Arms Races in the Middle East: A Test of Causality
Looney, Robert E.
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In recent decades, high levels of military expenditures have characterized the budgetary structures of most Middle Eastern countries.1 The basic patterns are well known, and for obvious reasons there has been an on-going interest among analysts (a) to explain the militarization of the region as a whole and (b) to search for variables to explain the level of defence spending of the major countries. This latter thrust has focused on factors such as economic conditions, population, size of the country, rivalries, and arms races. Here, conventional wisdom stresses regional arms races as the prime culprit in accounting for the staggering military burdens, particularly those accrued by Israel, Egypt and Syria. Unfortunately, most of this analysis in this area has been anecdotal at best. In addition, many of the empirical studies of the region's militarization are based on models built largely on arbitrary and often unrealistic assumptions concerning the action/reaction patterns of the major participants.2 · The purpose of this paper is to identify from a quantitative perspective the existence of and causation involved in the region's major arms races. To avoid preconceived perceptions and/or biases, the approach is purely atheoretical, and is based on several new statistical developments in the analysis of causation.
Refereed Journal Article
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