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TTU / Political Science / POLS 3361 / What is the meaning of arms transfer in international politics?

What is the meaning of arms transfer in international politics?

What is the meaning of arms transfer in international politics?


International Politics 2/23/17

What is the meaning of arms transfer in international politics?

Arms Transfer

Transfer of materials and personnel which designated purpose is for  destruction or organization of destruction from one actor or another.


-Major Convectional Weapons (MCW)

-Small arms and lights weapons (SALW)

-Dual Usage  

-Wassenaar Arrangement

Types of Goods:




 –Licensed production: License to produce in the state


White, grey, and black

Grey: Retransfers, African countries

Black: small arms, instate wars

Supplier organization:

Minor supplier, market strategies, part supplier, market strategies  Part supplier: make money because they’re not making the full spectrum Market strategies: substitute –alternative

What are arms sanctions?

Elastic: supply demand


-production capabilities

-market concentration

Theoretical Approaches



-Institutional: during 80’s-2000 cost and benefit approach Central Theme

Strategic Interaction of recipient and supplier


Nothing is truly free

Research Directions If you want to learn more check out What is the energy that is due to motion energy?

During cold war, MCWS direction to developing countries was the major  concern

-following the end of the cold war, increase in interstate  -A recipient is dependent on a supplier for arms

-Recipient fears the threat that supplier will cut of its arms suppliers -recipient will acquiesce to supplier

What are the three types of commitment problems?

Israeli: Arab war of 1973 (Yam Kipper War)

-October 22, 1973: Israel threatens to encircle the third Egyptian army

-U.S. threatens that all future military aid would be contingent in Israel  agreeing to cease fire and Israel adheres to cease fire.

Joint Development

-Joint production of systems by multiple states

-What theoretical medianism does this describe?

Arms Sanctions Embargos  

-Comprehensive vs. smart sanctions We also discuss several other topics like How is mutation related to cancer?

-What are arms Sanctions?  We also discuss several other topics like How is the interaction described among the elements and principles of design that creates an aesthetic result?
We also discuss several other topics like Which adaptive immune response that provides a two-pronged defense?
Don't forget about the age old question of Out of 1,094 feature films made during the nazi era, how many were genre films?

-Bilateral vs multilateral arms sanctions

-Bilateral – common (Used by the United States)

Arms sanctions Iraq - Iran war

Effectiveness: fall of cold war see increase in Arms sanctions 90% affective for UN multilateral sanctions

Example Arms transfers as policy

-Russians proceed to intervene in Ukraine in February  

-Russia annexes China

-European Union responds to Russia through a variety of foreign policies France and Russia:

-France must respond to Russia

French Strategies:

-Comprehensive sanctions punish Russia for regression  -Provide military

International Politics Notes 2/28/17

War sometimes happens by mistake:

You reject an offer you should have taken

Bargain dispute

Things to know before war:

Uncertainty Puzzle

How strong is your military?

Cost of war Don't forget about the age old question of Based on slavs history, how long did people have no writing system?

Your will to fight back

Can adversaries be trusted to honor a deal?

Sometimes you don’t trust your adversary can cause war War happens:

-Under incomplete information

-Implications are that if you have enough info you can strike a deal easily -But if trust is an issue with your adversary commitment problem

Commitment problem:

Def: the difficulty that states can have making credible promises to not use  force to revise the settlement at a later date.

-adversaries can violate this commitment

-no enforcement mechanism: countries can sign any international agreement and still disobey later on because there is no international  government that can punish them.

Three types of commitment problems (CPs):

-all three connected because they all have an expected shift in power. The  country getting more powerful has an incentive to revise the agreement to  get a bigger piece of the pie.

-difference in three: source of power shift

1.) Bargaining over goods that are a source of future bargaining  power

-the thing bargaining over is itself a source of power and…

- If you give it to your adversary, you lose power and make the other country more powerful

-shift in power can create a commitment problem

Types of goods: territory (some lands that have sources of power such as oil,  value, strategic location that gives a military advantage) Need to have logic.

Ex: Iran and North Korea being told to give up their nuclear power if they  do, they transfer power and no longer have a way to bargain


State today will be made weaker and decide to make a war today

Future state becomes stronger because they have the ability to obey or  reject commitment in the future

North Korea:

1994 agreement to not create bombs

2002 declaration: they disobeyed their agreement

Their greatest fear is that the U.S. try to interfere and unite both south and  North Korea. North Korea does not trust the U.S to commit and not try to  interfere and try to unite them. Thus, they do not want to give up their  weapons program.

2.) War in response to changing power

In this case there’s no negotiation with a source of power and shift in power  not related over good bargaining over

Preventative war:

Def: Going to war in order to destroy the source of the power shift and  prevent enemy from getting stronger in the future.

Logic is: you only lounge preventative war because you think you can  successfully destroy source of power shift

3.) War in response to first-strike advantage

First-Strike advantage: By lounging an attack first, you have an advantage  that you are almost guaranteed victory

-If you know that, how can you be sure you won’t take advantage of it and  commit to agreement?

Ex: National Missile Defense (NMD): idea that country will build a system that can monitor missiles and prevent being hit by one. A way of defense against  missiles.

-First strike creates an incentive to go ahead and strike instead of waiting  and negotiating.

-also called preemptive war

In summary: war most likely to happen when good bargained over is a  source of power, change in military balance, technology creates first strike  advantage

Common theme: expected power shift. Country made weaker rather go to  war.

Is compromise always possible?

-is the good indivisible?

Indivisible Good: a good that can’t be divided without diminishing value of a  good

(Ex: Judgement of Solomon: 2 mothers disputing over a baby. They think to  cut the baby in half and each keep half of the baby, but if doing so, it would  kill the baby and destroy its value.)

Problem? We have a good that can’t be divided without destroying value.  How can we compromise?

Key: not the physical property but…if divided you destroy value

(Ex: City of Jerusalem: Important for at least 3 major religions, Israel Basic  Law, East Jerusalem Holy places. Who should own it or how to divide it? )

-Reasons to be skeptical: 

-divisibility usually possible

-strategic incentives

How to make war less likely?

A) Raise the cost

-Is war worth it due to cost?

-Countries try to make war more costly to make it less attractive  B) Transparency

 -Increasing transparency can limit how often you make mistakes Capabilities 

Impartial observers  

Satellite tech  


Providing enforcement mechanisms

Overcoming commitment problems

Notes 3/2/17

In the last few years

-Arab spring

Important because:

-certainly normative reasons

-but also it could impact foreign policy and government type in Arab nations

(Ex: Egypt and U.S.: Egypt government rules by Muslim brotherhood.  Western governments like U.S. worry about what this will cause)

Whose interest count the most in IR outcomes?

A) National vs particularistic interests:

∙ Neorealism and interests

-Fixed interests

-problem? Not all countries have the same interest or same primary  interests

∙ General Interests

-national (Ex: wealth, national security)

∙ Particularistic interests

-narrow (fall within different groups in the country who have  preferences over outcomes that may not be shared within  majority of people in the country)

Example: Oil

-Historical context: U.S. has made access to oil an important part of the  agenda

-Why Oil? Protection of Saudi Arabia important to U.S. because of oil trade  (Carter and Roosevelt)

-National Interests:  

Explanation 1: Oil is important to military U.S. Security depends on oil  (energy, fuel, tanks, planes etc)

Explanation 2: US economy needs oil for transportation

-Particular interest: oil companies in US who care about access to oil

Differentiating between:

National and narrow interests

-conceptually easy  

-difficult in practice

-clear that oil influences US policy but it is important to know what interests  are driving that.

B) Interactions, institutions and influence

∙ Dropping unitary actor assumption

-Lots of individuals and groups – how do we know who’s  


-To find out we look at institutions and who has a seat at the  table

-Interests and outcomes

Institutions and Interactions

∙ domestic institutions determine who has a seat at the table ∙ Important variation

-autocratic institutions: small portion of people have a voice -democratic political institutions: more people have a voice  ∙ Key: institutions tell us who has a voice

 ∙     Collective action problem 

∙ -we all have same interest but may have to pay the cost to  organize it. I want to see policy change but I don’t actually want  to do the work “free rider”

(Ex: United Fruit Company 1954: US company in Guatemala. Policy  change where they cease lots of acres from Fruit Company.  Guatemala offers 2 million for land but US wants 16 million. US  installs 3 million to settle regime in Guatemala that would allow the  Fruit Company to continue. US citizens don’t care about this issue  but taxes cost citizens. But small group (the company) has more  chance of getting heard by government and making an impact.

Domestic Interests (key groups)



-Interest groups

-bureaucratic actors

-general public

Do politicians spark wars abroad in order to hold power at home? (Ex: Falklands war 1982: Argentina vs British fight over who owns it)

Trigger: Argentina decide to militarily cease the island and start war

Falklands Island have very little value, and British have way more power  economically and in military so…

Why would Argentina pick a fight over it? And why would the British defend? -British had already been losing interest in it before war

∙ Domestic vs international politics

-domestic troubles in Argentina

-they try to gain as much power as they can get

∙ Domestic problems in Great Britain

-in the midst of a deep recession  

-defend islands as a way to boost power/popularity

What do leaders want?

Are they making decisions based on personal or national interests?

∙ Varied interest of their own

-Ideological beliefs

-more basic interest such as staying in power

-political survival

How can office seeking affect decisions?

-responsive to interests

-not just interests

-Strategic actors who use policies to shape their own interests -war is used to enhance leader survival and not always national interests


-rally effects: population gathers and supports national action in order to go  against external threat. Sometimes even if they don’t like leader they will  support (at the moment) just to avoid threat.

Why rally?

-psychology: threat increases cohesion  


-opposition: many don’t go against government when there is a threat

-Diversion: Government can use rally affects in order to distract people from  hating government

-scapegoat: can be used as opportunity to blame outside threat for bad  things happening domestically

-diversionary incentives: leaders know external crisis can create rally affects  and may choose to manufacture a threat in order to increase their domestic  power (public support)

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