23 April 2015
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal warns of new suppliers of cheap, “good enough” weapons flooding the global arms market. This concern is overblown, and traditional arms exporters in the United States and Europe will continue to dominate the global arms trade for some time to come.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (“The ‘Hyundaisation’ of the Global Arms Industry,” April 5, 2015) puts forth a provocative argument, namely that “new defence exporters are joining the global game with advanced and well-priced offerings, creating potential threat to the US and its allies, and weakening Western influence”. In other words, the proliferation of cheap, “good enough” weapons by neophyte arms exporters like Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey will undermine the United States’ dominance of the global arms trade. The emergence of such new arms exporters will have grave economic repercussions for US arms producers, as well as negative ramifications for Washington’s global sway.
This would not just cut into the profits of those US and European defence mega-firms who traditionally have dominated the global arms business; it would also complicate efforts to control the proliferation of advanced conventional weapons and the enabling technologies behind them.
… Richard A. Bitzinger is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Formerly with the RAND Corp. and the Defence Budget Project, he has been writing on defence industries and the global arms trade for more than 20 years.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015