In February 1995, the White House announced the President's Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy, which emphasizes multilateral restraint, set forth criteria for case-by-case decision-making on U.S. arms exports, and continues support for transfers that serve U.S. interests.
The policy's balancing of foreign policy and national security interests gives a prominent place to arms control. Its criteria for evaluating proposed transfers explicitly include arms control and regional stability considerations. The policy emphasizes a number of arms control and
nonproliferation objectives, including the need to:
ACDA played an integral part in the development of the Administration's policy. The same will be true of its implementation, where ACDA will continue to subject proposed U.S. arms transfers to a rigorous arms control evaluation, as required by statute. Further, in response to the changing world situation and in an effort to bring more focus to the new CAT policy, ACDA and other agencies have been developing "regional" policies that take into account the specific situation encountered in each area. Such policies clarify the pros and cons of potential transfers in view of the regional dynamic, avoiding the pitfalls of piecemeal approaches and resulting in more proactive and consistent arms transfers decisions. In 1995 our effort focused on developing such
policies for Central Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
- preserve regional military balances, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, promote peaceful conflict resolution and arms control, and support regional stability;
- maximize transparency, responsibility, and restraint wherever possible;
- expand and increase participation in the UN Register of Conventional Arms, and support similar regional initiatives;
- create a new post-COCOM regime-the first multilateral export control regime concerned with the regional security implications of transfers of arms and sensitive dual-use technology (see "Wassenaar Arrangement," below);
- continue our strong support for ongoing regional arms control, confidence-building measures, and defense conversion efforts;
- seek other opportunities to develop and pursue multilateral restraint measures as well as regional arms control initiatives;
- maintain unilateral arms export restraints in several areas.
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