Global Arms Trade and Corruption

The global arms business is a priority for WPF because of the way the industry fuels violent conflict, not only by providing means but also cause for violence, by distorting diplomatic and democratizing processes. Corruption within the industry is often treated in terms of isolated incidents, when it is, in fact, representative of the business model for the industry. Our program aims to contribute to documenting the global impact of the industry as a way to change the conversation about its role in foreign and domestic policies.
This program, led by Samuel Perlo-Freeman, includes two primary research streams, and materials about the F35:

Project Indefensible: this program relays and defuses the seven “myths of the global arms business.” Resources developed for this program include an interactive website and book, Indefensible: Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade (Zed Books 2017), by Paul Holtom with WPF project collaborators. Learn more about the myths and access additional resources on this project page.

A Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption:  This database is still in development, but aims to cover, as comprehensively as possible, both domestic and international arms deals, where there have been substantive, well-grounded allegations of corruption. Cases are published on the site as they are completed, and include information on buyers and sellers, the equipment and sums of money involved, and the timeline of corruption allegations, investigations and prosecutions, where these have taken place. The aim of the database is both to highlight the prevalence of corruption in the global arms business, and to illustrate the particular features of the arms business and the political environment in which it operates that facilitates this corruption.

The F35: Better Ways to Spend a Trillion Dollars: This short video [1:21minutes] was produced by the WPF in 2015 to highlight the numerous challenges and mismanagement of funds involved in the production of Lockheed Martin’s F35 fighter plane. Resources include background to the F35 and a video script with links to research that informs claims made in the video.