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

Fact sheet: Corrupt Bargain? One Company’s Monopoly on the Development of Long-Range Nuclear Missiles

William Hartung


The Pentagon has just announced a $13.3 billion contract to Northrop Grumman for the development of a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), known formally as the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The Department is poised to spend $85 to $150 billion over the next decade and beyond on this new generation of ICBMs. New ICBMs are both unnecessary and dangerous. In a crisis, the president has only a matter of minutes to decide whether to launch them, significantly increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear war. The best outcome would be to stop the development of the new ICBM and eliminate current long-range nuclear missiles from the U.S. arsenal.

Latest News

Congress Is Deadlocked on Covid Relief But Came Together to Fund the Pentagon for $740 Billion

William Hartung quoted


Arms & Security Program

Writ­ers Mandy Smith­berg­er and William Har­tung dis­cussed last year, ​“There are at least 10 sep­a­rate pots of mon­ey ded­i­cat­ed to fight­ing wars, prepar­ing for yet more wars, and deal­ing with the con­se­quences of wars already fought.” As a result, the cost of war eas­i­ly exceeds $1 tril­lion per year, Smith­berg­er and Har­tung conclude.

Will a Biden Administration Mean a Smaller Military Budget?

by William Hartung and Mandy Smithberger


Arms & Security Program

The arms makers and their allies in Congress and the executive branch won’t give up without a fight when it comes to the pandemic of Pentagon spending. You can count on that. A crucial question of this moment is: Will fear, exaggerated threats, and pork-barrel politics be enough to keep the Pentagon and its contractors fat and happy, even as the urgent priorities of so many of the rest of us are starved of much-needed funding?

Shrinking the Pentagon: Will the Biden Administration Dare Cut Military Spending?

by William Hartung and Mandy Smithberger


Arms & Security Program

Now that Joe Biden is slated to take office as the 46th president of the United States, advice on how he should address a wide range of daunting problems is flooding in. Nowhere is there more at stake than when it comes to how he handles this country’s highly militarized foreign policy in general and Pentagon spending in particular.

U.S. Progressives and a Biden Foreign Policy

William Hartung quoted


Arms & Security Program

William D. Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, offered a partial solution to this problem in a recent interview with the Intercept, “Anyone with defense industry ties should be thoroughly questioned on those connections in confirmation hearings, and pledge to recuse themselves from issues relating to former employers or clients.”

US-to-Philippines Arms Transfers Include Recon Drone, 100 Precision-Guided Missiles

William Hartung quoted


Arms & Security Program

Critics in the United States have objected to arms sales to the Philippines, where thousands of extrajudicial killings have occurred during Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. The extrajudicial killings mean the U.S. shouldn’t provide arms to the Philippines, William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, wrote in a 28 May opinion article for The Hill.

“People are being gunned down in the streets without benefit of a trial or formal charges,” he wrote.

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