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Arms Trade Bulletin July – August 2020

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Pompeo covers up US failure to address Yemen civilian casualties from US munitions exports

On the 11th August 2020 the Department of State Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its report on the investigation into Secretary Pompeo’s May 24, 2019 emergency determination made under the Arms Export Control Act for the sale or transfer of over $8.1 billion in defence articles and services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan. According to the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee the Department of State had insisted that the OIG could only release a redacted version of the report. An unredacted version was leaked to Politico.

In its report the OIG pointed out that the Saudi-led air campaign has attracted international criticism because of the continued high rates of civilian casualties. The September 2020 report of the United Nations Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen concluded “that the parties to the conflict continue to show no regard for international law or the lives, dignity, and rights of people in Yemen, while third states have helped to perpetuate the conflict by continuing to supply the parties with weapons” (A/HRC/45/6). (See also the legal opinion by E. David, D. Turp, B. Wood, et al.) The OIG assert that some of the precision-guided munitions “used in each of these airstrikes may have been manufactured by U.S. defense firms” and thus “subject to the Department’s arms transfer review process (1). The OIG concluded “that the Department did not fully assess risks and implement mitigation measures to reduce civilian casualties and legal concerns associated with the transfer of precision-guided munitions included in the May 2019 emergency certification”.

The OIG’s assessment is contained in a heavily-redacted secret annex of the report to Congress. In the cover letter of the report the acting Inspector General informed Congress that the Department of State “withheld significant information in the classified annex necessary to understand OIG’s finding and recommendation” in relation to the Department of State’s failure to minimize civilian casualties. The acting Inspector General continued by stating that the Department of State “asserted that the redactions made to the classified annex should be withheld from Congress because the underlying information implicates ‘executive branch confidentiality interests, including executive privilege’”.

The continued actions of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, including the air strikes on civilian targets with precision-guided munitions, has prompted Republicans and Democrats in Congress to keep closer watch on U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In November 2015 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had been able to delay the transfer of precision-guided munitions. In April 2016 Democrats and Republicans introduced joint resolutions in the House and Senate to place conditions on the sale of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia. This was followed in September 2016 by two joint resolutions of disapproval, in the Senate and the House, for proposed sales of Abrams tanks by the Obama administration. Following the bombing of a funeral hall in October 2016, which killed over 100 civilians, the Obama administration postponed the sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia in December of that year.

In May 2017 President Trump announced that his administration would go ahead with the sale of precision-guided munitions which had been postponed by Obama. This was followed by the introduction in the Senate of a joint resolution relating to the disapproval of a proposed export of precision-guided munitions. Heated Congressional debates on continued U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition continued in 2018 and 2019. CNN dropped a bombshell with a February 2019 report in which they accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of having “transferred American-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other factions waging war in Yemen, in violation of their agreements with the United States”. The end use monitoring of U.S. supplied equipment was (briefly) discussed February 6 in a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (2)

In May 2019 Secretary of State Pompeo determined that an ‘emergency’ existed under Section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). By this action he waived the congressional review requirements for 22 arms transfer cases, with a total value of $8.1 billion, to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. To justify these transfers Pompeo claimed an ‘urgent threat’ from Iran. Congress was quick to react. Abipartisan group of senators introduced “22 separate joint resolutions of disapproval to protect and reaffirm Congress’ role in approving arms sales to foreign governments (3). Only three of these joint resolutions (S.J.Res.36, S.J.Res.37 and S.J.Res.38) passed the Senate and the House, but were vetoed by President Trump.

The ‘emergency’ declaration was questioned by members of both parties in Congress “who worried that Trump’s decision to blow through the review process would eliminate Congress’ ability to prevent not just Trump but future presidents from selling weapons where they liked”. In June 2019 the House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a hearing titled “What Emergency?: Arms Sales and the Administration’s Dubious End-Run Around Congress” (Serial No. 116-46) to discuss the matter. A Congressional insider told Politico that “the concern all along was that Pompeo concocted the emergency to bypass Congress. A few key details in the [OIG] report verify that, and those are the details State tried to bury. It looks like a coverup”. Even the conservative National Interest was not convinced of ,the nature of the ‘emergency’: “The procedural timeline described in the IG report belies the notion that the arms transfer involved was a matter of urgency. The use of an emergency exception was first proposed inside the [State] Department on April 3. The emergency certification was drafted on April 23. The certification was transmitted to Congress on May 24. Some entire wars have been fought during that much time”. The OIG did not assess if a true ‘emergency’ existed. They only “determined that the Secretary’s emergency certification was executed in accordance with the requirements of the AECA”.

The OIG report was released by the acting Inspector General because Steve Linick, the Inspector General who initiated the investigation, had been fired by the Secretary of State Pompeo. Linick was also responsible for an ongoing investigation into the misappropriation of State Department funds by Pompeo and his wife for personal reasons. Linick was replaced by Stephen Akard, an ally of Vice President Mike Pence. Akard resigned early August shortly before the release of the OIG report.

Peter Danssaert

  1. How the Congressional review process works see: “Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process”, Congressional Research Service, 17 July 2020.
  2. See also the “Hearing to Receive Testimony on the United States Central Command in Review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2020 and the Future Years Defense Program”, Senate Armed Services Committee, 5 February 2019.
  3. For a full overview of the joint resolutions S.J.Res.27 to S.J.Res.48 (116th Congress) see here:https://www.congress.gov/member/robert-menendez/M000639?q=%7B%22congress%22%3A%22116%22%2C%22bill-status%22%3A%22passed-one%22%2C%22subject%22%3A%22International+Affairs%22%7D

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

US Sanctions International Criminal Court Prosecutor | 2 September 2020 | HRW

The Trump administration’s unprecedented imposition of asset freezes on prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) shows an egregious disregard for victims of the world’s worst crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 2, 2020, the administration announced that the United States had designated the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and the head of the Office of the Prosecutor’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity, and Cooperation Division, Phakiso Mochochoko, for sanctions.

GENERAL

ATT Takes On Arms Diversion | September 2020 | Arms Control Today

Members of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) focused on preventing the diversion of conventional weapons to unauthorized uses and users as they conducted the treaty’s sixth annual conference Aug. 17–21. While primarily making procedural decisions and continuing to avoid discussion of controversial arms transfers, conference participants formalized a mechanism for sharing confidential information that drew criticism from civil society for its potential to exclude stakeholders.

China calls for cooperation in arms sales control in debut at ATT conference | 18 August 2020 | Global Times

China has called on countries to refrain from selling arms to non-state actors and to stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign countries through arms sales at the sixth Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was convened by written procedure on Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compliance Program “Must Haves” For Doing Business Abroad | 30 July 2020 | Lowenstein Sandler LLP | JD Supra

With “compliance” being the buzzword for corporate executives and legal counsel, there is renewed focus on reducing legal risks when exporting or selling overseas. The key is a robust compliance program that outlines the company’s policy as well as various internal procedures to implement the policy and a solid set of documents to evidence the compliance activities at all levels of the company.

The crux of the “Ex Works” Incoterm clause from the perspective of export control | July 2020 | MME

The use of international trade terms such as Incoterms® 2020 offers parties to an international trade transaction a standardized way of handling their contractual relationship. When Incoterms® are contractually agreed, essential elements of the performance of an international goods delivery are defined, which includes transfer of ownership and risk, responsibility for transport, insurance, customs and costs. Deviations or individual rules are possible, but not necessary. Incoterms® create legal certainty in international and commercial transactions and prevent misunderstandings and disputes between the parties.

Global Study on Firearms Trafficking 2020 | July 2020 | UNODC

Firearms trafficking affects all parts of the world and impacts on society in multiple ways. It is a major concern in the context of human security, and it is central in law enforcement efforts and activities. Firearms are instrumental in much violence, particularly homicide; they are often used by organized criminals and they support operations related to armed conflicts and terrorism. The most common form of weapons trafficking involves small arms and light weapons; however, the character of this trafficking can vary significantly in different geographical contexts and in relation to different weapons.

The Arms Trade Treaty: Obligations to Prevent the Diversion of Conventional Arms | 23 June 2020 | UNIDIR

States Parties to the ATT have accepted particular obligations to prevent, detect and eradicate the diversion of conventional arms transfers. However, the absence of a definition of ‘diversion’ makes the interpretation and implementation of ATT measures to address diversion difficult. This paper analyzes the inter-locking provisions of the ATT and other relevant instruments, providing key elements to guide the formulation of a general description of the diversion of arms transfers for the purposes of implementing the ATT.

AFRICA

Seriti report slammed by Open Secrets and Shadow World Investigations | 20 August 2020 | Mail & Guardian

A year after their report into the so-called arms deal was set aside, retired judges Willie Seriti and Thekiso Hendrick Musi now face a complaint of gross incompetence for their roles in the tainted investigation.

US donates Mamba vehicles to Niger | 18 August 2020 | DefenceWeb

The United States has donated 22 Osprea Mamba Mk 7 armoured vehicles to Niger to equip the G5 Sahel Joint Force for its fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime, and trafficking in the Sahel.

Another contract for KBR in Djibouti | 12 August 2020 | DefenceWeb

Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) has received a $75 million contract from the US Department of Defence for construction projects at Camp Lemonnier and Chabelley Air Field in Djibouti, after beating five other proposals.

Russian military expands in Africa by building bases in six countries | 10 August 2020 | SOFREP

The Russians are trying to expand their influence in Africa. To this end, they are signing military agreements with some of the continent’s more authoritarian regimes.

Coopération militaire nigéro-américaine : Un important lot de matériel militaire des USA en appui aux Forces Armées Nigériennes | 7 August 2020 | NigerDiaspora.net

Le ministre de la Défense Nationale, Pr Issoufou Katambé, a réceptionné, mercredi 5 août dernier, à la Direction centrale du matériel militaire de Niamey, un lot d’équipement militaire destiné à l’armée nigérienne dans sa lutte contre l’insécurité et le terrorisme. Ce lot, composé de 22 véhicules blindés Mamba, 2 ambulances Land Cruiser et 4 ensembles de pièces de maintenance des véhicules blindés, le tout d’une valeur d’un peu plus de 4 milliards de francs CFA, est un don des Etats Unis d’Amérique.

How a Notorious Arms Dealer Hijacked Niger’s Budget and Bought Weapons From Russia | 6 August 2020 | OCCRP

As militant groups spread across the Sahel, the West African nation of Niger went on a U.S.-backed military spending spree that totaled about US$1 billion between 2011 and 2019. But almost a third of that money was funnelled into inflated international arms deals – seemingly designed to allow corrupt officials and brokers to siphon off government funds, according to a confidential government audit obtained by OCCRP that covers those eight years.

Paramount Group alleges smear campaign in Paramount Combat Systems case | 5 August 2020 | DefenceWeb

Paramount Group is opposing legal action over alleged foul play in the liquidation of Paramount Combat Systems that it says is part of a wider misinformation campaign orchestrated by disgruntled former employees attempting to compete with Paramount for international contracts.

Russian AFRICOM sparks US concern as it competes with US AFRICOM in Libya | 5 August 2020 | The Arab Weekly

Russia is moving to expand its sphere of influence in Africa through new military bases and increasing troop numbers, in a move military experts say is aimed at building a military force in the form of a Russian-type AFRICOM capable of competing with the role the US military command in Africa (US AFRICOM) plays, which is more evident in Libya, where the United States has shown dismay at Russia’s support of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

Morocco publishes legal framework for its military industry | 5 August 2020 | yabiladi

Morocco aims to have a local military industry. It thus intends to demand from its weapon suppliers an «industrial compensation». The legal framework to promote this strategic activity has just been finalized and published in the Kingdom’s Official Bulletin.

Djibouti/trafic d’armes : le cargo Africa Sun refuse de subir des fouilles au port de Bosasso | 1 August 2020 | HCH24

La compagnie maritime de Djibouti est une nouvelle compagnie de transport maritime créée par une filiale de l’Autorité du port et de la zone franche de Djibouti.

GE wins contract to supply Moroccan Apache engines | 30 July 2020 | DefenceWeb

General Electric Aviation will supply T700 turboshaft engines for Morocco’s 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, which it ordered in June this year.

CAR: Security Council renews but relaxes arms embargo | 29 July 2020 | The North Africa Post

The UN Security Council unanimously decided Tuesday to extend its sanctions regime against the Central African Republic for one year, including an arms and ammunition embargo with some exemptions, while also renewing the mandate of its related Panel of Experts for 13 months.

South Africa should end its trade and use of torture equipment | 28 July 2020 | Institute for Security Studies

South African companies are manufacturing and trading products identified by the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) as having no practical purpose other than abuse. This in a country with a history of brutal policing and human rights violations.

US donates more vehicles and equipment to Chad’s military | 20 July 2020 | DefenceWeb

The United States has handed over 28 armoured vehicles, ten trucks, eight water tankers and other equipment to Chad’s military as part of continued support for its anti-terrorism efforts in the Sahel.

France, Germany, Italy threaten sanctions over arms for Libya | 20 July 2020 | DefenceWeb

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy on Saturday threatened for the first time to use sanctions against countries that continued to violate a United Nations arms embargo on Libya.

Cameroon to receive ex-US Island Class patrol boats | 15 July 2020 | DefenceWeb

Cameroon will be receiving two refurbished Island Class patrol boats from the United States this year, requesting them under the Excess Defence Articles programme.

U.S. says Russian Wagner Group is sabotaging Libyan peace process | 15 July 2020 | Africa Times

The United States says it has clear evidence that the Wagner Group of mercenary fighters, linked to Russia, is responsible for landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) laid in and around Tripoli in violation of a United Nations arms embargo.

New details released on Egyptian MRAP | 15 July 2020 | Janes

The ST-100 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP) made by the Egypt-based International Marathon United Technologies (IMUT) is available in 10 modular variants, including ones armed with Chinese missiles, according to a promotional video from the manufacturer.

Industrie militaire marocaine : Une loi pour formaliser une ambition | 13 July 2020 | Medias24

Un texte formalise la naissance d’une “industrie de la Défense” au Maroc. La fabrication d’armements sera soumise à des conditions drastiques et bénéficiera d’incitations. De lourdes sanctions pour les contrevenants.

Niger receives Mi-171Sh helicopters | 13 July 2020 | DefenceWeb

Niger has apparently taken delivery of two armed Mi-171Sh helicopters after ordering the aircraft for some $47 million.

Niger : démantèlement d’un réseau de trafic d’armes | 12 July 2020 | China.org.cn

La brigade de la Gendarmerie nationale de Guidan-Roumdji, dans la région nigérienne de Maradi (centre-sud), proche de la frontière avec le Nigeria, vient de démanteler un réseau de trafic d’armes avec la saisie d’une vingtaine d’armes de guerre et de munitions, ainsi que l’arrestation de deux suspects, a rapporté samedi la télévision publique nigérienne.

Cameroon police receives MSPV Panthera T6 APCs from UAE | 8 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

Cameroon’s police have taken delivery of at least six new armored personnel carriers (APCs), which appear to be Panthera T6s from the United Arab Emirates company MSPV, DefenceWeb reports. A video recently emerged on social media showing six of the vehicles on Cameroon’s streets, and photos posted on Twitter show a similar number of vehicles in police markings.

Libya: Foreign interference at ‘unprecedented levels’, says UN chief | 8 July 2020 | Middle East Eye

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday that the conflict in Libya had entered a new phase, “with foreign interference reaching unprecedented levels”. Libya has been wracked by conflict since 2015, with the country split between rival administrations in the east and west, each backed by armed groups supported by foreign governments.

Cameroon’s police operating new APCs | 7 July 2020 | DefenceWeb

Cameroon’s police have taken delivery of at least six new armoured personnel carriers (APCs), which appear to be Panthera T6s from the United Arab Emirates’ MSPV.

AMERICAS

The Pentagon’s Next Project: Automated War | 27 August 2020 | The Nation

With Covid-19 incapacitating startling numbers of US service members and modern weapons proving increasingly lethal, the American military is relying ever more frequently on intelligent robots to conduct hazardous combat operations. Such devices, known in the military as “autonomous weapons systems,” include robotic sentries, battlefield-surveillance drones, and autonomous submarines. So far, in other words, robotic devices are merely replacing standard weaponry on conventional battlefields.

State Dept. Inspector General Report: A Troubling Message on Arms Sales | 26 August 2020 | Just Security

The U.S. State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report that, even in its redacted form, makes plain that the Trump administration circumvented U.S. law in multiple ways to carry out arms transfers to the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen. In doing so, the administration failed to fully and accurately assess the humanitarian impact of U.S. support, according to the report. That is a stunning revelation given the repeated, severe cases of civilian casualties resulting from Saudi-led Coalition operations over the past several years.

Major U.S. Sanctions and Trade Restrictions Lists | 21 August 2020 | King & Wood Mallesons | China Law Insight

There are several designation lists created by U.S. government agencies to prohibit or restrict certain economic or trade activities the U.S. deems to be adverse to U.S national security and foreign policy goals. These lists are created, maintained, and regulated by different U.S. government agencies and impose different requirements on those subject to them. They also impose different levels of enforcement mechanisms, with violations potentially being subject to both criminal and civil liability.

House and Senate Chart Different Courses on US Clandestine Support of Foreign Militias | 20 August 2020 | Just Security

roxy warfare has come to occupy a central role in the United States’ national security strategy in the post-9/11 era, and U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) have become America’s foremost sponsors of foreign proxies. SOF-sponsored proxy warfare has underpinned counterterrorism operations across the Middle East, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia for nearly two decades. During that time, counterterrorism operations have largely been the driving force shaping the military’s strategic, organizational, financial, and technological direction. Even as U.S. national security strategy shifts toward great power competition and conventional military supremacy, the military’s investment in partners to undertake counterterrorism operations has hardly diminished. As Congress considers this year’s annual defense authorization bill, the House and Senate have each included measures in their versions of the bill – albeit in very different directions – that will shape the future of Special Operations Forces and proxy warfare. These proposals offer an opportunity to consider what that future should be.

Trump’s Middle East Folly: Arms to the Saudis and How Inspector Generals Get Spun | 16 August 2020 | National Interest

So much wrongdoing to inspect, so little support from above in inspecting it. That seems to be the plight of inspectors general throughout the federal government during Donald Trump’s presidency. The most recent newsworthy plight is at the State Department, where Secretary Mike Pompeo has burned through two inspector generals (IGs) during the past three months amid issues embarrassing to the secretary.

DOJ and SEC Publish New FCPA Resource Guide | 13 August 2020 | Baker & Hostetler LLP

On the eve of the July 4th holiday, the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) quietly published the second edition of the Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “Second Edition”), an update of the first edition published in 2012 (the “First Edition”). Since its initial publication in November 2012, the Resource Guide has been an invaluable tool for companies and practitioners to understand the DOJ’s and the SEC’s interpretations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and its requirements, their expectations concerning what constitutes best compliance and remediation practices, and the factors these agencies will consider in exercising their prosecutorial discretion. The Resource Guide also describes in detail certain important aspects of each agency’s FCPA enforcement program.

Congressman accuses State Department official of lying about weapons sales | 12 August 2020 | Politico

A Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is accusing a State Department official of lying to lawmakers about the nature of a major arms sale to Middle Eastern countries last year.

State Department did not consider civilian casualties when sending arms to the Middle East, report finds | 11 August 2020 | Politico

The State Department did not fully consider the risk of civilian casualties when it approved more than $8 billion in arms sales to Middle Eastern countries last year, according to a redacted inspector general report released Tuesday.

U.S. Policy on the Export of Unmanned Aerial Systems | 9 August 2020 | SUAS News

The President has approved an update to the policy governing the international sale, transfer, and subsequent use of U.S.-origin Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This policy updates and replaces the previous policy announced in April 2018. With this change, the U.S. government is invoking its national discretion on the implementation of the Missile Technology Control Regime’s (MTCR) “strong presumption of denial” for transfers of Category I systems.

Pentagon identifies 20 ‘Communist Chinese military companies’ | 7 August 2020 | Arent Fox LLP

As the US technology competition with China continues to intensify, the Trump administration has taken another step to tighten the screws on China. In late June 2020 the US Department of Defence (DoD) published a list of 20 Chinese companies that have been identified as ‘Communist Chinese military companies’, complying with a two-decade-old mandate that Congress issued during the Clinton administration.

Sanctions and the maritime industry – Overview of OFAC and OFSI advisory notes | 5 August 2020 | Clyde & Co LLP

In this first in a series of articles on sanctions and the maritime industry, we provide an overview of the recent advisory notes issued by OFAC and OFSI, the US and UK bodies responsible for the implementation and enforcement of their respective sanctions, and look at what they mean for the maritime and commodities industries.

Firearms exports to Brazil surge as gun ownership increases under Bolsonaro | 31 July 2020 | The Guardian

Firearms exports from Austria to Brazil have surged by more than 377% in the first half of this year as gun ownership increases under the South American country’s rightwing president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Italian firm opening $15M ammunition plant in Little Rock | 29 July 2020 | KAIT8

An Italian-based company is opening a $15 million ammunition factory at its existing facility in southwest Little Rock.

US revises policy for export of unmanned aircraft | 27 July 2020 | Janes

The United States has changed its policy on the export of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), recategorising some of the most restricted platforms to make them easier to sell to international customers.

GOP coronavirus bill includes at least $7 billion for weapons programs | 27 July 2020 | Defense News

Senate Republicans’ proposed $1 trillion coronavirus relief package includes at least $7 billion for weapons programs, part of $29 billion for defense overall. The 177-page draft appropriations legislation unveiled Monday would include funding for military helicopters, aircraft, ships and missile defense systems.

Should Congress Play a Role in Arms Sales? | 26 July 2020 | Lawfare

The Trump administration’s proposal to end the informal practice of notifying Congress well in advance of major arms sales is a departure from long-standing norms and a means of decreasing congressional interference in controversial sales, such as those to help the Saudi war in Yemen. Alexandra Stark of New America explains why this shift would be a mistake, discussing both the role of Congress and why the notification process should continue.

BAE Systems receives contract from US Army to produce long range artillery guidance system | 22 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to a press release published by BAE Systems on July 22, 2020, BAE Systems has received a $33 million multi-year contract from the U.S. Army to further develop its Long Range Precision Guidance Kit (LR-PGK) for 155mm artillery shells, enabling the Army to conduct long-range precision strikes in challenging electromagnetic environments.

Greywolf Brigade of 1st U.S. Cavalry Division first to receive new M1A2C Abrams tanks | 22 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

Troopers with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have been the first unit to receive the U.S. Army’s newest version of the M1 Abrams Tank, the M1A2C (SEP v.3) at Fort Hood, Texas, on July 20, 2020.

The L3Harris Lesson: Why Meeting ITAR Agreements Compliance Requirements Must Be Part of Every Defense Industry Company’s Compliance Program | 17 July 2020 | Torres Law PLLC

Agreements executed under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) serve as a licensing tool for the transfer of defense articles, technical data, manufacturing know-how, and defense services between a U.S. party and a foreign party. Fulfilling the requirements of those agreements is a critical part of ITAR compliance, as demonstrated by the recent L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (“L3Harris” or “the Company”) consent agreement with the U.S. Department of State (“State”), Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”).

CBP seizes shipment of rifle parts at Port of Seattle | 15 July 2020 | AJOT

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Area Port of Seattle seized a shipment of rifle parts July 8 that were imported contrary to law. The shipment consisted of two pallets of Chinese-manufactured goods manifested as “Rifle Parts.” The shipment was flagged for lacking permits required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The ATF regulates and restricts firearms and ammunition. Firearm parts cannot be imported into the United States from certain countries and require ATF permits to be allowed entry.

Russian weapons to be produced in the U.S. and NATO-standard calibered rifles in Russia | 15 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The U.S. intends to establish the production of various Russian weapons and ammunition, developed back in the days of the Soviet Union and upgraded since, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Michael Peck and his article in Forbes magazine. Boyko Nikolov explains.

Militarised Criminal Networks in Mexico and the Challenges They Present to the Military and Police | 10 July 2020 | Small Wars Journal

The 1st Military Police Battalion’s May edition of the Warrant Officer Class One Ken Bullman OAM lecture series discussed militarised criminal networks, presented by Dr John P Sullivan. Dr Sullivan, a career Police Officer and former Lieutenant in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also specialises in emergency operations, counter-terrorism and intelligence. Dr Sullivan discussed the criminal threat in the context of the ongoing Mexican drug wars, and the challenges presented to both the military and civilian police.

Part 1 of 3: Arming the Warrior Cop: How the 1033 Program Funnels Pentagon Weapons to US Police | 8 July 2020 | SputnikNews

The police response to the ongoing nationwide uprising against anti-Black racism has brought their militarization into full focus. The placing of war weapons on US streets, though facilitated by the Pentagon’s 1033 Program, is equally the product of a warfighter’s mindset cultivated by police since the last nationwide Black uprisings in the 1960s.

BIS issues frequently asked questions to clarify the military end use/user rule (pdf) | 8 July 2020 | Hogan Lovells LLP

On 29 June 2020, the final rule expanding the military end user/user controls (MEU) issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) went into effect. On 26 June 2020, BIS issued an FAQs guidance document that provides certain helpful clarifications for companies seeki ng to understand the scope of the MEU rule.

US approves $7.5 billion in foreign weapons sales in one day | 7 July 2020 | Defense News

It was a happy Independence Day for American defense companies, with the U.S. State Department announcing Monday it has approved almost $7.5 billion in potential foreign military sales to five different countries.

Argentina buys GDLS M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles | 7 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to the U.S. Foreign Military Sales website, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Argentina of 27 M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $100 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 6, 2020.

New Jersey cops receive millions in surplus military gear. See what your town got | 6 July 2020 | NJ.com

New Jersey police departments received $11.8 million of surplus military equipment since 2018 — including two heavily armored vehicles — under a Pentagon program that is facing renewed scrutiny amid calls for police reform, federal records show.

New Commerce Department FAQs Require Due Diligence by Exporters to Assess Chinese Military End Uses and Users | 1 July 2020 | WilmerHale

On June 29, 2020, the Commerce Department issued 32 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning revision—effective as of the same date—to Part 744.21 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). As we discussed in a prior alert, the final rule promulgated in April 2020 significantly expanded existing licensing requirements for exports, reexports and transfers of certain goods, equipment, materials and software (Supp. No. 2 Items) to Chinese, Russian and/or Venezuelan military end users; broadened the definition of “military end use”; and extended the licensing requirements to additional categories of items and technologies. The Commerce Department’s 20 FAQs on the scope of the definition of “military end use” effectively deputize companies to identify high-risk end users through their due diligence and identification of relevant “red flags.”

ASIA

China Amends Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited or Restricted from Export | 1 September 2020 | Baker McKenzie Sanctions News Blog

China governs the import and export of technology under the Regulations for the Administration of the Import and Export of Technology (“Technology Regulations“), the Measures for the Administration of Technologies Prohibited or Restricted from Import, and the Measures for the Administration of Technologies Prohibited or Restricted from Export. The Technology Regulations and related measures are separate and distinct from other China regulatory regimes that currently govern the import and export of dual-use items and encryption technologies.

Les trafiquants d’armes syriens opèrent au Liban | 31 August 2020 | Illicit Trade News Network

Une récente opération policière a illustrée le problème croissant des trafiquants d’armes syriens et de l’augmentation de la demande libanaise. Des milliers de munitions ont récemment été saisies par les douanes libanaises. Ces trafiquants d’armes syriens ont été interceptés sur une route connue pour le passage de la contrebande ; les abords de la ville de Yanta à 80km à l’est de Beyrouth.

A Hidden Tycoon, African Explosives, and a Loan from a Notorious Bank: Questionable Connections Surround Beirut Explosion Shipment | 27 August 2020 | The Elephant

An international team of investigative journalists has uncovered new facts about the lead-up to the explosion, which killed at least 182 people, injured over 6,000 and caused hundreds of thousands to lose their homes.

British soldier says UK has Yemeni ‘blood on its hands’ over Saudi arms sales | 26 August 2020 | Middle East Eye

A British soldier was arrested by the Royal Military Police on Tuesday for publicly protesting against the United Kingdom’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Ahmed al-Batati, a 21-year-old lance corporal from Sheffield, condemned the British government and said it had “blood on its hands” for its continued support of the oil-rich Gulf kingdom.

U.S.-made weapons sold to the Saudis are fueling civilian deaths in Yemen | 24 August 2020 | Los Angeles Times

In December 2016, President Obama restricted the sale of American arms to Saudi Arabia, citing concerns about the widespread killings of civilians in the brutal war in Yemen. He should have done it much earlier.

Belgium Suspends Arms Exports To Saudi Arabia As Yemen Crisis Worsens | 24 August 2020 | The Organization for World Peace

On August 7th, human rights groups across the world celebrated as Belgium confirmed that it will halt weapons exportations to Saudi Arabia’s National Guard (SANG). This announcement came following an injunction made by Belgium’s top legal authority, the Council of State, who formally suspended arms export licenses for shipments to SANG.

Armes iraniennes, conflit yéménite, trafiquants somaliens | 23 August 2020 | Illicit Trade News Network

Les armes iraniennes utilisées lors du conflit Yéménite sont actuellement exportées vers l’Afrique de l’est et notamment la Somalie. Un groupe de surveillance du crime organisé a tiré la sonnette d’alarme ; les armes iraniennes et leurs munitions sont revendues au marché noir. Les armes avaient été envoyées au rebelles Houthis par Téhéran. Désormais ces armes iraniennes se retrouvent sur les marchés d’Afrique de l’est. Le groupe de surveillance qui a révélé ce problème est l’Initiative Globale Contre le Crime Transnational Organisé.

Turkey must move to ‘next level’ in defence production, says Erdoğan | 23 August 2020 | Ahval

It is time for Turkey to move to the “next level’’ in the defence industry and produce multiple aircraft carriers, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday, citing obligations brought on by regional conflicts surrounding the country.

List of weapon systems Pakistan is buying from China for intensifying two-front war | 22 August 2020 | Defence Aviation Post

China and Pakistan, the all-weather friends, have been intensifying their two-front war against India. In its latest ploy, Pakistan is purchasing over 20 weapon systems from China at bargain prices. The Indian agencies believe the weapons will be used to build up pressure against India across the LoC when things heat up with Beijing at the LAC.

Turkey hires U.S. lobbyists to break Congress’s de facto arms embargo | 19 August 2020 | Ahval

Congressional leaders have blocked major U.S. arms sales to Turkey for almost two years in response to Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, which the United States says threatens the F-35 fighter jet’s stealth capabilities. Turkey was subsequently ejected from the joint F-35 programme.

China will firmly support purpose, objective of Arms Trade Treaty | 18 August 2020 | Xinhua

“China has always taken a prudent and responsible approach and exercised strict control on its arms export,” said Li Song, China’s ambassador for disarmament affairs, adding a full-fledged policy and legislative system of export control on conventional arms has been established in the country.

India Ban on $47 Billion Arms Imports Sowing Uncertainty | 17 August 2020 | Bloomberg

India’s move to ban the import of certain weapon systems will do little to boost local manufacturing and is sowing uncertainty at a time when the South Asian nation is trying to ramp up defenses on its restive borders with China and Pakistan, according to analysts.

Indigenous airborne munitions dispenser can paralyze airfield in one shot | 16 August 2020 | Global Times

China has revealed a type of domestically developed airborne munitions dispenser, a hybrid weapon that lies between an air-to-ground missile and a guided bomb droppable by an aircraft from a safe distance, that can release hundreds of submunitions that cover a large area. This kind of weapon can effectively paralyze an airfield in one shot, leaving enemy warplanes grounded or destroyed, experts said on Sunday.

BMC delivers Vuran armoured vehicles for Turkish Armed Forces | 7 August 2020 | Army-Technology

Turkey-based defence contractor BMC has delivered a new batch of Vuran 4×4 tactical wheeled multi-purpose armoured vehicles (MPAV) for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

Proposed MoD policy aims to double India’s defence production in 5 years | 4 August 2020 | Business Standard

The new policy backtracks significantly from the draft DPrP 2018, which aimed at catapulting India into the world’s top five defence producers. Combining multiple announcements (that) were made under Atmanirbhar Bharat package into a single policy document, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Monday released a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020) for public consultation and comments.

China’s Trade Controls: The Evolution & Development | 29 July 2020 | FTI Consulting | JD Supra

In recent years, China has planned to introduce its export control law, which aims to consolidate and streamline its numerous but discrete export control legislation. Currently, China has no export control enforcement because its export control law is still in draft phase, so there is no requirement for there to be export control compliance work in practice. In fact, many violations are currently occurring out of this misunderstanding of the existing regulations.

India-Indonesia: Expanding cooperation to include defence industry | 29 July 2020 | The Dispatch

While defence cooperation has garnered most bilateral attention, there is still greater scope for exploration in this domain, particularly as it pertains to defence industry. This will in turn aid greater synchronicity on the Indo-Pacific.

Pakistan Gets First Indigenously Developed ‘Al Khalid’ Main Battle Tank | 29 July 2020 | Eurasian Times

Islamabad’s joint venture with China and Ukraine was given to the Armored Corps Regiment of Pakistan Army at a ceremony at Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT)-a state-run defence manufacturer.

Vietnam army unveils PTH85-VN18 self-propelled gun | 29 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Vietnamese People’s Army newspaper recently published a report including the first public appearance of the wheeled self-propelled artillery system designated PTH85-VN18, integrated by the Z751 factory.

Erdogan’s goal to end Turkish dependency on foreign suppliers to build weapons ‘in no way realistic’ | 28 July 2020 | bne IntelIiNews

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stated goal to end all of Turkey’s dependency on foreign suppliers for building weapons by the country’s centenary in 2023 is in no way realistic, Forbes has reported, adding that hitting the target by the end of the decade also looked infeasible.

UAE reveals export controls list | 28 July 2020 | Janes

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) export control authority, the Committee for Goods and Materials Subject to Import and Export Control, has released a list approved by the UAE Cabinet of equipment subject to export control restrictions.

Uzbekistan begins upgrading its T-64 MBTs | 28 July 2020 | Janes

The Uzbek army has begun upgrading its fleet of T-64 main battle tanks (MBTs) to the T-64MV standard following a series of successful user trials, the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Defense Industry said in a 23 July statement.

Guns and Money: The British-Saudi Revolving Door | 27 July 2020 | Byline Times

Just a week after the Government announced it was resuming arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the committee which oversees business appointments for former ministers (ACOBA), quietly revealed that the ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond will take up a job with the Kingdom’s finance minister.

Two new assault rifles of Israel’s IWI to be made in India | 26 July 2020 | Israel Defense

The rifles will be manufactured under the Make in India initiative in Madhya Pradesh by joint venture PLR Systems, which is already producing Israeli arms like the Tavor.

India shows interest to acquire Russian 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank tracked arrmored | 26 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to information released by the Russian Press Agency on July 25, 2020, India might target a potential acquisition of the Russian-made 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 125 mm self-propelled anti-tank gun (SPATG).

Uzbek company produces Tarlon and Ejder Yalçın 4×4 armored vehicles | 24 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

On July 21, 2020, the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Defense Industry announced that local company Kran Va Maxsus Texnikala LLC in Tashkent is starting production of a 4×4 light armored vehicle called Tarlon, Live Journal reports.

Europe’s Compromise Solutions on Arms Embargo Rejected | 24 July 2020 | Financial Tribune

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the European countries’ offers of compromise on the complete removal of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran as required by the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Letter dated 24 July 2020 from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General | 24 July 2020 | UN Security Council

I am writing to you regarding the allegations made during the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on 21 July 2020, by the representatives of the Israeli regime and the United States of America against the Islamic Republic of Iran and their call for the imposition of an arms embargo against my country in violation of resolution 2231 (2015) of the Council.

After Pakistan’s Gwadar port, China fast-tracks key defence projects in Bangladesh | 23 July 2020 | India Post

For Chinese Ambassador in Bangladesh, Li Jiming, bringing Chinese companies to Dhaka is not the only priority. His ostensible goal seems to be expediting several key projects, including the ultra-modern submarine base project, BNS Sheikh Hasina, in Pekua, Cox’s Bazar. China has already delivered two submarines to Bangladesh Navy in its desperate bid to expand its footprints in the Indian sub-continent.

Britain selling £14m helicopters to Philippines government despite ‘human rights abuse’ | 18 July 2020 | The Mirror

The UK government has agreed to flog two £28million Wildcat choppers to the Philippines government is the latest shameful chapter in a trade that nets us £14billion a year.

India reports possible purchase of Caracal CAR 816 carbines made in UAE | 17 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to information released by The Print website on July 15, 2020, the Defence Acquisition Council of India could soon take the decision to acquire new Close Quarter Battle (CQB) carbines CAR 816 manufactured by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) firearms company Caracal which is now part of EDGE, advanced technology group of UAE.

Royal Thai army takes delivery of new Black Widow Spider 8×8 armored vehicle for trial tests | 17 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to information released by the Asian Military Review on July 17, 2020, the Royal Thai Army has taken delivery of the Black Widow Spider 8×8 armored vehicle developed by Thailand’s Defence Technology Institute (DTI). The new vehicle will be tested for one year by the Thai armed forces.

Indonesian PT Pindad unveils Maung 4×4 light tactical vehicle | 17 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

PT Pindad (Persero) officially introduced the latest product in the tactical vehicle segment (Rantis), Defence Studies reports. This time, the product created by the SOE is a bit little different from usual. Abraham Moses, President Director of PT Pindad (Persero), said that the Rantis, named Maung, does indeed have differences. The concept leads to lightweight Rantis that can be used on highways or off-road terrain.

Colombian army studies to upgrade M1117 4×4 armored vehicles with Belgian John Cockerill CSE 90LP turret | 16 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Colombian Army studies the possibility to integrate the Belgian turret John Cockerill CSE 90LP on M1117 4×4 armored vehicle manufactured by the American Company Textron Marine & Land Systems, the vehicle is named Pegaso by the Colombian army.

Indian Army plans to buy CQB carbines and bulletproof helmets | 16 July 2020 | Army Technology

The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is reportedly planning to buy new close quarter battle (CQB) carbines. The weapon is expected to be purchased from UAE-based Caracal International, which was declared as the lowest bidder for the army’s Fast Track Procurement (FTP) in 2018.

Australian army buys more Thales EF88 assault rifles | 15 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Australian Government will buy 8,500 Enhanced F88 (EF88) assault rifles. The Australian-made weapon will add to the 30,000 units that will be delivered by Thales Australia to the Australian Defence Force. Australia is procuring these systems under the Soldier Modernisation Program’s lethality element.

Indian Army to Acquire 72,000 Sig Sauer 716 Assault Rifles | 15 July 2020 | The National Interest

Indian Army will buy 72,000 additional SIG Sauer SIG716G2 assault rifles | 14 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Indian Army is doubling down on its order of SIG 715 model rifles, chambered in 7.62mm NATO. After announcing a deal last year to purchase 72,400 rifles made by New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer, this week India has announced it would purchase another 72,000.

Alleged breaches of international law by Saudi forces in Yemen exceed 500 | 13 July 2020 | The Guardian

The Ministry of Defence has revealed it has logged more than 500 Saudi air raids in possible breach of international law in Yemen, even though last week it justified resuming arms sales to Riyadh on the basis that only isolated incidents without any pattern have occurred. The trade minister, Greg Hands, answering an urgent question in the Commons on last week’s resumption of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, refused to say how many bombing incidents had been reviewed by the UK before it agreed to grant UK arms export licences again.

Iraq unveils indigenous T-55 Al-Kafil-1 MBT main battle tank | 13 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

Caesar @Ninja998998’s Twitter account shows a piece of information based on @AndreiBtvt’s Twitter account revealing the existence of a new main battle tank manufactured in Iraq and designated T-55 Al-Kafil-1.

Indian army receives newly produced Maruti Gypsy 4×4 vehicles | 10 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

In June 2019, Army Recognition reported that Maruti Suzuki India finally discontinued the Gypsy production on April 1, 2019. It was first launched in 1985. However, the Indian army needs 3,051 more units, which imposes briefly restarting its production.

New Zealand Army takes delivery of 6 Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicles | 10 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to an article published in New Zealand Army News magazine Issue 513, June 2020, New Zealand Army has taken delivery of six Polaris MRZR all-terrain vehicles as a part of the Protected Mobility Capability Project. The MRZR 4 is a highly mobile, multi-configurable, off-road vehicle from MRZR range of vehicles developed by Polaris Industries.

New Zealand army to receive 43 Thales Bushmaster Protected Vehicles | 9 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

New Zealand’s Defence Minister Ron Mark announced on July 8 that the government has approved the NZD102.9 million (USD67.5 million) procurement of 43 Thales Australia Bushmaster 4×4 Protected Mobility Vehicles to replace the armored Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles.

China’s Draft Export Control Law Submitted for Second Review (pdf) | 9 July 2020 | Covington & Burling LLP

China has published a near-final draft of a new Export Control Law that, if enacted as drafted, would build upon China’s existing export control regulations, which are scattered across multiple laws, administrative regulations, and implementation rules, with the goal of creating a unified export control system to promote China’s commitment to nonproliferation and national security interests. Notably, the new draft retains the key features of the earlier drafts and would make the Export Control Law apply extraterritorially.

UN Ban On Iran Arms Transfers | 8 July 2020 | Eurasia Review

A 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), provides for limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The accord, endorsed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 (July 17, 2015), contains an annex (Annex B) that provides for a ban on the transfer of arms to or from Iran until October 18, 2020.

India clears purchase of Russian combat jets worth $2.4 billion | 2 July 2020 | Reuters

India’s government on Thursday approved the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets and upgrades to another 59 planes, acting to beef up its air force at a time when the military is locked in a border stand-off with China.

Saudi General Directorate of Border Guard and Military Industries Corporation to manufacture armored vehicles | 2 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to Arab News, an agreement to locally manufacture armored military vehicles has been signed between the Saudi General Directorate of Border Guard and the Military Industries Corporation (MIC).

Vietnam unveils STV-410 7.62x39mm assault rifle | 2 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

On its Facebook page, VietDefense reports that Factory Z111 and the General Department of Defense Industry developed a new rifle that resembles a Kalashnikov. It’s designated STV-410 7.62x39mm assault rifle. It can be considered the Vietnamese version of an AK-15.

Iran: IRGC unveils new armored personnel carriers and upgraded T-72M main battle tank | 1 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

In a ceremony held on June 27, The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Major General Hossein Salami unveiled new homegrown products manufactured by the Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization of the IRGC Ground Force, as reported by Tasnim news agency and BMPD. There were several products: a BTR-50PK Makran APC, an upgraded BTR-60PB APC, an upgraded T-72M MBT, a Me’raj-1 reconnaissance drone, a So’ban-1 machine gun and a mine detecting radar. In this piece of news, we are focusing on the APCs and the T-72M.

Revisiting International Cooperation on Illicit Trafficking by Sea: Indonesia and the Final Voyage of the M/V Wise Honest (Part I) (Part II) | 23 June 2020 | OpinioJuris.org

The M/V Wise Honest (IMO 8905490) was, since 17 November 2016, a North Korean owned and flagged cargo ship engaged in numerous violations of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions, notably illicit shipments of coal from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and heavy equipment to DPRK (paras. 21-27). In March 2018, she left Nampo (DPRK) for Indonesia’s territorial sea, laden with 25,000 tons of coal worth a reported USD $2,990,000 (Annex 17). Therein, she intended to conduct a ship-to-ship (STS) transfer to a Russian cargo ship – the coal’s eventual customer being South Korean (para. 35). That conspiracy ended abruptly on 2 April 2018 when Indonesian authorities intercepted and detained the M/V Wise Honest following a tip-off from the USA.

EUROPE

British military providing training to repressive regimes from Belarus to Bahrain, records show | 28 August 2020 | Inews

A list of countries receiving training from UK armed forces since 2018 includes 17 nations formally designated by the British government as “human rights priority countries”, where there is particular concern about repression or other abuses.

UK: New human rights-related sanctions likely to be used sparingly, strategically | 27 August 2020 | Control Risks

Foreign Secretary (foreign minister) Dominic Raab on 6 July announced the first list of individuals subject to sanctions under a new UK system. The sanctions list is driven by human rights concerns, but geopolitics will undoubtedly play a part in future decisions on who to add and the UK is likely to want to avoid the inclusion of senior political figures from generally friendly nations.

Völkerrecht: Bundesrat zufrieden, Amnesty skeptisch | 22 August 2020 | Nau.ch

Das humanitäre Völkerrecht schützt Menschenrechte in Kriegen. Der Bundesrat zieht in einem freiwilligen Bericht Bilanz über die Umsetzung durch die Schweizer.

Rüstungsexporte nach Belarus: Die deutschen Geschäfte mit dem Lukaschenko-Regime | 20 August 2020 | Business Insider

Deutschland lieferte jahrelang Waffen und Munition nach Belarus. Selbst nach dem EU-Waffenembargo aus dem Jahr 2011 genehmigte die Bundesregierung noch Exporte von Rüstungsgütern in das Land.

Greek sale of 101 armoured troop carriers to Egypt which it had received from Germany | 18 August 2020 | Neos Kosmos

Germany’s leading business daily, Handelsblatt, reports that Greece has sold 101 Soviet-made BMP-1 armoured infantry combat vehicles to Egypt, which the paper says Berlin is finding hard to explain.

Swiss army procures from firms on investment blacklist | 17 August 2020 | Swissinfo

Arms manufacturers that have been recommended for exclusion by the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments (SARI) are linked to Swiss army contracts, a newspaper reports.

The UK Government Has Bailed Out Companies Complicit in Human Rights Abuses and Environmental Destruction | 17 August 2020 | VICE

A VICE News investigation this month revealed that companies accessing billions in public funds through a government scheme have paid out an estimated £11.5 billion in dividends, while announcing the loss of 42,000 jobs. VICE News can now reveal that government funds, currently totalling £18.9 billion, have been given to companies that have engaged in fraud, corruption, environmental destruction and the manufacture of chemical weaponry, as well as defence firms that have sold weapons to regimes accused of human rights abuses.

The Serious Fraud Office Finally Taking Action over a Saudi Arms Deal | 7 August 2020 | Byline Times

After months of negotiations in the 1980s, which included the Saudis being personally lobbied by then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the UK secured the biggest arms deal in the country’s history.

Licences d’exportation d’armes et de matériel lié à la défense vers l’Arabie saoudite (NL) (FR) | 7 August 2020 | Conseil d’état belge

Dans le cadre d’une procédure en référé d’extrême urgence, le Conseil d’État a été saisi d’un recours introduit par la Ligue des droits humains, la Coordination nationale d’action pour la paix et la démocratie et le Forum voor vredesactie contre des licences d’exportation d’armes et de matériel lié à la défense délivrées par la Région wallonne à destination de l’Arabie saoudite.

U.K. Sanctions Guidance Adds to Warnings for Maritime Sector | 3 August 2020 | The Wall Street Journal

A U.K. enforcement agency is urging the maritime industry to be on the lookout for illicit practices that could be used to evade sanctions, the latest regulator to warn about compliance risks facing the industry.

Rüstungsexporte in die Türkei steigen trotz Syrien-Einmarsch | 3 August 2020 | Handelsblatt

Auch nach dem Einmarsch der Türkei in Nordsyrien hat die Bundesregierung Rüstungslieferungen an den Nato-Partner in zweistelliger Millionenhöhe genehmigt. In den neuneinhalb Monaten seit dem Start der Offensive am 9. Oktober 2019 bis zum 22. Juli 2020 gab sie grünes Licht für Lieferungen im Wert von 25,9 Millionen Euro.

Rostec demonstrates TOS-1A flamethrower to foreign customers | 27 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

JSC Rosoboronexport and JSC Omsktransmash (part of JSC Concern Uralvagonzavod), which are subsidiaries of the Rostec State Corporation, have demonstrated the TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system to a number of foreign customers at the Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metal Testing’s (NTIIM’s) Staratel Proving Ground in Nizhny Tagil.

Limit on arms export to Turkey excludes maritime equipment, German Foreign Minister says | 27 July 2020 | Daily Sabah

Germany reaffirms that its decision to limit arms export to Turkey does not apply to naval weapons and maritime exports, the country’s foreign minister Heiko Maas said Monday. Berlin is one of the world’s main exporters of armaments and also a top exporter to Ankara.

UK government gives green light to more tear gas sales to US police despite UN warning over violence | 23 July 2020 | The Independent

The UK government has given the green light for the export of British tear gas and rubber bullets to the US despite the continuing use of force against protesters and warnings from the United Nations.

Weapons shipments from Serbia to Armenia through Georgia – fact or fiction? | 23 July 2020 | JAM News

Alleged arms deliveries from Serbia to Armenia during the recent flare up of violence on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border provoked the protest of official Baku. Georgia was dragged in after Azerbaijani newspaper haqqin.az stated that the weapons were delivered through its territory. The Georgian Foreign Ministry categorically denied this information, but the opposition in Georgia still has questions.

‘Isolated incidents’: The legal absurdity of UK arms sales for Saudi war in Yemen | 23 July 2020 | Middle East Eye

The UK government’s announcement of the resumption of arms export licensing to Saudi Arabia and its allies may well prove to be the nail in the coffin for thousands more Yemenis, as the war in their country extends into its sixth year.

Urovesa to supply up to 700 Vamtac tactical vehicles to Spanish armed forces | 22 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Spanish Ministry of Defense and the Galician company Urovesa have signed a framework contract for the supply of up to 700 High Tactical Mobility Vehicles (Vamtac) to the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and common structures for an amount of 146.3 million euro.

UK firms are selling invasive spy tech to repressive governments around the world | 22 July 2020 | Business Insider

UK companies are selling and marketing spy tech to countries accused of using these kinds of technology to violate human rights, according to export license data analysed by Business Insider.

Non-lethal Assistance and the Syrian Conflict: Lessons from the Netherlands | 20 July 2020 | Just Security

Whether one thinks of Syria, Libya, Yemen, or Ukraine, third-State involvement is undeniably a common feature of many – if not most – ongoing non-international armed conflicts. While the direct provision of arms to non-State armed groups is widely deemed contrary to international law, recent years suggest that States feel less reticence to provide so-called “non-lethal assistance” (NLA), understood as material aid not designed to inflict serious bodily harm or death. In particular, in the context of the Syrian civil war, such aid has been provided to various rebel groups, including by the United States as well as by several European countries. Of these countries, the Netherlands provides a particularly fascinating case study.

Russia defense industry unveils new 2S43 Malva 152mm 8×8 self-propelled howitzer | 20 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

Russia defense industry unveils new 8×8 152mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer 2S43 dubbed Malva developed by the Burevestnik Central Research Institute, a division of Uralvagonzavod who is now part of ROSTEC, State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Product.

Belgian army to buy 40mm grenades and armored SUVs for its special forces | 20 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Belgian Ministry of Defense will buy ammunition for the 40mm grenade launchers that equip certain vehicles of the Special Forces Group, as well as a first batch of armored SUVs.

Serbian Ministry of Defense orders new Noras Lazars and Milosh armored vehicles | 20 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

On July 13, Serbian Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin visited the plants of the factory “Complex Combat Systems” in Velika Plana, and the occasion for the visit was recently signed a framework agreement for equipping of the Serbian Armed Forces with the 8×8 armored fighting vehicles Lazar-3 and self-propelled howitzers 155mm Nora B-52 M15.

Jahrzehntelange Verstöße: Greenpeace kritisiert Rüstungsexporte | 19 July 2020 | TAZ

Germany violated arms export regulations for decades, study says | 19 July 2020 | DW

Deutschland verstößt einer Studie zufolge seit 30 Jahren systematisch gegen zentrale Grundsätze zu Rüstungsexporten. Dies ergab eine Untersuchung des Leibniz-Instituts Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (HSFK) für Greenpeace, wie die Organisation am Sonntag mitteilte. „Deutschland genehmigt und exportiert Kriegswaffen und Rüstungsgüter in Kriegs-und Krisenländer, in Staaten mit Menschenrechtsverletzungen und in Spannungsregionen“, heißt es in der Untersuchung.

Saab to deliver Carl-Gustaf and AT4 systems to US Army | 17 July 2020 | ArmyTechnology

Saab has won a Skr930m ($100m) contract order from the US Army for the delivery of Carl-Gustaf ammunition weapon system and AT4 systems. The rifle is the upgraded version of the portable, shoulder-launched, multi-role weapon system.

UK Launches Independent Sanctions Policy With Focus on Human Rights Violations | 17 July 2020 | Jones Day | JD Supra

UK Government Introduces New Human Rights Sanctions Regime (pdf) | 10 July 2020 | Covington & Burling LLP

On 6 July 2020, the United Kingdom announced its first set of independent sanctions, following its departure from the European Union. The new sanctions focus on individuals and entities identified by the UK government as connected to alleged human rights violations, akin to the Magnitsky and Global Magnitsky sanctions programs in the United States.

Armes belges exportées en Arabie saoudite : des ONG introduisent une nouvelle action en justice contre la Région wallonne | 16 July 2020 | RTBF

La Ligue des droits humains, la Coordination Nationale d’Action pour la Paix et la Démocratie (CNAPD) et Vredesactie, soutenues par la section belge francophone d’Amnesty International, ont déposé au Conseil d’État deux recours en suspension en extrême urgence contre six nouvelles licences d’exportation d’armes vers l’Arabie saoudite, octroyées par le ministre-président wallon, Elio Di Rupo, les 29 avril et 8 juillet derniers.

Waffenfabrik Schweiz | 16 July 2020 | Die Wochenzeitung

Biggest Swiss-based arms manufacturers revealed | 16 July 2020 | Swissinfo

Die Konzerne, die Zulieferer, die Waffenhändler: Die WOZ gibt exklusiv Einblick in das verschwiegene Schweizer Rüstungsbusiness. Das sind die Profiteure im Geschäft mit dem Krieg.

Switzerland exported half a billion francs worth of arms in six months | 15 July 2020 | swissinfo

Swiss companies exported CHF501 million ($530 million) in war materiel in the first half of the year, almost twice as much as the same period in 2019.

Finnish Defense Exports, 2019 | 15 July 2020 | SLDinfo.com

In 2019, the Ministry of Defence granted a total of 284 permanent export licences for defence materiel (257 in 2018). The total value of the licences was EUR 105 million, which is 40% lower than in 2018; then the figure was EUR 176 million. The value of actual exports decreased by 12% and was around EUR 113 million in 2019.

Russia: VPK unveils Strela new light armored vehicle | 15 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The general director of the Military Industrial Company (VPK, part of the GAZ Group), Alexander Krasovitsky, told RIA Novosti news agency about the creation of the military-industrial complex of the new Strela (Arrow) light armored 4×4 vehicle, BMPD Live Journal reports. Krasovitsky emphasized that the Strela design uses Russian-made components.

Deutschland exportiert deutlich mehr Kriegswaffen | 14 July 2020 | Zeit Online

Aus Deutschland sind in den ersten vier Monaten Kriegswaffen für fast eine halbe Milliarde Euro verkauft worden. Das sind 40 Prozent mehr als im Vorjahreszeitraum.

Les véritables menaces politiques qui pèsent sur l’industrie d’armement française (3/3) | 13 July 2020 | La Tribune

L’industrie d’armement française, telle qu’elle est actuellement, est en péril : aussi bien dans son organisation nationale, que dans la volonté politique de lancer des coopérations européennes tous azimuts (programmes, alliances industrielles) en passant par les nombreuses entraves dans le domaine des exportations.

UK selling spyware and wiretaps to 17 repressive regimes including Saudi Arabia and China | 13 July 2020 | The Independent

The British government is providing more than a dozen repressive regimes around the world with wiretaps, spyware and other telecommunications interception equipment they could use to spy on dissidents, public records show.

Estonia delivers 2400 Soviet-made 9mm Makarov pistols to Ukraine | 10 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

According to information published by the Estonian MoD (Ministry of Defense) on July 7, 2020, the Ministry of Defence of Estonia sent a shipment of 2,400 9mm Makarov pistols from Estonia to Ukraine, in order to support the strengthening of Ukraine’s independent defense capabilities.

Armenia’s Kalashnikov Plant Commences Operations | 10 July 2020 | Israel Defense

The Armenian government revealed on July 7 that the country’s small arms production plant began operating under license to manufacture Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles.

Russian Journalist Ivan Safronov Arrested over Charges of Treason | 10 July 2020 | Council of Europe

On 7 July 2020, Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained Ivan Safronov near his Moscow

apartment and charged him with high treason for allegedly spying for the Czech Republic. The journalist’s lawyer, said in an interview with Dozhd that his client was accused of spying for the Czech Republic since 2012 and of passing secrets “about military cooperation between Russia and a Middle Eastern-North African country” to Czech special services in 2017, “which, in turn, collaborated with the United States.”

Britain lifts ban on Saudi weapons exports | 8 July 2020 | DefenseNews

Britain has lifted a yearlong ban on the export of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the government announced July 7. Weapon sales to Saudi Arabia were banned in June 2019 after a U.K. Court of Appeal ruled that the government may have contravened international humanitarian law by approving weapon sales to the Saudis that might have been used in the civil war in Yemen.

Spanish Police Apprehend 2 People For Smuggling Dual-Use Equipment To Pakistani Military Companies | 7 July 2020 | Business World

Spanish Police have apprehended two persons on charges of smuggling dual-use equipment and technology to Pakistani military companies, sources reported. According to sources, the technology being smuggled could be used for Missile Guidance systems.

Rapport annuel 2020 sur les exportations d’armement de la France | 7 July 2020 | Amnesty International France

Onze organisations humanitaires et de défense des droits humains dénoncent la volonté du gouvernement français de maintenir l’opacité sur ses ventes d’armes, à l’occasion de l’audition à huis clos le 7 juillet 2020 de la Ministre des Armées, Florence Parly, à la Commission de la défense nationale et des forces armées de l’Assemblée nationale au sujet de son rapport sur les exportations d’armement de la France sur l’année écoulée.

Saudi soldiers are training in military camp in France, says Amnesty | 7 July 2020 | RFI

According to rights group, Amnesty International, a private military training camp set up in France is training Saudi soldiers on arms used in the war in Yemen. Amnesty claims that the Belgian company running the training camp benefitted from government favours.

The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 – UK Statutory Instruments | 6 July 2020 | UK Government

Global Human Rights Sanctions regime: Foreign Secretary’s statement to Parliament | 6 July 2020 | UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Dominic Raab gave a Commons statement introducing the new Global Human Rights Sanctions regime and the first sanctions on those involved in human rights abuses.

Global Human Rights Sanctions: consideration of designations – policy paper | 6 July 2020 | UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

This note aims to highlight factors relevant to whether a person may be designated under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 (‘the Regulations’).

Global Human Rights: Financial Sanctions Notice (pdf) | 6 July 2020 | Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation | HM Treasury

On 6 July 2020, the Foreign Secretary laid before Parliament the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 (S.I. 680/2020) (the Regulations). The Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the Sanctions Act) and provide for the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities or bodies responsible for or involved in serious violations of human rights.

Global Human Rights Sanctions: guidance | 6 July 2020 | Foreign & Commonwealth Office

As required by Section 43 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (‘the Sanctions Act’), the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has provided this guidance to assist in the implementation of and compliance with the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 (‘the Regulations’).

Explanatory Memorandum to the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 (pdf) | 6 July 2020 | Foreign & Commonwealth Office

This instrument is intended to deter, and provide accountability for, activities which, if carried out by or on behalf of a State, would amount to a serious violation of certain human rights by that State. This instrument enables the Secretary of State to impose asset freezes and travel bans on persons involved in such conduct.

Canons belges vendus à l’Arabie saoudite : l’enquête d’Amnesty sur le mystérieux centre de formation installé en France | 6 July 2020 | RTBF

La vente de tourelles de blindé à l’Arabie saoudite par l’entreprise liégeoise CMI, rebaptisée John Cockerill, suscite de nouvelles interrogations. Les autorités françaises se sont montrées très généreuses envers l’entreprise belge pour qu’elle installe son centre de formation pour les militaires saoudiens dans la région de Nancy. Mais les retombées économiques espérées pas cette région déshéritée ne sont pas au rendez-vous. En revanche, l’armement belge est bien utilisé dans une des plus sales guerres en cours, celle menée par l’Arabie saoudite au Yémen.

Hirtenberger Defence wins contract to deliver 60mm mortars to French army | 6 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

In april 2017, the DGA (Direction générale de l’armement, Defense Procurement Angency) launched a tender for the purchase of 120 60 mm mortars and thousands of munitions of various types.

Belgian Defense to buy 243 FN M2 heavy machine guns | 6 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Council of Ministers approved on Friday, July 3 the launch of a public contract for the acquisition of 243 heavy machine guns, the second purchase of its kind in a year, the Belgian government announced on Saturday, without specifying the amount of this contract.

Russia expands Typhoon-K family of 4×4 protected vehicles | 1 July 2020 | ArmyRecognition

The Russian defense industry is expanding the Typhoon-K family of 4×4 light armored vehicles. Typhoon is a Russian family of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles in service since 2014.[1][2] Around 120 Russian companies including KamAZ, Gaz-Group, and Bauman University, etc. are taking part in the Typhoon program. The main aim of the program is to design a fundamentally new unified platform for all Russian armored wheeled vehicles