvers, 7.5 million rounds of ammunition. 155,000 tear-gas grenades, and 296 armored cars to foreign police and prison agencies between 1973 and 1976.26 U.S. firms are also major suppliers of police computers, surveillance and eavesdropping devices, counter- insurgency planes, antipersonnel weapons, and other repres- sive systems. And despite the growing U.S. concern with human rights abroad, these weapons are being provided to some of the world's most repressive governments - including those of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Haiti, Uruguay, Iran, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines.27 These issues have been raised in the press and in Congress with increasing frequency over the past few years. Many U.S. leaders are particularly disturbed by the sale of advanced U.S. weapons to the Shah of Iran, who has called for an Iranian dominion over the entire Persian Gulf region, and to Saudi Arabia and other Arab backers of the anti-Israeli military bloc. Such concern has surfaced in newspaper editorials, public policy reports (such as the U.N. Association's much-publicized study on Controlling the Conventional Arms Race), and Congressional hearings. By 1976 the topic must have appeared ripe for exploitation by a political "pro" like Carter, especially since some of his key aides -- particularly Walter Mondale and Cyrus Vance (co-author of the U.N. Association report) - were noted critics of excessive arms exports. Carter's hard-hitting attack on the Ford Administration's arms policies made him appear to many liberals as a dedicated opponent of excessive weapon sales. But the real test of his commitment lies, of course, in his actions as President. Let us see, then, how he responded to the concerns raised above in his official policy declaration of May 19, 1977. Rather than summarize Carter's text (and thus run the risk of altering his meaning), we will reproduce his proposals one by one in italics and follow each with an interpretive comment. CARTER'S GUIDELINES: ... Shortly after my inauguration I directed a comprehensive review of U.S. conventional arms transfer policy, including all military, political and economic factors [i.e., the Gelb study]. After reviewing the results of this study ... I have concluded that the United States will henceforth view arms transfers as an exceptional foreign policy implement, to be used only in instances where it can clearly be demonstrated that the transfer contributes to our national security interests We will continue to utilize arms transfers to promote, our security and the security of our close friends. But, in the future, the burden of persuasion will be on those who favor a particular arms sale, rather than those who oppose it. Comment: This is mostly empty prattle. Many things considered "exceptional" are routinely authorized in the name of "national security" - such as the development of the "Neutron Bomb" and other thermonuclear monstrosities. Furthermore, major arms deals have always involved an adversary interchange between supporters and opponents of the sale, with the President making the final decision on the basis of (the prevailing definition of) national security interests. Thus, so long as the definition of national security remains unchanged, shifting a mythical "burden" from one side to the other means practically nothing. Indeed, when it came to the test, Carter acted no differently from other recent Presidents when he decided, on July 26th and 27th, to authorize arms sales to Sudan, Somalia, and Chad in order to diminish Soviet influence in Africa and thus presumably to promote U.S. security interests." To implement a policy of arms restraint, I am establishing the following set of controls, applicable to all transfers except those to countries with which we have ma/or defense treaties (NA TO, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand). We will remain faithful to our treaty obligations, and will honor our historic responsibilities to assure the security of the state of Israel. Comment: During the past three years (FY 1976-78), the "exempted" countries (NATO, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Israel) accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. arms exports under the FMS program (see Table II), so Carter has already restricted his "policy of restraint" to less than two-thirds of The potential market. 2 9 Furthermore, if other countries with which the United States has "major defense treaties" - South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and the Philippines - are added to the "exempt" list, the scope of Carter's proposals would be limited by another 10 percent to only 56 TABLE II: IMPACT OF CARTER'S ARMS SALES POLICY (By Fiscal Year; Current US Dollars in millions 8 ) 1 9 7 6 b est.1977 est.1978 1976-78 U.S. Arms Sales, 11,042.2 10,012.6 8,921.1 29,975.9 World Total Exempted Nations: NATO 1.092.7 1,655.6 3,134.2 5,882.5 Australia 551.9 68.0 184.0 803.9 New Zealand 8.7 5.6 5.2 19.5 Japan 201.9 162.0 324.0 687.9 Israel 1.205.6 855.0 1.155.0 3,215.6 Total 3,060.8 2,746.2 4,802.4 10,609.4 Exempted Nations, 28 % of World Total 28 27 54 35 Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Securit Assistance Pro- a nram, Presentation to Congress, FY 1978 ashington,1977) "Includes Foreign Military Sales program orders and Commercial Sales deliveries. bIncludes Transistion quarter, FY 1971T (7/1/76-9/30/76).percent of the total market. These controls will be binding unless extraordinary circumstances necessitate a Presidential exception, or where I determine that countries friendly to the United States must depend on advanced weaponry to offset quantitative and other disadvantages in order to maintain a regional balance. Comment: This waiver allows Carter to cancel out everything that follows when he determines that an extraordinary condition exists or that deliveries by another supplier create an alleged military imbalance. And as his actions on the AWACS and other cases described below testify, he is clearly prepared to interpret these exceptions in a liberal fashion. 1. The dollar volume (in constant FY 1976 dollars) of new commitments under the Foreign Military Sales and Military Assistance Programs for weapons and weapons- related items in FY 1978 will be reduced from the FY 1977 level. Transfers which can clearly be classified as services are not covered, nor are commercial sales, which the U.S. Government monitors through the issuance of export licenses. Comment: Having already chopped off one-third of FMS sales by exempting NATO, etc., Carter now reduces the impact of his policy even further. Since services comprise about 40 percent of all FMS contracts, Carter has limited the scope of his controls to less than two-fifths of total sales. Eliminating Commercial Sales further limits the controls to only about 35 percent of all military exports. (See Table i.) And since FMS service contracts and Commercial Sales are expected to rise in coming years, total military exports could well rise above the FY 1977 level even if Carter's proposals are vigorously enforced! 2. The United States will not be the first supplier to introduce into a region newly-developed, advanced weapons systems which would create a new or significantly higher combat capability. Also, any commitment for sale or co-production of such weapons is prohibited until they are operationally deployed with U.S. forces, thus removing the incentive to promote foreign sales in an effort to lower unit costs for Defense Department procurement. Comment: These are sound principles, but they are rendered meaningless by all the exemptions and waivers noted above. In keeping with America's "special relationship" with Israel, Carter has kept up the now of new high-technology arms to that country. He also abandoned these principles by agreeing to provide Iran with AWACS surveillance plane -- a system so advanced that CIA Director Stansfield Turner argued against its export (in the fear that it might inadvertently fall into the hands of the Russians and thus compromise U.S. defense secretsn. Carter approved the sale on the grounds that it is essential to Iran's security and thus to overall U.S. strategy in the Persian Gulf area, but most industry sources agree that a major motivation behind the sale is to reduce unit costs on the multi-billion AWACS program and thus ease the Pentagon's own problems in getting Congress to pay for the system." In another striking departure from these guidelines, Carter recently approved the sale of up to 60 McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle air- superiority fighters to Saudi Arabia. 3 2 Capable of flying at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound, the F-15 is considerably more advanced than any other aircraft now deployed in the Arabian Peninsula. 3. Development or modification of advanced weapons systems solely for export will not be permitted. Comment: Here again, Carter has already violated his own principles. In June, he gave permission to Northrop and McDonnell-Douglas to begin discussions with West Germany and several other countries on the sale of their proposed F-18L land-based fighter. The two firms are now producing a 19 C e C_ c E20 carrier-based version of the F-18 for the U.S. Navy, but the Pentagon has no plans to develop a land-based version.3 4. Coproduction agreements for significant weapons, equipment, and major components (beyond assembly of subcomponents and the fabrication of high-turnover spare parts) are prohibited. A limited class of items will be considered for coproduction arrangements, but with restrictions on third-country exports. Comment: Once again, the exemptions carry the day. According to documents obtained by NACLA under the Freedom of Information Act, 27 out of the 38 major coproduction projects underway in 1975 involved countries on the exempted list." Furthermore, Carter's commitment to increased arms standardization within NATO almost certainly will result in increased coproduction work within the Alliance, since that is the only way to insure future European purchases of American weapons. Furthermore, the President has not yet indicated what will be included in the "limited class of items" cleared for co-production, and it is likely that novice Third World weapons producers -- such as Israel, Iran, Taiwan, and South Korea - will still be able to acquire some technical know-how through such co- production efforts. 5. In addition to existing requirements of the law, the United States, as a condition of sale for certain weapons, equipment, or major components, may stipulate that we will not entertain any requests for retransfers. Comment: The key words here are "certain weapons" and "may stipulate." No further explanation has been forthcoming from the White House on which weapons will fall into this category or what conditions will trigger such stipulations. It is worth noting, however, that the State Department has authorized Israel to retransfer U.S. jet engines and other aircraft components to Austria (the engines are used to power the Kfir fighter, which Israel has offered to several foreign countries). 3 s 6. An amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations will be issued, requiring policy level authorization by the Department of State for actions by agents of the United States or private manufacturers which might promote the sale of arms abroad. In addition, embassies and military representatives will not promote the sale of arms and the Secretary of Defense will continue his review of government procedures, particularly procurement regulations, which may provide incentives for foreign sales. Comment: This provision is not as far-reaching as it sounds, since U.S. arms producers have always sought an informal government go-ahead signal before initiating serious export talks with foreign government officials. Now such requests will be made on a formal basis, but so long as Carter is prepared to disregard his other guidelines - as in the AWACS offer to Iran and the F-15 offer to Saudi Arabia - this requirement does not appear particularly significant. The ban on promotional activities by U.S. military and diplomatic personnel, moreover, did not stop the Air Force from demonstrating U.S. military aircraft to potential foreign customers at the 1977 Paris Air Show, held only two weeks after Carter's new guidelines were released.36 In formulating security assistance programs consistent with these controls, we will continue our efforts to promote and advance respect for human rights in recipient countries. Comment: Although Carter has ordered token cuts in military aid to Argentina, Ethiopia and Uruguay because of widespread human rights abuses, he has opposed cuts to other countries with equal or worse records on human rights -- such as South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines - on the grounds that U.S. national security precludes any diminution in U.S. aid." Furthermore, while sales of police-type gear to a few dictatorships such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Argentina have been temporarily held up by the State Department, the United States continues to supply such hardware to many other repressive regimes. I am initiating this policy of restraint in the full understanding that actual reductions in the worldwide traffic in arms will require multilateral cooperation. Because we dominate the world market to such a degree, I believe that the United States can, and should, take the first step. However, in the immediate future, the United States will meet with other arms suppliers, including the Soviet Union, to begin discussions of possible measures for multilateral action. Comment: Carter is of course correct that any successful effort to limit conventional arms transfers will require cooperation among the major supplying nations. But it is hard to imagine how he can persuade other nations to reduce their sales when the United States continues to dominate the market to such a great extent, even after Carter's guidelines are taken into account. And what "first step" is Carter talking about -- the AWACS sale to Iran? the F-15 sale to Saudi Arabia? the F-18L sale to West Germany? Surely these decisions are not going to persuade European suppliers of Washington's intention to cut back on its exports to major foreign markets. Similarly, does Carter seriously hope to enlist the cooperation of Moscow, when he is rushing to sell arms to Somalia in order to undercut Soviet influence in that country? WHAT IS NOT COVERED ... Having examined and evaluated what is covered in Carter's new arms sales guidelines, it is important to consider what is not covered. The first and most obvious omission is a serious commitment to reducing U.S. arms sales. Even if Carter makes a significant cut in weapons transfers to the non-exempt nations, the total volume of U.S. deliveries will probably remain at about the same level as it was before - especially if, as predicted, sales of technical services rise fast enough to make up for the drop in sales of hardware. Of the specific problem areas which Carter does address - retransfers, co-production, human rights, and the sale of advanced munitions to underdeveloped countries - we have seen that his proposals are vague, incomplete, and sometimes inconsistent. But there are some issues which Carter neglected to consider altogether, including: -Technical service contracts: Carter specifically exempts service contracts from his May 19th guidelines, and nowhere else is there any sign that he plans to restrict or control the proliferation of "white collar mercenaries." -Payoffs: Although Carter calls for advance State Department screening of overseas promotional activities by U.S. arms firms, there is no ban on the payment of commissions or fees to agents and representatives abroad - and thus no specific measure to prevent further payoffs in connection with arms deals. -Undelivered balance: Some critics of the arms trade have suggested that Carter apply the new export guidelines to the $32 billion worth of arms that were ordered during the Nixon and Ford Administrations but that have not yet been21 delivered to their foreign consignees. This issue is not raised in the May 19th statement, however, and the New York Times reports that Carter apparently decided to go through with these sales on the grounds that Washington cannot "renege" on such contracts - even though he has called upon France and West Germany to cancel their contracts for the sale of nuclear reprocessing plants to Pakistan and Brazil.3 All this tells us that Carter's "policy of arms restraint" amounts to little more than "business as usual." Perhaps there will be a slight reduction in the overall volume of sales, and some effort to discourage improprietous purchases by some of the more extravagant Third World spenders like Iran, but in general we will be seeing a continuing flow of advanced U.S. arms to an ever-growing number of countries abroad. If, as seems reasonable, we assume that Carter started out with a serious commitment to reducing arms sales, we might well ask what caused his determination to waver. We can see, of course, that he ran into some powerful lobbies and interest groups that effectively blocked certain options. The Europeans will not endorse Washington's economic and political strategies without continued access to U.S. arms and technology. The pro-Israel forces will not accept any significant restrictions on arms deliveries to that country. The many corporate and bureaucratic interests involved in U.S. arms production will not abandon the export market without putting up an intense struggle - often incorporating the efforts of labor officials and local politicians who seek to resist what they view as a threat to jobs. (Although some critics of Carter's export policy charge that it will cause widespread unemployment, Administration officials argue that the $32 billion backlog in undelivered orders will keep the export firms fully occupied while they search for alternative product lines.) Some U.S. diplomats and military officials also perceive a critical interest in preserving the U.S. supply relationship with whatever regimes they have jurisdiction over. But, on balance, it appears that the real obstacle was Carter's failure to challenge the prevailing doctrine of "national security," which, under Carter as well as all other recent Presidents, requires that the United States assume the dominant military role throughout the non- Communist world and resist, with the full resources at its disposal, any effort to diminish U.S. influence abroad. And despite the battering this doctrine received in Vietnam, it still takes precedence over all other foreign policy goals. Thus Carter told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July that Washington cannot cut off arms deliveries to human rights violators abroad since to do so would jeopardize U.S. security interests. A rigorous human rights test for arms deliveries might, he suggested, result in "arms transfer cutoffs .. involving small countries whose individual importance for our security interests may not be great, but whose collective importance may be." In these cases, "There is a risk of offending such countries, thereby incurring damage to our regional and global interests." Having identified the "bottom line" in U.S. decisionmaking, Carter than goes on to suggest that such thinking might also prove beneficial to human rights in the end, since to cut off the delivery of arms to these regimes would diminish "what influence the U.S. might otherwise have been able to bring to bear to encourage improvements in their attitudes toward human rights." 3 9 Perhaps we cannot charge Carter with justifying the "unsavory business" of arms sales on the "cynical ground" that such exports advance the cause of peace, as Carter did with Ford and Kissinger in 1976, but then no one else has ever attempted to justify the infamous business of supplying repressive equipment to dictators on the pernicious ground that such deliveries will advance the cause of human rights. Footnotes 1. Transcript in The New York Times June 24, 1976. 2. Transcript in The New York Times, January 25, 1977. 3. Press conference, January 31, 1977, text released by State Department. 4. Washington Post, April 18, 1977. 5. Quoted in Aviation Week & Space Technology (April 18, 1977), p. 20. 6. For discussion, see: Michael T. Klare, "The Political Economy of Arms Sales," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (November, 1976), pp. 11-18. 7. Quoted in Aviation Week & Space Technology (April 18, 1977), p. 20. 8. The New York Times, April 20, 1977. 9. The New York Times, April 27, 1977. 10. The New York Times, May 13, 1977. 11. Press release, Office of the White House Press Secretary, May 19, 1977. 12. Senator Hubert Humphrey, in the Congressional Record (June 8, 1977), p. S9148. 13. Quoted in the Los Angeles Times. May 23, 1977. 14. Fiscal 1950-76 data from: U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, Foreign Military Sales and Military Assistance Facts (Washington: author, 1976). Fiscal 1977 data from: U.S. Department of Defense, Security Assistance Program, Presentation to Congress, Fiscal Year 1978 (Washington: author, 1977). (These sources are subsequently cited as: DSAA, FMS/MAP Facts, and DoD, Security Assistance FY 1978, respectively.) 15. U.S. Arms Control & Disarmament Agency, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1965-74 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1976), p. 73. 16. DSAA, FMSIMAP Facts, pp. 12-13. 17. Cited in the Washington Post, July 12, 1977. 18. For country-by-country registers of U.S. arms deliveries, see the annual SIPRI Yearbook, published by the Stockholm Inter- national Peace Research Institute. 19. See data provided by the Defense Security Assistance Agency as tabulated in NACLA's Latin America Report (January, 1977), pp. 27-32. 20. Ibid. 21. For discussion, see: Michael T. Klare, "America Exports Its Know-How," The Nation (February 12, 1977), pp. 173-78. 22. For discussion, see: "Technical Assistance Export Sales Grow," Aviation Week & Space Technology (June 2, 1975), pp. 309-16. 23. U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Military Sales to Iran, Staff Report, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., 1976, p. vii. 24. "Casualties of a Cut in Arms Sales Abroad," Business Week (April 25, 1977), p. 34. 25. See: "Payoffs: The Growing Scandal," Newsweek (February 23, 1976), pp. 26-33. 26. See data provided by the U.S. Office of Munitions Control as tabulated in NACLA's Latin America Report (July-August, 1976), pp. 33-38. 27. See: Michael T. Klare and Nancy Stein, "Exporting the Tools of Repression," The Nation (October 16, 1976), pp. 365-70. 28. The New York Times, July 28, 1977. 29. DoD, Security Assistance FY 1978. pp. 19-21. 30. Washington Post, July 14, 1977. 31. See he New York Times, April 27 and July 12, 1977. 32. Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1977. 33. Aviation Week & Space Technology (June 27, 1977), p. 22. 34. See note 9. "35. Aviation Week & Space Technology (June 27, 1977), p. 9. 36. See: "Paris Underscores Battle for Exports," Aviation Week & Space Technology (June 6, 1966), pp. 42-49. 37. The New York Times, February 25, 1977. 38. The New York Times, May 8, 1977. 39. Quoted in The New York Times, July 12, 1977.22 U.S. ARMS SALES ABROAD, 1950-78 Explanatory Notes: FMS = Foreign Military Sales program, i.e., sales by the U.S. Government directly to foreign governments. FMS Orders = Orders placed by foreign governments for U.S. arms under the FMS program. FMS Deliveries = Actual deliveries of U.S. arms under the FMS program. Undelivered Balance = Arms ordered by foreign governments under the FMS program but not yet delivered. FMS Credits = Credits awarded to foreign governments under the FMS program for the purchase of U.S. arms. Commercial Sales = Sales by U.S. corporations to foreign governments or arms dealers. (By Fiscal Year; Current U.S. dollars in millions) Region & Country LATIN AMERICA, Total Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa Rica Dominican Rep. Ecuador El Salvador Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela Other NEAR EAST & SOUTH ASIA, Total Egypt Greece India Iran Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Pakistan Saudi Arabia Turkey Un. Arab Emirates Yemen Other FMS Orders 1950-76 1,156.1 178.9 2.5 264.2 184.5 24.0 1.2 2.2 22.7 3.0 21.5 1.0 8.2 0.2 15.8 4.9 5.0 0.4 158.7 18.9 233.7 4.6 34,335.9 67.6 1,093.7 74.1 12,796.3 13.2 5,940.3 800.7 638.6 19.9 1.8 265.0 12,143.9 339.3 141.4 0.1 est.'77 106.8 18.0 2.0 20.0 8.0 0.1 0.4 14.7 1.5 5.0 0.4 2.0 0.2 0.7 1.3 0.8 19.7 3.0 9.0 6,383.6 310.0 2.5 4,213.0 700.0 85.0 40.0 5.0 0.1 200.0 700.0 125.0 2.0 1.0 est. '78 127.0 30.0 9.0 20.0 12.0 0.2 0.7 14.3 2.0 2.5 0.4 2.0 0.3 1.5 1.7 0.4 17.0 4.0 9.0 3,846.5 307.0 3.0 1,200.0 1,000.0 85.0 25.0 4.1 0.1 95.5 924.8 200.0 2.0 FMS Deli- veries, 1950-76 817.9 138.8 1.8 217.1 98.5 21.4 1.2 2.1 9.9 2.2 20.3 0.6 7.4 0.2 14.3 4.1 4.1 0.4 81.7 10.3 176.9 4.6 10,675.2 0.4 561.5 65.9 4,050.1 13.2 3,604.1 286.7 30.0 13.1 1.8 135.0 1,679.3 231.3 2.7 0.1 Urideli- vered Balance, end '76 338.2 40.1 0.7 47.1 86.0 2.6 0.1 12.8 0.8 1.2 0.4 0.8 1.5 0.8 0.9 FMS Credits 1955-76 833.0 177.6 17.0 272.1 62.5 41.8 1.5 10.6 3.5 10.9 5.5 4.3 5.5 0.5 - i.L 77.0 75.0 8.6 18.3 56.8 23,660.7 67.2 532.2 8.2 8,746.2 2,336.2 514.0 608.6 6.8 130.0 10,464.6 108.0 138.7 125.2 7,662.8 450.5 27.3 504.0 5,904.2 181.5 20.0 7.6 257.7 310.0 est. '77 170.1 36.0 12.0 60.0 26.0 1.0 10.0 2.5 0.6 0.5 2.5 5.0 2.5 1.0 0.5 10.0 1,327.0 122.0 1,000.0 75.0 5.0 125.0 est. '78 140.0 15.0 14.0 50.0 29.0 1.0 10.0 Commercial Sales Deliveries 1960-76 308.9 57.3 1.7 96.7 16.0 20.0 0.7 1.0 7.6 2.5 3.2 1.5 3.1 0.5 1.1 2.5 1.3 - 0.9 - 9.1 2.5 3.1 1.0 5.9 0.5 1.0 10.0 22.1 - 1.9 54.9 1,415.0 140.0 1,000.0 75.0 200.0 0.3 1,254.4 2.1 40.4 23.3 386.2 5.8 481.9 4.9 13.4 7.1 3.2 24.7 218.3 39.0 3.4 0.3 est. '77 73.6 3.0 0.2 50.0 1.0 1.2 0.2 0.2 3.0 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.1 2.0 0.8 1.1 0.3 4.0 0.5 5.0 408.5 13.0 5.5 165.0 155.0 0.5 6.1 1.1 1.5 1.1 45.0 11.5 2.7 0.5 123 FMS Orders: Deliveries Undeliv'd FMS Credits: Commercial Sales: Region & Country 1950-76 est.'77 est.'78 1950-76 Balance 1955-76 est.'77 est.'78 1960-76 est.'77 AFRICA, Total 795.4 216.0 117.1 156.6 638.8 293.4 63.5 57.5 85.4 23.4 Ethiopia 170.1 30.0 30.0 30.3 139.8 36.0 10.0 10.0 0.9 0.5 Gabon 0.2 2.0 2.0 0.1 0.1 2.0 2.0 2.0 - Kenya 66.9 2.0 2.0 * 66.9 35.0 15.0 15.0 5.7 0.2 Liberia 3.5 0.5 0.8 3.0 0.5 6.6 0.5 0.5 1.0 Libya 29.6 - - 29.6 - - - - 34.3 Morocco 472.1 30.0 32.0 54.8 417.3 116.5 - - 3.0 Nigeria 12.6 1.5 2.0 9.6 3.0 0.3 - - 34.6 22.5 Senegal - - - - - - 8.0 - Sudan - 74.0 - - - 1.5 - - 2.1 Tunisia 8.0 50.0 25.0 5.4 2.6 37.5 - - - Zaire 32.0 26.0 23.0 23.4 8.6 57.5 28.0 30.0 3.8 0.2 Other 0.4 - 0.3 0.4 - - - EAST ASIA, Total 4,878.1 963.2 1,110.5 2,533.8 2,344.3 1,285.3 296.5 409.5 1,136.5 233.2 Australia 1,814.4 62.0 178.0 1,031.3 783.1 115.5 - - 57.0 6.0 Burma 2.7 1.0 1.0 2.6 0.1 - - - 3.8 0.1 Indonesia 53.7 25.0 25.0 16.9 36.8 31.6 23.1 40.0 25.5 5.0 Japan 490.7 47.0 209.0 381.5 109.2 34.8 - - 690.5 115.0 Korea, So. 985.3 305.0 350.0 239.2 746.1 432.0 152.4 275.0 44.5 21.0 Malaysia 60.2 8.3 24.0 51.1 9.1 76.8 36.0 20.0 54.2 14.0 New Zealand 129.1 3.9 3.5 112.4 16.7 1.5 - - 6.5 1.7 Philippines 79.4 91.0 50.0 32.0 47.4 40.0 20.0 20.0 21.6 13.0 Singapore 49.9 120.0 10.0 25.1 24.8 19.0 - - 51.5 12.5 Taiwan 1,029.4 235.0 225.0 559.6 469.8 489.4 35.0 25.0 129.6 37.5 Thailand 173.6 65.0 35.0 72.4 101.2 44.7 30.0 29.5 42.4 7.4 Other 9.6 - - 9.6 - - - - 9.4 - EUROPE, Total 13,961.5 801.1 615.5 9,456.4 4,505.1 108.5 120.0 120.0 2,698.5 333.4 Austria 84.7 4.0 5.0 63.8 20.9 14.1 - - 15.5 1.1 Belgium 894.0 10.0 10.0 149.4 744.6 7.8 - - 208.8 9.2 Denmark 533.4 17.0 17.0 146.4 387.0 - - - 48.3 12.5 Finland 0.1 - - * - - - - 4.9 1.5 France 380.2 7.0 4.0 352.8 27.4 80.4 - - 317.8 30.0 Germany, West 5,888.5 250.0 200.0 5,249.4 639.1 - - - 734.5 75.0 Iceland 0.5 * - 0.5 Ireland 0.5 * - 0.5 - - - - 0.9 Italy 746.1 30.0 25.0 631.3 114.8 0.3 - - 463.3 85.0 Luxembourg 2.8 - - 2.8 - - - - 8.6 Netherlands 932.1 40.0 30.0 203.1 729.0 2.2 - - 181.3 15.0 Norway 782.8 127.0 20.0 257.6 525.2 - - - 60.8 8.0 Portugal 18.2 3.0 3.0 12.4 5.8 - - - 12.0 0.8 Spain 756.1 170.0 145.0 407.9 348.2 2.3 120.0 120.0 126.5 18.8 Sweden 75.0 28.0 10.0 43.6 31.4 - - - 152.3 27.1 Switzerland 626.1 10.0 25.0 154.2 471.9 -- - 100.8 15.0 United Kingdom 2,226.9 100.0 120.0 1,768.7 458.2 - - - 255.6 32.4 Yugoslavia 13.6 5.0 1.5 12.0 1.6 1.4 - - 6.6 2.0 CANADA 1,304.5 70.0 162.6 1,137.0 167.5 - - - 649.4 85.0 INT'L ORGANIZATIONS 529.3 230.0 1,696.0 354.2 175.1 23.1 - - 100.3 70.0 WORLD TOTAL 56,960.8 8,770.8 7,675.2 25,131.1 31,829.7 10,206.1 1.977.1 2,142.0 6,233.4 1,227.1 Source: Fiscal 1950-76 data: U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, Foreign Military Sales and Military Assistance Facts (Washington, 1976); Fiscal 1977-78 data: U.S. Department of Defense, Security Assistance Program, Presenta- tion to Congress, Fiscal Year 1978 (Washington, 1977). *Less than $50,000.

Tags: Jimmy Carter, US arms trade, arms sales guidelines

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