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On October 22, Ambassador Kurt Volker, Director of the McCain Institute, led a debate, asking the question, “Should U.S. Foreign Assistance be Tied to Human Rights?” The focus of the event touched broadly on a range of U.S. assistance and sought to determine what role human rights considerations should play in cutting off or releasing that assistance.

U.S. security assistance and cooperation programs have come under a lot of fire recently.  The failure of the $500 million program to train and equip moderate opposition forces in Syria is the latest example. However, there is a longer history,

The latest bills from Congress cut back on President Obama’s aid request while increasing military assistance. Here is an update of current funding proposals for Central America.

The State Department’s Directorate for Defense Trade Controls has proposed a rule change that could loosen oversight of private security companies and exacerbate the problems we’ve seen with them.

 

Last week the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, requested the authority to begin an investigation into potential human rights violations committed by Georgia, South Ossetia, and Russian forces during the 2008 August War or “Five-Day War.” Alongside the request, the ICC released a report outlining the alleged crimes committed by all sides that would be further investigated.

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In the midst of 2011’s Arab uprisings, thousands of tear gas canisters bearing the conspicuous “Made in U.S.A.” designations became a symbol of U.S. support for authoritarian regimes and violent repression of peaceful dissent in countries like Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia. While U.S. transfers of crowd control items like tear gas are sometimes viewed as encouraging a non-lethal approach to protests, the regimes excessive and improper use of tear gas have caused cases of serious injury or death. In response, Congress has sought to better control such transfers, but the gaps in such controls are growing to an alarming level.

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Recent Blog

Mar 10, 2017
The State Department requested Congress to approve over $662 million worth of commercial firearms...
Mar 5, 2017
This blog post first appeared on Lobelog under the title Commerce Department Boosts Arms Sales...
Nov 1, 2016
This article was originally published on the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)...
Sep 6, 2016
Introduction The debate over the recent U.S. offer to sell M1A2 Abrams battle tanks to Saudi Arabia...
Aug 1, 2016
Over the past year, the legacy and reputation of UN Peacekeeping missions across the African...