Director, Arms & Security Program


William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Program at CIP and a senior adviser to the center's Security Assistance Monitor. He is the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex (Nation Books, 2011) and the co-editor, with Miriam Pemberton, of Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War (Paradigm Press, 2008). His previous books include And Weapons for All (HarperCollins, 1995), a critique of U.S. arms sales policies from the Nixon through Clinton administrations.


From July 2007 through March 2011, Mr. Hartung was the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. Prior to that, he served as the director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute. He also worked as a speechwriter and policy analyst for New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams. Bill Hartung’s articles on security issues have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and the World Policy Journal.


He has been a featured expert on national security issues on CBS 60 Minutes, NBC Nightly News, the PBS Newshour, CNN, Fox News, and scores of local, regional, and international radio outlets. He blogs for the Huffington Post, the Hill, and Medium.

Recent Publications

FUELING CONFLICT: U.S. Arms Sales to the United Arab Emirates and the U.S./UAE Military Alliance Fact Sheet

by William Hartung

This fact sheet corresponds with Arms and Security Program's newest report by the same name and provides several of the report's major findings.

Latest News

After the Apocalypse: Defense Spending

William Hartung contributed

Arms and Security Program

Our greatest security challenges — the pandemic, the climate crisis, and racial and economic injustice – are not military in nature and spending more on the Pentagon will do nothing to help solve them. Meanwhile, our post-9/11 wars have cost over $6.4 trillion with hundreds of thousands of lives lost on all sides, without making America or the world safer.

Capitalizing on conflict: How defense contractors and foreign nations lobby for arms sales

William Hartung's report quoted

Arms and Security Program

Saudi Arabia also benefits from the influence wielded by major U.S. arms manufacturers that would like to sell to them. Just four of the biggest companies received 90 percent of promised sales between 2009 and 2019, according to the Center for International Policy. Those four — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Boeing — also happen to make up four of the top five defense-related companies spending the most on lobbying, pouring over $10 million each into their policy influence efforts in 2020 alone.

Biden calls Saudi King Salman ahead of release of Khashoggi report

William Hartung quoted

Arms and Security Program

"This confirmation of bin Salman's role underscores the urgent need for a new approach to the US-Saudi relationship," William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, said in a statement on Thursday.

'A reckoning is near': America has a vast overseas military empire. Does it still need it?

William Hartung quoted

Arms and Security Program

"China's playing a totally different game to the U.S.," said William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. "The U.S. is relying on traditional military bases, global military reach and training local militaries, while China is forging ahead by cutting economic deals that appear to be buying them more influence than the U.S.'s military approach."
"In all these wars the U.S. has expended so much in terms of blood and treasure with actually very little to show for it," said Hartung of the Center for International Policy. "A reckoning is near."

Will Biden Really End Our Endless Wars?

by William Hartung

Arms & Security Program

A more effective and progressive foreign policy requires more than just undoing the damage of the Trump years. It means putting the real risks to human security—from the pandemic to climate change to racial and economic injustice—front and center. A good place to start would be reducing the Pentagon’s bloated budget.

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