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.

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