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Missiles made by U.S. company Lockheed Martin at the Eurosatory defence and security international exhibition outside Paris, France, in June 2016. Photo: Jacques Demarthon / AFP / Getty Images

The Trump administration, according to recent reports, will soon be bringing "Buy America" to international arms sales by asking diplomats to drum up new business for American arms manufacturers. Here's what the administration and Congress should do to ensure that any new policies impacting the $60 billion per year in U.S. arms deals also minimizes the risks to civilians:

  • The State and Defense departments need to better analyze whether countries receiving weapons will use them in accordance with international law.
  • The U.S. government must demand oversight of weapons systems it sells to ensure they aren't being misused.
  • Terms of sale for a limited number of major systems should be strengthened to ensure they're not misused or diverted.

Why it matters: Manufacturers want to sell their wares, but do not want their weapons to indiscriminately harm civilians. A smarter, risk-based approach — focused on certain items, sold to certain partners, at certain times — will save lives and sell more arms. That's a better outcome for U.S. national security, foreign policy and economic vitality.

Dan Mahanty is director of the U.S. program of the Center for Civilians in Conflict. Rachel Stohl is managing director at the Stimson Center.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

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