Peace is the state of harmony that exist between/among societies, individuals or even worldwide. Or

Peace is the opposite of chaos, disharmony and conflicts.


Is the process of equipping for war/process of preparing for war with initials manufacturing of weapons for use in case of war.

Arm race

Is the completion among nations in the process of equipping themselves for war.


Is the process of reducing, limiting, controlling or eliminating nations’ army forces and this can be done by international agreements like the strategic arms limitation treaties (SALT).

Factors for the arm race

i. Existence of the cold war between U.S.A and USSR with their respective camps which was western block under U.S.A and the eastern bloc under USSR; this caused the arm race because each camp was trying to manufacture more weapons hopping that one day the capitalist and the communist will fight.

ii. The need to maintain the balance of power among nations of the world; so that no one nation should military be a threat to others so the super power learnt the situation which was caused by Britain and France when Britain was the master of military in the sea, and the France the master of military on land. Therefore in the 20 th century nations wanted to avoid unequal balance of power which existed in Europe between France and Britain hence they involved arm race.

iii. Due to self defense; the super powers of those days argued that the increase of arm race was due to protecting and defending themselves against their enemies and conflicts brought by the existence of cold war and formation of military alliances like NATO and war saw Pact for the eastern block.

iv. Arm race was due to aggressive purposes. This true when we consider the threat from the western block led by USA under the umbrella of NATO in the weak nation e.g. USA military has been used to invade other countries like Libya in 1988 and 2011, Iraq several times, Pakistan, Somalia, panama and Afghanistan.

v. Arm race is due to make other countries fear the super powers; because of their military and economically strong tend to threatened the weak nation especially the LDC in order to agree with their interest like imposition of their rule, culture etc. which operate through neo colonialism e.g. countries fear U.S.A due to her strong military and economic which make U.S.A to use it as a symbol of power and supremacy in the world

vi. Arm race was caused by the developed countries like U.S.A, Britain, USSR, Germany and France in looking for more influence and control in the LDC. E.g. according to those big powers saw the armament/arm race as the only way of increasing that capacity of influence and control the third world countries.

vii. Arm race was also seen as an important strategy towards the third world crisis situation because the arm race could be used as the means to solve the problems in the LDC especially in occurrence of war in the world e.g. the nuclear weapons like atomic bombs could be used as a means of preventing the crisis.


The invasion of nuclear or atomic bombs was said to be a spark off (increase more) of the arm race because after USA tested her nuclear bombs in Mexico in 1945 which was made in 1942, USSR explored hers in 1949 and Britain did the same in 1952.


The impacts of arm race to the world

i. It reduced the level of resources that could have been utilized in provisional of social and economic welfare of the people in the super powers and in the third world countries.

ii. Many people had lost their lives/Occurrence of death due to use of nuclear chemical weapons and nuclear accidents such as in Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombs dropped by U.S.A during WWII 1945, the Chernobyl disaster in soviet union (USSR) which caused untold biological bad consequences to life, the nuclear accident in Japan early to 2011 after the earth quack destroyed the manufacturing factory of nuclear weapons.

iii. Led to environmental destruction following testing, giving disposal of nuclear arm race or toxic on the environment.

iv. The arm race has turned the LDC as to market for dangerous weapon made super powers which led political instability in the LDC such as the outbreak of civil wars and interstate wars like in Burundi, Rwanda, Libya, Angola, Tunisia, DRC etc. but also the interstate wars like Iran vs. Iraq, north Korea vs. south Korea etc. but also the LDC had been a testing ground of nuclear weapons which led the destruction of environment and conflicts in the LDC.

v. The arm race has been prevented the outbreak of the wars among the super powers because the super powers know the consequences of it and therefore they tend to remain only with cold war politics.

vi. The arm race has caused the problem of refugees; due to war emanated/fueled by the super powers in the process of arm race the problem of refugees tend to face the LDC which have turned to be the moments of the arms from the super powers e.g. refugees of Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, DRC, Somalia, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria etc.

vii. The arm races have led to the increase of budget/ money/ fund in buying of guns in the LDC, but it has also increased budget in the super powers in the process of arm races hence it is costly and consume a lot of money that the developed nation could have channeled to the LDC for more development instead of using money for arm race.

Attempts made towards disarmament

1.Through agreements. E.g. through strategic arms limitation treaties (SALT) e.g. SALT ONE and SALT TWO, these were talks aimed at strategic arm limitation which involved in U.S.A and USSR, their talks started from November 1969 to May 1972 with the signing of SALT ONE by president Nixon of USA and president Brezhnev of USSR which was signed in Moscow.

2. Through using UN general assembly in 1982 during the UN special disarmament session which called for elaboration and gradual implementation of nuclear disarmament program.

>> Contents of SALT ONE

i. It agreed on limitation of defensive ballistic missile systems.

ii. Involve the code of conduct for dealing with the crisis situation in the third world countries.

Importance of SALT ONE

i. Helps the two powers to improve their relations.

ii. The two powers reached agreements on the nuclear weapons especially putting or observing on reduction nuclear weapons for nations intending to manufacture more nuclear weapons.

iii. The big powers played more active role in the LDC on the problem facing them due to arms.


This began in 1974 conducted by President Jimmy Carter of USA and Brezhnev of USSR; however the USA senator refused to ratify because the agreement aimed at putting more efforts on a number of missile launched/established and bombers possessed by the two powers.


>> The Washington treaty of 1972

This aimed at putting limitation of naval armament by determine the ration for allocation of ships among the major naval powers of U.S.A, Britain, Japan, France, Italy and USSR.

>> The test ban treaty between U.S.A and USSR

This was resulted after the Cuban missilecrisis whereby U.S.A and USSR had a direct confrontation on the missile put in Cuba by Russia.

Impact of collapse of USSR with the socialist block and the arm race

The USSR with eastern bloc which climaxed in early 1990s had a lot of impact on arm race as elaborated below;

i. It led to end up of cold war which was a chief source of arm race between USSR and U.S.A.

ii. The war saw Pact became incapable of making weapons and continue with race in making weapons. This led to the end of the war saw pact and USSR after its collapse which led to remain Russia also join NATO which was pure a military alliance of the west.

iii. The socialist blocks after the collapse of USSR remained free from the competition of arm race and started to criticize and fight for disarmament.

iv. The U.S.A is now the dominant super power in the world; which has increased her military capacity to highest level hence U.S.A has remained as UNIPOLAR calling herself as the policy of the world e.g. U.S.A has different military bases in almost corner of the world trying to defend and protect her interest which manifested itself in neo – colonialism in the LDCs.
The problem of controlling the arm race

v. Absence of mutual trust; the major powers have failed to trust each other as regarded to armament inspections and control hence most disarmament negotiation have failed.

vi. Different propaganda between the east and the west on respecting treaties on disarmament and appealing to the international community; this havebeen a cheating program/ bogus agreement or cheating program in such as at camps try to use so as they can increase arms for their interest hence control problem or fail to control arm races.

vii. The collapse of USSR; this has caused a problem on controlling arm race because U.S.A and her allies are now monopolizing the nuclear weapons e.g. USA forced other countries to with draw from manufacturing of dangerous weapons e.g. Iraq, Iran, Syria, north Korea etc. this has been taken as unfair as USA does not respect the disarmament treaties anywhere instead USA and her allies are increasing nuclear weapons each year hence difficult to control the arm race.

viii. The control problem; there has been a control problem on the matters relating with disarmament because the super power especially U.S.A is the leading on arm race e.g. 1946 the UN atomic energy commission declared a nuclear disarmament because U.S.A had monopoly over atomic powers but UN was unable.

Why disarmament/ why fighting for disarmament?

The struggle for disarmament through different methods like treaties, destruction of weapon or consultation, conventions etc. was due to the following;

(i) Fear of spread of dangerous weapons to the third world; where these dangerous weapons were in danger with the global peace and security.

  MAJI MAJI WAR 1905 – 1907

(ii) Fear of possible nuclear accidents that may happen due to mishandling of weapons as what has been happened in other places of the world e.g. in January 1968 B52 bomber crushed in green land and nuclear weapons in it (B52) fell into sea, the weapons released dangerous radioactive materials in water around green land in 1979, there was nuclear accident in island nearby New – York in 2011 in Japan.

(iii) Fear of ending up with survival in case of the outbreak of the nuclear war, it destroys the whole world.

(iv) Fear to reduce the level of resources that could have been utilized in provision of social and economic welfare of the people in the super powers and in the LDCs.

(v) Fear of environmental degradation following testing, firing or disposal of nuclear arms/toxins.

(vi) Fear of turning the LDCs as a market for the super powers in the term of buying nuclear weapons.

(vii)Fear of the outbreak of interstate war which would result the refugees problem especial in the LDCs.

(viii) Fear of the increase of enmity and conflicts among different nations of the world.

(ix)Fear of losing more money in different parts of the world whether in the super powers or LDCs because a lot of money could be used to manufacture these weapons in the super powers but also the LDCs may use their money to buy their weapons.

(x) Fear of revenge; if countries may involve in arm race therefore a situation of revenge may occur because of confidence among nations possessing nuclear weapons.

Types of disarmament

  1. General disarmament. This involved the efforts of all nations in disarmament program.
  2. Local disarmament. This involves the limited number of countries in disarmament program.
  3. Quantitative disarmament. This refers to reduction of all types of weapons.
  4. Qualitative disarmament. This concentrate on specific category of weapons

Manifestation of the arm race

i. In the formation of military alliance in the world e.g. war saw Pact Vs NATO, SEATO, CENTO, ANZUS, OAS etc. all these enmity/hostility military alliances show the presence of arm races.

ii. Formation of military bases especially in LDC by the big powers e.g. US – military bases in east Africa, Mogadishu, Saudi Arabia etc. and USSR in Cuba for her ballistic missiles.

iii. Through the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 when USA were about to fight with USSR over Cuba, this happened when USA was forcing USSR to withdraw her missilein the communist Cuba so as defend Cuba from American threat this was due to the fact that USA has been threatening to overthrow Cuba since 1959, Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro who made Cuba a communist state and nationalized all American investments in Cuba hence Cuba created a strong relationship with Russia.

iv. The Taiwan crisis; in which Taiwan was protected and defended by U.S.A through her army e.g. all the elections in Taiwan was conducted under the supervision of US military because china wanted to interfere the election in Taiwan but through military threat of USA which warned china not to interfere china surrendered or gave up.


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