Barack Obama

Obama Presidential Directive: US Not to Sell Arms to Countries So Unstable Those Weapons Could Be Used Against US, Allies, or to Commit Human Rights Abuses

Never been an explicit policy before

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President Obama issued a policy Wednesday that for the first time expressly states that the United States should not sell military equipment to countries so unstable that they might ultimately turn the weapons against us or our allies.

Obama's "presidential directive" is an update of a 1995 policy directive aimed at setting written guidelines for sales of U.S. military hardware overseas. The Clinton White House unveiled the policy with an announcement noting the United States had sold about $12 billion worth of military hardware to foreign governments in 1994, "close to our historical average."