Arms Race



The term arms race in its original usage describes a competition between two or more parties for military supremacy. Each party competes to produce larger numbers of weapons, greater armies, or superior military technology in a technological escalation.

At the geopolitical level of the 20th century, the United States and the Soviet Union developed more and better nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Immediately after World War II, the United States was behind the Soviet Union in the area of intermediate range missiles, but they managed to catch up with the help of German scientists. The Soviet Union committed their command economy to the arms race and, with the deployment of the SS-18 in the late 1970s, achieved first strike parity. However, the strain of competition against the great spending power of the United States created enormous economic problems during Mikhail Gorbachev's attempt at konversiya, the transition to a consumer based, mixed economy, and hastened the collapse of The Soviet Union. Because the two powers were competing with one another instead of aiming for a predefined goal, both nations soon acquired a huge capacity for overkill.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arms race".




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