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A New Arms Race in the Asia-Pacific?


Many countries in the Asia-Pacific, enabled by rising defence budgets and aggressive marketing by major arms-producing states, have since the middle of the 1990s greatly expanded their war fighting capacities beyond the mere modernisation of their armed forces. While such purchases are intended to aid deterrence and defence, they may have the unintended consequences of undermining regional security and stability by contributing to arms races or arms competitions leading to a classical ‘security dilemma’. Considering that the Asia-Pacific is still a region of considerable potential conflict, the logic of such arms purchases can be called into question.