The australian naval institute

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Global Macroeconomics

Treaties, alliances, pacts etc. tend to give military power (and particularly maritime power) an appearance of in­ternational composition. However, the industrial support tor a free-world na­tion's military posture is essentially a national issue.

Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute Page 11

In the post World War II years, particularly in the 1950s, it was not uncommon for the strongest partner in an alliance to be supplying the majority of military equipment requirements for other members either by aid measures or direct or en­forced sale. Industrial development on the one hand, and internal socio-economic factors on the other, have resulted in a shift in both developed and developing countries in creation of their own military industrial infrastructures. In the future, this trend can be expected to continue. In mid-July 1979, the OECD released a report which was titled Facing the Future. Mastering the Probable and Managing the Unpredictable. The major conclusion of this report which attempted to probe the future to the year 2000, was that relations between advanced industrial societies and the less developed economies have entered a period of transition that could well endure into the 21st century.

In specific terms, the report stated that indus­trialisation would become more internationalised and competitive despite the emergence of some neo-protectionism. Income shifts would occur and economic weights among countries would change. The so-called Third World Countries

would no longer remain in the periphery of world economy, although they would still be in need of the developed countries' markets, technology and finance.

These changes can be expected to occur within and, in some instances, because of, a context of:

  • natural resource and ecological constraints

  • technological advances

  • demographic and social pressures

  • evolving political institutions.

It is important to note that the OECD did not consider their report as a forecast and I quote The future is not written' The view of the coming world was offered for reflection and hopefully an in­creased awareness of long term issues.

The reason that a potential increasing spread of industrialisation is important is that there is a relationship between a nations total industrial base and not unnaturally, its capability to supply its own needs for a military capability, or expres­sed in a complementary manner, the percentage of military equipment it has to import from foreign sources Exact data to quantify this relationship is not available but it would probably be reasonably represented by the hypothetical curve shown as Figure 1.

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