Taking Aim: A Closer Look at the Global Arms Trade


The inaugural Forum on the Arms Trade annual conference, "Taking Aim: A Closer Look at the Global Arms Trade," was a half-day event held on May 22, 2018 at the Stimson Center.



Video of the conference is available here and photos are available here.


Senator Chris Murphy's keynote remarks begin at 1:00:55 in the video, during which he discussed a range of issues related to the arms trade, Yemen, and gun violence. 


The first panel, "Living with the Arms Trade: Perspective from Conflict Area" (at 10:00 in the video, and then restarting at 1:34:00) featured:

  • Radhya Almutawakel, Chairperson of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights (Yemen) - see recent annual report
  • John Ismay, Conflict Reporter, New York Times; former U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer - see article today on firearms export change
  • Andrea Prasow, Deputy Washington Director, Human Rights Watch - see Afghanistan video and investigation discussed during conference
  • Rahma A. Hussein (moderator), Legal Fellow, Counterterrorism, Armed Conflict and Human Rights Project, Columbia Law School - see related Perspective from Impacted Countries series


The second panel "Assessing Risk in U.S. Arms Transfers" (at 2:25:55 in the video) featured:

  • Michael F. Miller, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State - see new conventional arms transfer policy and firearms export regulations discussed (see also related Forum on the arms trade resources here and here)
  • Shannon N. Green, Senior Director of Programs, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC); former Senior Director for Global Engagement, National Security Council - see CIVIC/Stimson report "With Great Power: Modifying US Arms Sales to Reduce Civilian Harm"
  • Stephen Watts, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation - discussed research on the risk associated with and effectiveness of security assistance
  • Colby Goodman (moderator), Director, Security Assistance Monitor - see the website and related database for multiple resources.

​The concluding conversation "War Dogs: Real Life Stories from the Arms Trade"(at 4:05:00 in the video) centered on Guy Lawson's book War Dogs (originally titled Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History) and David Packouz's reflections on his time as an arms dealer during the events featured in the book and movie. Rachel Stohl moderated the discussion (see her work). 

Experts listed by the Forum on the Arms Trade will continue to be a resource on these and many issues. You can find out more about them here. If you are not already on the Forum's newsletter list, you may be added shortly. If you would rather not be included in those communications (approximately 3-4 emails per month), please feel free to email me directly to opt out.

The conference was co-hosted by the Stimson Center, Center for Civilians in Conflict, and the Security Assistance Monitor.​

Event Date: 
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 11:30
Event Address: 
The Stimson Center
1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States