Światowy Kongres Polaków
swiatowykongrespolakow.pl Warsaw, 9.05.2021
The proposal of a large scale leasing mechanism for military equipment
State of Art
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 encounter nowadays equally strict market division as during the cold war but it applies 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.
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. The need for involvement of forces and military means from leading militarily countries and organizations (e.g. NATO) to resolve the conflict, decreases. 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 think-tanks in order to mange the situation by intellectual potential rather than by a “darwinistic” fight. 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 aggression. 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 conflicts.
The proposal will also activate financial markets. An EU-wide acceptance and attitude shift toward more flexibility, accuracy, subsidiarity and financial development for military response will bring more hope on global level.
The proposal was submitted to the Conference on the Future of Europe 2021: