Independence or dependence? : the arms industries in Israel, South Africa and Yugoslavia during the Cold War
This dissertation examines the development of armaments production in Israel, South Africa and Yugoslavia and the implications thereof regarding military import dependency, arms exports, and defence production cooperation among developing arms producers. The dissertation concentrates on strategic and political issues of Third world arms production and does not deal with questions of arms industries and development. The dissertation makes three broad arguments: First, that truly indigenous arms production hardly exists in the three case study countries. I illustrate this by showing the heavy dependence of Israel, South Africa and Yugoslavia on foreign technology, licences, foreign components and foreign capital for all major -- and many minor -- weapons manufacturing projects undertaken since the 1960s. Second, that despite billions of dollars invested in building up respective defence industry sectors, all three states (or successor states in the case of Yugoslavia) remained dependent on imports of most of the same major weapons systems at the end of the Cold War as they were 30 years earlier. Embargo of systems such as fighter aircraft, ships and tanks by the old arms supplier oligopoly was the key reason for the initiation of arms production in all three countries. But the cancellation or failure of key arms manufacturing projects in all three countries, such as the Israeli Lavi fighter, means that far from achieving weapons supply independence, this dependency is set to continue into the next century Third, that despite the above two points, Israel, South Africa, Yugoslavia and other Third World arms producers have played an expanding and important role the world arms trade and proliferation of military technology since the 1970s. This seeming paradox will be illustrated by contrasting Israel's growing dependency on the United States for advanced weapons, capital and technology from 1970 to 1990, with the Israeli role as the single most important UN arms sanctions buster to South Africa from 1977 to the early 1990s; as an arms supplier to Argentina during the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War, to Iran during the Iran-Iraq War and to Guatemala after the 1977 U.S. arms cut-off. The dissertation concludes that while some arms production is bound to continue in all three states (or successor states), major weapons manufacturing projects are a thing of the past and will be initiated -- if at all -- with the cooperation of arms industries from the very industrialised powers which Israel, South Africa and Yugoslavia sought total independence from through indigenous arms production during the Cold War.