Foreign Military Sales Under Congressional Notification Thresholds: Dangers and Solutions

Under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) have different congressional reporting requirements based on the type of items being sold, whether the sale is DCS or FMS, the recipient, and the dollar value of the sale. If the dollar value of a sale is lower than a reporting requirement threshold, Congress does not have to be notified, and information does not have to be made public. DOS and components of the DOD share responsibility for FMS, including the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which issues public notifications of over threshold FMS. (Source: GAO-20-386). There is an unknown number of FMS cases which have gone unreported. The total dollar value of these sales is unknown, but it is likely to be in the billions (Source: DOS ISP-I-20-19). Failing to counter this growing problem will beget additional issues relating to financial inconsistency, lack of congressional and administrative transparency, and potential involvement of U.S. defense articles and
services in human rights violations.

Read Full article below.