By Keith Krause

This publication analyzes the underlying constitution and dynamic forces that experience formed the foreign exchange in palms from the advance of army applied sciences within the 15th and 16th centuries to the twentieth-century revolutions in weaponry. the writer discusses the political, financial and army motivations that force states to provide and export fingers, and examines the various ways that states reply to those motivations. by means of concentrating on the strategies of technological innovation and diffusion he's in a position to comic strip an evolutionary photograph of the diffusion of recent army expertise, and position the present hands alternate in old viewpoint.

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The first distinction to draw is between incremental innovation and revolutionary change. 29 With a slight redefinition of the terms, innovation in the military sphere can be defined as changes in weapons systems that supply greater (or more efficient) destructive power within a given combination of labour and weaponry. The shift from the matchlock to the flintlock, from powdered to corned gunpowder, and from the Little Willie tank of the First World War to the Centurion all represent greater or lesser incremental innovations in military technology.

The others, 30 THE ARMS TRANSFER SYSTEM: CHARACTERISTICS whatever their purchasing power, are unable to make even the minimal adaptations necessary to use new technologies, and become the true dinosaurs of the evolutionary process. The historical fate of such states was political extinction; today, given the inviolability of state boundaries, a more likely fate is the near-complete surrender of effective sovereignty to stronger regional or extra-regional powers. The final phase of the wave is marked by a slow settling of the previously active arms transfer system.

What follows thus runs the risk of simplifying the analysis of complex historical processes to reductionist single-factor (or sets of factors) explanations, but it is justified since the goal is not to analyse changes in arms transfers and production to illuminate the evolution of the modern international system, but rather to situate the changing patterns of the arms trade against this broader historical backdrop. 12 MOTIVE FORCES IN THE PRODUCTION OF ARMS Motive forces in the production and transfer of arms The pursuit of wealth The pursuit of wealth is a shorthand to describe the economic forces governing the production and distribution of goods within and between states.

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