U.S. Policy on Small Arms and Light Weapons   [open pdf - 117KB]

"This article reviews the development of U.S. policy on controlling the proliferation of small arms before, during, and after the 2001 United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. It chronicles the policy's evolution from the formulations of the William J. Clinton administration to those of its successor. It argues that despite this changing of the guard, the main tenets of the policy have remained largely unchanged, and that the United States has failed to take leadership on this issue, adopting instead a minimalist approach--and correspondingly small expenditures. […] This discussion also assesses how the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks largely stalled, rather than stimulated, global progress and suggests that the connection between small arms proliferation and transnational threats, such as terrorism, has not been properly addressed. The article then turns to areas in which active U.S. involvement has, in contrast, proved fertile and yielded concrete results, including proposals aimed at fostering effective and enduring change--measures that, if properly developed and expanded, may offer a viable blueprint for a 2006 UN Review Conference on this issue. The article goes on to weigh the role and resonance of American domestic policies on gun control and to examine how the new national security doctrine is affecting, and will likely affect, the international debate on small arms. Finally, it looks at how the influence of American interest groups and policy circles has shaped and may continue to underpin U.S. perspective and interaction at the multilateral and bilateral levels."

2006 Naval War College Review. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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Naval War College Review: http://www.usnwc.edu/Publications/Naval-War-College-Review.aspx
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Naval War College Review (Winter 2006), v. 59 no. 1, p. 119-140
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