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

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.

Latest News

If Biden can’t stand up to Saudi Arabia, then Congress should

William Hartung

Arms & Security Program

Given the ongoing suffering caused by the war, Yemen can’t wait any longer for immediate, forceful U.S. action to end the war. If the Biden administration won’t act promptly, Congress should.

U.S. Far Outpaces China in Military Spending

William Hartung

Arms & Security Program

"The best approach for assuring U.S. and global security is for the U.S. and China is to cooperate on urgent challenges like curbing climate change. America should nurture its own domestic economy, infrastructure, and technology base—not necessarily as a “competition” with China, but because it is valuable in its own right."

China's role in promoting peace hailed

William Hartung quoted

Arms & Security

"Cooperation with China on issues like climate change and preventing pandemics should take precedence over spinning out war scenarios or preparing for a military confrontation. The overwhelming emphasis on Beijing as the ultimate threat to the United States is misguided and is more likely to undermine US security than it is to enhance it."

America's Nearly $1.3 Trillion National Security Budget Isn't Making Us Any Safer

Co-authored by William Hartung

Theoretically, that nearly $1.3 trillion to be spent on national security writ large is supposed to be devoted to activities that make America and the world a safer place. That's visibly not the case when it comes to so many of the funds that will be expended in the name of national security—from taxpayer dollars thrown away on weapons systems that don't work to those spent on an unnecessary and dangerous new generation of nuclear weapons, to continuing to reinforce and extend the historically unprecedented U.S. military presence on this planet by maintaining more than 800 overseas military bases around the world.

NYT Letter: End Military Aid to Saudi Arabia

William Hartung

Given Saudi Arabia’s central role in airstrikes and a blockade that have led to the deaths of more than a quarter of a million people in Yemen, its continuing internal repression, and the need to hold it accountable for the Khashoggi murder, it’s time to end all U.S. military support to that regime as leverage to get it to end its unconscionable and unacceptable conduct, both internally and in the broader Middle East.