American Exports of Surplus Arms, 1990-1995
A Study by the Arms Sales Monitoring
by Paul F. Pineo and Lora
of the Federation of American Scientists
At the end of World War II, the U.S. government had tons
equipment that it no longer needed. America shipped
hundreds of excess armored vehicles, aircraft, naval
vessels and infantry weapons to Europe and Asia,
initiating its peacetime military aid program. Some of
this surplus like C-47 transport planes and M-2
"half-tracks" transferred 40 years ago, to
contain Soviet influence, is still used by many
militaries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The end of the Cold War has again left the United
States with much more equipment than it needs or can
afford. While some excess weapons are destroyed or
transferred to civilian agencies, most are given to
foreign militaries through a variety of programs. Since
1990, the United States has transferred $7 billion of
military equipment, including 3,900 heavy tanks and 500
ground attack jets, primarily to developing countries.
Large quantities of surplus small arms and light weapons
have also been exported.
Giving away excess weapons is often cheaper than
destroying or storing them, and such transfers are seen
as an easy way to curry diplomatic favor. Moreover,
excess equipment is transferred in furtherance of U.S.
policy goals, such as narcotics control, military
cooperation or encouraging participation in multilateral
However, surplus arms giveaways also raise several
concerns, including issues of human rights, arms control,
and fiscal responsibility. These concerns are compounded
by the fact that many other countries also have large
surplus arms holdings today. (The Federal Republic of
Germany, for example, inherited the entire military of
the German Democratic Republic.) In so much as U.S.
policies may be used to justify similar actions by
others, the impact of the cascade of surplus American
arms deserves careful consideration.
This study examines exports of major military
equipment and small arms declared excess by the U.S.
Department of Defense from 1990 through 1995. It details
the types and quantities of these weapons shipped from
U.S. stocks, the recipients, the legal basis and
decision-making process for surplus weapons exports, and
the policy issues raised by these transfers. The bulk of
this report comprises an appendix cataloguing all
identifiable surplus arms transfers during 1990-1995,
grouped primarily according to the type of military
Since 1990, the United States has reduced force levels
by nearly one-third (see table 1). Excess equipment was
inevitable, even without the Cold War downsizing, given
the massive military modernization and build-up of the
1980s. As a result of both factors, vast quantities of
weapons have been retired during the past five years.
When paring down, the military naturally sheds older
equipment first, that bought in the 1960s or earlier and
modernized since. However, the Army, Navy and Air Force
are now retiring large numbers of newer, rather advanced
surplus weapons, as well. These weapons, which entered
service in the 1970s or even 1980s, were considered good
enough for U.S. forces as recently as just a few years
ago. Some of the major combat equipment now being retired
has only served half or less of its expected lifetime.
The individual armed services are responsible for
determining, within budgetary constraints, their
equipment needs. Consequently, they also determine,
subject to the approval of the Secretary of Defense and
Congress, which weapons will be retained and which will
be retired. The services have wide discretion in deciding
what to do with surplus arms.
U.S. Army equipment holdings
have fallen substantially in the past five years,
particularly in Europe as a result of the 1990
Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (see p. 6). The
number of U.S. Army tanks in Europe, for example,
decreased from 6,000 to 1,200.
The Army's entire inventory of armored vehicles,
helicopters, artillery, logistics and communications gear
was modernized in the 1980s. A literal army of older
equipment including over 3,000 transport and attack
helicopters, 6,000 battle tanks and armored personnel
carriers, and millions of rounds of ammunition has now
been declared excess.
Many of these weapons have been exported to other
nations, often at little or no cost. In 1990 the United
States gave Egypt 700 M-60 tanks for free; Egypt paid
only the transportation cost of about $1 million. (These
tanks originally cost $1.3 million each. ) Other states
that received surplus M-60s include Bahrain, Brazil,
Greece, Morocco, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand
According to a press report, by 1992 the Army was
overseeing 6,000 on-going or proposed deals for excess
equipment. Seeking to pick up the pace, the Army held an
unprecedented tent sale in September 1993. Military
officers potential customers from NATO member countries,
Egypt, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South
Korea and Taiwan spent five days browsing through the
Army's old or used goods. Ted Gandy, the deputy director
of weapons development for the Army Missile Command,
hoped the bazaar would help the Army unload some $300
million worth of surplus missiles over the next few
years. The Army has also announced plans to export 600
surplus AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and UH-1 Huey
utility helicopters to foreign militaries through the end
of the century.
The U.S. Navy ship strength
peaked in 1987, 31 boats short of the Reagan
Administration's goal of a 600-ship Navy. By 1995, force
levels fell to 373 ships and are expected to fall to
330-346 vessels by 2001. Entire classes of boats were
retired in the past five years. The nearly 200
decommissioned ships include modern frigates, guided
destroyers, and amphibious assault ships. The Navy, and
its boosters in Congress, are retiring these ships and
buying new ones.
These surplus warships will meet differing fates. Many
will be "mothballed" that is, put in long-term
storage to minimize maintenance costs, while retaining
the option of returning the vessels to active service.
Others will be cannibalized for spare parts for sister
ships still in active service or simply cut up for scrap.
The Navy will use yet others for weapons testing (either
mounting new weapons on them or using them as targets for
anti-ship missiles or torpedoes). A few ships, like four
Iowa-class battleships reactivated in the 1980s, will
Most are being sold, given away or leased to foreign
navies. During 1990-1995, the Navy transferred 39
frigates, five guided-missile destroyers, and 13 tank
landing ships. Several guided missile frigates were
leased and/or given away in early 1996.
In addition to boats, the Navy is seeking to unload
some of its 300 carrier-based F-18A/B Hornet fighter
jets, so that it can procure newer model F/A-18C/D and
E/F planes. The first sale of F/A-18s was concluded in
1995, when Spain purchased 30.
The U.S. Air Force is
shedding large numbers of planes in order to maintain and
acquire more sophisticated strike and transport aircraft.
The USAF is retiring all of its FB-111 fighter-bombers
and EF-111 Raven electronic warfare/jammer aircraft, most
of its F-4 Phantom fighters, over 100 A-10 attack
aircraft, and hundreds of early model F-15 Eagle and F-16
Falcon fighter/ground attack jets.
These aircraft constituted the bulk of the American
forces designed to fight the Soviet Union in the 1980s,
and as such they remain quite potent. The F-4 is one of
the most widely used Western aircraft designs, with some
1,300 currently serving with nine air forces around the
world. The F-111 Aardvark, which first flew during the
Vietnam War, was used in the 1986 bombing raid on
Tripoli, Libya. The F-15 and F-16 remain the backbone of
the U.S. Air Force, performing both anti-air and ground
In the past five years, the Air Force has transferred
over 900 planes, including 82 used F-16s. The USAF has
proposed selling 300-400 early model Falcons in stock to
fund the procurement of 80-100 new F-16s. Potential
customers include the Czech Republic, Poland, Chile and
Argentina. In addition, Jordan is slated to receive 16
F-16s under a nearly no-cost lease, as a reward for
making peace with Israel.
The USAF sought unsuccessfully to give Turkey fifty
A-10 ground attack jets. The Turkish military refused,
saying it could not afford to spend $200 million to
refurbish the aircraft.
Surplus U.S. weapons stocks are sold, given, leased
and loaned to foreign militaries or police or
international bodies. As with exports of new weapons
systems, surplus sales or grants are at the discretion of
the executive branch principally the Pentagon and State
Department. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (Public
Law 87-195), as amended, provides the legal authority for
the President to provide military assistance, financial
and otherwise, to foreign nations. Section 21 of the Arms
Export Control Act of 1976 (Public Law 90-629) authorizes
the President to sell weapons directly from the
Department of Defense inventory.
Most provisions of these two laws that apply to sales
of new weapons also apply to transfers of excess arms.
For example, as with new weapons, surplus arms may be
exported only for internal security, "legitimate
self-defense," or to facilitate participation by the
recipient in regional or collective military arrangements
consistent with the U.N. Charter. And, as with sales of
new equipment, surplus arms can only be exported to those
countries where the President has certified that such
shipments "will strengthen the security of the
United States and promote world peace." (Appendix C
lists all countries for which such a finding has been
made.) Similarly, provisions pertaining to eligibility
for U.S. arms based on human rights, support for
terrorism, and counter-narcotics cooperation also
generally apply to exports of surplus arms, as do third
party transfer restrictions. In some cases, surplus arms
transfers require the approval of, or at least
notification to, Congress.
The executive branch has four primary procedures for
transferring surplus weapons from U.S. stocks to foreign
- Transfers made pursuant to the Conventional
Forces in Europe Treaty
- Sales and grant transfers through the Excess
Defense Articles program
- Leases and loans of weapons
- Special presidential authority to "draw
down" Department of Defense equipment
Appendix A lists all identifiable transfers of surplus
major military equipment and small arms made under these
programs during 1990-1995.
CFE Treaty Cascade
A 1990 treaty intended to reduce conventional weapons
in Europe has bolstered the militaries of states on
Europe's periphery. The sixteen member states of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the six
states of the former Warsaw Treaty Organization signed
the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty in Paris
on 19 November 1990. The treaty, which sets limits on
holdings in Europe of five categories of major combat
platforms (tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery,
attack helicopters and fixed-wing combat aircraft),
officially entered into force on 9 November 1992, ten
days after the last signatory ratified the treaty.
By the end of 1994, parties to the treaty had
destroyed over 37,000 conventional weapons. However,
during this same time, and in full compliance with the
treaty, the United States and other NATO members (such as
Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) transferred large
quantities of military equipment out of the treaty's area
of coverage in central Europe to militaries in other
regions. NATO members in southern and northern Europe
have been the principal beneficiaries.
The 1991 Conventional Forces in Europe Implementation
Act (Public Law 102-228) added a new chapter 9 to the
Arms Export Control Act, authorizing the President to
transfer CFE-limited tanks, combat vehicles and artillery
to NATO allies, consistent with the provisions of the
treaty. During 1991-1993 the United States shipped nearly
2,000 tanks, over 600 armored personnel carriers and 180
artillery pieces to Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and
Norway, at no cost to the recipients (see table 3).
Excess Defense Articles
The Pentagon dispenses of most of its surplus weapons
through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. Though
this program was initiated in 1976, the quantity and
value of EDA transfers have shot up in the past few
years. The number of countries authorized to receive EDA
has also expanded dramatically.
Section 644(g) of the Foreign Assistance Act defines
EDA as "the quantity of defense articles (other than
construction equipment...) owned by the United States
Government, and not procured in anticipation of military
assistance or sales requirements, or pursuant to a
military assistance or sales order, which is in excess of
the [Pentagon's] approved acquisition objective and
approved force retention stock."
Basically, excess defense articles are weapons which
the military services no longer want. The Army decides
which land systems are excess, the Navy decides which
ships and naval aircraft are excess and the Air Force
decides which of its aircraft are excess.
The services are also responsible for determining the
current value of the surplus equipment. Department of
Defense directives call for "fair" prices,
ranging from five to fifty percent of the Pentagon's
original purchasing cost, depending on the age and
condition of the weapon. This flexible guidance has
resulted in equipment often being under-priced. A 1994
General Accounting Office review of EDA pricing by the
Air Force, for example, found that the service was
underestimating the value of most excess items by more
than 30 percent. The same study found that Army adopted a
policy of pricing excess trucks at between five and ten
percent of their original acquisition value, regardless
of their condition. As a result of these and other
irregularities, the General Accounting Office determined
that the current values assigned by the services to EDA
"are generally unreliable."
These deeply discounted prices are irrelevant in a
sense, because EDA are usually offered for free, on an
"as is, where is" basis, rather than sold (see
figure 1). Between 1990-1994, 80 percent of all excess
transfers were giveaways; in fiscal year 1995, half of
all EDA deals were grant and half sales. When the
equipment is being granted, recipients are usually
responsible for crating and shipping costs, and for
restoration and support of the items, but an exception is
made on shipping costs for poorer countries and certain
Nevertheless, the tendency to undervalue surplus
equipment complicates efforts to determine how much
excess weaponry is being exported, in terms of dollar
volume. Calculations based on original acquisition value
would tend to overstate the amount of EDA transfers,
while those based on the services' low-ball prices would
tend to understate it. Given the General Accounting
Office's findings, we have relied here on original
acquisition values. Regardless of which price is used
(original or current), the amount of EDA offered has
grown dramatically in recent years.
Until just recently, the Pentagon did not provide data
on actual deliveries of EDA (oftentimes foreign
militaries reject the offered excess military equipment).
By law, EDA exports are capped at $250 million per year
(in terms of the original acquisition cost of the
weapons), with the exception of naval vessels and their
on-board store of munitions, and any EDA which Congress
is notified of through the Foreign Military Sales
program. According to information provided to Congress,
well over $500 million worth of military equipment has
actually been transferred in each of the past few years,
with the overage apparently due to a large number of ship
Militaries seeking excess defense articles must go
through a process similar to that for purchasing new
weapons under the U.S. government's Foreign Military
Sales program. The process begins when a government or
organization eligible to receive U.S. arms (see Appendix
C) submits a letter of request for U.S. equipment to the
Department of Defense. The request is referred to either
the Army, Navy, Air Force or the Defense Logistics
Agency, depending on the type of weaponry desired. These
organizations determine if excess defense articles will
satisfy the request.
Section 502A of the Foreign Assistance Act directs
that excess defense articles "be provided whenever
possible rather than providing such articles by the
procurement of new items." Complaints from industry,
however, have changed this. In 1993, Congress amended the
law governing EDA transfers to require the President to
"first consider the effects of the transfer of the
excess defense articles on the national technological and
industrial base, particularly the extent, if any, to
which the transfer reduces the opportunities of entities
in the national technology and industrial base to sell
new equipment to the country or countries to which the
excess defense articles are transferred." The
Department of Defense now seeks to avoid competing with
U.S. companies attempting to sell similar goods or
If the services nevertheless recommend the provision
of excess defense articles, the proposed transfer must
overcome two hurdles. First, the EDA Coordinating
Committee must approve the transfer. The committee
evaluates proposed recipient countries' military
requirements and ability to effectively use the
equipment, as well as the regional military balance and
the foreign policy considerations involved in proposed
transfers. This body is comprised principally of Defense
and State Department officials, but Commerce Department
representatives were recently added to represent the arms
Once the Coordinating Committee agrees to the
transfer, the Pentagon's Defense Security Assistance
Agency must formally notify Congress of the proposed
export. Barring opposition from Congress, the Department
of Defense is authorized to deliver most types of
equipment fifteen to thirty days after notification.
Transfers of excess naval vessels are handled differently
than are exports of other types of surplus equipment.
Congress must pass a law approving the export sale or
grant of any ship less than 20 years old. In such a case,
the Navy submits legislation to Congress authorizing the
grant transfer or sale of the ship(s), and the Congress
usually passes the request without controversy.
The Foreign Assistance Act authorizes grant EDA
transfers to different countries for different purposes.
They were first authorized in 1986 as a means of
bolstering the militaries of the poorer members of the
NATO alliance. Section 516 of the act made Greece, Italy,
Portugal, Spain and Turkey eligible to receive lethal and
non-lethal surplus military equipment at no cost.
Eligibility for EDA has been significantly expanded
since. In 1988, "major non-NATO allies on the
southern and southeastern flank of NATO" (Egypt and
Israel) became eligible for free military equipment, and
certain states that allied with U.S. forces in the
Persian Gulf war were added in 1991. States currently
eligible for EDA under this section include Bahrain,
Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Portugal,
Senegal and Turkey. Because of their improved economic
status, Italy and Spain are no longer eligible for grant
EDA, although they can still purchase bargain-priced EDA.
Pakistan would be eligible for free EDA if sanctions
cutting off military aid were lifted.
While the vast majority of EDA transfers are made
pursuant to Section 516, Congress and the executive
branch have added several other provisions of law
authorizing surplus transfers in the past few years.
In 1989, Congress added Section 517 to the Foreign
Assistance Act, authorizing grant EDA transfers to Latin
American and Caribbean nations for counter-narcotics
purposes. There are several limits on Section 517
transfers. Transfers are limited to major illicit drug
producing or transit countries that have democratic
governments and whose armed forces "do not engage in
a consistent pattern of gross violations of
internationally recognized human rights." The
recipient government must certify that the military
equipment will be used "primarily" for
counter-narcotics purposes, rather than to counter
political insurgents. EDA transfers under this authority
are limited to $10 million per country per year (in
original acquisition value), and countries receiving
Section 517 transfers may not receive items under
Sections 518 or 519. Colombia has been by far the leading
recipient of excess weaponry under this provision of law.
The following year, Congress authorized grant
transfers of non-lethal EDA and small arms to
"friendly countries and to international
organizations and private and voluntary
organizations" for promotion of biodiversity and
natural resource conservation, under Section 518 of the
act. Intended to make small arms and vehicles available
to governments fighting poachers and other environmental
crimes, the only transfer made under this section was the
provision of 12 Cessna Skymaster observation/light attack
aircraft to Botswana in 1993.
In 1990, Congress also added Section 519,
"Additional Authorities Relating to Modernization of
Military Capabilities." This catch-all section
authorizes grant transfers of non-lethal EDA to any
government for which the administration requested and
justified Foreign Military Financing during that fiscal
year. In 1993, eligibility under this provision was
expanded to include any government receiving any form of
foreign aid from the United States. After Section 516,
this is the most widely used grant EDA authority (see
figure 2). Argentina, offered some 90 free aircraft in
the past five years, has been the big winner under this
provision. Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Ethiopia,
Hungary, Oman, the Philippines, Romania, Tunisia, Uruguay
and Zimbabwe have also received grant aircraft through
this provision of law.
Section 520 of the Foreign Assistance Act, authorizing
transfers of EDA for international peacekeeping, was
added in 1994. This section permits transfers to regional
and international organizations of which the United
States is a member. Transfers under this section to U.N.
operations are to be credited to the United States'
annual assessed dues to the United Nations. According to
the Defense Security Assistance Agency, no transfers have
taken place under this authority.
Recent appropriations laws have also extended
eligibility for EDA to several countries. The Foreign
Operations Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1995
(Public Law 103-306) authorized Jordan to receive excess
small arms and ammunition and Albania to receive
The "NATO Partnership Act," incorporated in
the fiscal 1995 Department of Defense appropriation
(Public Law 103-335), authorized Poland, Hungary and the
Czech Republic to receive EDA in order to facilitate the
standardization of these former Warsaw Pact forces with
NATO forces. The fiscal year 1996 foreign aid
appropriation (Public Law 104-107) made Lithuania, Latvia
and Estonia eligible for lethal EDA. The three had
previously been cleared to receive only non-lethal excess
In 1990, ten countries purchased or received grant EDA
from the Department of Defense. Five years later, 60
countries received surplus arms. During this time, the
Pentagon offered up over $8.5 billion of military
equipment at little or no charge (see figure 1). Figures
on how much of this was actually delivered overseas were
only made public beginning with 1993. According to the
Department of Defense, during 1993-1995, it shipped $1.9
billion of EDA (see table 4).
Special Drawdown Authority
The executive branch may also provide military
equipment, services or training from Department of
Defense stocks on a grant basis to meet emergencies that
it cannot meet through other aid channels.
Section 506 of the Foreign Assistance Act provides
special authority for the President to transfer up to
$150 million of defense articles from U.S. stocks
annually. The executive branch has used this provision on
several occasions (see box). The law requires the
President to notify Congress of any planned drawdowns of
equipment under this authority, and also to notify
Congress upon completion of delivery.
Much of the equipment transferred under this provision
is non-lethal, but some combat equipment is transferred.
In a report to Congress in August 1995, the Defense
Security Assistance Agency detailed the equipment it had
transferred to Bangladesh following floods in 1991.
Included in the $12 million aid package were mostly
benign items (like blankets, tents, cargo parachutes,
radios, medical kits) and a handful of light combat
boats. Mexico has received 12 Huey military utility
helicopters under this provision, and Ecuador received
two C-130 transport planes.
Section 552 of the Foreign Assistance Act authorizes
additional special drawdown authority for peacekeeping
operations. In March 1995 President Clinton directed the
Secretary of Defense to provide up to $5 million in
pick-up trucks for the Palestinian police force under
this authority and $7 million to support the Haitian
National Police Force.
In 1994 the administration proposed, and Congress
passed, legislation permitting the South Korean military
to draw down U.S. equipment held in a stockpile in South
Korea. In each of the past several years, the U.S.
administration has added $40 million worth of munitions
to the stockpile, which is intended for joint use by the
two militaries in an emergency.
Under the 1994 law, after providing Congress with 30
days advance notice, the Pentagon may transfer tanks,
repair parts and ammunition from the stock to South
Korean control, in exchange for a concession of equal
value. In a July 1995 letter, Secretary of Defense
William Perry notified the Chairman of the House
International Relations Committee of the Pentagon's
intention to give South Korea $66.6 million of equipment
(in current value) under this provision. As a concession,
South Korea will subtract the same amount from storage
costs the United States owes for its military equipment
located in South Korea, for the defense of South Korea.
Israel has been the largest single beneficiary of
emergency military aid provisions. In 1991 Congress
created a special drawdown account to compensate Israel
for the heightened threat to its security posed by Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait. The legislation authorized the
President to provide Israel with up to $775 million of
U.S. military equipment from stocks being reduced in
Europe. Through this drawdown provision Israel received
15 F-15A and 50 F-16A/B fighter jets, 24 Apache attack
helicopters, and ten UH-60A Blackhawk transport
Leases and Loans
The United States leases weapons that it might want
back in the future, rather than selling or giving them
away. It also leases equipment when the recipient cannot
afford to purchase the weapons outright. The recipient
pays rent on the equipment equal to the depreciation of
the articles while leased. In addition, the lessee must
pay the cost of restoration or replacement if the
articles are damaged, lost or destroyed while on loan.
Weapons are leased for free for cooperative military
research and development projects, and for joint training
Leases and loans are carried out under Chapter 6,
Sections 61-65 of the Arms Export Control Act. The law
requires that the executive branch notify Congress 30
days prior to entering into a lease or loan arrangement
for any military equipment valued at $14 million or more.
Leases cannot run for longer than five years, but they
may be renewed. As with EDA transfers of such ships,
Congress must pass a law specifically authorizing the
lease of naval vessels less than 20 years old. In an
unprecedented move, in 1994 the U.S. government recalled
ships on lease to Pakistan, presumably in late compliance
with the military aid cut-off of 1990.
Although the U.S. government maintains the title for
leased armaments, this channel has resulted in the
transfer of a good deal of weaponry in recent years.
According to the State Department, during fiscal year
1995 the United States entered into new lease
arrangements for $366 million of U.S. military equipment
to 15 foreign militaries, the United Nations and NATO.
The previous year $308 million of weaponry was leased to
22 countries, and just over $400 million of equipment was
leased in fiscal year 1993. Since the leases generally
run for multiple years, as much as $1 billion of American
weaponry could actually have been on lease to foreign
militaries last year. The leading recipients of leased
American equipment over the past three years have been
France, Taiwan, Singapore, Greece and Turkey (see
Appendix B). The United Nations and NATO have also been
leading lessees. Most leases have involved aircraft and
naval vessels, but the Pentagon has also transferred
armored vehicles, guided missiles, radios and other
Through the programs described above, large quantities
of now-surplus military equipment much of it quite modern
and lethal is cascading from the United States to
countries in the developing world. Many of the arms
transfers are intended to further security or foreign
policy goals, like fostering participation in the NATO
alliance, in peacekeeping operations, or combating drug
trafficking. Some of the surplus military equipment
transfers are made to combat poaching or other
environmental crimes, or to aid in disaster relief. While
individual transfers might appear benign, in the
aggregate these surplus transfers raise several policy
concerns issues of fiscal responsibility, Congressional
oversight, weapons proliferation and human rights.
While "deficit hawks" in Congress have taken
the scalpel to more visible forms of foreign military
aid, the provision of approximately $7 billion of surplus
weapons (see box, next page) to other nations for little
or no recompense has aroused scant opposition, in part
because weapons giveaways are said to be cheaper than
storing or destroying surplus arms.
This has started to change as increasingly
sophisticated weapons are being transferred for free.
Last year Republicans in Congress opposed, but did not
block, the administration's plan to supply sixteen F-16
fighters to Jordan at a cost to taxpayers of $140
million. In early 1996 fiscal conservatives in the House
International Relations Committee did succeed in blocking
the Navy's plan to give away seven Perry-class
guided-missile frigates and lease one. The ships each
entered service between 1980-1982 and have served only
half of their expected operational lives. Congress
permitted the Navy to give away only four of the ships to
Bahrain, Egypt and Turkey, and required that it lease the
other four to Egypt, Oman and Turkey.
Congress also amended Section 516 of the Foreign
Assistance Act to require that, henceforth, surplus
warships less than 20 years old be sold, unless the
President determines that a grant transfer of a ship is
in the "national security interest" of the
United States. In such a case, the Congress must pass
legislation authorizing the giveaway. Even when sold,
however, the prices for excess weapons are deeply
discounted (5-50 percent of the original purchasing
Aside from the question of whether the United States
is getting as much money as possible for its older
equipment, a much larger issue of fiscal responsibility
is raised: The services appear to be giving away still
useful equipment in order to justify procurement of new
weaponry. Much of the equipment now declared
"excess" is quite serviceable; in fact, a lot
of it was purchased or reconditioned in the Reagan arms
build-up of the 1980s. For example, the Navy spent
between $300 and $500 million to recommission, and many
hundreds of millions more to operate, each of four
Iowa-class battleships that are now being turned into
In the name of "protecting the defense industrial
base," the same Congressional "deficit
hawks" added billions of dollars to military
spending bills last year to buy weapons the Pentagon did
not request. The services are making room for these new
arms by dumping many acquired during the Reagan build-up.
For instance, to make room for new ships that the
Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee wants, the
Navy is unloading active-duty ships, including
destroyers, frigates, amphibious and support ships. The
Navy also wants to sell five Ticonderoga-class,
billion-dollar cruisers in order to make room for new
billion-dollar destroyers. Alternatively, the Navy could
perform simple upgrades that would give it potent ships,
keep shipyards busy, save American taxpayers billions of
dollars, and curb proliferation. This kind of thrifty
solution, however, would undercut support for new
shipbuilding, threatening the interests of the shipyards
and their representatives in the Navy and in Congress.
In a similar case, the Air Force, aircraft
manufacturers and some members of Congress want to spend
hundreds of billions of dollars for the development and
production of the F-22 "stealth" fighter and
the Joint Strike Fighter on the basis of advanced
aircraft proliferating around the world, including F-15,
F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft which the Air Force and Navy
have declared surplus and are now unloading.
Moreover, immediate savings gained by giving arms away
(as opposed to destroying them, for example) must be
weighed against potential downstream costs. If these
weapons contribute to the outbreak of warfare, or if they
encourage dangerous surplus arms exports by other
nations, they may end up costing American taxpayers a
great deal. At a minimum, the Pentagon might be forced to
spend more to defend against contingencies enabled by
surplus arms shipped abroad; in the worst case, U.S.
forces might actually be called on to intervene in an
armed conflict fueled by such transfers.
In recent years, both because of the improved security
situation (end of the Cold War) and concerns about the
budget deficit, the administration and Congress have
reduced appropriations for foreign military assistance.
During this same time, EDA and other surplus transfers
have come to supplement and in some cases supplant
Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Economic Support
Fund (ESF), the traditional forms of security aid (see
figure 3), offsetting these reductions. But while surplus
weapons transfers now constitute a military aid program
of major proportions, they do not entail the same level
of Congressional oversight as do other forms of security
The foreign aid committees of Congress are notified of
every transfer of EDA, no matter the value, prior to
shipment of the weapons. This system results in more
rigorous reporting than exists for any other arms
transfer program. And, because of the arms industry's
concern about competition from government giveaways, the
EDA program is the most transparent of all U.S. security
assistance programs. In 1993, the Pentagon created a
computer bulletin board on excess weapons sales and
grants, open to public use.
However, the full Congress never debates and votes on
surplus grants, drawdowns or leases (with the exception
of ship transfers), as it does on FMF, ESF and
International Military Education and Training (IMET)
funds. Since they are not required to vote, busy members
pay little attention to these programs. At best, only
about 20 percent of the members of the House and Senate
(or their staff) those on the foreign affairs committees
may even be aware of surplus arms transfers.
Further, in most cases the executive branch is
required to notify Congress only of proposed transfers,
not actual deliveries. The General Accounting Office
reported in 1994 that "relevant Congressional
committees do not know how many transfers were actually
executed and what the total acquisition and current
values of EDAs transferred to various recipients
were." Harried Congressional staff do not have the
time to track hundreds of surplus arms transfer
notifications, determine whether delivery was made, and
piece together a full picture of what is actually going
In 1994, the Pentagon and State Department began
providing Congress with information on deliveries of EDA
and leases entered into in the preceding year. However,
with FMF, ESF and IMET, the Congress sets a cap on the
amount of aid to be given before it is given. With
surplus arms aid, Congress is only given composite
information on transfers through these channels well
after the fact, in the following year's budget
justification documents. Even then, the executive branch
provides no single accounting of all the various channels
for surplus arms transfers, like we have attempted to do
Moreover, arriving at a real understanding of the
value and quantity of equipment going overseas through
these programs is challenging. Equipment transferred
under leasing arrangements and through emergency
drawdowns is not tracked with EDA. Confusion about
pricing of excess equipment adds to the difficulty. All
of this leads to a systematic obfuscation or undervaluing
of the amount of equipment being transferred.
Regional Arms Races
Under the excess arms programs, the Army, Navy and the
Air Force are transferring relatively sophisticated
systems. Following the Gulf War, the Army gave Israel
surplus Apache attack helicopters, Blackhawk transport
helicopters, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, and Patriot
tactical anti-missiles. In 1995, four M-1 Abrams tank
turrets were provided to Egypt as excess defense
articles. (Egypt is building 535 M-1A1 tanks under
license from General Dynamics.) All of these systems were
fielded with U.S. forces in the 1980s.
Even older equipment, like M-60 tanks and F-4 aircraft
purchased in the 1960s or 1970s, can remain quite
formidable through regular upgrades and modifications.
While these weapons seem dated to the U.S. armed
services, they often become the centerpiece of foreign
militaries. A discarded U.S. Navy ship, for instance,
will serve as the flagship of Bahrain's navy. Similarly,
Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco have each received
hundreds of used M-60 tanks for free, creating large
modern tank armies which they otherwise could not afford.
The executive branch claims to consider thoroughly the
implications of surplus transfers on the regional balance
of forces. There is some evidence of this. For example,
as a condition of the transfer of M-60 tanks to Egypt in
1990, the U.S. government required that Egypt retire one
older tank for each M-60 received. Although this transfer
resulted in no quantitative increase, it did result in a
qualitative upgrade, since the new tanks are more
In other cases, American surplus arms seem to be
fanning regional rivalries, as excess weapons are sent to
both sides of several on-going arms races. Most notable
is the vast amount of arms that the United States has
given to hostile NATO partners Turkey and Greece. In
addition, significant quantities of surplus arms are
going to Argentina and Chile. The two are embarked on a
nascent arms race and on-going border disputes. Finally,
in the Middle East, American surplus arms are flowing to
both Israel and Egypt, engaged in a cold peace.
In 1994 Admiral Edward Shaefer, director of naval
intelligence, called Turkish-Greek animosity "Among
the most worrisome situations developing in Europe, and
the one most dangerous to NATO as an institution."
In February 1996, this long-simmering tension boiled
over. President Clinton had to intervene to head off a
military confrontation over a disputed island.
Shaefer said that "The Greco-Turkish dynamic has
been exacerbated by a continuing Aegean naval buildup
prompted by Western naval surplus disposals. Greece has
acquired virtually a completely modernized surface force
from the United States, Germany and the Netherlands....In
order to redress the naval balance in the Aegean, Turkey
has found it necessary to accept U.S. Navy offers for
eight Knox-class frigates." The United States has
not only transferred more than 16 warships to this
antagonistic pair, but large quantities of tanks,
aircraft and artillery, as well.
As Adm. Shaefer noted, the United States is not the
only country getting rid of surplus arms, and
contributing to regional arms races. The Federal Republic
of Germany inherited and has been selling off the armed
forces of the German Democratic Republic. Russia has been
demobilizing troops in large numbers, creating an
enormous surplus which it is seeking to sell, and the
Netherlands has marketed abroad its older ships, aircraft
and army vehicles. Other governments, too, can be
expected to follow America's lead with respect to
disposing of their surplus military stocks. Indeed, East
European countries sought to export tanks and other
combat equipment limited by the CFE Treaty, much as the
United States did, only Poland and Czechoslovakia
marketed their surplus weapons in Syria and Iran, causing
great alarm in Washington.
Particularly dangerous in this respect is an Air Force
initiative to sell old weapons to fund the procurement of
new weapons. In early 1994 the U.S. Air Force disclosed
plans to finance the purchase of up to 90 new F-16C/D
aircraft through sales of some 360 older model F-16A/B
fighter jets. USAF Vice Chief of Staff Michael Carns, an
architect of the plan, said the scheme would give him
"brand new war fighting planes at no cost to the
taxpayer." - Lockheed Martin manufacturer of the
F-16 is lobbying hard for the hundreds of millions of
dollars in upgrade work and new USAF orders.
To overcome arms control opposition, the Air Force put
a Madison Avenue spin on the sales plan, re-packaging it
as "Coalition Force Enhancement" a way to
strengthen friendly militar- ies. Over a dozen countries
have been briefed on the availability of the cheap F-16s
($9-14 million per plane). Potential customers include
Argentina, Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, South Korea,
Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland,
Singapore, Thailand, and Tunisia.
There is precedent for this sort of off-budget
procurement (although not to the magnitude envisioned
here the Air Force plan would involve $5 billion of
aircraft sales). In the fiscal year 1993 defense
authorization bill, Congress permitted the Army to use
$197 million from the sale of excess M-48 and M-60 tanks
for the M-1 Abrams tank upgrade program. The act also
allowed the use of $15.2 million from M-113 sales for the
procurement of Bradley Fighting Vehicles. And in the
fiscal year 1994 Department of Defense bill, the House
Armed Services Committee suggested that the Navy sell
excess Mk-46 torpedoes and use the pro- ceeds to offset
buying the Mk-50 Advanced Light Weight Torpedo.
Again, the potential downstream costs of this practice
are considerable, especially if other exporters follow
our lead and seek to fund their weapons procurement
through arms sales. In fact, the U.S. government has
protested vociferously in the past when other governments
pursued such a policy.
In 1991, China's practice of buying new weapons with
the proceeds from weapons exports generated outrage and
near hysteria in the western press. Similarly, U.S.
government officials heavily denounced a Russian plan in
the early 1990s to finance arms industry conversion
through arms sales. In both cases, U.S. officials
criticized the creation of a dangerous and short-sighted
bureaucratic interest in selling weapons abroad.
Several of the countries receiving large quantities of
U.S. arms through surplus programs are engaged in
conflict, or have poor human rights records. In cases
where government repression or other abuses are
prevalent, transfers of small arms, light weapons,
ammunition, bombs and missiles are of primary concern, as
these are the implements which actually kill people. In
addition, though, "non-lethal" equipment like
observation and transport planes and helicopters is also
of concern, as it is used to locate targets and deliver
soldiers to those targets.
The Turkish government has a very well-documented
record of abysmal human rights performance. According to
the State Department, in 1995 "police and security
forces often employed torture during periods of
incommunicado detention and interrogation." In
addition, the government is cited as being responsible
for "mystery killings," disappearances and
Most abuses center around Turkey's repression of its
Kurdish population and war against Kurdish militants.
Police and military forces have destroyed some 2,000
villages, killed tens of thousands primarily civilians
and displaced millions in its 12 year long war. The State
Department acknowledged in a report last June that Turkey
was employing American-supplied weapons in attacks on
non-combattant populations. In particular, the report
noted that Turkey has used M-113 armored personnel
carriers and Cobra and Blackhawk helicopters in
indiscriminate attacks on Kurdish villages. Turkey
received 250 free M-113s as a result of the CFE Treaty
limits, and 28 free Cobra helicopters under Section 516
of the Foreign Assistance Act. In addition, the United
States has sent Turkey hundreds of howitzers at no cost.
In Bahrain, government forces have fired live
ammunition and tear gas into crowds of demonstrators
demanding a restoration of the parliament, which the
ruling al-Khalifa family dissolved in 1975.
Anti-government demonstrations and bombings broke out in
early January 1996 after several months of calm and
continued through May. In addition to some measure of
representative democracy, the protestors are demanding
jobs, freedom of speech, the release of political
prisoners, and the return of deported dissidents.
Last summer, members of Congress asked the
administration's position on the demands of the Bahraini
opposition. The State Department responded for the record
that, "The United States supports expansion of
political participation for all Bahrainis."
Nevertheless, during 1993-1995, but principally in
1995, the United States gave the ruling clique two C-130
military transport planes, six observation/light attack
jets, 22 Cobra attack helicopters, 2,000 .38 caliber
pistols and 120 grenade launchers. In addition, the
Pentagon transferred 60 M-60 tanks under a lease
arrangement. (The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is
headquartered in Bahrain.)
According to the State Department's latest human
rights report, the Colombian police and armed forces were
responsible for "widespread human rights abuse"
in 1995, including political and extrajudicial killings,
kidnappings and torture. In addition to fighting
narco-traffickers, Colombian armed forces and police are
waging war against several left-wing political groups.
There has long been concern in Washington that military
aid provided to Colombia was being diverted to fight
insurgents, and civilians thought to be complicit with
them. Yet, as noted previously, Colombia is the largest
recipient of grant EDA under the counternarcotics
provision (see page 10).
Israel, the leading beneficiary of U.S. military and
economic aid, used U.S.-supplied arms in its recent
deadly assault in Lebanon, in which an ambulance and a
U.N. refugee camp were apparently targeted as they were
thought to be shielding Hezbollah guerillas. Under
surplus grant arms programs, Israel has received nearly
65,000 M-16A1 rifles, 2,500 M-204 grenade launchers, 24
Apache attack helicopters, 65 F-15 and F-16
Morocco, also a major recipient of grant EDA, is
governed by a highly repressive monarchy which has
illegally occupied the Western Sahara for 20 years. In
1991, the United Nations brokered a fragile peace
agreement between Morocco and Polisario Front guerillas
of the Western Sahara, who are seeking independence.
However, Morocco has obstructed the peace process, and
the resumption of fighting appears likely.
The United States has a long history of quiet but
close military and intelligence ties to the Moroccan
monarchy. In the past five years Morocco has taken
delivery of significant quantities of U.S. surplus small
arms, tanks and attack aircraft.
Surplus weapons programs are a mixed bag for the arms
industry. Smaller arms manufacturing companies largely
support the EDA program, as they make money through
upgrade and repair contracts on the excess equipment. In
addition, free or reduced-price EDA transfers undercut
foreign competitors, strengthening links between the U.S.
military and foreign militaries and enhancing future
business opportunities for the entire U.S. industry.
On the other hand, prime contractors have argued that
EDA and other giveaways pose unfair competition, and that
such transfers undermine the health of the "defense
industrial base." Certain segments of the industry
are being particularly hard hit by the flood of excess
equipment onto the market. The helicopter industry and
ammunition makers have been quite vocal in opposing
Ironically, this self-interest leaves the arms
industry as the main force pressing for arms control
demilitarization of equipment rather than exports of it.
For example, citing a case where the U.S. Army gave
Greece 58,000 rounds of tank ammunition, which caused
Greece to cancel a $30 million order, the CEO of Alliant
Tech Systems argued in December 1993 that the government
should "adopt demilitarization as the preferred
strategy for disposing of unusable ammunition. This will
lessen the pressure to give excess stocks away to
potential foreign customers, while providing a source of
income to help sustain the ammunition industrial
The Pentagon now takes greater pains to ensure that it
does not jeopardize cash deals when offering EDA.28,47
Surplus weapons transfers will continue to be a
prominent part of U.S. security assistance for the next
several years, as the remainder of the weapons retired at
the end of the Cold War are disbursed.
In cases where the U.S. armed services can save money
by transferring appropriate equipment, which they no
longer need, to responsible end-users, the practice would
appear to benefit all involved: the services, U.S.
taxpayers, and the recipients. But care must be taken
that these criteria are met. It is not fiscally prudent
to transfer weaponry that still has much useful life
remaining, simply because the military services want
newer, fancier equipment. It is especially unwise if, in
the process of unloading older weapons, the services
contribute to the regional instability that is now their
major preoccupation. Moreover, appropriate equipment and
appropriate levels of equipment would not fuel arms races
or facilitate repression.
The following guidelines would help ensure that U.S.
surplus arms transfers do not imperil innocent lives
abroad or endanger American soldiers. These policy
recommendations would also minimize the burden on U.S.
- Provide a full accounting of all surplus arms
transfers, using realistic values for the
equipment. In 1994, the General Accounting
Office called for fuller reporting by the
executive branch on EDA transfers and lease
arrangements. In particular, the oversight agency
saw a need for Congress to be informed about the
actual quantity of EDA delivered. The
administration subsequently began to provide this
information in its annual security assistance
budget justification, called the
"Congressional Presentation Document."
many of the official statistics on U.S. arms
exports routinely omit surplus arms transfers.
For instance, the Pentagon's annual report
Foreign Military Sales Facts, on U.S. arms
exports, does not include grant EDA transfers.
For leased equipment, only the rental fees are
included in total export figures, rather than the
value of the equipment being leased. Omitting
these transfers dramatically undercounts total
levels of U.S. arms exports, as evidenced by
Mis-pricing by the services of EDA also
understates the total amount of U.S. weaponry
being exported. Most government sources measure
levels of EDA transfers in the often-flawed
discount values assigned by the military
services. The Department of Defense concurred
with the General Accounting Office's 1994 finding
that the armed services have often failed to
adhere to proper guidelines for pricing excess
equipment. The Pentagon agreed to reinforce its
guidance and procedures for pricing, but there is
no evidence that these problems have been
corrected. In 1995, Defense Security Assistance
Agency figures still misstated the original
acquisition price of EDA.23
The services told GAO investigators that they
lack incentive to adhere to the pricing
guidelines, since they gain no economic advantage
from EDA transfers. (In fact, the services
currently have a vested interest in getting rid
of excess equipment as quickly as possible, in
order to minimize storage and maintenance costs
for which they are charged.) Some sort of carrot
or stick needs to be devised to ensure compliance
with fair pricing procedures.
- Prohibit funding the procurement of new
weapons through proceeds from sales of old or
surplus arms. While using arms sales proceeds
to fund new weapons procurement might seem like a
good deal for taxpayers, the downstream costs of
such a policy are potentially enormous. There
should be no built in incentive direct or
indirect for the services to export excess arms.
If other countries follow suit, taxpayers will be
forced to fund higher levels of Pentagon spending
to counter the threats posed by a much more
highly militarized world.
- Set and enforce caps on the amount of EDA and
other surplus arms transfers per year. Unlike
with other forms of security aid, Congress never
votes on levels of surplus arms to individual
countries. In fact, members of Congress and their
staff are generally unaware of levels of surplus
arms transfers until well after the export has
occurred. Congress and the administration should
set caps on the amount of surplus arms exports
that each country is eligible for in the coming
year. Because of the services' questionable
pricing practices, these caps should be based on
original acquisition value of the equipment.
policymakers are unwilling to set annual
country-specific caps on surplus transfers, they
should, at a minimum, set a firm cap on the
overall amount of EDA and other surplus weapons
that may be transferred to all countries in a
Currently, the Pentagon may export EDA worth
$250 million in original acquisition value
annually. Warships and their munitions, however,
are exempted from this cap. Apparently because of
this loophole, well over $500 million per year is
actually being transferred (see table 4).
A bill now pending in the Senate would raise
the cap on grant EDA exports to $350 million per
year in current value, placing no cap on the
amount of EDA sales, but eliminating the
exemption for naval vessels and their munitions.
This change would represent a vast increase in
the amount of EDA exports permitted. Given the
low-ball pricing by the services of surplus
equipment, $350 million in current value could
easily comprise several billions of dollars of
equipment in terms of the original cost.
Moreover, since ship transfers currently require
Congress to pass a law specifically approving the
export, abolishing the ship exemption would not
really engender greater oversight than already
exists. Congress should set a cap measured in
original acquisition value and ensure that it is
- Prohibit surplus weapons transfers to
repressive regimes. Despite law barring the
provision of military aid to governments which
are "gross and consistent" abusers of
human rights, the United States has given away
billions of dollars of surplus arms to abusive
Strictly speaking, this is not now a
violation of U.S. law; Sections 516 and 519 of
the Foreign Assistance Act currently include a
clause which exempts EDA from all legal
restrictions. This clause ("not withstanding
any other provision of law") means that the
human rights, non-aggression and re-transfer
provisions of the Arms Export Control Act and
Foreign Assistance Act do not apply to the vast
majority of EDA transfers.
Congress should repeal this clause. Transfers
of surplus military equipment should be subject
to all laws enacted to minimize the potential
negative consequences of arms exports.
In addition, Congress and the executive branch
must marshal the political will to block surplus
arms transfers to repressive regimes, even when
the government in question is a current U.S.
ally. Such regimes are by nature unstable, and
channeling large amounts of free weaponry to them
is not sound policy. In addition to abetting in
the repression of people in those countries, such
transfers may imperil U.S. security, if an
unfriendly regime comes to power and inherits the
1. For discussion of the origins of U.S. military
assistance programs, see Chester J. Pach, Jr., Arming the
Free World, Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina University
2. We employ the same definition of "major"
weapons systems as does the United Nations Register of
Conventional Arms: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles,
artillery (caliber ò100 mm), combat aircraft (including
military transport planes), attack helicopters, warships,
missiles and launchers (range ò 25 km). See U.N. General
Assembly, Report of the Secretary-General [A/48/344], 11
3. The Pentagon is also disposing of an enormous
amount of non-lethal surplus property, such as trucks,
uniforms, spare parts, test and training equipment,
office furniture, etc., which is outside the scope of
4. International Institute for Strategic Studies, The
Military Balance, 1990-1991, pp. 25, 30; The Military
Balance, 1995-1996, pp. 19, 25.
5. Washington Times, 21 February 1990, p. A3 and 2
March 1990, p. A3.
6. Congressional Record, 24 November 1993, p. E3033.
7. Defense News, 21-27 September 1992, p.4.
8. Philadelphia Inquirer, 24 September 1993.
9. Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6 March 1995,
10. Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense, Annual Report
to the President and the Congress 1993, p. 82.
11. William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense, Annual
Report to the President and the Congress 1995, p. 184.
12. Jane's Defence Weekly, 4 February 1995, p. 9.
13. William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense, Annual
Report to the President and the Congress 1995, p. 200.
14. Wall Street Journal, 14 February 1994.
15. Jane's Defence Weekly, 2 April 1994.
16. Section 502, Foreign Assistance Act.
17. Section 3(a)(1), Arms Export Control Act.
18. Sections 502B, 620A, 487 and 505, Foreign
19. U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Threat
Control Through Arms Control, Report to Congress for
1994, released July 1995, p. 32.
20. Report by the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition and Technology to the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, pursuant to Public Law 102-228 and Section
94(b)(2) of the Arms Export Control Act, 30 August 1994;
U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance: Excess Defense Articles for Foreign
Countries" [GAO/NSIAD-93-164FS], March 1993.
21. Dr. Louis J. Samelson, "Excess Defense
Articles," DISAM Journal, Spring 1992, p. 111; U.S.
General Accounting Office, Security Assistance: Need for
Improved Reporting on Excess Defense Article
Transfers" [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], January 1994, pp.
22. According to Department of Defense regulation
7000.14-R, contained in Security Assistance Policy and
Procedures, the value of excess equipment is decided as
follows: 1) determine the normal peacetime life of the
weapon system; 2) determine the percentage of useful life
remaining, taking into consideration the condition of the
item; and 3) apply this percentage to the original
Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) placed in the Congressional
Record an explanation by the Pentagon of how such
methodology could result in the price of surplus M-60A3
tanks varying widely, from $130,000, to $790,000 per
tank, in recent sales. (Congressional Record, 24 November
1993, p. E3033.)
23. GAO investigators found that original acquisition
prices of EDA were sometimes under-reported, too.
According to the GAO, the original price of C-130
transport planes is $12 million, but the USAF reported
the original cost as $6.9 million. (U.S. General
Accounting Office, "Security Assistance..."
[GAO/NSIAD-94-27], pp. 29-32.)
In 1995, the USAF was stating the original acquisition
cost of C-130Bs as $2.1-3.3 million, according to data we
received from the Defense Security Assistance Agency.
24. U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance..." [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], p. 16 for period
1990-1992; Defense Security Assistance Agency data for
1993-1995. These data include notification by the
Pentagon of plans to offer as EDA not only major military
equipment, but spare parts, ammunition and non-lethal
25. Section 31(d), Arms Export Control Act.
26. U.S. Department of State, Congressional
Presentation for Foreign Operations, fiscal years
27. Section 731(a) of the Foreign Relations
Authorization Act for fiscal years 1994 and 1995 added
this language to sections 516-519 of the Foreign
Assistance Act, which govern EDA eligibility.
28. In 1993 the Pentagon decided that where a
recipient country could afford it, new equipment would be
offered first. Only if the customer rejected that option
would EDA be offered. Under this policy, however, the
provision of financing assistance by the U.S. government
including grant financing is included in calculations of
whether a country can afford to buy the system new. See
Jane's Defence Weekly, 13 November 1993.
29. Sections 516-520 of the Foreign Assistance Act
require advance notice to Congress of proposed grant
transfers. Transfers authorized under Sections 516 and
518 require 30 day pre-notification. Those authorized by
Sections 517 and 519 require 15 days. Section 546 of the
Foreign Operations Appropriations Act of 1993 requires 15
day prior notification to Congress of EDA sales.
30. Section 7307 of Public Law 84-1028.
31. Section 620E(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act,
known as the "Pressler Amendment" after its
sponsor, Senator Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), requires that
"No assistance shall be furnished to Pakistan and no
military equipment of technology shall be sold or
transferred to Pakistan...unless the President shall have
certified...that Pakistan does not possess a nuclear
explosive device and that the proposed United States
assistance program will reduce significantly the risk
that Pakistan will possess a nuclear explosive
device." This law was enacted in 1985. In 1990
President Bush was unable to make the requisite
certification, triggering a cut-off of military aid,
32. Section 542 of the Foreign Operations, Export
Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1995
(Public Law 103-306) directs that countries authorized
for EDA under Section 516 take priority over all other
countries. In fiscal year 1993, Section 516 transfers
accounted for 95 percent of all grant EDA transfers, and
over 70 percent of all grant and sales EDA combined (in
terms of original acquisition value of the equipment
33. Section 15 of the International Narcotics Control
Act of 1990 (Public Law 102-623) changed this restriction
from "only" to "primarily,"
apparently because the former requirement was not being
met. 34. Letter from the Defense Security Assistance
Agency to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 3
August 1995, DSAA reference no. I-01774/95.
35. U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance..." [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], p. 26.
36. Presidential Determination No. 95-17,
"Drawdown of Commodities and Services from the
Inventory and Resources of the department of Defense to
Support Activities of the Palestinian Police Force,"
dated 16 March 1995, White House ID no. 9501944; William
J. Perry, Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to the
President and the Congress 1996, p. J-2.
37. Section 509, Foreign Relations Act for Fiscal
Years 1994-1995 (Public Law 103-236). 38. Letter from
Secretary of Defense William Perry to Benjamin Gilman,
Chairman of the House International Relations Committee,
5 July 1995.
39. Section 599B, Foreign Operations Appropriations
Act for Fiscal Year 1991 (Public Law 101-513).
40. Jane's Defence Weekly, 10 October 1992, p. 7.
41. Section 7307 of Public Law 84-1028.
42. U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance..." [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], p.12.
43. U.S. Department of State, Congressional
Presentation for Foreign Operations, fiscal year 1997, p.
44. U.S. Department of State, Congressional
Presentation for Foreign Operations, fiscal year 1996, p.
45. U.S. Department of State and Department of
Defense, Congressional Presentation for Promoting Peace,
fiscal year 1995, p. 205.
46. According to Chas. Freeman, Jr., then Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Regional Security Affairs,
"The Excess Defense Articles program provides a
useful and cost effective means of assisting U.S. allies
and friends to modernize their defense
forces....[P]roviding Excess Defense Articles to the
recipient governments at no cost to the U.S. government
saves the military departments millions of dollars in
storage, transportation, demilitarization and disposal
costs." U.S. General Accounting Office,
"Security Assistance..." [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], p.
47. Congressional Quarterly, 17 February 1996, p. 398.
48. Section 1012, National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-106).
50. At the urging of industry, Congress included the
"Excess Property Business Initiative" in the
Fiscal Year 1993 Department of Defense Appropriations
Act. This provision required the Pentagon to establish an
on-line computer database on EDA transfers, to keep
industry informed of Pentagon marketing of free goods.
This bulletin board was the source of much of the
information contained in this report.
51. U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance..." [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], p. 27.
52. Wall Street Journal, 14 February 1994.
53. U.S. Department of State, "Turkey,"
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995.
54. Amnesty International USA, Human Rights and U.S.
Security Assistance 1995, p. 48.
55. U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress on
Allegations of Human Rights Abuses by the Turkish
Military and on the Situation in Cyprus, June 1995. For a
more thorough-going assessment of the use by Turkey of
U.S.-supplied arms, see Weapons Transfers and Violations
of the Laws of War in Turkey, Human Rights Watch Arms
Project (New York, 1995).
56. Overview of U.S. Policy in the Middle East,
hearing of the House International Relations Committee on
2 August 1995, p. 118.
57. U.S. Department of State, "Colombia,"
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995.
58. Washington Post, 4 December 1995, p. A26.
59. National Defense, December 1993, pp. 22-23.
60. U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance..." [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], p. 49.
61. The House passed H.R.3121 on 16 April. The Senate
is set to consider it in late May or June. See
Congressional Record, 16 April 1996.
APPENDIX C Countries and
International Organizations Eligible for American Arms
Angola | Benin | Botswana | Burkina Faso | Burundi |
Cameroon | Cape Verdi | Central African Rep. | Chad |
Comoros | Congo | Cote D'Ivoire | Djibouti | Equatorial
Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon | Gambia | Ghana |
Guinea | Guinea-Bissau | Kenya | Lesotho | Liberia |
Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mauritania | Mauritius |
Mozambique | Namibia | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | Sao
Tome & Principe | Senegal | Seychelles | Sierra Leone
| Somalia | South Africa | Sudan | Tanzania | Togo |
Uganda | Zaire | Zambia | Zimbabwe |
Latin America and the Caribbean
Antigua & Barbuda | Argentina | Bahamas | Barbados
| Belize | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Costa
Rica | Dominica | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | El
Salvador | Grenada | Guatemala | Guyana | Haiti |
Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama |
Paraguay | Peru | St. Kitts-Nevis | St. Lucia | St.
Vincent & Grenadines | Suriname | Trinidad &
East Asia and the Pacific
Australia | Brunei | Burma | Cambodia | China | Cook
Islands | Fiji | Indonesia | Japan | Korea (South) | Laos
| Malaysia | Marshall Islands | Micronesia | Mongolia |
New Zealand | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Singapore
| Solomon Islands | Taiwan | Thailand | Tonga | Vanuatu |
Vietnam | Western Samoa |
Europe and Canada
Albania | Austria | Belgium | Bosnia-Herzegovina |
Bulgaria | Canada | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia |
Finland | Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | France
| Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy
| Latvia | Luxembourg | Lithuania | Malta | Netherlands |
Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovakia | Spain |
Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey | United Kingdom |
Algeria | Bahrain | Egypt | Iran | Israel | Jordan |
Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Morocco | Oman | Qatar | Saudi
Arabia | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | Yemen Arab
South Asia Afghanistan | Bangladesh | India |
Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka |
North Atlantic Treaty Organization | United Nations
Organization of African Unity | Organization of American
Selected Sources on Surplus Weapons
Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management,
The Management of Security Assistance, Eleventh Edition,
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, April 1991.
Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management,
Security Assistance Management Manual, Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base, OH, May 1994.
Department of Defense Excess Defense Article computer
bulletin board system, Washington, D.C., (703) 604-6470
(computer, modem and communications software necessary to
access this system).
U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance: Excess Defense Articles for Foreign
Countries" [GAO/NSIAD-93-164FS], Washington, D.C.,
U.S. General Accounting Office, "Security
Assistance: Excess Defense Articles for Foreign
Countries" [GAO/NSIAD-94-27], Washington, D.C.,
Jackson, Collins M., "Excess Defense Articles
Transfers: Problems and Necessary Actions," The
DISAM Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1, Fall 1994, pp. 80-85.
Pierre, Andrew J., Arms Transfers and American Foreign
Policy (New York: New York University Press, 1979).
Samelson, Louis J., " Excess Defense
Articles," The DISAM Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, Spring
1992, p. 111-116.