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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.

“What happened in Kunduz is happening multiple times a day in Yemen,” stated Tariq Riebl on an October 20 panel entitled “Humanitarian and Security Consequences of Military Support to the Region.” Riebl, who recently returned from three months in Yemen with Oxfam International, was joined by experts William D. Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and Senior Advisor to Security Assistance Monitor, Martin Butcher, a Policy Advisor at Oxfam International, and moderator Natalie Goldring, a Senior Fellow for the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.

Demanding answers to structural and stability challenges facing their nation, Argentines will take to the polls on October 25 to elect a new president. Sunday will mark the end to 12 years of kirchnerismo, the peronist political movement born under presidential couple Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and the late Néstor Kirchner, once lauded a leftist success for its sustained economic growth and robust spending on social programs.

The recent surge in U.S. arms transfers to the Middle East is part of an unprecedented boom in major U.S. arms sales that has been presided over by the Obama administration. In President Obama’s first six years in office, new agreements under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program – the largest channel for U.S. weapons exports – totaled over $195 billion. Overall, the Obama administration has approved more major weapons deals than any U.S. administration since World War II.

Since Saudi Arabia initiated its air campaign began in Yemen last March, the United States has announced $8.3 billion in new, major arms deals between Washington and Riyadh. On the Hill, however, concerns are growing over the U.S. role in a crisis that has claimed the lives of over 2,100 civilians with no military solution in sight.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has allegedly withheld records about a ranking Salvadoran military officer implicated in civilian massacres during the 1980s Salvadoran Civil War, according a recent lawsuit by the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights (UWCHR).
 

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