Transparency in Transparency

Transparency appears to be a critical aspect for the Transparency. regarding arms sales and is frequently highlighted amongst different official state websites and documents as such: “Review and monitoring are integral components of the process for U.S.-origin defense equipment delivered to any recipient nation”.

To be clear, this is not a suggestion that transparency shouldn’t be an important element to US arms export policy – on the contrary. ​The DIPCR aligns with the viewpoint of​ the CATO Institute of whom also state: “​U.S. arms sales policy should prioritize ​transparency, data collection, and risk mitigation​”. ​However, the president is not faced with many procedural obstructions to the sanctioning of arms exportation, even if the possibility of conflict escalation is high. We confront this weakness in accordance with the ethical framework of consequentialism, within the parameters of ​Just War ​theory. The DIPCR’s critique of section 36 stems from our consequentialist ethical principles

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regarding ​jus in bello ​(just conduct in war) and ​jus post bellum​ (justice after the fighting has stopped)​. ​The critique is not targeted towards ​jus ad bellum ​(just cause to go to war) as the DIPCR recognises the reasons for a rebellious against a brutal dictatorial government may be, as we see it, legitimate. We as an institution stand by the moral values as outlined in the problem analysis that sanction state intervention, and therefore this analysis presumes this

criteria for intervention in the first place has been met. With that said, the DIPCR’s overarching issue is the difficulty the supplying state has with maintaining ​control​. That is, control of the rebel group and their conduct during the war and control of where the weapons end up after the conflict has ended, known as “diffusion”.  James Pattison highlights three critical objections that align with the DIPCR’s concerns. Firstly, the “Rebel-Risk Objection” which suggests it can be difficult to determine who the rebels are and those against whom the rebels will use force. Framing this point along the lines of a revisionist approach to just war theory, the DIPCR recognises that it may even be difficult to determine who is a noncombatant and to ensure that there is no harm inflicted on innocents. Secondly, Pattison introduces the “Escalation Objection”. To Pattison, the arming of rebels could “significantly escalate

hostilities” if in response, other parties or the sitting government seek additional arms as well. In this scenario, more civilians are likely to be harmed as a direct result of there being more destructive capabilities on all sides. Finally, Pattisonexplains the “Diffusion Objection” – a concept we have already defined. It is incredibly challenging to confirm that the weapons are delivered to or actually stay in the possession of just​ the rebel forces. After the fighting has ceased, it is very likely that the weapons will descend into the black market or retained by former combatants, which will likely result in higher rates of homicide, more violent crime, and a probable return to conflict at a later time.