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: Special Interests or the National Interest?

by William Hartung


The size and composition of the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be determined by what is needed to deter potential adversaries from attacking the United States or its allies. But too often other factors come into play, most notably the vested interests of the lobby for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

Latest News

The South China Sea: Who Is The Real Threat To Peace And Stability? – Analysis

William Hartung cited


Arms and Security Program

One sure way that China will become a ‘threat’ to the U.S. in the South China Sea is if the U.S. continues to press it there militarily. The US Senate Armed services Committee’s proposed multi-billion dollar Pacific Deterrence Initiative to counter China’s rise with deployment of intermediate range missiles and development of “expeditionary airfield and port infrastructure” in East Asia is particularly threatening.

Webinar: America’s endless wars come home: the militarization of the police

William Hartung participated


Arms and Security Program

The use of military equipment against Americans protesting police brutality demonstrates the link between militarization abroad and at home. The War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the bloated Pentagon budget, pork barrel politics of Members of Congress, have all led to systematic militarized violence against Americans. If police see themselves as soldiers, and the neighborhoods they patrol as battle space, then ordinary American citizens are the enemy.

Congress Could Rubber-Stamp a Defense Spending Spree

Co-authored by William Hartung


Arms and Security Program

The annual US defense budget has never been crafted through a particularly transparent process. Now, a global pandemic has taken the yearly passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from merely murky to downright opaque.

The true cost of a new confrontation with China

Co-authored by William Hartung


Arms and Security Program

Throwing more money at tools of military confrontation is not only a waste of resources, but it likely invites blowback. A major military buildup in East Asia would needlessly antagonize China at a moment when cooperation with Beijing should be the focus, as it's clearly necessary to address the global recession, current and future pandemics, and climate change.

Coronavirus? What coronavirus?: Congress is setting national security priorities as if it's been living in a cave.

by William Hartung and Ben Freeman


Arms and Security and Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

Despite the extraordinary and dire threat of the coronavirus, many Members of Congress are effectively ignoring it as they deliberate the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – the annual bill that decides the details of the Pentagon budget. They are now poised to authorize a near-record level of Pentagon spending that will do little to combat the threat of the coronavirus or future pandemics. In these unusual times, it is business as usual for Pentagon pork.

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