Armament leasing mechanism

Jacek Gancarson
Światowy Kongres Polaków Warsaw, 9.05.2021

The proposal of a large scale leasing mechanism for military equipment


The Status Quo

A build-up of states military resources has been always connected with an
economic burden. The society generally has realized that the load is a kind of joint
investment which ensures improvement of the society position in relation to other
societies considered aggressive. In particular it could mean the availability of the
option of preventive or restitution war. An intense and dynamic arming always
creates a temptation of consumption of this arm investment by launching an armed
conflict (Blixtkrig). E.g. in the 30’s of the last century a quick gain of large military
superiority in Europe and Far East fueled aggression planning. So runs the
subconscious of all communities: Fast reach of an uncontrolled military superiority
automatically increases the tendency to extend the space of the hegemony either
through political blackmails, or by direct military campaign for example in order to
take control of resources of the opponent. It forms and then easily promotes the
belief that military superiority must be used quickly before the opponents manage to
rearm themselves. Such thinking was typical at the beginning of the Cold War in the
40’s and 50’s. First in late 70’s it was realized the futility of incurring huge
expenditures in relatively fast aging (due to the mutual intensive rivalry) equipment
and military systems.
Since the 80s of last century the situation has changed significantly: A bipolar world
dominated by competition between two camps of countries with competing political
systems has now become a multi-polar world. It was concluded by the leaders of
the former bipolar world – the United States and Russia (who however still own over
90% of the global potential of nuclear weapons). Multi-polar world generally means
an increase of the importance of local international relations and, in their absence,
an increase of risk for local conflicts. A reduced dependence of countries from one
of the two world leaders or from one of the new leaders (mainly China) awakens
rising ambitions and activity of local rulers and makes local conflicts of interest
coming to the surface. However, temptation to take benefits of a fast build of
military superiority remains valid even locally.

The global defense industry does not meet nowadays equally strict market share
restrictions as during the cold war but it apply own and country ethical codes. On the other hand
a natural interests of defence industry is to obtain favorable arms contracts, which
mean sales for huge sums of money. However, again – there may be a negative
effect of such direct sales “for cash”. The physical realization of the purchase
brings an additional motivation for the purchasing state to consume achieved
military superiority, especially if the equipment is purchased abroad, usually
without sufficient manufacturer support. On the other hand, if the threat of foreign
aggression passes away or (even worse) if the threats pattern changes and the
purchased weapons are no longer relevant, then the buyer state has limited
possibility to rearm because of former investment in already obsolete equipment. (It is known that necessary financial resources may be allocated unevenly). Current
practice of high volume, long term purchases by the states is characterized
by high costs, technological aging, unpredictable future needs and then
security devaluation.

The Solution

As seeing it from the perspective of objectives of sustainable development, the EU
and the United Nations in consultation with the World Bank and other global
financial organizations should develop and promote large-scale mechanism of
leasing of military equipment for rapid regional balancing of armaments in the
situation where one party has a large industrial or financial potential, and the other
side is deprived of them. Fast physical availability of acquisition of defensive
military equipment for countries that want to suppress / cool down growing
aggression or aggressive plans of its neighbors is invaluable: military capability of
a threatened state is dramatically increased, preventing an immediate armed
conflict and giving time for political solutions with the help of global organizations. A
need for involvement of forces and military means from leading militarily countries
and organizations (e.g. NATO) to resolve the conflict, decreases. The concentration
of weapons in the area of potential conflict is a temporary by definition and limited
to winning time for the resolution of conflict by domestic and international thinktanks
in order to mange the situation by intellectual potential rather than by “a
darwinism”. After-war restoration costs are eliminated. A important advantage of
such leasing mechanism is limitation of undue concentration of armaments as costs
become the running costs and not capital costs. In this way the states become
more interested in settlement of the conflict and the establishment of stable,
granting the a contracted security rather than “consumption” of massive investment
by an unilateral military agression. Unused or hardly used weapons can be returned
back to the seller and than can be leased again to other threatened countries.
It is important to stress that proposal concerns operational capability. Such weapon
leasing mechanism must be carefully tuned and agreed on global level in order to
strictly meet the objective of balancing tool for prevention of uncontrolled military

The proposal will also activate financial markets. An EU-wide acceptance and
attitude shift toward more flexibility, accuracy, subsidiarity and financial
development for military respons will bring more hope on global level.