Courtesy Reuters


THE United States' practice of selling or giving large quantities of military equipment to foreign countries gives rise to a series of policy problems which, though often simple to identify, are not easy to resolve. Over the past two years, in an effort to exercise more control over the transfer of arms, Congress has added several restrictive clauses to the Foreign Assistance Act, which authorizes military aid, and a new Foreign Military Sales Act, which controls sales. Although tighter control may have a marked effect upon the overall nature and size of military aid and sales programs, the basic issues at stake inevitably escape the somewhat cumbersome and general language of legislation. In essence, the problems are ones of judgment in particular and highly differentiated cases.

Much of the underlying criticism that surrounds these programs is based upon several consistent themes: that arms sales and

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