ARMS & SECURITY PROGRAM

The Arms and Security Program engages in media outreach and public education aimed at promoting reforms in U.S. policies on nuclear weapons, military spending and the arms trade. It seeks to advance the notion that diplomacy and international cooperation are the most effective tools for protecting the United States.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

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ISSUE BRIEF
May 4, 2021

Executive Excess: CEO Compensation in the Arms Industry, 2020

by William D. Hartung and Leila Riazi

On April 9th, the Biden administration announced a proposal for Pentagon spending and related nuclear weapons work at the Department of Energy in excess of $750 billion – three-quarters of a trillion dollars ... These enormous sums for the Pentagon are often justified as necessary to meet the needs
of military personnel, but in fact, roughly half of the Pentagon’s budget is spent on corporations

Executive Excess: CEO Compensation in the Arms Industry, 2020
ISSUE BRIEF
April 15, 2021

Transferring Arms to the UAE is not in U.S. Security Interests

by William Hartung

The Biden administration’s decision to approve a $23 billion package of F-35 combat aircraft, MQ-9 armed drones, and $10 billion in bombs and missiles to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) contradicts its pledge to make human rights and long-term U.S. interests the central factors in deciding which nations to supply with U.S. arms. The UAE is an unreliable partner that has fueled conflict, transferred U.S.-supplied weapons to extremist groups, and inflicted severe human rights abuses on its own population. Its conduct has done more harm than good with respect to U.S. security interests. Whatever pledges the UAE may make regarding its use of the U.S. weapons involved in the current package, the UAE’s record does not inspire confidence that it will abide by them.

Transferring Arms to the UAE is not in U.S. Security Interests
ISSUE BRIEF
March 9, 2021

Issue Brief: Inside the ICBM Lobby: Special Interests or The National Interest?

by William Hartung

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) have been called “some of the most dangerous weapons in the world” by former Defense Secretary William Perry, because the president would have only a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch them in a crisis, increasing the risks of an accidental nuclear war. This Issue Brief summarizes the report by the same name and examines efforts by the Congressional ICBM Coalition and ICBM contractors to preserve and expand ICBM programs.

Issue Brief: Inside the ICBM Lobby: Special Interests or The National Interest?

LATEST NEWS

May 6, 2021

Activist confronts defense industry CEO for company’s role in war crimes

Center for International Policy mentioned

William Hartung's Issue Brief "Executive Excess: CEO Compensation in the Arms Industry, 2020" is cited in this article.

May 5, 2021

Execs at Top Pentagon Contractors Raked in $276.5 Million Last Year, Analysis Finds

William Hartung quoted

"Congress and the administration should take a closer look at these costs," says report lead author William D. Hartung, "with an eye towards reducing them and freeing up funds for other needed purposes."

May 6, 2021

Military-Industrial Complex Exerts Powerful Influence on Biden’s Foreign Policy

William Hartung cited

William Hartung's article in the Nation cited on "the role of major defense contractors, such as Raytheon, United Technologies and Lockheed-Martin, in lobbying Congress."

May 5, 2021

Defense CEO fat cat salaries defy COVID crisis

William Harting quoted

According to a new report by the Center for International Policy, aptly entitled, “Executive Excess: CEO Compensation in the Arms Industry, 2020,” authors William Hartung and Leila Riazi detail the enormous sums of money paid to just a handful of individuals each year in an industry notorious for its over-reliance on the federal trough. In 2020, the CEOs of the Top 5 — Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Boeing — made more than $150 million. When expanded to other top company officers required to disclose their earnings, that number goes up to an astonishing $276 million.

EXPERTS

William Hartung

Director, Arms & Security Program
William Hartung
  • Gordon Adams, Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center and professor in the U.S. Foreign Policy program at the School of International Service, American University

  • Amy Belasco, former Specialist for the Defense Budget of the Congressional Research Service

  • Neta Crawford, Professor and Department Chair of Political Science at Boston University

  • Matt Fay, former Director of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Niskanen Center

  • Ben Friedman, Senior Fellow and Defense Scholar at Defense Priorities

  • Laicie Heeley, CEO of Inkstick, Host of Things That Go Boom

  • John King, Founder, King and Brown Company LLC

  • Larry Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and adjunct professor at Georgetown University

  • Lindsay Koshgarian, Program Director, National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

  • Miriam Pemberton, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies

  • Mandy Smithberger, Director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight

  • Col. Larry Wilkerson (Ret.), Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy, William & Mary

  • Col. Isaiah "Ike" Wilson (Ret.), director, Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College​

  • CIP Senior Associate Carl Conetta was a consultant to the project

ABOUT

Arms & Security Program

The Arms and Security Program engages in media outreach and public education aimed at promoting reforms in U.S. policies on nuclear weapons, military spending and the arms trade. It seeks to advance the notion that diplomacy and international cooperation are the most effective tools for protecting the United States. The use of military force is largely irrelevant in addressing the greatest dangers we face, from terrorism, to nuclear proliferation, to epidemics of disease, to climate change, to inequities of wealth and income. The allocation of budgetary resources needs to be changed to reflect this reality.

Program goals include:

  • Restructuring the Pentagon budget to address 21st century challenges, with a goal of reducing it to levels needed for defense while eliminating wasteful or ill-advised programs.

  • Playing a central role in efforts to accelerate reductions in nuclear arsenals and increase spending on programs designed to prevent nuclear weapons and bomb-making materials from getting into the hands of terrorists.

  • Sparking a dialogue on the implications of the U.S. role as the world’s number one arms exporting nation.