Social Scientist. v 7, no. 76 (Nov 1978) p. 3.

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Carter's Arms Sales Policies: Business as Usual

IN June 1976, in one of his first major foreign policy statements Jimmy Garter raised what was to become a principal theme of his campaign for the presidency: the uncontrolled growth in US arms sales abroad. ct! am particularly concerned/' he told the Foreign Policy Association in New York, ^by our nation's role as the world's leading arms salesman." Noting that US weapons exports often fuel local arms races in troubled Third World areas, Carter denounced those US leaders who ^try to justify this unsavoury business on the cynical ground that by rationing out the means of violence we can somehow control the world's violence/' Such fallacies must be rejected, he declared, for it is obvious that the United States cannot be ^both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war." On these grounds, he vowed that ^If I become President, I will increase the emphasis on peace and to reduce the commerce in weapons."1

Sensing that the public was becoming increasingly uneasy about massive US arms transfers to wealthy potentates abroad. Carter rcitcr-ated his pledge to reduce military sales throughout the campaign. Subsequently, upon entering the White House, he promised to make such reductions a major priority of the new Administration. In his first Washington interview, on 24 January 1977, he reported that the National

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