This, the 24th edition of World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT), presents a mixed statistical picture of global military effort through 1994. There have been gratifying declines in militarization in many areas of the world. In some of these areas, however, the reductions have been caused by serious economic difficulties and may not be durable. In other areas there are signs of new buildups of forces. Military spending and conventional arms imports in the developing world as a whole have declined from their Cold War highs of the 1980's, but have not yet fallen below levels of the mid-1970's.

Arms controllers naturally and properly tend to focus mainly on the forces and weapons that are the most devastating, that threaten destruction on a mass scale. At the same time, we would do well to remember that the same motives impelling countries to build up their conventional forces also inspire the proliferation of mass-destruction weapons. If we can successfully address the former, we may do a great deal to lessen the latter as well.

ACDA is strengthening its focus on regional and local arms issues and the arms control means to address them. These include ways to encourage military transparency, as exemplified by the present report. Now more than ever, we need strong efforts against proliferation and for arms control and other non-military means of enhancing security.

John D. Holum


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