Director, Arms & Security Project


William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project 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

Turkey's Invasion of Syria, Made in the U.S.A.

After essentially giving a green light to Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria to attack the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) forces, President Trump took a slight turn when he declared that there would be severe economic consequences for Turkey’s economy if the intervention was not carried out in a “humane” fashion. If the president were to take action to try to stem a military incursion that he helped facilitate, he could start by cutting off support for Turkey’s military, which is heavily dependent on U.S.-supplied equipment.

by William Hartung


Latest News

The Pentagon’s Invisible Man Is Winning Washington’s Power Game


An inadvertent effect of the Trump administration’s personnel management has been to make the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s class of 1986 among the most influential in history. Its graduates include the U.S. secretary of state (Mike Pompeo), a high-profile Washington insider and reputed “Trump whisperer” (Dave Urban, who now heads up a powerful lobbying firm), an ultraconservative Republican congressman (Mark Green, who was previously a part of the mission that captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein), and a bevy of Pompeo’s best buddies—including Brian Bulatao, the undersecretary of state for management, and Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl, the State Department’s counselor. As of this summer, it also includes President Donald Trump’s new secretary of defense: Gulf War veteran Mark Esper.

William Hartung quoted

Arms & Security Project

Uber CEO Under Fire for Downplaying Saudi Kingdom's Murder of Khashoggi as a 'Mistake'


Uber's ultra-millionaire CEO Dara Khosrowshahi came under fire Sunday for downplaying the Saudi kingdom's gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a "mistake" comparable to technological malfunctions in self-driving cars. "It's a serious mistake," Khosrowshahi told Axios in an interview that aired late Sunday. "We've made mistakes, too—with self-driving, and we stopped driving and we're recovering from that mistake. I think that people make mistakes, it doesn't mean they can never be forgiven. I think they have taken it seriously."

William Hartung and Ben Freeman quoted

Arms & Security Project

7 ways to sell US arms abroad without losing your soul


America’s military might, technology, and diplomacy must support human rights and the rule of law around the world—not undermine them.

William Hartung referenced

Arms & Security Project

How To Save Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars While Making America Safer


To understand the debate over Warren’s proposal it is first necessary to understand what she is proposing to cut. The Warren plan would eliminate the Pentagon’s war budget, known officially as the Overseas Contingency Operations account, or OCO. The account was originally justified as a way to fund the initial stages of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which had not been planned in the Department’s initial budgets. But for years it has been used as a slush fund to pay for tens of billions of dollars-worth of items that have nothing to do with fighting current conflicts. The reason? Because the Pentagon’s regular budget has been capped under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), while the OCO account has not. Putting money into OCO to pay for non-war items is an evasive maneuver designed to thwart the intent of the BCA to control the deficit.

by William Hartung

Arms & Security Project

New Report: Sanctions Kill


Economic sanctions are a central instrument of U.S. foreign policy. They are a tactic short of war designed to shape the behavior of real and perceived U.S. adversaries, from Russia, to Venezuela, to Iran, to North Korea. But as a new report commissioned by Korea Peace Now has documented, broad-based sanctions can be every bit as deadly for vulnerable populations as war itself.

by William Hartung

Arms & Security Project

Center for International Policy

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