Challenges of arms transfers facing the emerging supplier states in the new international political economy

Khwela, Gcwelumusa, Chrysostomus (2003-12)

Thesis (MMil)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The fundamental motivation for emerging arms suppliers to produce arms was the desire to overcome their position of dependence in the system of arms production and transfers. However, their predicament as late entrants into the system castigated them to fail in this endeavour. This failure is based on three criteria, which also assist in the identification of emerging suppliers. Firstly, the weaponry they produce is far below the sophistication characterised by higher levels of technological advancement. Secondly, they can only produce one or two advanced weapon systems. Finally, they rely on the leading suppliers for certain sophisticated components of weapon systems which they cannot produce themselves and as a result, become so dependent that they, with an exception of a few, are unable to go beyond the simple reproduction or retrofitting of existing weapon systems. The capability to produce arms was restrictedly extended to certain states in the post-war era, and even those states that obtained such a capability were confmed to producing small arms and platforms for naval vessels. Those states that went beyond these capabilities did so with the assistance of other states or specialists, the initial intention being to meet domestic requirements, and ultimately to dispose surplus Second World War equipment in the re-transfer market. The emerging supplier states' intention to develop indigenous arms industries was driven by the political urge to reduce their reliance on the leading suppliers and to nationalise the arms production process for import substitution in order to meet domestic security needs. Since the emerging suppliers began the process of defence industrialisation from the importation of complete weapon systems to import substitution, and ultimately to the promotion of exports, they mainly relied on technology imported from the leading suppliers. On the one hand, the leading suppliers attempted to hinder the efforts of emerging suppliers to promote arms exports so as to protect their oligopolistic share of the arms market through tightening the controls and regulations on technological supplies. On the other, the emerging suppliers were impelled to promote their arms exports in order to overcome the saturation of their domestic markets, to utilise effectively their arms production capacities, and to positively affect their balance of payments through the procreation of foreign exchange returns. This study reached the following conclusions and inferences: 1. The arms trade has evolved to be characterised by the transfer of military technology, which did not feature in the arms transactions of the previous periods. 2. The gap between the leading and emerging suppliers is widening with regard to the sophistication of technological capabilities, and accordingly the stratification within the arms production and transfer system is sustainable and reinforced, thus making it hard for the lower tiers to progress beyond their current status. 3. The emerging suppliers' share of and contribution into the arms market is constricted, and as such they specialise in specific (often uncomplicated) weapon systems that constitute niches in the global market. 4. The unfolding arms production and transfer system is characterised by a fiercely competitive atmosphere, and consequently, only those states that can subsidise or integrate their efforts are enabled to sustain an advanced arms production faculty. 5. As the emerging suppliers begin to introduce more and more of their wares into the market, the costs of research and development begin to soar in the same manner as those of the leading suppliers, thus urging them to become more export-oriented. 6. Participants in the system will be compelled to relinquish their comparative technological superiority in order to survive, thus narrowing the gap between the capabilities possessed by both the leading and the emerging suppliers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die onderliggende motivering van opkomende wapenverskaffers om wapens te produseer word toegeskryf aan 'n behoefte om hulle relatiewe afhanklikheid in die stelsel van wapenproduksie en - handel te oorkom. Boonop het die laat toetrede tot die stelsel hierdie opkomende verskaffers se kanse tot sukses verder belemmer. Die rede vir die onsuksesvolle toetrede word gebasseer op drie kriteria (wat ook dien as identifiserende eienskappe van opkomende wapenverskaffers). Eerstens, die wapens wat opkomende verskaffers lewer skiet tekort aan die vereiste gesofistikeerde standaarde van die gevestigde wapenprodusente. Tweedens, hulle kan slegs een of twee gevorderde wapenstelsels produseer. Derdens, sekere komponente van wapenstelsels word verkry by die gevestigde verskaffers, wat lei tot afhanklikheid tot so 'n mate dat die opkomende verskaffer se vermoëns beperk word tot eenvoudige reprodusering of herinstallasies van bestaande stelsels. Trouens, in die post-oorlog tydperk is die vermoë om wapens te produseer doelbewus beperk tot sekere state wat 'n afgebakende reeks van handwapens en uitrusting vir vloot vaartuie kon vervaardig. State wat verby hierdie vermoë beweeg het, het dit gedoen met behulp van ander state of spesaliste, oorspronklik met die oog op die huishoudelike behoefte maar ook om ontslae te raak van surplusse uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. 'n Politieke begeerte om in hulle eie sekuriteitsbehoeftes te voorsien deur middel van invoersubstitusie, het die opkomende verskaffers genoop om ontslae te raak van die afhanklikheid op gevestigde verskaffers en om die wapenproduseringsproses te nasionaliseer. Hulle het hoofsaaklik gesteun op ingevoerde tegnologie om die verdedigingsbedryf te industrialiseer. Die proses het so verloop: volledige wapenstelsels is ingevoer, daarna het invoersubstitusie plaasgevind, en daarna 'n bevordering van uitvoere. Gevestigde verskaffers het endersyds probeer om (deur middel van strenger kontrole en regulasies of tegnologiese ware) die opkomende verskaffers te verhoed om hulle oligopolistiese houvas op die mark te belemmer en andersyds moes opkomende verskaffers noodgedwonge hulle uitvoere bevorder om te voorkom dat die plaaslike mark versadig word. Die laasgenoemde aspek het ook die betalingsbalans van opkomende verskaffers positief beinvloed as gevolg van die inkomste uit buitelandse valuta. Hierdie studie kom tot die volgende aanames en gevolgtrekkings: 1. Wapenhandel het só ontwikkel dat die oordrag van militêre tegnologie die hoofkenmerk geword het in die stelsel - 'n ongekende kenmerk tot dusver in die ontwikkelingsgang van internasionale wapenhandel. 2. Die gaping van tegnologiese vermoëns tussen opkomende en gevestigde wapenverskaffers word groter en daarmee saam word die stratifikasie in wapenproduksie en -lewering volhoubaar en versterk, wat lei tot 'n beperking op die vermoë van opkomende verskaffers om vooruitgang te maak. 3. Opkomende verskaffers se aandeel in en bydrae tot wapenmarkte bly beperk en spesialiseer daarom op spesifieke (meestalongekompliseerde) wapenstelsels wat gemik is op sekere nisse in die wêreldmark. 4. Die ontluikende wapenproduksie en -handelsisteem is uiters kompeterend, met die gevolg dat slegs state wat hulle pogings kan subsidieer of integreer in staat is om gevorderde fasiliteite te onderhou. 5. Met die toenemende aanbod vanaf opkomende verskaffers, styg die kostes van navorsing en ontwikkeling vir beide die opkomende en die gevestigde verskaffer wat weer beide dwing om hulle uitvoere te beklemtoon. 6. Deelnemers in die stelsel sal gedwing word om hulle vergelykende tegnologiese voorsprong prys te gee om te oorleef in die stelsel, waarna die gaping tussen die vermoëns van opkomende en gevestigde verskaffers verminder sal word.

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