Submitted by: Jamie Hastings
We have not talked about military power much lately and I pondered for a long time whether to bring up the subject. Nonetheless, while we have been talking in depth about the trading of goods that deal mostly with consumerism, it is clear that that’s not all that has been passing across the borders of China, India, the U.S., and numerous other countries around the world. I see this subject as being a big deal and while I am not extremely informed on the subject, I have been trying to enlighten myself. It is an important topic because arms and weapons sales are a part of business and sometimes make monumental economic impacts when it comes to embargoes and trade agreements. Countries don’t always play nice with each other a person may not want to conduct business in a country where political ties are on the rocks. This blog may not evoke a lot of debate and may only serve as a chance to learn. I am not extremely opinionated on the following topics, but very intrigued.
Nuclear Arms Information:
For some of you, a lot of this information might be common knowledge, but it wasn’t for me. Look on this site and click on the country flags to get a quick rundown on their nuclear status. With whom are they trading nuclear technologies? The countries of interest to me are the U.S., China, India, Russia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan. The two other nuclear powers that are not on my list are the U.K. and France. I am most interested to see that some of our best trading partners could have questionable technology exchanges with some of our most potential adversaries. It is interesting to see that not everybody plays by the rules (including the U.S.) or even acknowledges them.
An interesting Conventional Arms Deal:
I am interested in flying for our military, so lately I have been following India’s interest in procuring a new MMRCA or Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft to replace its aging Soviet fighter fleet. Traditionally, India has been an arms trading partner with Russia, but they are now looking towards other suppliers for new fighters. When and if this deal goes through, it is big business as we are talking about billions of dollars. Here is an article that gives a brief description of the planned purchase and this great article, gives a good look at who is closing these big deals. Maybe arms sales would be a good profession for us as MBA graduates? It will be interesting to see where India decides to buy their new fighter and if any of The United States’ past sales has any effect? Remember that we sold Pakistan numerous Block 50/52 (an advanced version) F-16’s over the past few years. Also of some interest to those who have always thought that the U.S. is the top dog in all things military (as I always thought), we are not always correct. We play war games with India annually and in the fighter realm, they almost always come out on top as they have a great Air Force and superb pilots. Also something to think about, when arms sales are made, that technology is fair game (i.e. our fighter aircraft technology could go to Russia via India). Nonetheless, these decisions are closely evaluated by the U.S. government. Should we be worried about our technologies falling into others hands? Is it important to stay close with India as we may have future political problems with other countries in the near vicinity? Perhaps China?
I invite comments, further findings, and insights on these topics. This topic is not very specific and I apologize, but it may be of some interest to you. Like I said earlier, perhaps this will only inform you as it has me, but perhaps good questions would be:
Do you think weapons will affect economic relationships in the future? Were you surprised with whom countries are trading nuclear technologies and do you see future conflicts? Is this simply a political issue or do economics play an important role?