The independent resource on global security

8. Military research and development




Events in 1998 pointed up more starkly than before
the central issues of military technology in the post-cold war era. For
the industrialized states on close terms with the USA, the issue is
whether to compete with or complement US technological advantages.
Further, these states must decide how much they are willing to invest
to participate in using military force for missions other than homeland
defence. For US partners in Europe, the issue is whether military
intervention should be the basis of military planning, as France and
the UK have apparently accepted. If not, the question arises whether
states like Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden should invest in projects
that are mainly suited to military intervention rather than redirecting
or reducing their military technology bases. 

some other states, the problem is whether military action from the
advanced industrialized states can be deterred. Ballistic missiles are
popular with states that fear they may be on the receiving end of US
military power precisely because they still cannot be defended against
reliably. It remains to be seen whether the funds devoted to these
projects, which can destroy political confidence as well as deter
conflict, will produce systems that contribute meaningfully to their
security or simply signal desperation in the face of US technological