Threats, Arms and Conflicts: Taking Stock of Interstate Military Competition in Today’s World

December 6th 2018 - 15:17

This paper, part of the Strategic Monitor 2018-2019, conducts an empirical analysis of trends in interstate military competition. It gauges the perceptions and intentions, capabilities, and conflict activities of leading military powers in the international system for the period 2008-2018. The principal conclusion is that interstate military competition is intensifying, and can be expected to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.  

Combined with the dramatic rise of internationalized intrastate conflict, there is a considerable risk of escalation from indirect to direct state-on-state conflict. For the Netherlands, the key implications of increasing military competition reside in the risks to the territorial and economic security of the Netherlands and its allies, and the erosion of international law. Read the paper here.

Authors: Tim Sweijs, Director of Research and Floris Holstege, assistant analyst. 

Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.