Scott interviews Jeff Abramson about America’s convoluted process for selling weapons to foreign governments. The arms trade is a multi-billion dollar industry for private firms like Raytheon—but it’s also a process that is highly controlled by the U.S. government, muddying the incentives and leading to a public-private partnership with very little accountability and unfailingly terrible results. Abramson describes the circular way in which weapons companies and various branches of government push both their own selfish interests and what they believe to be in the country’s interest, to create a self-perpetuating system that no one can quite take the blame for. The result, tragically, is nothing but money in the pockets of the arms manufacturers and more dead civilians abroad.
Discussed on the show:
- “Leahy Law Fact Sheet” (United States Department of State)
- “U.S. to Allow Expanded Landmine Use” (Arms Control Association)
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
All right, y’all welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed. The full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow. Okay guys, introducing Jeff Abramson. He is Senior Fellow for conventional arms control and transfers at the Arms Control Association. That’s arms control.org. Welcome to the show. How’s it going?
Jeff Abramson 0:54
Going? Well, thanks for having me on.
Scott Horton 0:56
Great. Really happy to have you here. And typically We’re not talking about banning small arms in, you know, Second Amendment stuff. We’re talking about International Military arms transfers here. And in fact, unlike usual, we’re not basing this interview off a specific article that you’ve written so much as a question that came up in the Reddit room, which was, hey, Scott, could you get a good expert on to explain really the nuts and bolts so I can imagine how it works about how these massive military arms transfers are arranged. It’s clearly nothing free market about it. It’s all state licenses and different agencies and politics and congressional leaders involved and who knows what kind of lobbying and favoritism and all kinds of mechanics. So, hey, Scott, find somebody who can really teach us the mechanics. And so I asked bill Hartung because he’s about the best on this stuff. And he says, You should talk Dr. Jeff Abramson. So that’s why I’m talking to you. What if, say I was a Raytheon salesman, and I was trying to help commit genocide in Yemen for the bucks? How would I go about doing that?
Jeff Abramson 2:18
That’s an interesting way to frame it. But yeah, thanks for bringing me on. The US does have a really complicated system on how it sells weapons. And it’s true that there are all sorts of actors, including the government, including companies. And I’m happy to sort of piece that through. There’s lots of bits to it. So I’m not quite sure where to start. But this administration in particular, definitely is involved. They want to be and have talked about selling arms as a core part of their arms policy for the economy. other presidents have also talked about the economic benefits to nowhere in the same way that Trump has. So you will see him talking about how great it is to see weapons to Saudi Arabia anyway, and he meets with the prince he shakes hands and holds up big posters of weapons were selling. So the United States government is definitely involved. That’s one piece. But let me let me ask you how you want to go through and I can talk about the different players in whatever order makes the most sense.
Scott Horton 3:17
Sure. Yeah. I mean, I was just kind of picking the Raytheon point of view at random but it could be you know, if I was a Saudi Prince wanting to commit genocide, or if I was a senator trying to make a couple of thousand bucks and so I was committing genocide or whichever, you know, to you is the most interesting way of approaching it, I guess is fine with me. I you have an open floor, I guess, you know, right. Yeah. You know, what would if I would if I was a senator, and I had a lobbyists, lawyer, pay me $2,000 so now I’m pro genocide has been Freeman has shown that’s exactly how it works. And so now I want to make sure that Raytheon can sell as many weapons as possible. To the Saudis and the UAE, to use against the civilian population of Yemen, what all is required? What do I need to do to make sure that this works so I can have my $2,000?
Jeff Abramson 4:12
Yeah, hopefully you’re not committing to genocide for $2,000. But if you’re if you explicitly say you want to commit genocide there, I hope enough safeguards in place that we would stop you, but certainly weapons and ended up doing that. So it is a big concern. At the large level, the United States government has to approve arms sales. Congress has a role in this. So if you’re a senator, especially if you’re a senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is the committee in charge of arm sales, you can help grease the wheels. You can have the conversations with the State Department, and the government and other governments to try to make the pieces work and come together. It’s not that hard to do, I suppose but it’s also a lot of procedure and it takes a lot of time, but those senators on that committee and on the house, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, by law are supposed to be consulted in arms trade, and some of them will actively promote the arms trade. So having a congressional outreach strategy is a good one. You also need to have insights within the Defense Department in the State Department. They’re the ones that end up helping with negotiations, or at least approving negotiations, depending on how you do it. And that’s when you start getting into the really confusing mix of different programs and ways the United States sells weapons. Sometimes the United States government actually makes a deal with another country. They may say, I will sell you these weapons, and that’s a foreign military sale. That’s kind of what we do with Saudi Arabia and a lot of countries they come to the United States government itself and say we want to do this. Sometimes the deals are made in more of a commercial transaction, which we call direct commercial sales, where the companies and the foreign government might work out the deal, and then they’ll bring it to the United States government floor. approval. But generally the United States government is involved in all those along the way too. So there’s lots of players, but if you know who the right players are, that are making the decisions, you can make things go.
Scott Horton 6:11
And then so essentially, even though these are sort of pseudo private companies that these are all licensed deals, essentially the government is involved. The State Department especially is involved in deciding what all is allowed to go or what I guess do D too.
Jeff Abramson 6:29
Correct. Yeah, I mean, it’s technically it’s an interagency process, which might involve the Defense Department Defense Department is heavily involved, especially on these foreign military. So they will say, hey, you want to buy this, but we think maybe you should have this equipment better, would be better suited for your needs. Sometimes countries care what the Defense Department thinks you might actually need, and sometimes they just want to get prising equipment. But officially the State Department notifies the Congress. Now obviously by the time the State Department does It’s been bought off by the it’s been agreed to by the administration so that the Commerce Department often as well. And then the Congress can block it rarely rarely blocks in arms sales. So that’s why you don’t often see a lot of controversy. But I’m happy to talk about those moments where there are controversy because the process is getting a bit murky here, and I’m very concerned about it. But yes, these are all these major arm sales are approved by the US government and they have to not be blocked by the Congress before actually those deals can be agreed to the Department of Commerce or the Department of State will present to Congress. This is what we want to do. Generally, Congress last 30 days to block it. They generally don’t. And then you can see an agreement made but often it’s then years later before those weapons go out the door.
Scott Horton 7:50
Well now, so I’m not sure this specific session, I guess I really should read the law. I hear references to it all the time, the Leahy law, but I know there are others that are a lot like it that say If a country is involved in committing human rights abuses, I don’t know if this is just domestically or in international conflict, that the Americans are supposedly forbidden from by the law from dealing with them either given them military troops to use, you know, deploying Special Forces in support of them or anything like that, or selling them weapons or anything else. But I don’t know the specifics of that. How’s that work?
Jeff Abramson 8:29
Yeah, let me give you a big picture piece of that. It’s certainly true. The Foreign Assistance Act in 1961 is really where they started. And then the arms Export Control Act in the 70s. Put a lot of this in place with the provisions that if we’re selling weapons, they should be used for legitimate self defense purposes. They shouldn’t be used for human rights abuses. And in theory, if we actually applied our laws to arm sales, a lot of them wouldn’t move forward. The American Bar Association has looked at a lot of deals, especially those to Saudi Arabia. Given a conflict in Yemen, I would say these just don’t seem to pass muster. But Congress has kind of punted in a lot of cases. And those deals even though our laws are good, are going through the Leahy law in the one you mentioned, there is probably the best known one it’s not as involved is his people think it lady laws, it’s currently being implemented generally has to do with training of forces. So forces that have been known to commit abuses are not supposed to get training. The Leahy law could be applied more broadly, but generally hasn’t been but that is one of the strongest laws we have and has has made a difference. But when we’re talking about these big sales, and delay, the law may not always be taken into account. But the larger laws that do exist are but you will see, and this is probably a controversy. I know you’ve talked with others about in the past last year, the President said, Hey, I need to get weapons to the Saudis and the Emiratis. And it’s an emergency to get him there. And he he asked for when we use this sort of emergency provision, which really wasn’t meant to be used the way he did. And that’s what’s been in the news lately with the linic. Firing who was investigating the sale last year of whether this emergency was for real. So there are ways that the President gets around it. And we saw in our Congress the first time we’re not the first time but an important effort to block and the president actually had to veto Congress’s effort to say, No, you can’t do this. And that, you know, had some Republicans on it as well. So this issue is getting a ton of attention. And it’s confusing also to people in Congress, not just the American public.
Scott Horton 10:31
Right. And now, so, about that, that recent story that’s, you know, a good hook for you know, the overall picture here where Congress had said we want to block some arms sales, they won’t defund the whole thing or, or pass the correct kind of War Powers Resolution, that would be veto proof. Not by numbers, but just by forum. But they do things like say, okay, no, but we want to, you know, block the next Have bomb shipments at least. And then pompeyo says the Secretary of State says, well, we’re gonna check the box that says it’s an emergency so we can do it anyway. And then he was under investigation by the Inspector General. And it seemed like there was a limited hang out there where they talked about walking the dog and baking the cookies and whatever this kind of thing when what was really going on was he was possibly going to be in trouble for as well. I don’t want to misquote you, but you just put it something about, Miss applying the rules there in order to invoke that emergency and send the weapons anyway. Can you be more specific there about? I mean, do you agree with that, that he, you know, twist to the letter of the law to get away with what he did there?
Jeff Abramson 11:48
No, I it certainly seems possible. You know, I’ve tried to pay a little bit of attention to linic testified and he was really careful. Although if you look at it, it does seem that pressure was applied on him early on not to investigate this wasn’t directly by pompeyo, but looks like by others. But certainly the scandal that has arisen about this has shown sort of the murky side of the arms trade, and whether or not compelled did it? I just I can’t tell. It certainly is not impossible for high ranking officials within the government to make things happen, even though they shouldn’t. And that’s I think one of the questions.
Scott Horton 12:28
It seems like it’s up to him to say what’s an emergency or not right, as long as the President agrees with him is right?
Jeff Abramson 12:37
I think the President is the one who’s making the decision and his his secretaries are following his lead. I think they’ve all learned that if you don’t do that pretty quickly, you’re out of the job. I don’t know if I blame them fail as much as I would say this is probably the president.
Scott Horton 12:53
Well, I mean, certainly pumping out supports the policy. So you know, same difference, but yeah, Donald Trump, of course, you know, it should never go without saying even though it should go without saying we should also be mentioned every time. But Donald Trump could stop this war right now with a spoken word, he wouldn’t even have to pick up a pen. He could just tell the chief of staff to tell the secretary defense to turn it off. And that’s it and it’d be over. Nevermind the arm sales, but the overall war itself in Yemen, as it’s continuing now. And so, yeah, there’s a lot of responsibility there. And that ain’t my Mike Pompeo is not in charge of the Pentagon. And it’s Donald Trump. That is
Jeff Abramson 13:34
I’m not gonna disagree with you. I think the United States could pick could certainly be doing a lot more to stop this or instead of fueling, which is what I see them doing right now.
Scott Horton 14:15
So now, it must have been funny to be sitting over at the Arms Control Association and see the democrats impeach a republican president for holding up an arms deal that they wanted weapons to go to the Nazi infested national security forces of the Government of Ukraine. So I wonder where it came down on that one.
Jeff Abramson 15:52
I don’t want to comment too much on the Ukrainian forces, the law you have. What was really interesting is that many of the vetoes And many of the attention that have happened in this Trump administration had to deal with war and arms sales. We have attention on this issue like you’ve never seen, it was certainly amazing that there have been changes of opinion on whether it made sense to arm the Ukrainians. But once that sort of general opinion was out there, the way that Trump misused his authority, leading to an impeachment was was just an amazing show of how he is acting in ways that are not in the norm for what we expect the President to do. He is using power, however, that is not supposed to be used in that way to try and change behavior. And it’s really, I think, unacceptable. So I think it was good that that impeachment process went through, and it was good. We have attention on it. I think most of the attention wasn’t really on the weapon so much as on the process, but I think it wouldn’t be better if we were also paying much more attention to the weapons themselves.
Scott Horton 16:57
It seems like they should have impeached him for sending money weapons to Ukraine.
Jeff Abramson 17:04
I think there’s pretty Yeah, I don’t want to get too much into all the possible reasons for impeachment. I think there’s lots of them.
Scott Horton 17:11
Yeah, like arming Ukraine. But anyway, and the humanities, whatever. But, of course, we understand how it works. It’s not the secret bombing of Cambodia. It’s the burglary at the headquarters of the opposite political party that gets you in trouble. You know, we know how it goes. But same thing here. Okay, so now what about like Taiwan? And there’s one where it’s so politicized and they can afford it? I guess that, you know, we send them all kinds of F 16. And I have no idea what all America has armed them with. I know. You know, f 16 fighter bombers are no joke. As far as naval resources and defensive missiles or whatever, I have no idea. But that is also something that is almost completely decided at the National Security Council in consultation with the different arms companies. But I wonder, you know, how often does it seem like the arms manufacturers are really driving the car there and telling the NSC? Okay, look, we’ve got these weapons we need to sell. What customers do you have for us?
Jeff Abramson 18:27
Yeah, that’s a it’s a great question. And some of that does occur. But I think it’s also you need to have if you’re a seller, let’s say you need to have a government president and a government in place that is amenable to your approach, which I think this president passed. So it’s, it’s a bit harder if you have someone who is in charge who is hesitant or reticent to provide arms this President Trump is not, I mean, he is certainly pivoting towards providing more weapons into the region. You know, he has in his defense department has sort of redefined our security concerns as having a great deal to do with China. And so the army and of Taiwan is certainly consistent with the trumpian approach to the world. past presidents have done it as well, I think they’ve been much more careful about doing so. But I think you can look to arms to Taiwan and other activities that are happening around Asia, to see that this President certainly has a desire to see a military option available, or at least a buildup of capabilities in the region. And, you know, the relationship between the US and China is one that also deals with trade, and it’s a big it’s a big issue. But we have defined China as a threat in a way that wasn’t defined previously, in the last few years, and so does sign up weapons. Taiwan is not a surprise the Chinese is pushed back Immediately, which is also the dynamic mean that this has been going on for quite some time.
Scott Horton 20:05
Well, in fact, on the question of China policy, does it seem like the shipbuilders really have a lot to do with lobbying for more hawkish policy here? I mean, that’s a lot of money for naval capacity.
Jeff Abramson 20:19
Yeah, I, I’m just going to be careful, because I don’t follow the ship industry that closely. So I don’t know exactly what they’re doing. But in general, if you are a weapons provider and a builder, you are in the business of helping to convince the government that your services are needed. So I don’t –
Scott Horton 20:36
that is very polite of you.
Jeff Abramson 20:38
Yes. The best way to put it but I don’t follow quite shipbuilding. And you say, you know, I try to be careful, like, a lot of the people in the defense industry get painted is is evil incarnate. And a lot of what I think happens is not good and it should be stopped. But generally that those people will have a different point of view and they think that what they’re selling isn’t enough. commodity toward safety and we can just disagree about how that works. But it’s got to be we got to be careful because if we demonize which we are doing more and more on all sides, we stopped being able to communicate and move forward.
Scott Horton 21:14
Sure. Yeah, no, that makes sense. Of course, most evil especially in government, bureaucracy and related industries is perfectly bagel, right? It’s not nefarious, you know, secret plotting in the dark, as much as as you just said, perfectly rationalized professional behavior. Hey, Senator, we’ve got some great new hydrogen bombs to sell you here. And then, of course, it’s for defense. No, no, whatever. You’re still making money selling h bombs. That’s just how it goes. In fact, I know a guy used to make h bombs during the Cold War days. He was the former chief scientist of the army and worked at the laboratories and stuff and I asked him, man, how could you make a change? bombs. And he wouldn’t h bomb salesman he actually made them. And he says, Well, I mean, we believe we were keeping the Soviets out of the fulda gap. You know, we’re protecting Western Europe from being conquered by the reds. Now, maybe it’s different, but then perfectly easy to rationalize no question about it, even though you’re talking about building city killers, things that go off in the 10s of megatons
Jeff Abramson 22:23
that somehow there’s certainly good. Someone from the Irish Association, such as I am is anti h box, right. And we’re not billions of selfies now at this time. I certainly hope although we have some concerns about where Trump’s going with nuclear testing as well. Yeah, but this is the this is the common defense or the common statement that the defense industry will sell will say is that anything we sell has been approved by the United States government. So the onus then becomes on changing the mind or the practice of the government, it’s easy to paint and see a lot of the defense industry as pushing for this which I believe they do, but the buck needs to stop at the government policy level and policies that are making this world less safe are really the problem here.
Scott Horton 23:10
Right? And that’s really kind of the fun of it right is the paradox of the diffusion of responsibility all the way around to where the senators are saying, Well, I don’t know, all the experts are telling me that this is what we have to do. And it just goes around in a circle and all of that, but I was just, you know, essentially trying to agree with you that these are not demons at all. These are human men doing jobs, is what they are. And they will even build h bombs if that’s their job. And so yeah, you’re right. It’s up to people like you, and the broader civil society to say that we actually do not have a demand for H bombs, we don’t want them and you can stick your very best salesman on us and it’s not gonna do you any good. But that takes a real consensus against the status quo, which we just don’t have.
Jeff Abramson 23:56
Yeah, it’s interesting, and I want to sort of pick up a little bit on what you Sit in there for your audience might be interesting as well. And that, you know, I, I professionally keep track of the arms trade, right? I’m not the H bomb, there’s not a trading nuclear weapons, but there’s a trading conventional weapon. And we as the public you know I’m part of the public I don’t have security clearance I’m losing transparency what we do it’s a real it’s it’s absolutely true that the public needs to have the capability to pay attention to this and actually public opinion polling shows that a majority of Americans across parties, don’t believe arm sales making it safer, you know, even a larger majority. I think nuclear weapons are crazy. So, you know, it takes a while sometimes it’s a change of politicians. But the way the policies are developing over time right now is we’re losing, losing transparency in terms of what weapons we’re selling. We are trying to convince the Congress to maybe flip the script on how we do this instead of Congress having to lock arms sale them to actually have to approve themselves because there’s a lot more transparency with Congress does sometimes. And then what’s happening in the administration, the reporting on what we are selling is getting worse, can jump into that if that’s helpful. But this issue areas, one where the public does need to pay attention, I think that they get it I think they get when they see images of people in children killed in Yemen with American bombs, that they don’t want to see that kind of behavior happen. They don’t want our weapons going out the door that way, or they don’t want our weapons being used against us, which also happens when we’re not careful. So I think there’s a lot there a lot of awareness that could grow and there’s already some that exists, and we just need to make it a little stronger.
Scott Horton 25:40
And I see you have this recent article about landmine policy and some lawmakers getting good on it and trying to force the issue with the Secretary of Defense can tell us about that.
Jeff Abramson 25:50
Yeah, certainly. So this is another crazy step by this Trump administration to reverse the policy of the past initiation because at least moving us closer to never using landlines again The Trump administration says, well, actually might need to use these, let’s open up to use them around the world. And let’s instead of making the president in charge of the decision, let’s let the combatant commanders do it. And he’s really sort of couching This is a great power competition. And the idea that somehow we need to use these weapons which essentially kill civilians, you put them down on the ground, or you toss them down artillery, and they can’t tell a soldier from a civilian and people getting killed or kids a lot of the time. United States when to use these weapons just is insane. And that’s what the Trump administration is kind of moving in the wrong direction on for years, there’s been a, you know, I’d say a bipartisan consensus that there needs to be a lot more tear around using these weapons. So there’s a lot of questions that have just gone in. We haven’t gotten answers from the Defense Department on this. But 162 countries around the world have agreed never to use these including all of our NATO allies, to the fact the United States wants to go the wrong way on this is just really alarming and another sign of this president not wanting to be a part of the global consensus but wanting to go his own way.
Scott Horton 27:09
Yeah. You know, I don’t know, I think to the broader American culture has got to have a reckoning with land mines. And, you know, for that matter, the cluster bomb units, the old bomb beezus they call them that are left everywhere that kill innocent civilians. We still have hundreds I think it’s what 600 something, Cambodians a year continue to die from the cluster bomb units. After 50 years. Since Nixon, the Iraq war there is just incredible.
Jeff Abramson 27:41
Yeah, that legacy and allow and the countries around there have continued depths after the 60s and the 70s when these were deployed is atrocious. We’re seeing some improvements. It’s it’s easy to be pessimistic, like the problem ever be solved. But I do think it can be over time. But that legacy, I think a lot of Americans do understand that, wow, I can’t believe 50 years later, the weapons we’re using, so killing kids, it’s, it is alarming. And I think most Americans, if they think about it wouldn’t want our country using these weapons. And for the most part, we don’t, but we refuse to say we won’t. And we refuse to sort of be with a global consensus that says against them.
Scott Horton 28:25
You know, one of the coolest things I’ve seen in recent years was a project that was, you know, relatively inexpensive, to have drones that have metal detectors on them go flying around out in the jungle, searching for cluster bomb units and land mines, and then they drop tiny little shaped charges on top and fly away and then detonate them. And they’re just going around and they’re, you know, extremely cost and time efficient. That’s the kind of thing where, if you don’t real money into a project like that you could actually solve the problem and a place or You know, make major headway in a place like Laos or Cambodia or Afghanistan, or Iraq. I don’t know how many land mines are in Iraq, but certainly in Afghanistan, there’s cluster bomb units laying around.
Jeff Abramson 29:11
You have a omnivorous reading list I think that’s it. People know about these, these programs? Yeah, there’s tons of different ways of trying to figure it out. One thing that’s really difficult about mind clearance and cluster mission clearance, is you got to get it right. So there is a lot of promise in some of these drone systems, but you got to really know that it works. So the people who do this stuff are pretty careful. And if you think about it, if you were living next to a minefield, you would never go over there until you were sure it was clear. So you don’t want to make even one mistake. But there’s promising stuff happening in drone technology. There’s all sorts of ways to look at this. And you know, you you probably know and it’s really kind of amazing. The United States is by far the world’s largest funder of these types. efforts and clearances, old weapons that are in the ground or just in stockpiles by far the biggest funder, and then to suddenly come around and say but we want to make it easier to use these weapons it causes problems is really nonsensical. But yeah,
Scott Horton 30:14
it actually makes perfect sense. very horrible in cynical way as a as a continuing racket but yeah, on the face of it it is completely crazy. Um, let me ask you this I’m sure the answer must be yes, it you’re good on all these new treaties with Russia that are expiring right now. Can I ask you about them?
Jeff Abramson 30:32
And they’re not not my specialty, but I’ll see what I can do. Sure.
Scott Horton 30:37
It seems like it matters a lot that Bush Jr. pulled us out of the anti Ballistic Missile Treaty and now Trump is letting three expire the intermediate nuclear forces treaty, the open skies treaty and start to correct.
Jeff Abramson 30:52
New START. We’re hoping Yeah, we’re hoping something can happen on New START before the end of his term. But yeah, he’s backing away from a whole range of sensible arms control agreements, which, you know, threaten new arms races, which makes no sense. And so yes, you’re you hit the nail on it right there that all these agreements that give us transparency into what’s happening and help limit what other countries do. He wants to walk away from for no really good reason. They can all be worked out. And there’s more. I mean, we’re hearing rumors about windy changes on something called the Missile Technology Control Regime to make it easier to sell armed drones which could lead to litigation and those weapons around the world as well. And the the idea of a US going alone approach really starts to fall apart when you realize other people need to agree to process moving forward. Yeah. Now, the new spark the New START one is, you know, just super crazy.
Scott Horton 31:57
Yeah, talk about that. I mean, what’s in the New START treaty. I mean, they Really watered it down to get it passed back in the Obama years I know, or at least they had to make major compromises on building up certain aspects of the industry as a trade off to get it through. But what is it saying? What’s it about to not say anymore?
Jeff Abramson 32:15
Yeah, I’m gonna be a bit careful here on this because my colleagues are much more expert on this. But there were some compromises in any negotiation. But essentially, the New START treaty puts limits on us and Russian weapons, nuclear weapons systems and culture reduction in terms of the numbers that were pre existing. And pretty much we’re reducing, when the treaty expires will no longer be an inspection regime, they’ll no longer be agreements to limitations on how many nuclear weapons you could have, which is nuts. And that’s sort of the basic core of it, and it doesn’t take much to extend it. They just have to say we’re going to extend it for another five years. But the Trump administration has not said that he’s going to do that or he’s trying to convince China to come on board as part of this process, which is not the right way to go about this. But that’s that’s the core of it is we remove the agreement on limits and the transparency we have in looking at what countries what the Russians have.
Scott Horton 33:15
Alright, well, thanks very much for your time. I really appreciate it, Jeff.
Jeff Abramson 33:19
Sure. Good luck, Scott. Thanks for bringing me on this conversation.
Scott Horton 33:23
Aren’t you guys? That is Jeff Abramson. He is Senior Fellow for conventional arms control and transfers at the Arms Control Association. And that is arms control.org. The Scott Horton show anti war radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com ScottHorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org