Two-year arms races ahead of great wars

I wrote repeatedly (during the last eight years) about how both world wars and many wars in general were preceded by two or three years of intense arms racing. Long, sustained arms races rarely end in wars without such a final sprint.

The final arms race prior to the First World War began when the German parliament finally authorized an expansion of German land power in response to many years of great and sustained French and Russian efforts to create and maintain greater land power.
The final arms race prior to the Second World War in Europe began slowly in 1935 and accelerated considerably in 1938.

Now we could ask ourselves whether the refreshed interest in main battle tanks, in deployment and other exercises in Eastern Europe or maybe the gazillionth post-Cold War military reform in Russia may signal the start of another such horribly fateful arms race.

The statistical indicators won't be available until the next budget laws are passed, but I suppose no - this is not a final two-year or three-year dash into another great war. Using an analogy from the early 20th century, I'd rate the crisis in the Ukraine rather as the equivalent of  the First Moroccan Crisis. An event that allowed for sabre rattling, raised fears of war, contributed to adversarial foreign policies - but it was in itself not the direct prelude to a great war.


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