SPARE PARTS: SMALL ARMS PROLIFERATION AND THE DILEMMA OF GOVERNANCE, AUTHORITY, AND FOREIGN MILITARY ASSISTANCE
Merrell, Brian Christopher
Sumida, Jon T
This thesis examines the international state-directed arms trade in South Asia following WWII, and describes how attempts to limit the arms flow into the region were subverted by less constrained suppliers and by the superpowers themselves. Donor states distributed surplus items to less industrialized states, who eagerly accepted modern weapons that they could not produce domestically. Small arms are of special interest because of their very low cost; high production volume; low skill requirements for use; and the ease of distribution compared to major weapons systems. The South Asian states examined here pursued their own regional security agendas rather than conform to the Cold War paradigm of donor states. This demonstrated the failure of arms transfers as a diplomatic tool. It also resulted in a decline of civilian governance, the increased primacy of military authority, and the creation of conditions for enduring insecurity rather than security.