Modernizing armed forces; way to go for East Asia states Essay Example

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6Modernizing armed forces; way to go for East Asian states

Modernizing armed forces; way to go for East Asian states


Historical analysts have conducted copious studies on Asia’s new trend. They argue that like never before, Asia is on the rush to join the seemingly fashionable ‘Arms Race’. Countries in South East Asia are spending a great fortune in military advancement and mission. According to Ball (1994), the munitions stores of these countries are increasing tremendously by the day. By critically scrutinizing this issue, we come to an agreement that it is a cause for alarm especially to the world’s global peace and of course to the world great powers who have dominated this front for a very long period now. Though this fact has had its roots in the 80s it has now taken a new shape.

Quite a number of factors have been attributed to this move by the South East- Asian states to modernize its armed forces. This account will look at some of these factors which include the fact that these states want to modernize their armories by acquiring more sophisticated weaponry to match the need for them in the world at present. Secondly this move is attributed to the fact these states are now in a better position to produce own weapons.

Once these states realized that were able to uncover themselves from the blanket of economic crisis, they became stable enough to face any need for their being in a position to advance technologically and militarily. With the world super power being attacked in a span of no time how about these states. It dawned on them that they ought to be in a better position to protect their populace in whichever way they could.

Ball (1994) argues that this ‘Arms Race’ in countries of Asia may be attributed to the need for modernization for security purposes. Asia and its outskirts have had the need to protect itself from attacks from all fronts from the nautical front to land. Ball (1994) continues to argue that by 1990s, the spending on the acquisition of arms in East Asian states doubled. This can be attributed to the need to always be ready for any challenge that they may face in terms of security provision. Though China may be exempted from this fact, the other countries have endeavored to take part in the Arms Race in order to protect their need for security. As the budget allocation and expenditure increases East Asian states, the rush also increases twice as much. This can be proven by Ball’s (2004) research and documentation of Asia’s share of world’s expenditure between 1984 and 1994.

However, arguments have been put across which beg to differ with the acquisition of arms for security purposes. Concerns on a later need to replace these arms with the then modern ones have been put across. This may be attributed to the fact that a country’s security cannot be alienated from other countries. Security for a long time has been an international concern from the local neighbors to international ones (Ball, 1994). This interprets that a lot more budget allocation for acquisition of more sophisticated weaponry will be considered at a later date. He continues to argue that by mid 2000s almost all the countries will be in another ‘Arms Race’ this time rush to acquire ‘new world’ weaponry.

In my view point, security matters are never postponed bur rather discussed in the context of present times. The East Asian states are therefore justified to modernize their arms in the context of dire need of security maintenance.

An additional aspect towards the increased modernization of arms in East Asian states is the shape in which the spending and drifts in procurement in taking toll in East Asian states (Tan, 2004). In his book argues that Asia faced a massive economic crisis in the 1990s but by the late 90s, she was able to regain her prominence and claimed to over 40% of the world’s spending on arms. Countries like South Korea have been documented to be amongst the countries in East Asia that have increased their budgetary allocation to slightly above 6% by the early 2000.

This budgetary allocation is inclusive of aircraft equipment for defense on air, and all other fronts. According to the Asian Journal of Defence of 2005, the spending on ‘Arms Race’ by South Korea is taking an upward trend (Tan, 2004). This military upsurge can be attributed to the increased spending on military acquisition after the Cold war. It is also important to consider the view points of analysts who argue that more spending on arms does not mean that a state is secure. However our necessity is no document reasons behind this increased momentum.

Basically, the East Asian states have come out of their economic crisis, an aspect that has led to their ability to rely on their means to advance in terms of military advancement.

Thirdly, the reason behind modernization of armed forces by the East Asian states is the ability to produce nuclear armaments and also delivering them to the entire region. From the September 11 attack on the U.S.A, it dawned on the states of East Asia that they have to concoct a new method of self defence and reliance Ball (1994). In addition, the unvarying disputes at the inter-state and intra-state levels prompted a need to be military secure.

It is at this point that these states had to devise a communication system that would ensure coordination of activities in the region. By 1997, the states of Asia had developed military equipment and claimed a huge percentage of the world’s combat aircraft. The ability to rely on own production is a major factor to the increase in the modernization of these states.

Wang, (1999) argues that China is one of these countries that are picking up the pace of successful navy and air force productions. The country is taking the initiative of training its citizens on proper production of these armories. These states may be termed as good to go in terms of maritime protection, landing abilities, electronic championship among others.

Lastly, we can argue that reasons for modernizing of arms in East Asia may be attributed to the fact that the Asian states are good to go incorporating all needed requirements from the economic view to the ability to produce own armaments. According to Ball (1994), this trend is likely to go on in this East Asian region. These Asian states are now more than ever technologically able and will persist in this move to advance militarily (Tan, 2004).

It should nonetheless be realized that these states have the right to improve themselves militarily to match the existing situation in terms of global security. From the spending on this effort, these states are on the verge of securing their territories especially on the naval front for economic stability as well as modernizing their armories.


Ball, D. (1994). Arms modernization in Asia. International Security, Vol.18: No 3; 1994 Winter Publishers

Tan, A. (2004). Defence spending and procurement trends in South-east Asia. Taylor and Francis Publishers: London.

Wang, S. (1999). The Military expenditure of China. Oxford University Press: Oxford.