Weaponry & Arms Sales

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Denise Garcia

Robots that are programmed to kill could soon escape science fiction and become reality. Given the strategic, moral, and legal questions that such killer robots raise, it is up to the United States to lead the international effort to ban them.

Sohail H. Hashmi and Jon Western

Some opponents of a strike in Syria contend that the norm against chemical weapons is pointless, since they generally produce far fewer fatalities than conventional arms. But chemical weapons, like nuclear and biological ones, are concerning primarily because they make discrimination between civilians and fighters impossible.

Essay, May/June 2013
Jim Thomas

Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. Army will bear the brunt of forthcoming defense cuts. But that need not be the case, provided it shifts its focus away from traditional ground forces toward more relevant weapons: land-base missile systems.

Essay, May/June 2013
Chris McKinney, Mark Elfendahl, and H. R. McMaster

Looming budgetary constraints and the U.S. Army's ongoing downsizing have enhanced the appeal of forces that are lighter, smaller, and cheaper than tanks and other protected vehicles. But not only have armored forces proved critical in yesterday's wars; they will also be needed to win tomorrow's.

Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock

Critics of the U.S.-Israeli relationship overlook the substantial benefits it affords the United States, from advanced military technology to lucrative business ventures. They also overstate its costs, which have been limited.

Review Essay, Nov/Dec 2012
Robert H. Scales

Thomas Ricks' new book identifies an urgent challenge facing the U.S. armed forces: how to produce good generals. But Ricks' solution -- regularly firing underperforming officers -- is based on flawed historical analysis and would do more harm than good.

Takashi Yokota and Kirk Spitzer

Recent rhetoric signals that the Japanese government is taking a tough stance on foreign policy. In reality, however, politicians and citizens alike are easily distracted by sideshows and seemingly incapable of crafting a cohesive defense strategy. When it comes to national security, Japan is its own worst enemy.

Ashton B. Carter and J. Michael Gilmore

Some have questioned the value and effectiveness of MRAPs. But data from the battlefield and the results of extensive live-fire tests demonstrate that, compared to up-armored Humvees, the new combat vehicles save a significant number of lives and, as a result, are worth the cost.


An essay in images about the U.S.'s fading position as arms dealer to the world.

Essay, Sept/Oct 2012
Jonathan Caverley and Ethan B. Kapstein

For two decades, the United States has dominated the global arms trade, reaping a broad range of economic and geopolitical benefits in the process. But shortsighted decisions to produce expensive, cutting-edge weapons systems, rather than cheaper, more practical ones, are squandering this monopoly and letting other countries get into the market.

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