Cover: Arms Transfers and the Indebtedness of Less Developed Countries

Arms Transfers and the Indebtedness of Less Developed Countries

Published 1983

by Walter F. Kitchenman


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To what extent have the enormous debt problems of the less developed countries (LDCs) been affected by the conventional arms trade of the past decade? In this Note it is argued that liberally supplied loans to the LDCs in the 1970s facilitated the importation of both arms and development goods, and thus encouraged the dramatic growth of arms sales during the decade. In turn, loans on military account resulting from both the direct and indirect financing of arms purchases make up roughly 8 percent of external LDC indebtedness worldwide, the burden of which has reduced the sources of credit available to the LDCs in the 1980s. The resulting financial constraint on arms purchases and other imports, though conditioned by the political and strategic forces which often drive arms transfers, may limit arms sales to the Third World in the future.

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