An arms race occurs when two or more nations participation in interactive or competitive increases in "persons under arms" as well as "war material".  Simply defined as a competition between two or more states to have superior armed forces; a competition concerning production of weapons, the growth of a military, and the aim of superior military technology.
The term is also used to describe any long-term escalating competitive situation where each competitor focuses on out-doing the others.
An evolutionary arms race is a system where two populations are evolving in order to continuously one-up members of the other population. This concept is related to the Red Queen's Hypothesis, where two organisms co-evolve to overcome each other but each fails to progress relative to the other interactant.
In technology, there are close analogues to the arms races between parasites and hosts, such as the arms race between computer virus writers and antivirus software writers, or spammers against Internet service providers and E-mail software writers.
More generically, the term is used to describe any competition where there is no absolute goal, only the relative goal of staying ahead of the other competitors in rank or knowledge. An arms race may also imply futility as the competitors spend a great deal of time and money, yet end up in the same situation as if they had never started the arms race.
From 1897 to 1914, a naval arms race between the United Kingdom and Germany took place. British concern about rapid increase in German naval power resulted in a costly building competition of Dreadnought-class ships. This tense arms race lasted until 1914, when the war broke out. After the war, a new arms race developed among the victorious Allies, which was temporarily ended by the Washington Naval Treaty.
In addition to the British and Germans, contemporaneous but smaller naval arms races also broke out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire; the Ottomans and Greece; France and Italy; the United States and Japan; and Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
A nuclear arms race developed during the Cold War, an intense period between the Soviet Union and the United States and some other countries. This was one of the main causes that began the cold war, and perceived advantages of the adversary by both sides (such as the "missile gap" and “bomber gap”) led to large spending on armaments and the stockpiling of vast nuclear arsenals. Proxy wars were fought all over the world (e.g. in the Middle East, Korea, Vietnam) in which the superpowers' conventional weapons were pitted against each other. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, tensions decreased and the nuclear arsenal of both countries were reduced.
The arms race between the United Kingdom and the German Empire that occurred from the last decade of the nineteenth century until the advent of World War I in 1914 was one of the intertwined causes of that conflict. While based in a bilateral relationship that had worsened over many decades, the arms race began with a plan by German Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz in 1897 to create a fleet in being to force Britain to make diplomatic concessions; Tirpitz did not expect the Imperial German Navy to defeat the Royal Navy.
With the support of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tirpitz began passing a series of laws to construct an increasing number of a large surface warships. The construction of HMS Dreadnought in 1906 prompted Tirpitz to further increase the rate of naval construction. While some British observers were uneasy at German naval expansion, alarm was not general until Germany's naval bill of 1908. The British public and political opposition demanded that the Liberal government meet the German challenge, resulting in the funding of additional dreadnoughts in 1910 and escalating the arms race.
Maintaining Europe's largest army and second-largest navy took an enormous toll on Germany's finances. Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, German Chancellor from 1909, undertook a policy of détente with Britain to alleviate the fiscal strain and focus on the rivalry with France. Under Bethmann-Hollweg, and particularly from 1912 onwards, Germany abandoned the dreadnought arms race and focused on a commerce raiding naval strategy to be conducted with submarines.Argentine–Chilean naval arms race
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the South American nations of Argentina and Chile engaged in an expensive naval arms race to ensure the other would not gain supremacy in the Southern Cone.
Although the Argentine and Chilean navies possessed insignificant naval forces in the 1860s, with zero and five warships, respectively, Argentina's concern over a strong Brazilian Navy and the Chilean war against Spain caused them to add capable warships to their fleets in the 1870s. During this time, diplomatic relations between Argentina and Chile soured due to conflicting boundary claims, particularly in Patagonia. By the beginning of the 1880s, after the War of the Pacific, the Chilean government possessed possibly the strongest navy in the Americas. They planned to add to it with an 1887 appropriation for one battleship, two protected cruisers, and two torpedo gunboats. Argentina responded a year later with an order for two battleships of its own. The naval arms race unfolded over the next several years, with each country buying and ordering vessels that were slightly better than the previous ship, but the Argentines eventually pulled ahead with the acquisition of multiple Garibaldi-class cruisers.
The race ended in 1902 with the British-arbitrated Pacts of May, which contained a binding naval-limiting agreement. Both governments sold or canceled the ships they had ordered, and three major warships were mostly disarmed to balance the fleets. The pacts proved to be the answer to the Argentine and Chilean disputes, as the countries enjoyed a period of warm relations. This did not last, though, as the Brazilian government's attempt to rebuild its own naval forces sparked another naval arms race, involving all three countries' orders for revolutionary new dreadnoughts, powerful battleships whose capabilities far outstripped older vessels in the world's navies.Austro-Italian ironclad arms race
A naval arms race between the Austrian Empire and Italy began in the 1860s when both ordered a series of ironclad warships, steam-propelled vessels protected by iron or steel armor plates and far more powerful than all-wood ships of the line. These ships were constructed to establish control over the Adriatic Sea in the event of a conflict between the two countries.
The unification of much of Italy in this time period resulted in the amalgamation of the various navies of the former Italian states into the Regia Marina (Royal Navy). The Sardinian component included two Formidabile-class ironclads, ordered from France in 1860, which became Italy's first broadside ironclads. The country quickly began a substantial construction program to bolster the Regia Marina, as the Italians believed that a strong navy would play a crucial role in making the recently unified kingdom a great power.
These actions captured the attention of the Austrian Empire, which viewed Italy with great suspicion and worry, as irredentist claims by Italian nationalists were directed at key Austrian territories such as Venice, Trentino, and Trieste. In response to the growing strength of Sardinia—soon to be Italy—the Imperial Austrian Navy ordered two Drache-class ironclads in 1860. This began a naval arms race between Austria and Italy, centered around the construction and acquisition of ironclads. This continued for the next six years, and by the time the war broke out between the two in 1866, Austria possessed seven ironclads to Italy's twelve.
While Italy emerged on the winning side of the war and acquired the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia under the terms of the Treaty of Vienna, the Regia Marina was decisively defeated at the Battle of Lissa by the much smaller Imperial Austrian Navy. Their poor performance led to a period of neglect with reduced naval budgets and a halt to new ship construction; Italy would not have another ironclad laid down until 1873.
Meanwhile, Austria reformed itself into the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867 after losing the Seven Weeks War to Prussia. In the years following the Battle of Lissa, Wilhelm von Tegetthoff would oversee the construction of three additional ironclads and the rebuilding of a fourth. After Tegetthoff's death in 1871, the Austro-Hungarian Navy entered its own period of neglect, with just five additional ironclads being constructed in the ensuing thirteen years. Both navies engaged in further construction projects throughout the 1870s and early 1880s, but the arms race ended in the 1880s due the signing of the Triple Alliance between Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Germany in 1882 and the introduction of new technologies that led to the development of pre-dreadnought battleships. Despite their alliance, however, Italy and Austria-Hungary would engage in a second naval arms race centered around the construction of battleships at the turn of the century. This arms race would continue until the beginning of World War I.Baruch Plan
The Baruch Plan was a proposal by the United States government, written largely by Bernard Baruch but based on the Acheson–Lilienthal Report, to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC) during its first meeting in June 1946. The United States, Great Britain and Canada called for an international organization to regulate atomic energy and President Truman responded by asking Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson and David E. Lilienthal to draw up a plan. Baruch's version of the proposal was rejected by the Soviet Union, who feared the plan would preserve the American nuclear monopoly. Its collapse led to the beginning of the Cold War arms race.Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of large caliber guns. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the battleship was the most powerful type of warship, and a fleet of battleships was considered vital for any nation that desired to maintain command of the sea.
The term battleship came into formal use in the late 1880s to describe a type of ironclad warship, now referred to by historians as pre-dreadnought battleships. In 1906, the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought into the United Kingdom's Royal Navy heralded a revolution in battleship design. Subsequent battleship designs, influenced by HMS Dreadnought, were referred to as "dreadnoughts", though the term eventually became obsolete as they became the only type of battleship in common use.
Battleships were a symbol of naval dominance and national might, and for decades the battleship was a major factor in both diplomacy and military strategy. A global arms race in battleship construction began in Europe in the 1890s and culminated at the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, the outcome of which significantly influenced the design of HMS Dreadnought. The launch of Dreadnought in 1906 commenced a new naval arms race. Three major fleet actions between steel battleships took place: the long range gunnery duel at the Battle of the Yellow Sea in 1904, the decisive Battle of Tsushima in 1905, both, during the Russo-Japanese War, and the inconclusive Battle of Jutland (1916) during the First World War. Jutland was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of dreadnaughts of the war, it was the last major battle fought primarily by battleships in naval history.The Naval Treaties of the 1920s and 1930s limited the number of battleships, though technical innovation in battleship design continued. Both the Allied and Axis powers built battleships during World War II, though the increasing importance of the aircraft carrier meant that the battleship played a less important role than had been expected.
The value of the battleship has been questioned, even during their heyday. There were few of the decisive fleet battles that battleship proponents expected, and used to justify the vast resources spent on building battlefleets. Even in spite of their huge firepower and protection, battleships were increasingly vulnerable to much smaller and relatively inexpensive weapons: initially the torpedo and the naval mine, and later aircraft and the guided missile. The growing range of naval engagements led to the aircraft carrier replacing the battleship as the leading capital ship during World War II, with the last battleship to be launched being HMS Vanguard in 1944. Four battleships were retained by the United States Navy until the end of the Cold War for fire support purposes and were last used in combat during the Gulf War in 1991. The last battleships were stricken from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register in the 2000s.Chilean Navy
The Chilean Navy (Spanish: Armada de Chile) is the naval force of Chile.Cyberwarfare
Cyberwarfare is the use or targeting in a battlespace or warfare context of computers, online control systems and networks. It involves both offensive and defensive operations pertaining to the threat of cyberattacks, espionage and sabotage. There has been controversy over whether such operations can be called "war". Nevertheless, powers have been developing cyber capabilities and engaged in cyberwarfare, both offensively and defensively, including the United States, China, Russia, Israel and the United Kingdom. Two other notable players are Iran and North Korea.Dreadnought
The dreadnought was the predominant type of battleship in the early 20th century. The first of its kind, the Royal Navy's HMS Dreadnought, made such a strong impression on people's minds when launched in 1906 that similar battleships built subsequently were referred to generically as "dreadnoughts", and earlier battleships became known as "pre-dreadnoughts". Dreadnought's design had two revolutionary features: an "all-big-gun" armament scheme, with more heavy-calibre guns than previous ships, and steam turbine propulsion. As dreadnoughts became a symbol of national power, the arrival of these new warships was a crucial catalyst in the intensifying naval arms race between the United Kingdom and Germany. With the launch of a single ship, Dreadnought, the scales of naval power were reset overnight. As a result, dreadnought races sprang up around the world, including in South America, during the lead up to World War I. Successive designs increased rapidly in size and made use of improvements in armament, armour, and propulsion throughout the dreadnought era. Within five years, new battleships had outclassed Dreadnought. These more powerful vessels were known as "super-dreadnoughts". Most of the original dreadnoughts were scrapped after the end of World War I under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty, but many of the newer super-dreadnoughts continued to be used throughout World War II. The only surviving dreadnought is USS Texas, located near the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.Dreadnought-building consumed vast resources in the early 20th century, but there was only one battle between large dreadnought fleets. In the 1916 Battle of Jutland, the British and German navies clashed with no decisive result. The term "dreadnought" gradually dropped from use after World War I, especially after the Washington Naval Treaty, as virtually all remaining battleships shared dreadnought characteristics; the term can also be used to describe battlecruisers, the other type of ship resulting from the dreadnought revolution.Evolutionary arms race
In evolutionary biology, an evolutionary arms race is a struggle between competing sets of co-evolving genes, traits, or species, that develop adaptations and counter-adaptations against each other, resembling an arms race. These are often described as examples of positive feedback. The co-evolving gene sets may be in different species, as in an evolutionary arms race between a predator species and its prey (Vermeij, 1987), or a parasite and its host. Alternatively, the arms race may be between members of the same species, as in the manipulation/sales resistance model of communication (Dawkins & Krebs, 1979) or as in runaway evolution or Red Queen effects. One example of an evolutionary arms race is in sexual conflict between the sexes, often described with the term Fisherian runaway. Thierry Lodé emphasized the role of such antagonistic interactions in evolution leading to character displacements and antagonistic coevolution.History of the Royal Navy
The official history of the Royal Navy began with the formal establishment of the Royal Navy as the national naval force of the Kingdom of England in 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne. However, for more than a thousand years before that there had been English naval forces varying in type and organization. In 1707 it became the naval force of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Union between England and Scotland which merged the English navy with the much smaller Royal Scots Navy, although the two had begun operating together from the time of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
Before the creation of the Royal Navy, the English navy had no defined moment of formation; it started out as a motley assortment of "King's ships" during the Middle Ages assembled only as needed and then dispersed, began to take shape as a standing navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment during the tumults of the 17th century. The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with France that started in 1690 and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars, a time when the practice of fighting under sail was developed to its highest point.
The ensuing century of general peace saw considerable technological development, with sail yielding to steam and cannon supplanted by large shell-firing guns, and ending with the race to construct bigger and better battleships. That race, however, was ultimately a dead end, as aircraft carriers and submarines came to the fore and, after the successes of World War II, the Royal Navy yielded its formerly preeminent place to the United States Navy. The Royal Navy has remained one of the world's most capable navies, however, and currently operates a fleet of modern ships.Nuclear arms race
The nuclear arms race was an arms race competition for supremacy in nuclear warfare between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies during the Cold War. During this period, in addition to the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles, other countries developed nuclear weapons, though none engaged in warhead production on nearly the same scale as the two superpowers.Red Queen hypothesis
The Red Queen hypothesis (also referred to as Red Queen's, the Red Queen effect, Red Queen's race) is an evolutionary hypothesis which proposes that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate in order to survive while pitted against ever-evolving opposing organisms in a constantly changing environment, as well as to gain reproductive advantage.
The hypothesis intends to explain two different phenomena: the constant extinction rates as observed in the paleontological record caused by co-evolution between competing species, and the advantage of sexual reproduction (as opposed to asexual reproduction) at the level of individuals.Security dilemma
The security dilemma, also referred to as the spiral model, is a term used in international relations and refers to a situation in which, under anarchy, actions by a state intended to heighten its security, such as increasing its military strength, committing to use weapons or making alliances, can lead other states to respond with similar measures, producing increased tensions that create conflict, even when no side really desires it.The term was coined by the German scholar John H. Herz in his 1951 book Political Realism and Political Idealism. At the same time British historian Herbert Butterfield described the same situation in his History and Human Relations, but referred to it as the "absolute predicament and irreducible dilemma". In John Herz's words, the security dilemma is "A structural notion in which the self-help attempts of states to look after their security needs tend, regardless of intention, to lead to rising insecurity for others as each interprets its own measures as defensive and measures of others as potentially threatening".A frequently cited example of the security dilemma is the beginning of World War I. Supporters of this viewpoint argue that the major European powers felt forced to go to war by feelings of insecurity over alliances of their neighbours despite not actually wanting war. Furthermore, Germany's fear of fighting war on two fronts led it to the formulation of the infamous Schlieffen Plan, which specified a particularly accelerated mobilization timetable. The onset of German mobilization, in turn, put pressure on other states to start mobilizing early as well. However, other scholars dispute this interpretation of the origins of the war, contending that some of the states involved really wanted the conflict.
The security dilemma is a popular concept with cognitive and international relations theorists, who regard war as essentially arising from failures of communication. Functionalist theorists affirm that the key to avoiding war is the avoidance of miscommunication through proper signaling.
The security dilemma has important relationships with other theories and doctrines of international security. Part of the strength of the security dilemma theory is that it subsumes and is consistent with a number of other theories. Other theories can be considered in terms of the security dilemma.South American dreadnought race
A naval arms race among Argentina, Brazil and Chile—the most powerful and wealthy countries in South America—began in the early twentieth century when the Brazilian government ordered three dreadnoughts, formidable battleships whose capabilities far outstripped older vessels in the world's navies.
In 1904, the Brazilian Navy found itself well behind its Argentine and Chilean rivals in quality and total tonnage; few ships had been ordered since the fall of the Brazilian monarchy in 1889, while Argentina and Chile had just concluded a fifteen-year naval arms race which filled their navies with modern warships. Rising demand for coffee and rubber was fueling a large increase in the Brazilian government's revenue, and the country's legislature voted to devote some of the proceeds to address this naval imbalance. They believed that building a strong navy would play an essential role in remaking the country into an international power.
The Brazilian government ordered three small battleships from the United Kingdom in late 1905, but the appearance of the revolutionary British warship HMS Dreadnought in 1906 quickly scrapped these plans. Instead, the Brazilians ordered three Minas Geraes-class dreadnoughts—warships that would be the most powerful in the world, and of a type which quickly became a measure of international prestige, similar to nuclear weapons in the mid-twentieth century. This action focused the world's attention on the newly ascendant country: newspapers and politicians in the great powers fretted that Brazil would sell the ships to a belligerent nation, while the Argentine and Chilean governments immediately canceled their naval-limiting pact and ordered two dreadnoughts each (the Rivadavia and Almirante Latorre classes, respectively).
Meanwhile, Brazil's third dreadnought faced a good deal of political opposition after an economic downturn and a naval revolt: the crews of both of their brand-new battleships, along with several smaller warships, mutinied and threatened to fire on Rio de Janeiro if there was no end to what they called the "slavery" being practiced by the Brazilian Navy. Despite these pressures, the shipbuilder Armstrong Whitworth successfully held the Brazilians to their contractual obligations. Construction on the new ship, preliminarily named Rio de Janeiro, was halted several times due to repeated design changes. Brazil's coffee and rubber booms collapsed soon after. Concerned that their ship would be outclassed by larger super-dreadnoughts, they sold the incomplete vessel to the Ottoman Empire in December 1913.
The First World War marked the end of the naval arms race, as the South American countries found themselves unable to purchase additional warships. The Brazilian government ordered a new battleship, Riachuelo, in May 1914, but the conflict effectively canceled the ship. The British purchased the two Chilean battleships before they were completed; one was sold back to Chile in 1920. Argentina's two dreadnoughts, having been built in the neutral United States, escaped this fate and were commissioned in 1914–15. Although several South American post-war naval expansion plans called for dreadnoughts, no additional units were constructed.Standard-type battleship
The Standard-type battleship was a series of twelve battleships across five classes ordered for the United States Navy between 1911 and 1916 and commissioned between 1916 and 1923. These were considered super-dreadnoughts, with the ships of the final two classes incorporating many lessons from the Battle of Jutland.
Each vessel was produced with a series of progressive innovations, which contributed to the pre-World War II arms race. The twelve vessels constituted the US Navy's main battle line in the interwar period, while many of the ten earlier dreadnoughts were scrapped or relegated to secondary duties. Restrictions under the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty limited total numbers and size of battleships and had required some under construction to be cancelled, so it was not until the onset of World War II that new battleships were constructed. On December 7, 1941, eight were at Pearl Harbor, one at Bremerton, Washington, and three were assigned to the Atlantic Fleet.The Dead Hand
The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy is the winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction written by Washington Post contributing editor David E. Hoffman.
The book is based on a large number of published and unpublished sources, including interviews with political leaders, scientists, military officials and diplomats. The Russian automatic nuclear-control system known as "Dead Hand" is described in detail.This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race
"This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" is a song by American rock band Fall Out Boy and the second single from their commercially successful third studio album Infinity on High (2007). The song officially debuted on November 21 at the American Music Awards and was shipped to radio stations that night (with an impact date of December 5 in the United States). The music was composed by vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump and the lyrics were penned by bassist Pete Wentz, following the band's songwriting approach which first began with some songs on their 2003 album Take This to Your Grave. Production was handled by Neal Avron, who also produced the band's previous From Under the Cork Tree album. Commenting on the band's decision to pick the track as the first single, Wentz said "There may be other songs on the record that would be bigger radio hits, but this one had the right message."
The track was a commercial success and the band's major international breakthrough. "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with 162,000 first week sales and broke various records. It is the group's first single to chart worldwide in countries including Australia, New Zealand and most of the European nations, where it reached the top five in many. After its Platinum RIAA and ARIA certifications in 2007, in 2013 it was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for 200,000 sales. In Australia, it spent nine consecutive weeks at either No. 4 or No. 5.The song was released as a downloadable track for the video game Rock Band on May 6, 2008, and is also on Rock Band Track Pack Volume 2. The January 2009 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine lists Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" as second on its list of Rock Band's Five Most Unexpectedly Rockin' Downloadable Songs. The song is also available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero 5.Tripartite Declaration of 1950
The Tripartite Declaration of 1950, also called the Tripartite Agreement of 1950, was a joint statement by the United States, United Kingdom, and France to guarantee the territorial status quo that had been determined by the 1949 Arab–Israeli Armistice Agreements.
Developed from discussions related to the armistice, the declaration outlined the parties' commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East and their opposition to the use or the threat of force. They pledged to take action within and outside the United Nations to prevent violations of the frontiers or armistice lines. Further, they reiterated their opposition to the development of an arms race.The declaration also stipulated close consultation among the three powers, with a view to limiting the Arab–Israeli arms race; it was issued on 25 May 1950.Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was a treaty signed during 1922 among the major nations that had won World War I, which agreed to prevent an arms race by limiting naval construction. It was negotiated at the Washington Naval Conference, held in Washington, D.C., from November 1921 to February 1922, and it was signed by the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, and Japan. It limited the construction of battleships, battlecruisers and aircraft carriers by the signatories. The numbers of other categories of warships, including cruisers, destroyers and submarines, were not limited by the treaty, but those ships were limited to 10,000 tons displacement each.
The treaty was concluded on February 6, 1922. Ratifications of that treaty were exchanged in Washington on August 17, 1923, and it was registered in the League of Nations Treaty Series on April 16, 1924.Later naval arms limitation conferences sought additional limitations of warship building. The terms of the Washington treaty were modified by the London Naval Treaty of 1930 and the Second London Naval Treaty of 1936. By the mid-1930s, Japan and Italy renounced the treaties, while Germany renounced the Treaty of Versailles which had limited its navy. Naval arms limitation became increasingly difficult for the other signatories.