Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Arthur Cyr

First Page



The purpose of this essay is to discuss analytically the overseas arms sales policies of the three major Western supplier nations--the United States, Britain, and France. It is appropriate to group them together because they all have similar goals and characteristics. All are Atlantic Area NATO nations. They are democratic and are based upon largely private economies. The three nations have general histories of cooperation and alliance dating back to before the beginning of this century.

This analysis is based on the assumption that military trade between the industrialized and lesser-developed countries is especially likely to destabilize international relations since (1) high technology weapons in these areas have a greater impact, (2) political relationships are generally more fragile and uncertain both within and between these countries, and (3) the likelihood of nuclear exchange does not operate as effectively as a restraint on conventional warfare among Third World nations as among other nations.