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). Eg. in the 30's of the last century a quick gain of large military superiority by Germany and Japan fueled their aggression planning. So runs the subconscious of all communities: Fast reach of an uncontrolled military superiority automatically increases the tendency to extend the area of their hegemony either through political blackmails, or by direct military campaign in order to take control of the 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 is 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 the intensification of local conflicts. A reduced dependence of countries from one of the two world leaders or from one of the new leaders (mainly China) wakes the rising ambitions and activity of local rulers and makes local conflicts of interest coming to the surface. However, the rule of temptation to take benefits from a fast build of military superiority remains valid even locally.
The global defense industry no longer meets equally strict trade restrictions but their own ethical code. On the other hand a natural interests of arms 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 a purchasing state to consume achieved military superiority, especially if the equipment is purchased abroad, usually without sufficient manufacturer support. On the other hand if threat of foreign aggression passes away or (even worse) the threat pattern changes and the purchased weapons are not sufficient the buyer state has limited possibility to rearm because of former investment in already obsolete equipment.
Currently, from the perspective of objectives of sustainable development, we observe a lack of globally acceptable financial mechanism for rapid regional balancing of armaments in the situation where one party has a large industrial or financial potential, and the other is deprived of them (It is known that the necessary financial resources can be allocated unevenly).
How such a mechanism should look like? It seems that 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. 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 think-tanks in order to mange the situation by intellectual potential rather then by animal potential of Homo sapiens. After-war restoration costs are eliminated.
A very important factor limiting undue concentration of armaments is the way of accounting for the costs of military potential of threatened countries: The plan provides for the cost of rental fees and not for an irreversible purchase. In this way the state becomes more interested in settlement of the conflict and the establishment of stable, guarantee the security, relationship rather than "consumption" of massive investment by unilaterally military winning the conflict. 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 remind that such weapon leasing mechanisms must be carefully tuned and agreed on global level in order to strictly meet the objective of balancing tools for prevention of uncontrolled military conflicts.
All rights reserved ©Jacek Gancarson 2016