When countries who are party to a conflict receive U.S. arms, and the U.S. willingly approves those sales, it also tacitly approves the role of that country in conflict, even countries that violate human rights and bring about large numbers of civilian casualties.
Ending forever wars will mean more than simply revising AUMFs. It will take a thorough rethinking of how and when the United States uses force and what role Congress and the American public should play in those decisions.
The recent meeting between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a glimmer of hope in the form of a joint statement that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” If they are serious about that, they should make substantial reductions in the nuclear arsenals of both sides as a step towards joining the international consensus in favor of eliminating nuclear weapons.
If there’s one thing we can learn from the Trump administration’s final-year arms sales extravaganza, it’s that we can’t expect administrations to abide by norms that aren’t set into law. We need stronger regulatory frameworks, particularly on transparency. This is critical to ensuring the international community can continue to monitor foreign arms sales, that arms sales aren’t at odds with diplomatic priorities, and that the United States gets closer to a more responsible arms sales policy.
The Biden administration’s first Pentagon budget proposal is now slated to come out in early May. Rather than sticking with current levels of spending, the administration should craft a plan that reduces the Pentagon budget while freeing up funds for investment in other security priorities. Doing so would mark an important first step towards revising America’s approach to security and allocating resources accordingly.
Biden’s speech was a refreshing change from the erratic, transactional approach of the past four years, but there is much that needs to be fleshed out if the United States is truly going to set a new course where diplomacy indeed comes first and the militarized approach to foreign affairs that has characterized U.S. policy throughout this century and before is going to finally be abandoned in favor of a more constructive and effective approach to helping solve the most urgent threats to our safety and security.
This week marks the 92nd anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and 53 years since his assassination. His radical vision is more relevant today than ever.
Following a disastrous four years of Trump’s “America First” policy, President-elect Biden’s pledge to restore American power and prestige in the world offers a sense of comfort and relief to many.
With a price-tag of more than $1.2 trillion dollars, there’s intense debate about plans to overhaul U.S. nuclear forces. What many don’t realize is that there’s considerable money within this debate, and it’s coming from the very companies that will make billions if the United States upgrades its nuclear forces.