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Q75.

How common is it for defence acquisition decisions to be based on political influence by selling nations?

75a. Prevalence: selling nations

Score

SCORE: NS/100

Assessor Explanation

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75b. Justification

Score

SCORE: NS/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

75c. Prevalence: domestic pressures

Score

SCORE: NS/100

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This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Media reports have revealed influence by seller nations on major procurements. This was the case of a major helicopter procurement process during which French, German and the US governments were involved [1]. Government involvement by selling nations occurred during procurements for the naval force too [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The majority of the military acquisitions derive from the military strategy, the Long-term Armed Forces Development Plan and ministerial annual directives [1, 2]. However, no information is provided to the public on why a particular supplier is chosen.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Political influence on awarding contracts has been also reported. In 2015 the opposition accused the minister of defence of awarding the contract for the maintenance of the navy radars to an unqualified company with links to the government [1]. There is also a widespread belief among bidders that tenders can only be acquired through political connections. Moreover, the political affiliations of companies with the ruling party also determine how and how much money is spent in particular areas [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are some indications that political influence from sellers nations have influenced acquisition decisions, see the country’s last assessment (1). Russia has been the main supplier of arms for the last decade, supplying 84.3% of arms to Algeria (2). In 2006, Russia cancelled Algeria’s debt of $4.7 billion from the Soviet-era in return for Algeria’s commitment to buy weapons worth $7.5 billion. According to one report, Russia still hopes to strengthen its position in Algeria by selling arms and signing military cooperation agreements. However, it has not achieved its goal of establishing a naval base (3). Algeria has sought to diversify its arms purchases in recent years and intends to spend $30 billion on defence systems and weaponry from the United States and Europe in the upcoming years. Due to the arms purchases from Russia, the Algerian government has to fear sanctions from the US after President Trump signed a law imposing sanctions on every country buying military equipment from Russia (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Algerian military occasionally justifies acquisitions by referring to the general need of the military. For example, in an article about the acquisition of a corvette in 2016, it pointed out that it would strengthen the naval forces as part of the fleet modernization and would contribute to the optimization of defence potential (1). Another article stated that the ANP’s modernization relied essentially on the rational exploitation of available capacities, including appropriate material resources, modern weapons and human resources (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No evidence could be found that there is domestic pressure on the military concerning military purchases. As Yazbeck notes, the military does not allow any civilian interference in military affairs (1). Reports on joint military-parliamentary events, such as on the military industry, also did not mention any pressure from legislators towards the military (2), (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Recent high-value purchases in the defence and security sector are of diverse origins, including among others Italian, Chinese and Russian companies and international corporations like Airbus. Existing credit lines, bilateral accords or historic ties appear to be important. In the case of the $1 billion purchase of refurbished Sukhoi fighters from Russia, no justification was made public for the choice of the supplier; yet, both availability or lower-cost second-hand jets and the historic influence of Russia in Angola’s defence sector may have played a role. Previous similar arms deals with Russia during the civil war reportedly involved a high level of corruption (1), (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Presidential contract approvals are published in the official gazette and are occasionally, no matter how vaguely, justified by military or security needs. However, the selection of a supplier is usually not justified publicly. In the case of the $1 billion purchase of refurbished Sukhoi fighters from Russia, no justification was made public for the choice of the supplier; yet, both availability or lower-cost second-hand jets and the historic influence of Russia in Angola’s defence sector may have played a role. Previous similar arms deals with Russia during the civil war reportedly involved a high level of corruption (1), (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The lack of transparency over the decision-making process for defence purchases makes it difficult to assess the role of domestic political pressures, though it also suggests that expectations of kickbacks may be an incentive for some senior officials involved.

Recent media reports allege that after the purchase of six helicopters from Augusta Westland SA in 2014, eventually cheaper models were delivered rather than the helicopters stipulated in the contract, raising suspicions that the then chief of the President’s Security Bureau exerted his influence to misappropriate the price difference between the helicopters.

Defence Web reports, that “Angolan military expenditure will be driven by troop expansion, as well as a revision in troop wage structure, in a bid to improve living standards along with military hardware modernization and border security plans” (1).

Gensat states, “according to the document signed by Angolan leader Joao Lourenco, the deal is necessary for ‘ensuring the work and functioning of the air defence system of big cities and the country’s sensitive economic facilities’.Angola’s army is one of the largest Africa; it has more than 100,000 soldiers. In the 2019 budget, the government will allocate €1.65 bn for the defence sector, which amounts to 5.16% of total public expenses estimated” (2).

GlobalSecurity.org reports, “Angola has a large, healthy, and relatively capable military, one that could play a much larger role in fostering peace on this troubled continent. The Armed Forces of Angola (FAA) is responsible for external security but also has domestic security responsibilities, including border security, the expulsion of irregular immigrants, and small-scale actions against the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) separatists in Cabinda. The National Police, controlled by the Ministry of Interior, is responsible for internal security and law enforcement. The Internal Intelligence Service reports to the presidency and investigates sensitive state security matters” (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The existence of influences by the selling nations is not publicly evidenced, but the possibility is not ruled out, such as the change of supplier from Russia to France. [1] Defence procurement and contracting are part of the planning cycle that begins with the DPDN (quadrennial) of the national executive branch. [2] Although this document is public, the other stages are not easily accessible since they were not raised in the regulations as public documents. This is the case of the Comprehensive Defence Investment Management System (SIGID) which, according to the Decree that instructs the planning cycle, is postulated by the EMCO and then approved by the Ministry as the Defence Investment Plan (PIDEF). The DPDN 2018 starts the third planning cycle and proposes as a guiding criterion for resource planning the implementation of an internal and progressive redistribution of military spending, destined to the process of re-conversion of the Military Instrument and to multi-annual investments aimed at capacity recovery, incorporation of equipment, and technological development. [3] [4]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Military needs are defined in the DPND under the power of the National Executive Power. In general, no internal political pressures are evident in the procurement decisions of war material. An example of this is the end of restrictions on the sale of military technology by the United Kingdom and the new negotiations that arose as a result. [1] This could have generated internal pressures against it, but did not.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Military needs are defined in the DPND under the power of the National Executive Power. In general, no internal political pressures are evident in the procurement decisions of war material. An example of this is the end of restrictions on the sale of military technology by the United Kingdom and the new negotiations that arose as a result. [1] This could have generated internal pressures against it, but did not.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The issue of the political influence of the arms seller country is very much debated within the international security and foreign policy experts. Scholars have not yet fully considered the extent to which arms trade is driven by economic interests over foreign policy considerations. From one hand the goal of a defence contractor might be to generate profit. From another hand, senior policymakers might be interested in selling arms as a foreign policy tool [1]. Though politics may play some role in making its arms acquisition plans and purchases in Armenia, the country is mostly guided both by the rationality of the acquisition (in economic terms) [2] and the accommodation of the purchase to the already existing types of arms. Armenia’s dependence on foreign countries is politically driven. Armenia is a CSTO member and most of the armaments come from Russia and this is, of course, political leverage. In particular, we can refer to the Armenian-Russian Unified Subdivision [3], which is the expression of the Russia-Armenia strategic partnership and the supply of armaments for this subdivision can only be from Russia. This is a direct political influence. However, Armenia does not only buy weapons from CSTO member states [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In the case of Armenia, the motives are mostly pragmatic. Choosing a particular country to buy arms has a very practical implication: being a member of the CSTO, it is important to have arms that imply the interoperability principle. Price-wise, the strategic partnership with Russia guarantees the best price offer Armenia can afford [1]. So, we would not define the arms acquisition deals as influenced or pressured by the seller country, but rather a rational choice [2].
The former deputy minister of defence mentioned in his interview on December 5, 2017, that there is no pressure by Russia to purchase arms within the state loan that is anticipated for arms purchase [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Arms procurement in Armenia is implemented based on the development plan of the armed forces. This was mentioned by former Minister of Defence Vigen Sargsyan. As he pointed out in his interview to the Russian mass media representatives on March 30, 2018, Armenia has to deal with the balance of power in the region and consider purchasing the types of arms that will guarantee the parity in the South Caucasus. In this regards, Armenia negotiates arms deals not only with Russia but with other suppliers as well [1, 2]. A lot depends on arms purchase in the South Caucasus. The main consideration is to build such as an arsenal of weaponry that will be able to secure the population should there be an immediate threat of use of force by Azerbaijan (as they often warn at different fora) [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There has been some hand-wringing over Australia’s close strategic relationship with its biggest ally, the United States, and how this affects Defence spending decisions; in addition, the procurement of weapons systems from partners such as the UK and Japan have brought accusations of politically influenced purchasing decisions. Observers argue that there are certainly strong reasons for the Defence relationship to be very close and for Australia to spend heavily on Defence technologies and weapons that increase interoperability between the Australian Defence Force and the U.S. military [1]. These interoperable weapons are usually American-made, because of the large economies of scale and Defence industrial base that exists in the U.S. However, critics of the percentage of Australian Defence spending directed towards U.S. weapons – some “double that of South Korea and Japan, and almost ten times higher than Canada and the United Kingdom” – say that the political need to buy American systems comes at a cost to Australian suppliers [2]. Other commentators counter that U.S. weapons have a track record of being more capable, reliable, and cost-effective, and that the current procurement boom will provide opportunities for both local producers and U.S. companies [3]. However, there are few that argue that Australian Defence decisions are driven purely by the political interests of the United States; rather, the argument is more that the strategic-political decision of the Australian government – calculating that the U.S. will back Australia in any major regional contingency, so that the Australian goal should be to fill in American capabilities – is misplaced [4]. The tendering process for the Future Submarine Program, however, was allegedly influenced by Japanese political considerations and the personal friendship of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [5], who allegedly reached a “secret deal” that Japan would receive the US$40 billion contract – a claim strongly denied by Abbott [6]. Analysts claimed that the crucial factor resulting in Japan losing out on the contract was a change in Australia’s political leadership [7]. There was also speculation among defence commentators that the 2018 selection of the UK-based BAE Systems to build Australia’s “Future Frigate” was linked to political considerations around an anticipated UK-Australia free-trade agreement [8], though this was rejected by Australian politicians [9].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Australia consistently connects military procurement to strategic needs identified by government. Since the early 2000s, the government has periodically released Defence White Papers which lay out the strategic concerns that it has identified. The 2016 Defence White Paper [1] was released concurrently with the Integrated Investment Program [2], which explains the more specific connection between strategic priorities outlined in the White Paper and justifies specific planned procurement (see Q63A). Though there was criticism of the process behind high-profile foreign procurement decisions in the past years by observers, including with the Future Submarine Program [3], the government has attempted to publicly justify the procurement method and ultimate supplier decision, and the Australian National Audit Office concluded that “Defence effectively designed and implemented a competitive evaluation process to select an international partner for the Future Submarine program” [4]. There has been criticism from analysts and those involved in oversight that, beyond these high-level documents, the government is overly secretive, which stymies oversight efforts and public understanding of the justifications of Defence spending; and that government is reluctant to update and refresh justifications in response to strategic developments [5-8].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Analysts, academics, and observers have documented several cases where procurement decisions were allegedly driven by domestic political pressures, either in the form of competition between politicians representing different areas of the country or taking shape as pressure to deliver national political promises – and occasionally both at once. Australian academic Dr. Greg Raymond argues in a 2018 paper that the “Australian government’s 2016 decision to acquire land‐based anti‐ship missiles…” was at least partly based in the “influence of the resources sector and constituents of Australia’s northwest” [1]. The Future Submarine Program case got significant public attention as an instance of domestic pressure leading to possibly suboptimal outcomes. Media reports, opinion pieces, and academic analysis accused the government of forcing production to be carried out in the state of South Australia’s capital Adelaide to protect the interests of powerful South Australian politicians and secure public support in 4 marginal seats (swing districts) based in Adelaide [2-4]. Additionally, senior government politicians such as MP Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation, and Science at the time and Minister for Defence by 2018, put their political credibility on the line to boost local Defence procurement [5]. According to media reports, the government awarded Thales a contract to locally produce the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle at twice the cost of a solution supplied by the U.S. An scathing Australian National Audit Office report on the project was redacted by the Attorney-General [6] in an unprecedented interference into the external oversight bodies’ work, allegedly to avoid political embarrassment for the government and commercial embarrassment for the company [7].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Some acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations, but this is not extremely common. In fact, the Azerbaijani government tries to influence other countries that are selling defence products that Baku needs. Azerbaijan does not have specific strategic plans for arms. This is due to the lack of military development strategy. The country mainly receives weapons and military equipment from Russia, Turkey and Israel. There are cultural, political and economic bases for buying weapons from all three countries. Natig Jafarli believes that Russia has put some political pressure on Azerbaijan for arms sales (1). At the same time, Baku complains about the fact that NATO countries do not sell weapons to Azerbaijan. Recently Minister of Defence Zakir Hasanov said that some states impose unjustified restrictions on the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Most of the time, the government justifies purchases by referring to military need. President Ilham Aliyev and Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov said that the Azerbaijani military is armed to return the occupied lands in a short period of time (1). Similar content is also included in the Military Doctrine (2). At the June 2018 parade, President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan is strongly armed because the lands are under occupation (3).
Experts believe that the purchase of large quantities of weapons and military equipment from Russia will lead Azerbaijan to military-political dependence on Russia.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is almost no domestic pressure and influence the government to make decisions in the defence and security sector. Opposition parties sometimes make statements on this issue, but the government does not take them into account (1). The chairman of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan, Ali Kerimli, stated that (September 2018) $5 billion worth of weapons and military equipment purchased by Azerbaijan from Russia was useless. According to him, by taking these weapons, the authorities do not think about Karabakh and think of the “income”. The decision to arm the defence and security sector is made by the ruling family. This issue is not discussed in the parliament or by the public (2, 3, 4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The vast majority of acquisition decisions, especially strategic procurements, are made under the influence of the selling nations, including the USA [1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Although the country is small and it does not need much weaponry, there has not been any justification for acquisitions except that it needs these weapons to protect the country from foreign threats [1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are no domestic pressures that are grand in scale, but there could be a few elites from the royal family that have interests with a foreign selling nation that may affect acquisition decisions [1, 2]. Following a search of the websites of the Parliament, the MoD, the Ministry of Finance, the government and other media sources, and then verified by interviewees, no further information on this subject could be found.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Bangladesh has recently attained a significant geopolitical strategic position for two reasons: first, the Bay of Bengal, which is a key component of the Indo-Pacific; and second, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which holds ‘great potential’ to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between Bangladesh and China [1]. Bangladesh’s foreign and defence polices now revolve around a ‘fine balancing act’ between three actors: India, the USA and China [2]. Both the economic and political influence of these three countries are evident in all spheres of national life in Bangladesh. Defence acquisition is no exception to this reality. China is the biggest provider of arms and ammunition to Bangladesh. India and the USA also do not want to lag behind and have been wooing Bangladesh with many concessions and lucrative defence deals in order to offset the greater influence of China on the Bangladesh military [3]. There is no hard evidence to substantiate this observation, however, the analyses in the media reports seem to support it.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Bangladesh has always pursued a foreign policy of ‘friends to all and malice to none’ and has maintained friendly relations with countries around the world. Bangladesh has always maintained the position that its purchases of defence equipment are in the national interest [1]. To allay India’s fears, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister clarified that the decision to buy two submarines from China was related to the national interest of Bangladesh [2,3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Domestic politics is fully under the control of the incumbent government. Hence, domestic political pressure has no link to defence acquisitions in Bangladesh [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It is very likely that major arms procurement programmes (major platforms such as aircraft, military ships, missiles systems, etc.) include some level of political influence. The bigger the stakes/costs for the potential suppliers/recipient, the more influence is waged on the customer/recipient country. The process usually starts sometime before the actual publication of the call for proposals; preliminary discussions and negotiations first happen behind closed doors with an unknown number of selected companies and likely government representatives which hold meetings before the “public” discussion. That being said, Belgium has a sound legal framework regarding public procurement contract to limit the influence of this political pressure [1, 2, 3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In terms of procurement, the Minister of Defense must follow a prescribed procedure as detailed in the law on public procurement and the law on public procurement regarding security and defence. The process includes:
(a) the need for a weapon system in a ten-year program before explaining it (to the Chamber);
(b) analysis of the different possibilities (in terms of choices of equipment purchases);
(c) reports (to the Chamber) on the negotiations (with arms producing companies) and on aspects related to joint production and compensation (handled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs);
(d) decision-making (in terms of modernization program) [1, 2].

The lifecycle also needs to be defined in advance. Aditionally, the military requirements for purchases are outlined in the Defence Strategic Vision, which is updated every legislature. [3]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

As mentioned earlier, Belgium is a small country in terms of defence, defence issues are far from making the top of the list of Belgian societal priorities; there is a relative lack of transparency in general which I believe should be attributed to:

1) the fact that defence is far from being a priority for Belgium people;
2) they are a small country and resources for defence are limited;
3) as said in an interview, MPs are usually members of a number of parliament commissions, multitasking and making them generalists on these topics; the way the chamber “works” makes it “particracy” e.g. how the experts qualify the parliamentarians.

The formation of the federal government is always a moment that confirms the fact that Belgium is a particracy. Within the political parties, certain “organisations” in particular are responsible for the negotiations, first and foremost the party chairmen. All this helps to reaffirm the key role of political parties in the Belgian system; according to an article, That being said, the extensive legal and procedural frameworks protect acquisitions from being influenced heavily by domestic political pressure. [1, 2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no information proving the level of influence of seller nations on the process of granting acquisitions for the defence needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The largest procurement of weapons and other military equipment for the needs of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina was done through the U.S. Department of Defence’s Foreign Military Sales program [1]. Statements that renewal of weapons and equipment has been done through donations are public knowledge [2], thus donors can purchase items in their industry.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

One of the largest procurements, which is still ongoing, is the purchase of helicopters for the MoD and armed forces as part of a multi-year procurement project worth 65 million BAM [1, 2]. This procurement is planned in the MoD’s Medium-term Work Plan for the period 2018-2020, which is based on the strategic and normative legal acts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Defence Review and Modernization Plan of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina)[1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are some indications, as reported on in a prominent online web page named Patria, that political pressure (influence) plays a significant influence on granting acquisitions in the defence sector. The article suggests that the MoD’s management wants to influence the process of the preparation of tender documents to qualified bidders, bidders who are not qualified under the law in force, and ultimately fulfil its private interest [1].

According to the government reviewer, the multi-year project for the procurement of motor vehicles was carried out in full accordance with the PPL and publicly announced on the JN Portal. All potential bidders had the right to participate. In the course of the procedure, there were a number of questions received by the candidate/tenderer, and all interested parties were entitled to legal protection. This procurement information is published on the JN portal in BiH [2,3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is no evidence of any influence on the BDF by the selling nations [1]. This can be attributed to the nature of the purchase as well as the secret details that are generally associated with the security purchases [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Where the government purchases equipment from a supplier outside the jurisdiction of Botswana, the government does not volunteer information on why the BDF is purchasing that equipment from that country [1]. However, if queries arise as to the reasons why the purchasing of that equipment is was done from that country, the BDF has offered some explanations [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There have been allegations that certain purchases by the BDF took place as a result of political pressures [1]. However, these remain as allegations and they have been dismissed or confirmed through due process [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In 2017, Operation Zelotes found evidence of a possible undue influence of Lula and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy in the negotiation of the aircraft acquisition [1]. In 2014, Lula stated his preference for the French aircraft, but the military preference for the Swedish aircraft stopped the negotiations with France [2]. The final decision was for the Sweden Aircrafts called Gripen, according to the technical justification given by the Brazilian Air Force.
The decision regarding the Gripen Aircraft is being scrutinized by the Judiciary (prompted by the Federal Public Ministry) due to an anonymous accusation of corruption. According to the accusation, the former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, his son Luís Cláudio and the lobbyists Mauro Marcondes and Cristina Mautoni (who represented the Swedish company SAAB in Brazil) colluded for the acquisition. President Lula would have reportedly received R$6 million that went to his political party PT, and the lobbyist would have reportedly received R$2.5 million [2]. In this corruption allegation there is no public evidence of attempts to jeopardize the legislature scrutiny.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In the Gripen case, the French influence over former president Lula was undermined by a technical report released by the military, which was supported by the defence committees, which was a good sign of internal independence in relation to international sellers [1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are very few domestic interest groups in Brazil’s defence sector since the Ministry of Defence acts as an echo of the single forces’ wishes, because it is highly militarized. The legislative branch does not engage in defence topics because it is not a significant source of votes or campaign funds. Therefore, there are no major public debates regarding defence acquisitions of minor or recurrent items, and the only players are the military themselves and the growing defence industry; which is becoming more and more a major source of domestic pressure [1, 2, 3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Given the current security context of Burkina Faso, it is believed that defence acquisition decisions are primarily based on national defence and security concerns, though the political influence of selling nations remains, in some circumstances, key driving factors of these decisions. For example, exposing on the recent Law of Programming the Burkina Faso legislature passed to implement the five-year Strategic Plan of Reform (PSR) of armed forces. Diallo (2017), indicates that the “adoption of this law should allow the country to provide the National Armed Forces with appropriate means, and to guarantee the financing of the needs of the Army” (1).

However, it must be pointed out that, the defence acquisition decisions are also politically driven, notably by selling nations. For example, made up of five countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, the G5 Sahel was created in 2014, in collaboration with defence items selling nation (France, Germany, United States), to address terrorism and violent extremism related issues in the region. According to rfiAfrique (2018), “this force of 5000 men and women is still not operational” (2). Yet, some of the defence items selling nations have offered to assist the organization, including France, which provided Burkina Faso’s armed forces, Mali and Niger with logistics, namely 15 vehicles and troop transport trucks (2), It turns out that these vehicles were not adapted for the kind of battle the troops are involved in. In such a condition, chances are great that members G5 Sahel member States got influenced by defence items selling nations, which supported the creation of the organization. Some regional military capacity building programs exist, such as FLINTLOK initiated by the United States aiming at building the capacity of the military and to fight against terrorism in the participating countries of theTranssaharian Region, including Burkina Faso (3). Taking part in such an initiative can drive defence acquisition decisions, as participating in these training initiatives requires military items. Additionally, although it achieved independence from France since 1960, many are the Burkinabe who believe that colonial power still influences Burkina Faso’s decisions in key areas, including defence (4). Moreover, France is a major donor of Burkina Faso. Making some decisions, including the acquisition of defence items without its endorsement, could engender retaliation.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to Diallo (2017), the defence minister said that “money granted through the Law of Military Programming will enable the Armed Forces to purchase performing equipment for those in the field (1). We want a republican, professional, disciplined, and operational Army to counter the terrorist threat we are experiencing. And, this law will enhance the republican status of the Armed Forces” (2). Additionally, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) provides military expenditure with details (pensions, spending only excluding capital, spending on paramilitary forces etc.) on items to purchase for countries around the world, including Burkina Faso. Therefore, the government often justifies purchases by referring to military needs.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Some defence acquisitions likely result from domestic political pressures. With the country being the target of continued terrorist threats, people from the political arena and civil society have asked for more protection and security related services. In response to these requests, the government of Burkina Faso initiated a bill of law, called the Law of Military Programming, to allocate funds to the military for five years, to purchase defence and security items, and to enhance the overall capacity of the armed forces (1). At the interview session with Interviewee 2, a member of the Parliament’s Defence and Security Committee said that they have passed a law to allocate 725 billion CFA francs to the armed forces to exclusively address security threats, and ensure the defence of the territory (2). The Law of Military Programming was enacted amid political pressure from all political boards within the National Assembly, which unanimously authorized the government to spend a large amount on the defence needs the defence Minister enumerated before the adoption of the law (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In February 2019, Reuters (Paris) reported,
“France said on Thursday its defence cooperation with Cameroon was continuing a day after the United States said it was halting some military assistance to the West African country over allegations of human rights violations by its security forces.
‘France is bound by a defence partnership agreement that it conducts according to the international standards… In accordance with international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict, this cooperation is also intended to help Cameroon’s defence and security forces combat terrorism, especially against Boko Haram in the north of the country, while protecting the people. This cooperation continues.’
Cameroon has cooperated closely with the Western states in the fight against Islamist militant group Boko Haram in West and central Africa” [1]. France has had a historical military relationship with Cameroon dating back as far as 1961. The French government plays key roles as it has numerous government advisers on military issues at the Ministry of Defence and the Presidency, which suggests a high possibility of French influence over military procurement [2].

The same Reuters article states, “A State Department official on Wednesday said the United States’ decision to terminate some military programs and halt delivery of some equipment was to push Cameroon to show greater transparency in investigating credible allegations of gross violations of human rights security forces… [but] France, which has significant business interests in its former colony and relies on it to fight against Islamist militants, has been careful not to overly criticise the government’s handling of the crisis” [1]. This indicates the French government’s political and business motives and suggests the likelihood of Cameroonian defence decisions being driven by the political influence of France.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The evidence gathered shows some of the equipment, training and assistance the Cameroon military has acquired from France, Russia, the United States, Spain and China in the fight against Boko Haram [1] [2] [3] [4]. But there is no evidence to show the government cites clear and justifiable military need for purchases made, or why they were sourced from a particular supplier.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (2016), “some of the equipment Cameroon’s armed forces have acquired in the last five years include five Type-07 armoured personnel carriers, six Type-07P/VN-1 infantry fighting vehicles, 12 WMA-301 Assault armoured fire support vehicles, four Z-9 helicopters and two P-108 patrol craft from China, a second-hand OPV-54 patrol boat from France, two Mi-17 helicopters from Russia, two Aresa-3200 patrol craft and a single CN235 transport aircraft from Spain, and two Bell 412 helicopters from the United States. The United States is sending military supplies and troops to the central African country to aid the fight. And in December it donated 18 Toyota pickup trucks, a truck, a front-end loader and other equipment to Cameroon’s military… In October Cameroon received six armoured personnel carriers from the United States. At least 300 US soldiers arrived in Cameroon in October to provide intelligence and training support to Cameroonian forces fighting Boko Haram” [1].

According to DefenceWeb (7th Feb 2017), “Cameroon has strengthened its navy in recent times with additional vessels. Over the last five years this includes two P-108 patrol craft delivered from China’s Poly Technologies in 2014, a second-hand OPV-54 patrol craft from France in 2014, a 23-metre Aresa 2300 landing craft and two 24-metre Aresa 2400 CPV Defender patrol boats in 2013” [2].

According to DefenceWeb (Nov 2017), IEDs are a favourite weapon among terrorist organizations. Cameroon’s armed forces regularly deploy to northern Cameroon — an area where the violent extremist organization Boko Haram operates. According to the United Nations, attacks by Boko Haram have displaced up to two million people in the countries of Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger, and have claimed the lives of up to 15,000 people since 2009. “Training, held Oct. 23 – Nov. 17, was designed to help Cameroonian troops learn more about IEDs and how to dispose of them safely” [3].

According to DefenceWeb (Jan 2016), “Cameroon’s military is apparently receiving a number of Ratel infantry fighting vehicles, which have been deployed with its Rapid Intervention Battalion. This is according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, which quotes a Cameroonian military source saying that the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) is now operating Ratel 20s. Deliveries began in December 2015, according to the source, and the BIR now has 12 with its Light Intervention Units deployed to the Far North province, where the force is leading operations against Boko Haram militants [1].

According to AfricanNews.com (Nov 2016), “France has made a donation of military hardware to the Cameroonian Armed Forces as part of efforts aimed at combating the Boko Haram insurgent group” [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to DefenceWeb (2017), “Cameroon’s armed forces regularly deploy to northern Cameroon — an area where the violent extremist organization Boko Haram operates. According to the United Nations, attacks by Boko Haram have displaced up to two million people in the countries of Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, and Niger, and have claimed the lives of up to 15,000 people since 2009” [1]. This is evidence that the Cameroon government felt some domestic pressure to defend and protect its citizens in the North region where the Boko Haram operates.

Also, faced with the escalating Anglophone crises that resulted in the killing of soldiers in the two Anglophone regions by the Anglophone separatist forces, the Cameroon Concord reported that, returning from an AU-EU summit prematurely, “an angry Biya said openly that Cameroon is at war, under attack by ‘terrorists masking as secessionists’ in the NW & SW regions and that all security measures will be taken to ensure peace reigns” [2]; ‘the secessionist crisis in Cameroon’s western region is deepening, with the government promising to crack down hard after Anglophone militants shot dead four soldiers and two policemen last week” [3]. Again, this suggests domestic pressure necessitating the decision to take adequate military steps to confront the crisis.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The term “Defence Article” has long been defined in the Defence Production Act as subject to subsection 2 and section 6, [1] as: a good of United States origin that is a defined in “section 120.6 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations [2] of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, as amended from time to time”, or “a good, other than a good of United States origin, that is manufactured using technical data of United States origin, as defined in section 120.10 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, as amended from time to time, if the technical data is a defense article”. Political influence from a selling nation is therefore prevalent. [3]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The items purchased often reflect the needs identified by the military, Canada’s Defence Policy, [1] and Canada’s national procurement strategy. [2] However, this process is not entirely insulated from the realities of maintaining interoperability with the United States, nor from internal economic and political realities (see 75A).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Given the economic and regional disparities, the allocation of contracts is sometimes influenced by domestic political realities/interests. For example, the awarding of shipbuilding contracts to companies in the Atlantic provinces can be framed by the media as an attempt to maintain jobs and therefore avoiding potential political repurcussions from the electorate in this area. [1] [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is some evidence in the post-authoritarian period of corruption due to military acquisition abroad. The two best-known cases were arms smuggling to Croatia through the Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército (FAMAE) in 1991 and the false importation of war supplies by the Chilean Air Force in 1997 [1]. However, there is almost no information about the exercise of political influence by selling nations. Moreover, the cases investigated have been mainly related to embezzlement, fraud, and illegal payments for personal enrichment but have not involved political motives in the commitment of wrongdoing [2, 3, 4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There has been some justification of military procurement based on military needs, but this has been post-hoc and generic, lacking a coherent association with the strategic orientation of developing military capabilities [1, 2, 3]. This situation led that the Ministry of National Defence to create a System of Investments in Defence in 2016 [2], operative since 2018. This system seeks to link specific projects of acquisition and investment with the development of military capabilities within a long-term strategic plan. It also involves Expenditure Sheets (Fichas de Fundamento de Gasto) (FFG) containing the identification of the problem and its corresponding justification in the existing planning, specifying the weapons systems involved in acquisition projects. It remains to be seen if this system will lead to a reflexive justification of military purchasing needs.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The existence of domestic pressures for granting acquisitions has been a concern in the procurement of arms and war materials, but this does not seem to be an issue that permeates the system. In the first place, there has been an appetite for compensations that could be obtained from offset contracts in defence [1]. Some politicians even announced the building of health facilities with resources from compensation agreements, thus altering the nature and rationality of the acquisitions and compensation that should be based on military needs [2]. The fact that political appointees in the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción (CORFO) were in charge of the system might have created opportunities for the exercise of undue influence. However, this risk was partially mitigated by establishing the prioritisation of military needs regardless of eventual compensations. A step forward was the creation of a new structure in the Ministry of National Defence to develop the strategic planning of military acquisitions and rationalise purchases, making efforts to insulate contracts from discretionary decisions.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

China’s arms imports are mainly from Russia (67%), followed by Ukraine and France, which mainly provide engines for aircraft and navy vessels respectively. [1,2] There is no evidence that in the last decade China’s defence decisions have been driven by the political influence of Russia or any other country. According to the Centre for Strategies and International Studies, China is moving from procuring entire weapon systems to “purchasing specific components that can be outfitted on platforms designed and built at home”. [1] This is indicative of its ability to develop weapons systems domestically, which contributes to securing its decision-making autonomy.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The CCP and the PLA justify the procurement and development of major weapons systems based on military needs. The most recent version of the Defence White Paper series offers a clear justification for China’s most developed weapons systems, Type 15 tanks, type 052D destroyers, J-20 fighters, and DF-26 intermediate and long-range ballistic missiles. [1] The PLA’s online procurement platforms offer more information on the military and technical needs driving specific procurement decisions. [2,3] Overall, however, the PLA is not preoccupied with publicly justifying its procurement decisions and has the ability to hide items that it does not wish to be made public.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no evidence that China’s defence acquisition decisions are influenced by domestic political pressures. However, given the secrecy surrounding these decisions, the lack of transparency in the acquisition cycle, and the complete absence of independent oversight the application of pressure from senior political and military leaders cannot be ruled out. There are weak institutional checks and balances against such pressures.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Since the 1990s, Colombia has consolidated a process of cooperation with the United States with the aim of eradicating drug trafficking. The Plan Colombia initiative envisaged military and diplomatic assistance to combat left-wing guerrilla groups and drug cartels. [1] As of 2016, 15 years after implementation, the United States had allocated 9 billion dollars [2] in military assistance, the presence of members of the United States military in Colombia, arms acquisitions, and military intelligence and training. [3] With the signing of the Peace Agreement with the FARC, the cooperation strategy is no longer only focused on military combat against drug trafficking and subversion, but focuses, above all, on post-conflict issues, social issues in the region, and the substitution of illicit crops. [2] In the case of military assistance, the United States gave US$ 260,630,000 to Colombia in 2017, US$ 203,984,000 in 2018, and US$ 230,925,000 in 2019. [4] Such support makes the United States the leading seller of arms and intelligence services to the Colombian state, generating political influence over defence decisions, and linking military support with support in social investment. According to information from the U.S. Government Export website, [5] imports in the military industry, such as in weapons and the provision of cybersecurity, represent growing industries in Colombia as it maintains its security concerns. Israel and the United States have traditionally been the main weapons sellers for Colombia. [3, 6, 7, 8] Additionally, the Ministry of Defense annually promotes the strategy “Expodefensa” in which different military industries of governments make exhibitions of technological developments and innovation for the security and defence forces, exchanges are made between suppliers and potential customers, business wheels are promoted, and the national military industry is promoted. [9] The United States retains broad influence in matters of military arms acquisition resulting from the international cooperation acquired for security, drug trafficking, and post-conflict issues in Colombia.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The Security and Defence Policy defines internal threats as those occurring from drug trafficking, criminal gangs, FARC dissidents, criminal actions of the ELN guerrillas, the rise of illicit economies, the establishment of new criminal groups, the rise of crops, and illicit extraction of minerals; and external threats as those such as the border crisis with Venezuela, which can affect territorial integrity. [1] The Colombian government justifies the acquisition of weapons and military technology in order to combat such situations. The national budget for this sector represents 13% of the total national budget, second after the education sector, which receives 16% of the total national budget. [2, 3] According to a report by the International Institute for Peace Studies in Stockholm (SIPRI), Colombia ranks first in Latin America in terms of expenditure on armaments as a percentage of GDP (3%). [4] The justification for this high level of GDP spending on armaments is the continuance of internal wars and geopolitical conflicts. [5] The same institute reports that Colombia’s arms purchases in 2015 were US$ 215 million higher than in 2014, when they totaled US$190 million, and US$162 million in 2013. [6] The DANE reports that during the period of 2018-2019, imports of weapons into Colombia have cost roughly US$ 7.7 million. [7] Military and development cooperation agreements signed between Colombia and the United States total US$ 265.40 million, including funds for peace and security worth US$ 218.17 million. [8, 9]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is no evidence of domestic political pressures on the award of acquisitions. However, it can be surmised that given the cooperation agreements between countries, such as the bilateral relationship between the United States and Colombia to reduce drug trafficking and boost post-conflict, domestic pressures could be generated, as Colombia received resources worth US$ 218.17 million in 2019 [1] to address peace and security. The resources were used in an economic support fund to strengthen local governments, replace illicit crops, and assist victims of conflict; in an international narcotics control and law enforcement programme to provide resources to the Military Forces and Police in the fight against drug trafficking; in the organised transnational anti-drug and anti-crime programme for intelligence support, equipment improvement, and facility construction; in a military funding program to military engineering units for projects in rural areas; for non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, and demining programmes in the former conflict zones; and in the international military training and education program. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Political and military partnerships with several countries mean it is not uncommon for the results of procurement to be made due to political influence. This is particularly true of Côte d’Ivoire’s close ties with France. Although strict confidentiality governs defence procurement, some information is published or leaked by foreign sources providing ex post facto details about major procurement deals such as the acquisition of fighter jets, helicopters and patrol boats, as well as joint training and technical assistance programs.

Côte d’Ivoire buys military equipment from France, a key political and defence partner. France has 900 soldiers stationed in Côte d’Ivoire (Forces française de Côte d’Ivoire, FFCI), as well as an advanced operational base that works as a logistical platform. The 43rd Marine Infantry Battalion is an elite force stationed at Port-Bouët and works together with the Ivorian Combat Armed Forces Group (groupement tactique interarmes de Côte d’Ivoire, GTIA-CI). The military partnership between both countries was strengthened in June 2017 to fight jihadist terrorism in West Africa, including military training and information exchange. As of 2018, France had 11 high-level military advisors working together with the MoD (1), (2), (4). France sold EUR 16.9 billion worth of armament globally in 2015, including its sales to Côte d’Ivoire. Reasons for its political influence include the signature of a strategic partnership between both countries and the fact that French armament is considered to be “combat proven” (good quality). As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, France also enjoys a high degree of legitimacy as a seller nation. According to Colonel Lafargue, the Defense Attaché at the French Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire, part of his mandate is to inform the Directorate General of Armament (DGA) in France on the potential needs of Côte d’Ivoire and to welcome French defense firms and connect them with the right people in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as to encourage Ivorian officials to participate in major French arms fairs (3), (4). In Côte d’Ivoire, the sale of military equipment by French firms is usually made within the context of security or technical assistance programs, thus adding another layer of legitimacy to the transaction. Financial facilities also help carry out the transactions. In June 2017, Capital, a publication, reported that the partnership would be boosted following the increase in jihadist terrorism in West Africa. The announcement was made after a state visit to Paris by President Alassane Ouattara (5). Some acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations such as France, but that this is not “extremely common”.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government has at times justified its purchases of military equipment by referring to specific military needs, even if such information was not subject to public disclosure. However, the government does not justify each defence acquisition, but may instead provide a general concept for the expenditure such as the modernization of the armed forces or the need to increase its capacity to fight terrorists. If this information is reported by Ivorian media, it is usually based on the provisions in the Military Planning Act 2016-2020 (Loi de Programmation Militaire, LPM). According to an excerpt from Laurent Touchard’s book on African Armed Forces (Forces armées africaines 2016-2017), the government of Côte d’Ivoire has justified the acquisition of arms and the buildout of military infrastructure in 2016-2020 as part of an effort to modernize and professionalize the armed forces. This effort increased the defence budget by USD 846 million in 2016 compared to 2015. The LPM has budgeted a total of US 3.5 billion in defence expenditure through 2020, using the same concept of modernization of the armed forces as an underlying justification. Other defence acquisition decisions have been triggered by terrorism, such as the attack at Grand Bassam in 2016 (1). A defence expert who was interviewed said:

“A month after the attack on Grand-Bassam, President Alassane Ouattara announced the disbursement of 137.8 million dollars. The purchase of equipment was justified as part of a counterterrorism effort and included money for electronic sensors, ballistic protections and vehicles” (1).

A dispatch by the Cotonou (Benin) station of France’s intelligence service (DGSE) dating to March 22, 2015 leaked information on how President Alassane OUATTARA had made an extrabudgetary and undercover acquisition of USD 120 million worth of military equipment through Benin’s President Yayi Boni, an operation that took place from June 2014 to January 2015. This expenditure was made while Côte d’Ivoire was still subject to a UN Security Council arms embargo. The reason provided by President Ouattara appeared to be an internal and external threat by ex-combatants. “President Ouattara, feeling a real need to equip his army in the face of a double internal and external threat, opened a channel in January 2015 with his Beninois counterpart to obtain from him a paid support for an extrabudgetary acquisition of military equipment (weapons of war and military equipment subject to UN embargo)” (2). Whenever information is leaked into the public domain, the government does justify defence acquisitions by citing military needs.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Recent evidence suggests that defence acquisitions are driven more by seller nations such as France, based on its strategic partnership with Côte d’Ivoire, than by a domestic political agenda. Though it is difficult to assess because the government does not justify each defence acquisition. Situations such as the terrorist attack at Grand Bassam in March 2016 and the military expenditure it triggered illustrates that in a growing climate of insecurity the government will respond to the needs of national security rather than to domestic politics, as shown in 75B.

According to an interview with the Defence Attaché at the French Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire, Colonel Lafargue, the priorities of the Ivorian defence acquisitions are currently driven by the need to modernize the armed forces one step at a time. The government cannot afford to carry out a wholesale upgrade, so it is proceeding piecemeal with reforms and upgrades (1). According to Thomas Hofnung, writing for Le Monde in October 2017, the political tension between President Alassane Ouattara and NA President Guillaume Soro has been building up and could be headed toward a confrontation ahead of the 2020 election. Both are longstanding political allies, and Soro is a former rebel leader that was instrumental in dislodging former President Laurent Gbagbo from power during the post-election crisis of 2011-2012. Soro also controls many of the former rebel leaders (COMZONES) that have periodically threatened Côte d’Ivoire’s political stability. Furthermore, Soro has been accused of having stockpiles of arms in Bouaké and Korhogo. This rivalry is the type of domestic political pressure that could, in theory, inform defence acquisitions, but that is less important than the pressure applied from seller nations (2). In “some” instances, a defence acquisition can be the result of domestic pressure, but evidence in 2016-2018 suggests this is uncommon.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

While what can be classified as political considerations are indeed present in major procurement programmes, acquisitions are not likely to be granted as a result of political influcence by selling nations. First, this is mitigated by the fact that procurements are often made as open public tenders with clearly stated requirements and/or by political agreement, recently illustrated by the procurement of 27 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fighter aircrafts [1]. Concerning the F-35 procurement process, it was made very clear from the beginning that the type selection would be made on a number of different technical (“faglige”), economic and political factors, including the military professional recommendation, the Danish industrial circumstances, the financial aspects, strategic considerations and security political considerations [2, 3]. The type selection report, which has been made public with some redactions, repeated the four evaluation criteria: strategic, military, economic, and industrial considerations [4]. Here, the promotion of the transatlantic bond, the cooperation with a range of European partners and of maintainng a good relationship with the United States were clearly stated as important considerations [5]. Further, such considerations may also bring financial advantages such as financial burden sharing in development and production and general economic benefits derived from large-scale operations and productions [6, 7]. Clearly, political and alliance considerations are relevant factors in procurement, but this is not equal to selling nations having or exerting political influence. Further, the United States ambassador to Denmark recently urged Denmark to increase the number of purchased fighter aircrafts (the supplier Lockheed Martin is an American defence contractor), but this has not happened [8].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government and/or DALO generally provide justifications for the military need and for the selection of the specific supplier. As for the military justification for the purchase, there is usually an openly stated link between military strategy, tasks, purpose and procurements, as mentioned in Q11 and Q63. Comprehensive information on the military justification is, however, scattered where information on purpose and need can be found primarily on the DALO website, in the defence agreement and in the financial application approvals called “aktstykker” [1, 2, 3]. As for the selection of the supplier, justification is also generally transparent. In connection with information on incoming material, DALO often comment on the selection of the particular supplier [4]. Further, the criteria for type selection and contract award is also clearly written into the public tenders as well as the law on public tenders [5]. If we return to the case of the procurement of the F-35s, military considerations also clearly appear as one of four evaluation criteria as specificed in Q75A [6] and the selection of supplier is made through comprehensive analysis (of which the evaluation report is also made available to the public) [6].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

As larger defence procurements are generally made by political agreement and open competition through public tenders, the risk and possibility of procurement being influenced or made as a result of domestic political pressure is minimised. The assessment recognises the existence of lobbying activities. Most obvious were the large amount of longterm lobbying campagins and advertisements made in public spaces by the competing contractors in relation to the fighter aircraft type selection [1]. However, this is obviously not equal to domestic political pressure or influcence. As larger procurements are subject to parliamentary debate and control [2] (though some members of parliament have criticised the debate for being too closed off [3], research thus shows no indications that domestic political pressure exists or is exercised in defence procurement.

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Military acquisitions are in part determined by the political influence of the selling nations as well as the desire of the executive to buy from them in return for recognition and legitimacy. The selling nations are primarily the USA, Germany, France and more recently Russia. Apparently, the defence procurement cycle process is determined by two factors. One factor is based on needs and capabilities, and the other by political considerations. There is some evidence of a formalization of the needs and capabilities factor, whereas politically-driven procurement cycles are more improvised (1). The purchase of the Rafale military aircraft and Mistral’s from France is a case in point, where it is widely believed that they will be of limited use to combat insurgents on the ground in North Sinai. France might have taken advantage of Egypt’s need to diversify its armament sources away from an exclusive reliance on US arms, as well as the new regime’s need to make international friends (2), (3), (4).

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, there is no justification in the meaning of extensive debate on why the acquisition happened, but messages are being sent after and prior the acquisition to justify such process, however, these justifications are mainly politically-driven (1), (2), (3). The government tries to diffuse anger and critique by sending messages of justifications through media outlets. The main justification usually given by government or pro-government sources is the need to diversify the sources of armament and strengthen military capabilities in the face of increasing threats. For example, a columnist in the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper wrote in late 2014 that “the US first called off the Bright Star joint military exercises and then halted the delivery of arms purchases to Egypt and suspended maintenance and training. Egypt responded by turning to Russia, China, Germany and France.” He then went on to explain: “President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s visits abroad have been closely linked with the push to diversify arms supplies. He visited Russia last year while still minister of defence. More recently he travelled to both Rome and Paris. A visit to China is planned before the end of this year and the issue of armaments will figure high on the agenda” (4).

Additionally, the former deputy of the Israeli National Security Council Shaul Shay wrote in 2015 that “Egypt has learned its lessons and decided to reduce the over-reliance on one provider (U.S) and diversifying the sources of Egypt’s armaments became a strategic priority. Egypt was also keen to ensure its armaments policy responded to international political developments, including the growing influence of China and Russia” (5).

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, there is no domestic political pressure when it comes to military spending and purchases. Indeed, there are no political parties or figures that can have that extended pressure to push for acquisition or defence decision. The decision is monopolized by the HoS and the military themselves (1), (2), (3), (4). The political leadership, including the president, in Egypt, have been crucial in the process of making defence acquisition decisions. It was clear to many commentators and observers that the decision to go for French or Russian arms was made by politicians for political purposes. President Sisi himself closely managed and followed the purchase of arms from France and Russia in 2014 as part of his plan to diversify the sources of armament (5), (6), (7), (8).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

If during the 1990s and early 2000s Estonia’s defence capability depended heavily on foreign aid and help, nowadays major defence purchases are mostly based on long-term development plans which are made by Estonia’s governmental institutions and defence experts. In the past, sometimes these purchases have been politicised. [1] A famous case makes reference to the purchase of air surveillance radars from a company as a result of lobbying by another country. The lack of an official lobby system makes these issues less transparent.
Even though it makes up more than 2% of the state budget, Estonia’s defence budget with its 523,6 million euros is small. [2] Each major procurement is a big decision. Each department/unit of the Defence Forces argues for investments to increase their separate capabilities. [3] Therefore, consensus must be achieved by negotiations between many parties. There is no evidence of decisions having been made based on political influence from the outside. [4] Moreover, defence investment plans are made in advance, sometimes for over a decade. The largest procurement deals from recent years have been the purchase of 44 CV90 infantry combat vehicles in 2014 and six-wheeled armoured personnel carriers in 2010 from the Netherlands. [5] These procurements were based on long-term development plans. Moreover, as defence issues are one of the main priorities in Estonia, it has been stated that political interference should be minimal. Decisions should instead be based on military advice. [6]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government’s justifications for purchases are generally clear. [1] They link purchases to long-term governmental defence plans and also to NATO operations. They describe the capabilities of purchased goods and explain how they will be made use of. The justifications for the investments are usually published in a public statement by the Ministry of Defence, and elaborated on by high officials, usually the Minister of Defence, in the case of major procurements. [2,3] However, justification rarely includes information about why a particular supplier has been selected. [4,5]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

As explained in previous answers, there is a prevalent consensus in Estonia when it comes to the defence sector. It is perceived as a priority field. [1] Critical voices are rare. The defence development plans are written in cooperation with defence experts. [2] There are also many defence experts in the Riigikogu. It would be difficult for a certain party to lobby for a major procurement without it being revealed publicly. [3]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to a written response provided by the Headquarters of the Defence Forces, procurement decisions of the Defence Forces are not based on political influence of the offerer’s home country targeted by the Defence Forces. In the Defence Forces, procurement decisions are based on the selection and comparison principles specified in call for bids related to the particular acquisition. [1]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Government acquisition decisions are based on the Government’s Defence Report and other relevant defence and security documentation that evaluates e.g. Finland’s security environment and its current and likely future developments, the country’s own capabilities and their current and likely future developments, and the operational aims that support the Defence Forces in fulfilling its four tasks provided in the Act of the Defence Forces, chpt 1, section 2. [1, 2] Justifications provided for procurement always cite clear military needs.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are no reports on defence acquisition based on domestic political pressure that would have over-ruled legislation or other regulation and/or instructions on defence procurement.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

France is a major arms manufacturer and seller.
As a buyer, it closely assesses its needs and shares them, for instance in the LPM orientation law. (1) According to an expert (2), all recent acquisitions seem to have been motivated by proper military needs, and not by any external pressure from a vendor country

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Planned acquisitions of military equipment are listed in the LPM, which aims at detailing plans for defence purchasing for over 6 years. [1]
For instance, it announces: “As far as equipment is concerned, these forces will have 4th generation equipment by 2030, including 200 battle tanks, 300 medium armoured vehicles, 3,479 armoured modular and combat vehicles, 147 reconnaissance and attack helicopters, 115 manoeuvring helicopters, 109 155mm guns, 13 unit rocket launcher systems, 7,020 tactical and logistics mobility vehicles, and about 30 tactical UAVs. By 2025, half of the SCORPION median segment will have been delivered.” (page 36 of the LPM). Again, on page 46 of the latest LPM, details of equipment acquisitions planned until 2025 are given.
Orders planned for the coming year are detailed in the yearly Finance Law Project (PLF [2]) with numbers, types of equipment, and budget amounts (pages 53-57).

In terms of justification of these acquisitions, however, the LPM remains rather general, citing general strategic orientation. It doesn’t state a justification for each piece of equipment acquired. For instance, for the acquisition of “two light surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, three strategic reconnaissance aircraft (CUGEs) and the control of a light surveillance and reconnaissance vessel, as well as the commissioning of CERES (Capacity of Listening and Spatial Electromagnetic Intelligence) space systems and MUSIS (Multinational Space-based Imaging System for Surveillance, Recognition and Observation)” (page 31 of LPM [1]), the justification is very vague, citing that “the “knowledge and anticipation function” is a “strategic priority” and that it “provides political and military authorities with the capacity to assess the situation autonomously, which is essential for free and sovereign decision-making, on the one hand, and the conduct of action, on the other hand. It also allows our forces to maintain information superiority in operations.”

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Almost no acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressures.
For instance, the contract for 102,000 assault rifles for French soldiers was allocated to German firm Heckler & Koch. This choice was made because the German offer was more competitive (around 200 million Euros, when the budget for this buying program was around 350 million Euros), despite the political row on France losing its sovereignty when buying light calibre weapons abroad. The historical Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Etienne had been French armies’ provider since the 1970s. [1]
However, one should note that sensitive arms buying decisions are taken by the President as Chief of the armies, without external oversight. Adding the extensive use of “secret-défense”, it would be bold to claim with certainty that no acquisitions are ever granted with a political bias. There is no way to verify this for sure.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Exclusive external political influence is rather uncommon for Germany. Some acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations, but this is not extremely common [1,2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government cites clear and justifiable military need for purchases and from particular suppliers [1,2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Some acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressure, but this is not extremely common [1,2]. Political pressure often takes place behind closed doors and in an indirect way, which means it is difficult to find precise and accurate information on and evidence of (non-)existing pressure. However, political pressure probably does exist.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Given the huge amount of money involved in defence acquisition, selling nations wield tremendous political influence in determining the final agreement package, for instance as in Ghana’s acquisitions from China (1), (2), (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

When governments make public pronouncements on defence expenditures, they have always stated that it is intended to strengthen the armed forces to help it provide better services in Ghana and peace support operations (1), (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Some acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressures, but this is not extremely common. For example, in early 2018, there were a series of armed robberies and the military was called up to support the police. As a result of pressure on the government, some funds were allocated for the purchase of logistics such as new vehicles; but the purchase of hardware like arms and ammunitions was not mentioned although it was purchased (1), (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Some decisions on procurement are based on political influence by exporting countries which tend to be more politically and economically powerful than Greece. In 2020, for instance, the Greek MoD purchased 18 Rafale fighter jets from France, reportedly because Athens did not want to undermine its close defence ties with Paris [1]. The US has also exercised strong influence in Greek defence acquisition decisions as evidenced by the involvement of the US embassy in Athens [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. It is quite common for selling nations to exercise political influence over Greece’s defence acquisitions. This is particularly true regarding the Big Three suppliers: The US, France and Germany. Greek governments take into account foreign policy goals when making decisions [1, 2]. There is a widespread belief that Greece should expect support from suppliers regarding various issues (e.g. Turkish claims to the Aegean Sea).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Almost no acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressures. Parliamentarians and opposition parties rarely have strong preferences since they lack knowledge. The Government has sole responsibility for such decisions [1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Deals often take into account the wider geopolitical context, when it comes to major arms procurements, whether the seller is a Western nation or Russia. Procurements are often in line with the government’s wider foreign and security policy goals; in other words, arms deals often serve as tools of foreign and security policy. However, one needs to add that from a research/methodological perspective direct causality is hard to prove. The procurement of [1] three used military helicopters from the Russian company UT-Air, as well as [2] contracting Vertaloti Rossii to refurbish the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) ageing Mi-8/17 and Mi-24 helicopters on a significantly higher price than Ukraine would have done it, were reportedly in line with the government’s considerations to improve relations with Russia. The recently announced procurements [3] from Airbus, Krauss-Maffei and Saab indicate that the government is intending to use these deals to improve relations with the respective governments, particularly in the light of the intensifying EU-criticism vis-a-vis Hungary. Besides, there have been cases [4] when the U.S. government openly announced its wish to make Hungary procure U.S.-made weaponry. The current big-ticket procurement decisions were partly based on the decision that intended to deepen economic ties with European partners (especially Germany) [5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government rarely justifies its defence procurements with credible and detailed military needs.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In Hungary, there have been practically no cases when domestic pressure (meaning that pressure from any non-governmental interest group) would lead to a defence acquisition due to three main reasons. Firstly, according to a former high-ranking MoD official [1], Hungary’s defence industry is very limited both in terms of size and output, so pressure groups related to defence industry are not strong enough to put enough pressure to secure a sale. Secondly, Hungarian oligarchs, who are powerful, have neither the interest in nor assets in the defence industry. Hence, oligarchic power is not combined with the defence industry’s lobbying power. Thirdly, Hungary’s government has an extremely strong domestic political and administrative position. Thus, it is unlikely that any non-governmental domestic lobby group would be strong enough to force the government to conduct any defence-related acquisitions. When it comes to the political pressure, that is also very limited, as parliamentarians rarely if ever have input on procurements, as indicated earlier.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In the past, Cold War ties could have played a role in India’s decision-making. According to SIPRI’s Arms Transfers Database 2017, India’s largest exports are still from Russia followed by the USA, Israel, UK and France in descending order [1]. It was interesting to see if there was a correlation between the exporting nations and nations who provide foreign aid to India. According to the latest OECD figures, the top 5 donors of gross official development assistance (ODA) are Japan, International Development Association (IDA), Germany, EU Institutions and France in descending order [2]. IDA contributor countries include Russia, USA the UK and France with the UK and USA being the largest contributors in the IDA [3]. There is a pattern with a few countries (excluding Japan and Israel) [4]. This could be a sign of some political pressure or that the exporting and donor countries have advanced defence products that India is keen to acquire and have a Transfer of Technology (ToT), strengthening its defence industrial base and making progress towards the core objective of self-reliance [5].

Generally, as alluded to in Q.60, the process of defence acquisition in India is based on the fifteen years Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), five years Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) and an Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP) from each of the services; there is no concrete evidence of political influence by selling nations [6][7].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government usually cites a justifiable military need for purchases and from particular supplier, adhering to a formal process after technical evaluation of needs and the supplier’s suitability [1][2][3]. There may be instances with smaller defence purchases, where the government does not publicly comment/justify. There is no evidence to suggest that procurement is undertaken for reasons beyond a clear military need.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to experts, this requires a case-by-case analysis. For example, with the controversy over the Rafale deal, which has led to a political controversy in India over the purchase of 36 twin-engine fighter jets from France. The deal is estimated to cost India Rs 58,000 crore, however, the opposition parties in India claimed that the deal has cost India three times the amount it was supposed to, and that an Indian partner favoured by the government was unfairly chosen as a partner in the deal. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had put out a statement that Dassault had the freedom to choose the Indian company and neither the Indian government nor the French government influenced that decision [1]. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman alleged the opposition party never intended to purchase the fighter jets [2]. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) filed a report that questions the credibility of the government’s budgeting. As of May 2019, the government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the apex court order on 14 December 2018, giving clean chit to it could not be relooked on the basis of unsubstantiated media reports and incomplete file notes [3][4]. CAG is scheduled to table a report in the upcoming winter session [5]. The jets are to be delivered in September 2019 [6].

There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that defence acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressures [7]. The Finance Ministry does scrutinise demands for grants and this can have an impact on spending by the MoD [8].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Indonesia adheres to a policy of diversifying procurement in order to minimise dependence on one provider country. This is in line with its free and active foreign policy and bolstered by the trauma of arms embargoes experienced in the past. The SIPRI arms transfer database shows that Indonesia is not just dependent on one country but on many. Since there is no one country that continuously dominates the supply of weapons to Indonesia [1], it can be concluded that procurement decisions in Indonesia are not commonly based on political influence by the selling nations. There is a possibility of political influence by selling nations, because the mechanisms for procurement from abroad are limited to government-to-government, government-to-principal or Indonesian defence company-to-foreign principal (the latter mechanism has never been put into use). So far, Indonesia has accommodated the marketing of the selling nations through annual bilateral meetings that are principally held for industrial cooperation, such as the Defence Industrial Cooperation Meeting (DICM) and the Military Technical Cooperation (MTC) [2,3] with South Korea, Turkey, China and Russia. The preference for procurement from those countries is linked closely to the issue of joint development and transfer of technology, which is aimed at strengthening Indonesia’s self-reliance. In reality, not all of these four nations rank highly in the list of Indonesian arms suppliers. The independence of Indonesian arms procurement was recently put into test. The US Countering American Adversary Through Sanction Act (CAATSA) placed Indonesia in the line of fire of its embargo on Russia [4] after Indonesia signed a contract in early 2018 to procure Russian’s 11 Su-35. Although Indonesia persisted with the plan [5], the sanction made it difficult for Indonesia to secure lenders to finance the procurement [6]. Recently, Indonesia conveyed its plan to expand its inventory of F-16s, arguably to pacify the US’ irritation at the bilateral trade deficit and to dissuade the US from imposing its sanction on the Su-35 procurement [7].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The main justification for procurement from abroad is the ‘Shopping List’ derived from the MEF (Minimum Essential Forces). Before the list makes its way to the Defence Facilities Agency (Baranahan), the planning process has not only specified operation requirements and technical specifications, but also procurement methods (limited bid or sole-sourcing) and budget sources (pure rupiah, rupiah accompanying a loan, foreign loan or domestic loan) [1]. Law No. 16/2012 requires users to prioritise procurement from within the country [2]. If domestic defence companies are unable to provide the defence equipment, it can be procured from abroad with offset obligations. Overall, the process of procurement from abroad is more robust with more considerations, not just including price and performance, but also offset proposals from the supplier country and guarantees against embargoes, political conditionality or any other impediment to using the technology, as detailed in Article 43 of Law No. 16/2012 [2]. In reality, it is difficult to say whether procurement is justified by the plan. The MEF itself has become a dynamic document that is constantly undergoing ‘alignment’, which makes it difficult to trace whether ongoing procurement is really based on the long-term needs that were established at the beginning. For example, the MEF document from 2010 is missing from the Ministry of Defence website, while MEF alignment documents appeared in 2011 and in 2019 [3,4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

An arms embargo imposed between 1999 and 2005 left the nation and its armed forces traumatised. This trauma gave rise to a determination not to become dependent on any one selling nation. Both executive and legislative bodies agreed to the policy of self-sufficiency in defence and sealed this commitment with the issuance of Law No. 16/2012 on Defence Industry [1]. The law mandates users to prioritise procurement from within the country (see Article 43) and to apply heavy obligations for external procurement, namely offset equal to 85% of the value of the procurement contract [1]. It can therefore be said that political pressure in favour of domestic acquisition is mounting, although there is still a prevalent preference for foreign off-the-shelf (OTS) materials. Between 2014 and 2018, 44.6% of armed forces equipment was procured from within the country [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The most sought-after acquisitions are not granted as a result of political influence by seller nations, and this is common. Given that Iran is under an arms embargo, often the United States seeks to exert pressure to stop defence sales to Iran, as happened in the case of delayed delivery of the S-300 air defence system [1, 2]. “Sanctions and political considerations delayed or dissuaded suppliers such as Russia and China from selling the IRI the most advanced systems available” [3]. Furthermore, supplies for the nuclear program are also subject to political influence by selling nations [4]. However, Iran boasts of a vast domestic defence industry [5, 6]; therefore, the country may have some manoeuvring space to confine the political influence of seller nations.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Usually, the discourse of military officials to the state is that they are self-sufficient in meeting their own military needs [1, 2]. Iran often explains the capabilities of its defence production [3]. However, they do not justify specific defence outputs against a specific need, other than the general claim that they are a military need [4]. There is no justification or mention with regards to defence and security expenditure.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In relation to domestic research and development and production, these decisions are largely driven by the military [1], without the involvement of domestic political institutions. For example, Iran is acquiring new submarines for the navy, but there is no evidence of the involvement of domestic policy actors the process [2]. Acquisitions are driven by the military.

Although Iraq has secured purchases from a range of military suppliers, Iran strongly influences Iraq’s defence decisions (1), (2). Details surrounding deals struck between the two allies is unclear. In 2014, Iraq denied having struck an arms deal with Iran, despite having supplied the initial story to news outlets (3). Iran also operates through unlawful channels to supply arms to PMF forces, with sources citing $10 bn worth of weapons and military equipment sold to Iraq by Iran in the first year following the group’s mobilisation (4). America’s enduring military assistance offers further evidence of the political influence Washington exercises, despite shifting its focus on mitigating threats posed by the PMF, other Iran-linked groups and border threats (5). Strong evidence implies that Iraq’s two key allies, America and Iran, hold sway over acquisition deals (6). Though it is important, political loyalties are not the only guiding principle behind defence acquisition. Recently there have been talks of the GoI considering replacing America with Russia, as the main defence exporter (7).

Iraq’s flawed procurement system is highly vulnerable to corruption. Iraq’s operational environment and ongoing security threats provide reasonable justification for military needs. In spite of the rhetoric, there is little transparency in Iraq’s military procurement budget and in Iraq’s crowded security sector, this suggests that competition is limited to ruling parties that control sovereign security ministries.

As America’s influence in Iraq wanes and as it ramps down US forces, Baghdad’s recent defence acquisitions deals with Russia (1) may have been in part influenced by recent developments in Syria (2), in light of Russia’s increasing military foothold in both countries. Similarly, Iraq has boosted military cooperation with other states including Czech republic, as part of international efforts to support Iraq in its fight against terrorism (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Some acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations, but this is not extremely common and typical in Israel and does not take place very often (1). Most of the procurement takes place in the US and under budget from Americans. The US supports Israeli politics and also dictate to them extent. More than 3billion dollars must be spent in US and there is no range of options (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The government sometimes justifies purchases by referring to military need (1). No further information could be found on this issue.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Some acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressures, but this is not extremely common (1). No further information could be found on this issue.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It is difficult to assess what role the political influence of the selling nation plays on defence acquisition decisions. However, in the last years media reported an allegations over undue US political influence on the Italian purchase of F-35. Allegations continued to be part of the public debate, particularly prior to the Italian decision to confirm the number of a total of 90 fighter aircrafts to acquire. The newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that, while discussions during the October 2019 visit of the US Secretary of State to Italy were supposed to focus on trade tariffs and 5G technology, the issue of the unconfirmed number of F-35 Italy wanted to acquire became part of the discussion as counter value to trade tariffs [1]. The reaction of astonishment of the M5s (5 Stars Movement party) representative to the foreign affairs parliamentary committee Ferrara, indicated a missed discussion on the matter, backing up the alleged political influence that the US excerciced over Italy [2]. In addition, the relevance of the F35 programme in the management of bilateral relations during the Trump administration, is also a known factor [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Generally speaking, the acquisition process is guided by clear and justifiable military needs indicated in the Pluriannual programmatic document, which is updated every year and that contains information on both new and ongoing programmes, together with the foreseen yearly financial allocations [1]. The selection process for suppliers follows defined technical and economic standards indicated in the tenders procedures, but direct allocations might occur as a result of technical expertise [2] or G2G agreements and related political considerations [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Italian defence industry is well-developed and on several occasions it has been underlined how investments in the defence field can bring to economic positive spill over effects [1]. In addition, in some cases, like on F-35, there have been attempts to excercise political pressure on the continuation of the programme [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Imports of defence equipment through FMS managed by the US Government made up about 15%, and general imports of such equipment from foreign producers, often in the US, made up about 7% of the amount that Japan spent on defence procurement in 2017. These statistics from the Board of Audit categorise production in Japan licensed by foreign enterprises and international joint production as domestic production. [1] SIPRI includes licensed production under imports, however. According to their statistics, in the period 2015-2018, Japan purchased 1,807 million SIPRI TIV values worth of defence equipment from foreign countries, of which 1,709 from the United States, 50 from the UK, 32 from Sweden, 5 from Germany, 1 from France, and 1 from Australia. [2] Armoured personnel carriers, mortars, engines, gas turbines, air refuel systems and helicopters were purchased from non-US sources. Major equipment types procured from the US included the F-35A fighter aircraft and the SM-3 Block-2A version anti-ballistic missile. [3] Japan decided in 2012 to acquire the F-35A from a US-led consortium after considering written proposals that it solicited for the F35A and the F/A-18E (from the US) and the Eurofighter (from the UK). [4] The SM-3 Block-2A version anti-ballistic missile was jointly developed by the US and Japan. Japan ordered the first missiles in 2016, a successful test was completed in February 2017, and the missile was to be produced thereafter. [5] The Japan-US Security Treaty commits the US to defend Japan against an attack and grants the US the right to establish bases in the country. [6] The alliance tie thus creates pressure on Japan to have a defence force that can operate jointly with the US. Weapons systems such as the ballistic missile defence “lock Japan into […] dependency on US-manufactured weapons systems”. [7] The US has the capacity to produce a large number of advanced fighter jets, illustrated by the fact that the three key arms manufacturers that produced the F-35A – Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and United Technologies – were respectively the largest, third largest and 11th largest arms manufacturers in the world. [8] When Minister of Defence Kono announced in June 2020 that Japan would suspend deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defence system, reporting by the Mainichi [9] and Japan Times [10] indicated that US President Donald Trump’s aim to sell more military equipment from the US was one factor that had influenced Japan’s decision in December 2017 to buy the system. As the other countries that Japan bought weapons from in 2015-2018 all have close relations with the US, procuring some defence equipment from them does not damage the US-Japan alliance. However, there are strong incentives for Japan to procure defence equipment from the US.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The amount of information given by the Government of Japan on the military needs for a purchase and the reason for selecting a particular supplier varies. Many notices of acquisition decisions that explain the military need for a piece of equipment, the assessment criteria and the results of the assessment of the suppliers have been posted on various pages of the MOD website. ATLA has a webpage for the results of tests of equipment that has been assessed. [1] ATLA also has a page with excel files with lists of, respectively, contracts awarded through open tender and discretionary contracts. The files do not include a justification for the selection of a supplier by open tender. A justification is given for discretionary contracts, however. For example, to be awarded a contract for the procurement of a 105 mm caliber mortar commencing on October 4, 2019, the enterprise selected had to have a technology assistance contract with BAE systems approved by the Government of the UK, a technology assistance contract with the Italian enterprise Leonardo, and permission under the Japanese Ordnance Manufacturing Act to produce weapons, which were requirements that only Japan Steel Works met. [2] Justification is sometimes sparse for decisions about major procurement from the US. On December 18, 2018, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Abe announced that it would increase the number of F-35As that Japan would procure from 42, as decided in 2011, to 147, by purchasing completed airplanes from the US. [3] The two-page long section with the heading “Obtaining and maintaining air superiority” of the MTDP for FY2019 – FY2023, adopted on the same day, includes the statement that the “SDF will proceed replacing fighters that are not suitable for modernisation (F-15) by increasing the number of fighter (F-35A].” [4] Minister of Defence Iwaya explained to the Security Committee of the House of Representatives that importing completed airplanes would save costs, [5] but the decision does contradict the goal of having some Japanese contribution to defence production so as to strengthen the country’s military technological and production base [6] (see Q63C). The purchase of each single F-35A is entered in an excel file on the homepages of ATLA with a list of discretionary procurement and justified with a reference to the Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement (MDAA) between Japan and the US. [2] Similarly, Defence of Japan 2017 has information about Japan’s cooperation with the US to develop the SM-3 Block IIA missile, [7] for which Japan has been responsible for upgrading three of four components. [8] The Government of Japan justified the purchase of one such missile in 2019 with reference to the MDAA. [2] No information was found on the homepages of the MOD about Japanese companies participating in the work to develop this missile. [9] However, ATLA’s list of discretionary contracts from 2016 includes a contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to produce a destroyer based vertical launch device for certain categories of missiles, including the SM-3 Block IIA. The enterprise selected had to have a technology assistance contract with Lockheed Martin approved by the US Government and permission under the Japanese Ordnance Manufacturing Act to produce weapons, which were requirements that, ATLA wrote, only Mitsubishi Heavy Industries met. [2] This review indicates that the extent of Japan’s justification of its military procurement is moderate.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. No reports of domestic political pressures resulting in acquisition of defence equipment contrary to the aims of the central government were found in a search of the mainstream newspapers Asahi Shimbun, [1] Nikkei Shimbun [2] and Yomiuri Shimbun [3] for the timeframe of this research. In fact, one scholar has written that key stakeholders in Japan’s security policy share certain objectives for defence procurement. [4] One objective that these stakeholders share is to ensure that Japan has a defence production base that can produce the arms that the SDF needs for its defensive posture and has a high technological level. Another is to pursue co-development of military technologies with like-minded countries. A third is to produce equipment cost-efficiently. [5] Several of these objectives are a part of a technonationalist policy that some scholars argue has been a core element of Japan’s modernisation policy. This policy has aimed to import technology through licensing and co-development, ensure that it diffuses to different companies and nurture its development so as to create a competitive industrial production base. [6] Increased military technological autonomy has been seen as an effect of such a policy. [7] The manufacturers that make up this defence production base include some large companies, but the civilian share of these companies’ production is generally the most significant. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries provided the largest share of central procurement in FY 2018 at 13.5% [8], but military sales are about 10% of the company’s net consolidated sales (see Q31A). [9] However, the Ministry of Finance often favors cheaper, imported weapons over domestically produced ones for budgetary reasons. [10] This view is often at odds with that of the “key stakeholders.” Shinzo Abe from the Liberal Democratic Party, who became Prime Minister in 2012, took the initiative to having Japan’s first National Security Strategy written in December 2013 [11] and increased defence spending by one to two percent annually over the next years. [12] He aimed to increase the destroyer fleet and the number of helicopter carriers, as well as procure Osprey tilt-rotor and F-35A aircraft from the US. [13] In taking these measures Abe strengthened the SDF more than the DPJ had done, but the content of his procurement policy was in line with what the DPJ had promoted. [14] Japanese procurement decisions are based on a weighing of the shared objectives of procurement described above. According to the MTDP for FY 2019 – FY 2023, the MOD / SDF will “launch a Japan-led development project at an early timing with the possibility of international cooperation in sight” to develop a successor to the F-2. [14] In 2020, the Japan Ministry of Defence is negotiating with the US and UK about such international cooperation that will entail contributions of technology from outside Japan, which are necessary to realise the project. [15] This review thus indicates that domestic political pressure is of paramount importance in procuring systems that can be procured domestically, although this reflects a broad consensus.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Almost all deals are politically influenced. Jordan is not a major buyer of weapons, however, there are several reasons to believe that selling nations have a political influence on defence decisions. Jordan is dependent on foreign aid, funding, and loans, provided by selling nations such as the UK and the US. The UK and the US political decisions greatly influence Jordan’s decisions, as Jordan is considered a great ally [1,2,3]. In fact, evidence suggests that in 2018 the U.S. provided military assistance to Jordan, in the form of developing a five-year procurement plan for the Jordanian Armed Forces [4]. This demonstrates that the majority of procurement decisions are set alongside the selling nation. In addition to that, Jordan has facilitated the passing of weapons to Syrian rebels through its borders [5], therefore compromising its borders and its relationship to the Syrian regime. Specifically in relation to defence procurement, selling nations have participated in the decision making around procurement for the coming five years.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Almost all deals are politically influenced. Jordan is not a major buyer of weapons, however, there are several reasons to believe that selling nations have a political influence on defence decisions. Jordan is dependent on foreign aid, funding, and loans, provided by selling nations such as the UK and the US. The UK and the US political decisions greatly influence Jordan’s decision+N64+O65ed the passing of weapons to Syrian rebels through its borders [5], therefore compromising its borders and its relationship to the Syrian regime. Specifically in relation to defence procurement, selling nations have participated in the decision making around procurement for the coming five years.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Defence decisions are rarely made public in Jordan, and there is no information around how internal defence decisions are made.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. KDF acquisitions are sometimes influenced by the good relations between Kenya and the selling nations. The acquisition of arms worth $418 million from the United States in 2017 for instance was part of an agreement between Kenya and the then US President Barack Obama, when he visited Kenya in 2015. President Obama was seen to provide more lenient terms of trade for African countries owing to his ancestral connection to Africa, and Kenya in particular. Data available shows that the collaborations between the US and Kenya in 2015 had seen KDF spend $914 million, an increase from $819 million spent in 2014. [1]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The Kenyan military often cites justifiable reasons for making purchases from specific sellers. KDF makes a lot of purchases from the United States, which is attributed to common goals, especially in the fight against terrorism. In January 2020, the Kenya Defence Forces acquired 6 helicopters from the US, which according the US Ambassador to Kenya, were intended to boost efforts in the fight against Al Shabaab in Somalia. [1]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Military acquisitions in Kenya are determined by the Supply Chain Management Services Division in the Ministry of Defence. The Division is tasked with preparing annual procurement and disposal guidelines in liason with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority.[1] The confidentiality around military operations means that any undue political influence on military acquisitions may not be apparent to the public.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Based on the statements of the senior representatives of the Ministry of Defence, Kosovo will buy arms from the United States [1]. The Kosovo Government considers the United States as a strategic partner for supporting the transformation of the Kosovo Security Forces to armed forces [2]. This is most likely linked to the United States’ military presence in Kosovo in the framework of NATO-led peacekeeping missions in Kosovo. In addition, the Ministry of Defence is focused on building a sound bilateral partnership with other NATO-member countries, such as Albania, Croatia, Northern Macedonia, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Slovenia and other countries [3]. Although there is no evidence that acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence, it can be assumed that some of the above-mentioned countries exercise a certain degree of influence.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Given that Kosovo does not possess a military industry yet, it is still too early to assess whether the Government or the Ministry of Defence can legitimately justify military procurements [1]. It is important to note that the Ministry of Defence and the Kosovo Security Forces are in the process of procuring the digital system of procurement procedures cycle known as the internal Information Management System that will enhance the quality, rationality and confidentiality of the purchasing system for their weapons and equipment [2]. Taking into account the importance of this system, adequate measures are required to protect this system against potential dangers [2]. The Ministry of Defence’ Integrity Plan found that the professional development of market research officials is required for defence and security purposes, so that the armaments, equipment and service systems are maximised to fulfil the constitutional mission and legal duties, as well as minimise financial costs [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No evidence exists that acquisitions are made as a result of domestic political pressure [1, 2] However, Kosovo institutions tend to favour NATO-member countries for completing defence-related acquisitions.

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Virtually all defence decisions are driven by political influence and that is why Kuwait almost solely buys US arms since the US spearheaded efforts to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqis in the 1990s, analysts and activists said (1, 2, 3 and 4).

In 2017, 88 percent of Kuwait’s defence purchases were from the US and it requested 429 million USD in equipment and security systems from the US in 2018, according to the Security Assistance Monitor, which tracks the US arms deals (5). Kuwait’s orders in 2017 cost 1.2 billion USD and 12.4 in 2016, making it one of the top 20 importers of US arms in both years (6).

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Government does not justify military purchases by referring to its military needs (1, 2, 3).

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Domestic politics do not influence these decisions mostly because local politicians do not question these decisions and the few who want Kuwait to diversify its sources of weapons are too weak to influence these decisions, which are seen as matters for the Emir and his close circle of loyalists to decide, a member of the Royal family said (1).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Almost no acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by the selling nations. The list of the selling nations is diversified: recent major arms purchase decisions have been acquired from different nations, e.g. the United Kingdom (CVR(T)s), Austria (M109 155mm self-propelled howitzers), Denmark (Stinger portable air-defense systems). [1] [2] [3]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Ministry of Defence and the National Armed Forces almost always cite clear and justifiable military need for purchases and the particular supplier (e.g. as with the examples in the sub-indicator above). There is less reason to question the choice of the type/category of the equipment (e.g. particulary intense debate on the procurement of CVR(T)s [1] [2] [3]), than the choice of the actual model. Usually, the procurements are justified as the best quality for the price. [4] There also have been no significant debates on the origin (nations) of the procured equipment.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Domestic political pressures have been growing in recent years to support the domestic defence industry (the Federation of Security and Defence Industries of Latvia was established in 2013 [1]). However, there is no evidence that external acquisitions have been made under domestic political pressures.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The LAF acquires weapons in the form of donations from foreign countries (1). Thus, foreign influence is inherent as the LAF is aid-dependent to support its development due to lack of resources (2). For instance, almost 80% of the LAF’s military equipment comes from the US (3). While external influence by donors is prevalent, the LAF has shown a willingness to push back on donor suggestions and preferences when they veer away from the requirements outlined in the CDPs (2013-2017 and 2018-2022 CDPs) (4). For example, during the $3 billion Saudi grant’s planning phase to support LAF acquisition of French combat systems, French authorities tried to persuade senior LAF officers to consider systems such as Adroit Class oceanographic vessels, Leclerc main battle tanks, etc., which the LAF did not want or need (4). However, the LAF pushed back against these suggestions to ensure they acquired defence articles are in line with the LAF’s future order of battle and preserve the set of requirements in the CDP (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The LAF’s CDP justified the requirements for developing its capabilities and was presented in front of the international support group for Lebanon at the Rome conferences (1). However, the LAF developed the CDP with limited political buy-in (1). Furthermore, two sources indicated that it was only presented to them once in the Defence, Interior, and Municipalities Parliamentary Committee (2), (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No incidents were found of domestic political pressures resulting in defence acquisitions (1). Domestic political pressures do not result in c acquisition because the government cannot afford to acquire military weapons due to a lack of resources (2). However, there is criticism about the LAF’s dependence on aid and the prevalence of US aid to Lebanon (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Most suppliers in the defence sector come from Lithuania. For example, in 2015, two of the three suppliers and sellers in the defence sector were from Lithuania [1]. However, the Minister of Defence admitted that the purchase of eighty-eight armoured vehicles priced at almost 386 million Euros from the company ‘Boxer’ was carried out with “small political influence” [2]. What is more, the former leader of the Lithuanian army, Mr. V. Tutkus claimed that he knew the winner of the purchase bid well in advance, even a year before the actual decision was made [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

All public procurements and defence acquisitions are regulated by The Law on Public Procurement in the Defence and security sector [1]. In 2017, the National Defence’s public procurement reform was made. Following this reform, the Defence Resources Agency was made responsible for centralised public procurements and acquisitions in defence (95 percent of defence procurements are now carried out by this Agency). During this reform, the Ministry of Defence outlined that all acquisitions related to national defence and security had to be justified by military needs [2]. Military needs are published on the Defence Agency’s website, and politicians, including the President, are informed about these needs during hight level defence meetings [3, 4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no publicly known information to confirm that defence acquisitions are influenced by political pressure. However, over the last 3 years, some acquisitions raised suspicions regarding their justification. The purchase of armoured vehicles from ‘Boxer’ raised questions about prior agreements due to political leaders communicating about the results of the purchase in advance [1]; and acquisitions from the company “Nota Bene” [2] were alleged to have resulted in unnecessary high value contracts.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

A SIPRI report states that, “Malaysia’s arms imports dropped after major arms procurement programmes were finished in 2007.” [1] The armed forces may require specific assets to boost the defence system, but the executive may have a policy of buying defence budget items from specific countries due to political considerations and relations. [2] It might not then fully serve the defence strategy of the country, since the purchases might involve inferior technologies than the armed forces’ requirements. Due to financial constraints, furthermore, Malaysia is contemplating buying defence acquisitions from seller nations based on a barter trade model. [3] According the Defence Minister, the government is looking at Pakistan, Russia and China as major sources of supplies. These countries are willing to sell defence equipment based on barter trade for palm oil. The method was partially used when Malaysia procured Russian aircraft fighters in the 1980s. Furthermore, selling nation governments can sometimes have an influence on the buyer nation regarding defence procurement. The influence is subtle and can be felt through trade deals, for example in the balance of payment negotiations, other security promises, or promises to resolve international matters. The influence could also be soft, through diplomacy.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government’s defence acquisition is usually based on financial circumstances and the decision by the political elites (i.e. the Prime Minister). [1]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Domestic pressures do have a role in decision-making for defence acquisition. [1] [2] It is an open secret that interferences from royalty and politicians or the business community occur in decisions to be made, based on specific vested interest. An example of the involvement of influential personalities is Rosmah Mansor, who has links with a company that sought to supply uniforms to the military. [3]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

France has traditionally been Mali’s foremost security and military partner. For decades it has been active in providing materials and support to the Malian army. The French security guarantee to African governments typically went hand-in-hand with a requirement that French firms were favoured for state contracts. Also, according to the Article 8 of the colonial pact, France has the exclusive right to train former colonies’ soldiers, and supply their militaries. Although this dynamic has weakened over the years, France remains Mali’s most important defence partner, as evidenced by the French-led military intervention in northern Mali in 2013.
Since then, France has continued to provide support and supply equipment. In March 2015, in response to a terrorist attack in Bamako, the French Embassy helped reinforce Mali’s local security operations.¹ In September 2014, Mali’s MDAC acquired military equipment from France, including a command vehicle for President IBK.³ This acquisition was part of an agreement signed in November 2013 covering the period from December 2013 to December 2016 to acquire, among other things, military uniforms and military command vehicles.³
In July 2014, France and Mali signed a new treaty for military cooperation (2,11). But the agreement does not contain any reference to arms sales or purchases.¹¹
In recent years, it is clear that the Malian government has diversified its use of military suppliers. Under IBK’s government, the MDAC has bought one C295W aeroplane and one new Super Puma helicopter from European conglomerate Airbus, in which France retains an 11% stake.¹⁰ ¹²
But the MDAC has also purchased:
– one used Super Puma helicopter from Ireland⁹
– attack helicopters from Russia, which were bought after 8 million Malians reportedly signed a petition calling on the Russia government to help Mali by supplying military equipment⁵
– six A-29 Super Tocano combat planes from Brazilian company Embraer Defense & Security⁹
– a Boeing 737 from the US to serve as the presidential jet.¹³ Boeing is Airbus’s biggest competitor, indicating that the French influence in Mali does not ensure that all major purchases go to France. Indeed, this list above suggests that the Malian government has been able to shop around freely despite France’s considerable influence.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

During the past five years, Mali has largely purchased equipment in accordance with the needs outlined in the government’s programme of military reform, with one notable glaring exception.
The LOPM, which passed into law in February 2015, can be considered as an evaluation of needs given that the document specified that it intended to recruit an additional 10,000 solider between 2015 and 2019 to plug the major gaps in the armed forces.⁶ The LOPM provides for USD2.3 billion of investment for the armed forces, and included plans to purchase helicopters, aeroplanes and uniforms.⁶ Since then the Malian government has gone on to buy:
– two used Super Puma S 332 L helicopters (one from Airbus, one from a subsidiary of Airbus in Ireland)⁹
– two attack helicopters from Russia, which were bought after 8 million Malians reportedly signed a petition calling on the Russia government to help Mali by supplying military equipment⁵
– six A-29 Super Tocano combat planes from Brazilian company Embraer Defense & Security⁹
– one C295W aeroplane from Airbus¹⁰ ¹²
– military uniforms (for the new recruits) and military command vehicles.³
However, the government provided no justification for the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet for USD 40 million from the US in March 2014.¹³

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

During the past five years, Mali has largely purchased equipment in accordance with the needs outlined in the government’s programme of military reform, with one notable glaring exception.
Mali’s military purchases during the past five years have almost exclusively been made to respond to expanding threat of jihadist attacks in the country. Following the collapse of the Malian army in 2012 in the face of an armed Tuareg rebellion, which was supported by certain jihadist groups, there was clear need for the government to rebuild the armed forces when IBK was elected in 2013.
The LOPM, which was passed into law in February 2015, sets out what the government will do to increase the military’s capacity to fight jihadist groups in the north and centre of the country.
One of the key elements identified was the need to recruit more troops to the depleted FAMa. The document specified that it intended to recruit an additional 10,000 soldiers between 2015 and 2019 to plug the major gaps in the armed forces.⁶ The LOPM provides for USD2.3 billion of investment for the armed forces, and included plans to purchase helicopters, aeroplanes and uniforms.⁶ The need for aircraft was paramount to combat jihadist groups that typically operate in the vast, remote, largely unpopulated northern desert areas.
Since then the Malian government has gone on to buy:
– two used Super Puma S 332 L helicopters (one from Airbus, one from a subsidiary of Airbus in Ireland)⁹
– two attack helicopters from Russia, which were bought after 8 million Malians reportedly signed a petition calling on the Russia government to help Mali by supplying military equipment⁵
– six A-29 Super Tocano combat planes from Brazilian company Embraer Defense & Security⁹
– one C295W aeroplane from Airbus¹⁰ ¹²
– military uniforms (for the new recruits) and military command vehicles.³

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Specialists indicate that it is very common for purchases in this matter to be influenced by the selling nations. [1] In this sense, Mexico is among the 40 main arms importers and the United States is its main supplier. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Generally, the government justifies the purchase of weapons with military needs, specifically to combat organised crime. However, specialists and analysis documents show the absence of a clear justification for military acquisitions, [1] [2] [3] [4] which favours diversion of weapons to places of conflict, from the legal to the illegal market. [5] [6]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no information to justify whether arms acquisitions are awarded based on internal political pressure. Specialists on the subject point out that this is not known to occur in Mexico, and it is more likely that the pressure will come from abroad. [1]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to SIPRI in the last year, Montenegro imported arms Canadian helicopters worth 37 million dollars in 2018), [1] Turkey (vehicle “Cobra” [2] ordered in 2015 and delivered in 2016 [1]), and Austria (Survivor-2 ordered in 2014 and delivered in 2015). Some seller nations extensively lobbied decision-makers to choose their companies. [3]

According to the MoD reviewer, defence procurement is conducted in accordance with national needs requirements and in accordance with NATO standards. The selection of the company is made according to the price and quality of the procurement item. This decision may also be influenced by the experiences and recommendations of other countries with whom Montenegro has good international cooperation or is deployed together in operations. In this domain, national interest prevails there is no political influence of arms-selling countries.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government provides general statements justifying military procurement by referring to military needs, [1] and other issues such as border security,
extinguishing fires etc. [2] However, it keeps secret all documents justifying those statements.

According to the MoD reviewer, the government cites clear and justifiable military need for purchases and from particular supplier. This statement could not be verified.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The European Commission in its recent strategy concluded that Western Balkans countries have elements of state capture. [1] The Regional Anticorruption Institution called for concrete action regarding state capture. [2]

Montenegro did not change its leadership for three decades and it is considered a captured state whose leader was involved in many organised crime and corruption scandals, including cigarette smuggling in cooperation with Italian organised crime groups. [3]

NGOs, [4][5] academics [6] and the media [7] have expressed concern regarding state capture. Decision-making is centralised and the parliament, opposition and bureaucracy cannot affect any major decisions.

According to the MoD reviewer, there are no acquisitions which are granted as a result of domestic political pressures. Statement could not be verified.

This sub-indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Although previous evidence suggested that it was very common for defence decisions to be driven by political influence from seller nations, especially France, it seems that this is no longer the case.

The history of arms contracts between Morocco and France suggested indeed that defence decisions were influenced by the personal relationship between President Jacques Chirac (a close personal friend of King Mohammed VI and former king Hassan II). However, Jacques Chirac ceased to be President in 2007. The 3 Presidents who have come after him so far (Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron) have been very keen to maintain close links with Morocco. Emmanuel Macron even went to Morocco for his first visit abroad after his election in 2017. However, not only have some contracts signed between the two countries (such as the purchase of Rafale military planes) when Jacques Chirac was president not been honoured by Morocco, but also no major arms deals have been signed with France since.

It seems however that other countries, especially the United States, are using their political influence to sell weapons to Morocco (1)(2)(3). In a leaked document, former American ambassador Thomas Riley’s cable to the United States State Department confirmed that development aid to Morocco is often conditional to the purchase by the former of military equipment from the United States or France. Interviewees stated that this was still the case concerning American influence (4)(5).

As explained in previous indicators, the King is the final decision-maker for defence acquisitions and is not accountable for these decisions. He is therefore unlikely to justify military procurement by referring to military need, and may not justify defence and security expenditure at all.

This sub-indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Although previous evidence suggested that it was very common for defence decisions to be driven by political influence from seller nations, especially France, it seems that this is no longer the case.

The history of arms contracts between Morocco and France suggested indeed that defence decisions were influenced by the personal relationship between President Jacques Chirac (a close personal friend of King Mohammed VI and former king Hassan II). However, Jacques Chirac ceased to be President in 2007. The 3 Presidents who have come after him so far (Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron) have been very keen to maintain close links with Morocco. Emmanuel Macron even went to Morocco for his first visit abroad after his election in 2017. However, not only have some contracts signed between the two countries (such as the purchase of Rafale military planes) when Jacques Chirac was president not been honoured by Morocco, but also no major arms deals have been signed with France since.

It seems however that other countries, especially the United States, are using their political influence to sell weapons to Morocco (1)(2)(3). In a leaked document, former American ambassador Thomas Riley’s cable to the United States State Department confirmed that development aid to Morocco is often conditional to the purchase by the former of military equipment from the United States or France. Interviewees stated that this was still the case concerning American influence (4)(5).

As explained in previous indicators, the King is the final decision-maker for defence acquisitions and is not accountable for these decisions. He is therefore unlikely to justify military procurement by referring to military need, and may not justify defence and security expenditure at all.

This sub-indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No evidence of legislative discussion and consultation was found. Previous sub-indicators of the Political Risk section explain that Parliament has no control over defense issues (its role and the role of the defense commission is a consultative one, and they only have access to a limited amount of information, as activity reports show). Moreover, no evidence was found that purchases were the result of lobbying or executive influence: the Moroccan and international press has not mentioned it, nor have human rights organisations. Given the lack of transparency on arms contracts and the consistent opacity surrounding them, the risk of corruption is highly increased. As defence-related power remains solely in the hands of the King, it is extremely common for defence decisions to be driven by domestic political pressures (1)(2)(3)(4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Under the military junta, China provided legitimacy for Myanmar and was the country’s biggest defence supplier [1]. The United States and the European Union sanctioned the military regime. During President U Thein Sein’s visit, Myanmar and the EU countries reached an ‘everything but arms’ agreement. Recently, the EU member countries extended arms embargoes due to alleged human rights violations in ethnic areas. These international situations led Myanmar to lean towards China [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to Article 20(b) of the 2008 Constitution, the Defence Services has the right to independently administer and adjudicate all affairs of the armed forces [1].Therefore, the government cannot intervene in the military’s defence spending.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

A few years after the delivery of Chinese military equipment, many Myanmar soldiers complained about the poor performance of the equipment and problems with spare parts [1]. The dissatisfaction of Myanmar’s soldiers created a domestic pressure to reduce Myanmar’s dependence on China. Another problem is China’s covert and open supply of goods to Myanmar’s ethnic armed organisations, such as the
United Wa State Army (UWSA). In one case, the Myanmar military captured tonnes of China-made weapons from the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). Senior General Min Aung Hlaing expressed his desire to cut relations between China and ethnic insurgency groups [2]. This dissatisfaction with the country’s main supplier means that Myanmar’s military wants to diversify its defence market.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is little evidence of major political influence by selling nations on acquisition decisions and such influence is unlikely due to the presence of legal and policy frameworks, as well as the needs assessments required for large purchases [1,2,3,4]. Internal and external audit mechanisms, as well as robust complaint reporting systems, further decimate the likelihood of undue foreign influence on procurement [5,6,7,8,9,10]. In general, however, it can be said that, while there is no major political influencing, offset contracts or industrial participation benefits might be exploited in order to influence domestic parties (such as economic organisations, trade unions, professional associations, etc.) to apply pressure on the procurement process [11].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

For procurement processes over 25 million euros, the procurement preparation phase (Phase D) mandates that the Ministry of Defence must justify the choice of product as well as the choice of supplier [1,2]. For example, a Phase D letter to Parliament regarding the project ‘Vehicle 12kN other and Remote Controlled Weapon Station’ explains that the choice of supplier was determined according to predetermined award criteria, including quality and lifetime costs [3]. The letter also elaborates on the need for Industrial Participation as part of the procurement contract [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is little evidence of major domestic political influence on acquisition decisions and such influence is unlikely due to the presence of legal and policy frameworks, as well as the needs assessments required for large purchases [1,2,3,4]. Internal and external audit mechanisms, as well as robust complaint reporting systems, further decimate the likelihood of undue political influence on procurement [5,6,7,8,9,10].

This indicator is not scored in the GDI.

There is nothing to suggest any untoward political pressure or influence on New Zealand Defence acquisitions. Through the processes outlined in previous questions, the requirement to implement the Government’s Better Business Case model and Gateway Review provides and permits suitable levels of oversight and guidance. A review of SIPRI Trade Register for the years 2010-2019 found no speculative orders or deliveries, and suppliers generally reflect New Zealand’s traditional defence partners [1]. Once again, this does not suggest New Zealand defence acquisitions are conducted solely with its traditional western partners. The contract for construction of a new fleet replenishment oiler (variably called ‘sustainment’ vessel), HMNZS Aoteoroa signed on 25 July 2016, with Hyundai Heavy Industries, signals that proper scrutiny is excised in selecting best value for money, as well as political considerations – a scenario to be expected in defence [2]. Further evidence supporting this summation is seen by the Royal Navy’s decision to also contract a Korean firm to construct their new Tide-class fleet tankers, which displays a modicum of international consensus among the two least corrupt nations in Transparency International’s previous Defence Integrity Index [3].

This indicator is not scored in the GDI.

As a result of shared history, culture, and geopolitics, Australia is New Zealand’s closest partner, both politically and geographically. Consequently, Defence White Paper 2016 clearly identified Australia as New Zealand’s only ally, closely followed by its defence partner: the USA, UK, and Canada [1]. Australia and the US were further identified as key elements in New Zealand’s Regional Security Architecture Arrangements [2]. Largely due to these reasons, it is in New Zealand’s strategic interests to ensure a high level of interoperability with Australia first and foremost and then with the US, UK and Canada, as hinted at in the independent Defence Procurement Review in 2018 [3]. This ensures New Zealand can leverage its small defence footprint with those of its much larger partners by bandwagoning on defence capabilities, and the industries that manufacture them, with the recent Boeing P-8A (US) and Bushmaster vehicles (Australia) purchases being good examples [4, 5, 6, 7]. This does not indicate or suggest improper influence or relationships with those states and their defence industries. Rather it is an acknowledgement that these defence partners represent key stakeholders of the Rules Based Order, a system that New Zealand benefits and upon which it depends. Moreover, there are strong business case drivers for joint acquisition or adoption of common platforms for the reduction in support costs and training costs, to provide two examples [8].

This indicator is not scored in the GDI.

Almost no acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressures. Indeed, there is significant domestic pressure pushing away from securing purchases, with one of the most weighted domestic pressures centring on whether combat systems are even necessary. A number of public submissions, opinion pieces, activist groups, and political parties, including members of parliament, hold minimalist, or even eliminationist, stances towards defence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9]. Moreover, given that the age of the systems which recent major projects are to replace can usually be measured in decades, domestic pressure is not very successful [10, 11, 12]. For example, one of the reasons the option to purchase a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft failed was due to internal delays in making a decision [13]. The reality that many capability systems/platforms are nearing the end of their operationally and financially viable life-cycles cannot be credibly disputed [14, 15, 16].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Given the secrecy around the acquisition process, it is difficult to know if acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations. However, the assumption can be made that some acquisitions are made because of political influence. It would be difficult to assess how common this is though (1). Niger is striving to diversify its partners (2). For example, in 2013 Niger purchased two Sukhoy Su-25 jets. They are positioned in the region of Diffa to participate in military operations against Boko Haram (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The lack of justification(s) provided by the government for its (secret) acquisitions may warrant a score of 0. However, defence acquisitions equally appear to be driven by regional security concerns in the Sahel region (1,2), likely superseding any political motivations related to the political influence of selling nations.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Given the secrecy around the acquisition process, it is difficult to know if acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations. However, the assumption can be made that some acquisitions are made because of political influence. It would be difficult to assess how common this is though (1). Niger is striving to diversify its partners (2). For example, in 2013 Niger purchased two Sukhoy Su-25 jets. They are positioned in the region of Diffa to participate in military operations against Boko Haram (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government often justifies acquisitions based on military need. The asymmetrical nature of the insurgency has created a need for different defence material needs which are not often reflected in the demand for or the need for more resources to buy armaments which are not suited to that kind of warfare. For example, the request for attack planes which support ground troops is ineffective against insurgents embedded within communities (1).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

A recent example of this is the insurgency in the North East, which continues to dominate discussions in Nigeria. Recently, the president was widely criticised for spending funds without prior approval by the National Assembly. In response to the criticism, an aide to the president said that “the President, in withdrawing $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account, ECA, acted under the doctrine of necessity, and that his action was justifiable” (1). It is unclear whether the doctrine of necessity is a concept referred to in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN). Under the constitution of the FRN, there is a requirement that there can be no utilisation of funds from the Excess Crude Account without the express approval of the Senate under the due process provisions of Sections 80 & 81 of the Constitution (2).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Macedonia’s political and strategic aim to join NATO has also determined its defence acquisitions. Its declared strive for achieving interoperability within NATO, also underlined in the 2018 Strategic Defence Review (SDR), has focused the country’s acquisitions on members and partner countries of the North-Atlantic Trade Organisation [1]. The SDR concept of “Future Armed Forces 2028” further corroborates the aim for interoperability with NATO in terms of rearmament. So far, the acquisitions for the Army have been considerably small or have been supported by armament and equipment grants from friendly countries such as the USA [2], Germany and Turkey [3]. These acquisitions were completed through NATO networks and programmes.
This also shows a certain political influence coming from NATO and its donor members, because acquisitions which do not support NATO defence are not desirable and are politically excluded.
Still, so far no significant concerns have been publicly raised for the possible political influence from the selling nations and donors.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In general, joining and operating within NATO follows the strategic aims for the country. The 2018 Strategic Defence Review explicitly mentioned NATO (titled “Towards NATO membership and “Future Armed Forces 2028”) [1]. Similarly with the nation’s acquisitions these are clearly aimed at fostering NATO’s support. For instance, the 2014 grant from the US amounting to 850,000USD was announced in “the spirit of the strategic partnership between the North Macedonia and the United States.” It was offered to support Macedonia’s partner goals with NATO. The practical and operational terms of the grant were also detailed and specifically targeted the needs of the Military Police Battalion of the Joint Operational Command that better prepare the Army of the North Macedonia for the post-ISAF operations [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. So far, the defence budget represented about 1% of the national budget (equivalent to about 100 million euros annually). The 2018 Strategic Defence Review predicts a rise of 2% in the following years [1]. Still, the defence budget is relatively small and, consequently, defence acquisitions have also remained limited.They mostly depend on grants from the US and NATO countries. For instance, the armoured vehicles of the Army of the North Macedonia (Hermelin, BTR 70/80) came from the former East-German Army. In particular, a grant from Turkey amounting to 710,000USD was made directed towards a single sophisticated “cobra” transporter and seven new Land Rover vehicles. Turkey has so far donated equipment worth 18,000,000 USD [2]. Moreover, the sophisticated M4 rifles came from a US grant [3]. No pressures from domestic politicians and/or firms have been publicly communicated or noted.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. According to the National Defence Industry Strategy, all defence acquisitions have to be based on identified military needs [1]. Online media research does not indicate that any acquisitions in the recent years have been granted as a result of political influence by selling nations. The previous GDI report mentions, however, that WikiLeaks’ leak of US diplomatic cables in 2010 revealed that Norway was subject to an aggressive lobbying campaign from the United States to purchase the F-35 fighter jet. In November 2008, the Norwegian Government announced its decision to select F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets from the American company Lockheed Martin as the replacement for the F-16 fleet [2]. As of October 2019, the first 15 Norwegian F-35s arrived in-country and, according to the procurement plans, Norway is due to receive 6 F-35s per year until 2024, when the contract is finalised [3]. The 2 other potential candidates, JAS Gripen and Eurofighter, as well as the national media indicated at the time that the Norwegian Ministry of Defence had favoured the American bid throughout the tendering process. The Norwegian Government maintained that the tender was awarded purely on a cost performance criteria basis and the ability to meet Norway’s defence policy needs [2], but a research study suggests that the purchase of F-35 may be explained in terms of alliance and security politics [4]. At the same time, there are indications that several among the political leadership of the Ministry of Defence were bent on buying the Swedish plane, also for political considerations, as the Left in Norwegian politics, which was in power in 2009 when the decision was made, is generally more favourably inclined to Nordic cooperation than the Right. Nevertheless, according to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database, Norway’s defence import from the USA made up between 67-93% of the total yearly defence import value in the period 2015-2019 [5]. Yet it may be impossible to determine to what extend Norway’s need to confirm its loyalty towards NATO, and its close security-political relationship with the USA in particular, may be seen in terms of political influence by its strongest ally.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The acquisition process is aligned with the white paper on the national defence industry strategy published every 10 years by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence [1]. The white paper defines the framework for the long-term acquisitions plan, which is updated on an annual basis [2]. Moreover, every year the ministry submits to Parliament a proposal on investments in the defence sector [3]. The proposal is published online and outlines justification of purchases, estimates costs and summarises the quality control report at the conceptual stage. When it comes to major arms deals, the ministry prepares and submits to Parliament a separate comprehensive evaluation justifying the purchase and the chosen supplier [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The Defence Material Agency has not registered any instances of acquisitions being granted as a result of domestic political influence [1]. However, according to some observers, the decision to buy the Skjold-class corvettes in 2008 may be seen as an example in this regard [2]. 3 consecutive Chiefs of Defence argued for the programme to be scrapped as the vessels were not their highest priority. On several instances, the MoD concurred. However, due to pressure from both industry (Umoe Mandal in this case, which built the vessels), labour unions (who wanted to secure work for its members in the industry) and various other domestic-political interests, as well as the navy itself, the programme was repeatedly defended or reinserted by the Government or Parliament.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is a strong belief that defence purchases are influenced by political ties with the selling nations, such as the USA and the UK. The UK is considered a close ally of Oman, mainly training Omani army and sharing technologies (1), (2). Defence suppliers according to a SIRPI fact sheet, indicate Oman’s main suppliers are companies based in the UK (38%), USA (28%) and Norway (7.9%), and news articles in Oman media outlets frequently report on close British-Omani military relations (3), (4), (5). According to a BTI report from 2018, “Oman maintains close relations and strategic partnerships with the United Kingdom, the United States and their Arab allies (especially Egypt and Jordan),” suggestive of strategic relations with the USA and UK, the principal arms sellers to Oman (6). The BTI report goes on to argue that frequent renewals of military co-operation, bases, and faculty access show Oman “remains dependent on both Britain and the United States” (7). In an opinion piece titled “Paying our rent or our protectors” from 2013 in Al-Jazeera America, Cairo-based journalist Jared Malsin argues that Oman’s purchases of weapons from the US are related to US hegemony and security protection (8). Oman’s strong relations with selling nations, whose political influence is widely recognized, suggests it is extremely common for defence decisions to be driven by political influence by seller nations.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is a general policy in Oman where there is no justification or deliberation with regard to any policy. There has not been any case where the government justified military purchases to the public. There is a general headline which say that they need such purchases for national security region and security threats (5,6). The government does not publicly justify military procurement or defence and security expenditure. The al-Shoura, the consultative assembly, does not have the mandate to scrutinize issues of national security and free access to information does not include issues around national security (1,2). As outlined across sub-indicators in this sub-section, defence and security procurement is not transparent or accountable to the Omani public. Most information found around defence procurement is in foreign media outlets or foreign NGOs, where foreign government such as the United Kingdom are scrutinized by domestic media for arms sales to Oman (3,4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Commonly, defence purchases and acquisitions, as well as political and strategic decisions are based on the domestic political situation, considering Oman geographical location near Yemen and Iran (1). Since the unrest in 2011, there have been suggestions that defence and security procurement has increased (2), (3). However, there is little evidence to suggest that domestic pressures shape defence acquisition decisions, given the supreme power of the sultan with no public participation in decision making in Oman, and wider instability in the region such as the war in Yemen (4), (5). Given the lack of transparency around defence acquisitions, it is difficult to discern the extent domestic pressures plays in defence acquisition, while it is possible to hypothesise that domestic pressures are not the key factor in acquisitions, this cannot be proven.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Even though the national forces and security agencies in Palestine do not have huge acquisition demands, the limited number of acquisitions are usually driven by political influence (1). It is extremely common for national forces decisions to be inspired through political pressure from external donors like the USA, EU, and Russia (2), (3). Support is provided following donor countries’ regulations and not the Palestinian system in most cases (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government does not justify the national forces and security agencies procurement by referring to military needs, and it does not justify its domestic effects and security expenditure at all. They publish an aggregate spend in the budgets which accounts for more than 30% of the total budget. There is no mention of any justification with regards to procurement on the legislative council website or any of the agency websites (1).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

As Fatah is the leading party in the West Bank, and the entire PA under the influence of Fatah, national forces and security agencies decisions are driven by domestic political pressures (1). For instance, a clothes contract for the personnel goes to a businessperson from Fatah (1). Another example is vehicle maintenance, which goes to a workshop managed by Fatah members or affiliated with Fatah. This system is known as “AlSalmah Al Amniya” in Arabic, it is an informal institution of a “security check” where the procurement, as well as recruitment, goes through a security screening, and in majority of cases, Fata members get the bid because of their relationships with senior officials in the finance department or officers in the security apparatuses (2). Procurement is carried out through public procurement systems and procedures, regardless of the applicants’ political orientation, and security screening is common when dealing with security forces in various countries of the world. The security forces are currently working on establishing internal centres for the maintenance of vehicles (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. While acquisition decisions are chiefly determined by documents such as the AFP Modernisation Act and Manila’s needs, political influence by selling nations continues to be evident, not only the United States but also with respect to other newer actors such as Russia and China in line with Duterte’s so-called “independent foreign policy” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Justification by the government is provided as required, including through DND releases and press conferences [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is little evidence of independent domestic political pressures from interest groups within the country playing a major influence in actual acquisition decisions given Duterte’s significant personal influence within the country [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It is difficult to verify whether some acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by seller nations. Undoubtedly, such pressure exists because, in the case of large defence contracts, governments are also parties to the contract. For example, the delivery of the Patriot Missile System, as part of the contract, the Polish government signed five agreements with the U.S. government [1]. Regarding this agreement, some media suggested strong lobbying efforts by American senators [2]. Additionally, there are doubts about whether the signed contract is beneficial for Poland in terms of military and financial aspects [3, 4]. Another example of pressure from a foreign government was the cancellation of the French president’s visit to Poland due to the failure of negotiations for the purchase of French Caracal helicopters [5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government justifies purchases by referring to military needs defined in relevant strategic programmes [1]. An issue, is that declared priorities frequently change and procurement procedures are extended [2]. For example, the selection of helicopters [3, 4, 5] and submarines was postponed for many years [6].
The helicopter selection procedure started in 2012, a contract for 50 was signed in 2015, and then cancelled by the new government in 2016, a new contract for four was signed in 2019, other procurements are ongoing. The program for the acquisition of submarines started in 2012; to date, the conceptual-analytical phase is still ongoing with several changing concepts and declarations being made [7, 8].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Domestic political pressure is very common when buying armaments. This is mainly related to the declared willingness to develop and protect the national defence industry [1, 2]. In the case of purchase of foreign armament, offset contracts are important [3, 4]. For example, the Polish government’s choice of 50 Caracal helicopters produced by Airbus Helicopters met with strong opposition from the largest opposition party and trade unions from Polish armament companies belonging to the other two bidders, i.e. Sikorsky Aircraft and Leonardo (Augusta Westland). After the parliamentary elections in 2015 and the change of the ruling party, the choice of Caracal helicopters was cancelled in 2016 [5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

An analysis of defence acquisitions as reported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfers Database [1] and published in the Official Gazette [2] is inconsistent with political influence by selling nations, which range from Denmark to Brazil.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

An analysis of existing expenditure authorisations in the Official Gazette [1, 2, 3, 4] suggests that acquisitions are appropriately justified according to military needs, although their connection to broader strategic priorities is sparse. The Military Programming Act [5] and the Ministerial Directive on the Planning Ministerial Defence [6] provide evidence that strategic needs are at least at the forefront of acquisition decisions. However, justification remains sparse across identified registries.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Recent acquisitions are perceived as independent from domestic pressures. Based on previous issues with a Trident-class submarine acquisition [1], there is no evidence of domestic or external pressures on acquisition decision-making; while their justification is found wanting, as per Q75B, there is no evidence that recent purchases result from domestic pressures.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It is extremely common for defence decisions to be driven by the political influence of seller nations. [1] Qatar has always relied on western allies when guaranteeing its stability within a warring Gulf. There is evidence to suggest that Qatar’s Western allies are also Qatar’s weapons exporters. [2] The US, the UK, and France have been Qatar’s major weapons suppliers for decades, and Qatar has been considered one of the top military spenders and importer of military assets. Qatar has secured several large arms deals from France, which included a $7.1 billion contract for 24 Dassault Rafale aircrafts, and from the US, which included purchasing 24 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters for $2.4 billion. [3,4] In 2014, the UK has increased the number of licenses for the sale of arms to Qatar because of recent incidents in the Gulf countries, and due to the UK’s desire for Qatar to feel ‘safe’ in light of regional threats. Andrew Smith stated: ‘the UK has consistently armed many of the most brutal and authoritarian regimes in the world, and a number have been invited to London to buy weapons, these arms sales aren’t morally neutral, they are a clear sign of political and military support for the regimes they are being sold to. The government has played an absolutely central role and has consistently put arms exports to despots and dictators ahead of human rights.’ [3] It has become clear through research, that Qatar’s acquisition decisions are based on the political influence of selling nations.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It has become clear throughout this assessment that the defence sector is not subject to any form of questioning, scrutiny or oversight. For this reason, there have been no cases of defence institutions justifying their expenditure or purchases. [1,2,3] Defence expenditure is not accessible to the public, nor are financial accounts of defence institutions. The parliament does not scrutinise or question government defence policy at all, neither does it question its acquisition. [4,5] The government is unlikely to justify military procurement, and may not justify its defence and security expenditure at all.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Domestic political pressure, in relation to defence decisions, does not exist. [1] The country has no political parties nor a functioning political system.  Besides that, freedom of speech, CSOs activities, and its own Advisory Council, do not have power over the defence sector deliberations or decision making. [2] Domestic pressure is absent because of the lack of transparency, and the nature of the regime does not allow political or social groups to have influence on the decision making. This sub-indicator is not relevant because defence acquisition is determined by the political elite and there is no possibility that domestic pressure could influence a decision.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Russia is an exporter, not an importer of arms. The SIPRI report on arms transfers from 2014 to 2018 iterates that ‘by 2018 Russia no longer imported major arms and had no outstanding orders from foreign suppliers. Before 2014, Russia had been importing arms from Ukraine and had started importing arms from other European countries. The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 ended these arms trade relations’ [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In the last five years, Russia has not made any purchases from other nations [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In the last five years, Russia has not made any purchases from other nations [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, almost all arms deals of the KSA are politically motivated and sealed based on the political situation. Major arms imports are from the USA and the UK. Additionally, there are influences of these countries’ lobbyist groups and politicians that advise and encourage the KSA (especially MBS) to buy arms deals from their nations, which are usually approved (1), (2), (3). Saudi defence and arms deals have typically been predicated on realpolitik and political rationales rather than based strictly on military requirements. In the past, such deals appear to have been tied to political aims, such as solidifying and cementing strategic alliances with key allies such as France, the UK, and the US (4), (5). They can also take the form of quid pro quo arrangements for political support and/or and military protection, the most prominent illustration being the longstanding security arrangement between Saudi Arabia and the US, underpinned by intermittent weapons and defence deals (6), (7). The Saudi government frequently couples broader regional objectives. Saudi Arabia has also used potential weapons deals as a way to try to influence policy in selling nations. For example, the government reportedly offered to buy Russian weapons if that country would stop supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who Saudi Arabia at the time sought to overthrow or adopt a more favourable stance towards Saudi Arabia in its cold war with Iran (8). According to a 2013 White Paper by IHS, Saudi and its Gulf neighbours “historically bought friendship and support” through material acquisition, with the primary suppliers being the UK, France, and the US.” The report further stated that since material procurement is used as a means of cementing relations and achieving broader aims, “political alignment is therefore vital for successful business” (9).

On the surface, it appears that such policies hold weight and have witnessed a measure of success. Specifically, allies such as the US and UK have consistently maintained good relations and supported Saudi Arabia despite opposition to Saudi foreign and domestic policy by other branches of government, lobby groups and others in the selling nations. For example, when lawmakers in the US attempted to block arms sales to Saudi following the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey in October 2018, Trump was reticent of halting arms sales to Riyadh, claiming that the country would just shift its weapons purchases to Russia and China (10). UK leaders have also staunchly defended the country’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the wider relationship despite accusations of war crimes against the kingdom (11).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, there are no public deliberations or justifications for military procurements in the KSA. Therefore, it is also impossible to find any justification for the public aside from what rhetoric of the claim “regional threats” (1), (2), (3). Saudi Arabia does not publicly address or discuss its military procurement practices, and therefore it does not justify military and defence expenditure. Defence decisions are made unilaterally by the Minister of Defence Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who serves as Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and therefore is not subject to any external oversight or scrutiny by legislators or the public (4), (5).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, there are no political parties, no lobbyist groups, and no national groups that pressure the government to seal military purchases. Therefore, there is no domestic pressure as the public is not aware of what happens at the MoD (1), (2), (3). Saudi Arabia does not appear to make military purchases as a result of domestic pressures. On the contrary, its high-value defence deals appear to run contrary to local domestic needs. For example, estimates of Saudi defence spending in 2017 were 11.3%, despite the existence of many other pressing domestic needs especially concerning Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform program. There is little domestic need for the weapons, and industry analysts maintain that overspending on security, in fact, threatens Saudi domestic stability as it diverts funds from the core goals of social and economic development (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Major arms deals are exceptionally rare. From 2015-2018, Serbia purchased two military transport helicopters for around EUR 25 million from Russia [1], received donations of six Mig-29 jets, 30 tanks and 30 armoured patrol vehicles [2], signed a deal with Airbus Group for procurement of 9 helicopters and certification of servicing Airbus helicopters for an undisclosed amount [3] and, according to different President’s statements in 2018, bought five to seven more helicopters from Russia and RPAS from China which are to be delivered in 2019 [4]. This seems to be in line with the orientation towards military neutrality de facto understood as maintaining defence cooperation with both NATO and Russia (and occasionally China) [5]. However, there is no palpable evidence that any of the deals are a result of direct political pressure by selling nations. At the same time, signed deals – or more often, announcing potential deals with Russia – have been covered with great enthusiasm in many Serbian papers, in particular tabloids, supporting the narrative of brotherly ties between the two countries and anti-NATO stance [6]. Moreover, 12% of media items covering arms procurement for Serbian Armed Forces, from October 1, 2016, till September 29, 2017, linked arms acquisition with a possibility of a regional conflict [7].
Despite the enthusiasm in the press, there is a more practical rationale for procuring arms and military equipment or having it donated from Russia. Namely, due to budgetary limitations, acquiring equipment most compatible to the one currently in use is the most feasible solution. For instance, in 2011 the Serbian MoD sent requests for information (RFI) to seven companies (two US, two Russian, one French, one Swedish and one combined European) for the acquisition of fighter jets and received responses from all of them [8]. However, no further action was taken. The most likely explanation is that the estimated costs of such procurement were around EUR 1,000,000,000 [9], while the MoD’s entire annual budget for 2012 (after rebalance) was around EUR 510 million [10].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Government and Serbian Armed Forces officials have occasionally cited military and economic rationale for particular purchases or investing in an overhaul of the donated equipment. When it comes to the deal with Airbus Group, the typical arguments for the purchase of helicopters included missions that they could be used for (multi-purpose) and technology transfer, i.e. creating opportunities for the development of Serbian overhaul capabilities and defence industry business [1, 2]. On the other hand, the donations of the Mig-29 jets, which has been the most publicised defence acquisition so far, was followed by various arguments. One argument refers to the cost-effectiveness of the arrangement and the necessity to maintain air policing capabilities [3, 4]. At the same time, the highest government officials used this as an opportunity to bring up relations with Croatia and hint about the existence of an ʻarms raceʼ [5] or emphasise that with the ʻstrongest air force in the regionʼ Serbia would be able to ʻprotect its bordersʼ [6].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Considering that both long-term and mid-term defence system development plans are fully classified, it is not possible to monitor their implementation and establish if there are any deviations from the conceived procurement. However, there are indications in practice that priorities are changed ad hoc and in an opportunistic manner. For instance, in August 2017, the government decided to withdraw nearly 380 million dinars (around EUR 3.18 million at the time) of funding from the advanced trainer modernisation project and redirect it to applied research into possibilities of modernisation of Orao type aircraft and rendering unguided missiles on this aircraft into guided ones [1]. Modernisation of this aircraft is, according to available evidence [2], not envisaged in the current Long-term defence system development plan, but it was proposed in 2016 [19]. During 2017, the government intervened 10 times to reallocate funds in the national budget to the MoD, for the purposes ranging from travel costs to investment projects [3]. Additionally, in April 2017 the government announced that it would assign additional 43 million EUR of investments to the Serbian defence industry, out of which overhaul and testing centres of the SAF were promised EUR 10.5 mil [20]. In June 2017 the MoD announced that the government had assigned nearly EUR 50 mil to the defence industry [4]. No strategic framework or economic analysis is corroborating why sudden investments (in the mid of the budgetary year) were required or how the investments would be used. Whereas it is not possible to trace all the reallocations in the government’s official documents, there are published decisions confirming that around EUR 8.6 million were reallocated from the pension reserves fund in the Serbian budget to the SAF overhaul and testing centres [5, 6, 7].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no evidence to suggest that procurement initiatives have been influenced by exporting countries. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) acquire indigenously developed military platforms and equipment wherever possible, although it frequently relies on foreign suppliers for advanced systems. That said, a study of the platforms in service with the various service suggests that there is a conscious effort to diversify suppliers and acquire the most cost‐effective proposals that meet the budget, specifications, and maintenance requirements [1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Singapore’s defence procurement process is considered by independent observers to be well-organised and sophisticated and based on rigorous technical evaluations aimed at acquiring cost‐effective systems that address the country’s defence needs [1]. The procurement system is ISO‐9000 certified and is underpinned by legislation such as the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) Act 2000, which refers to the organisation created by the MINDEF to oversee the management of acquisitions, as well as indigenous technology development and industry participation programmes [2]. The MINDEF and the SAF retain considerable control over procurement processes through the DSTA, which is well-staffed by qualified engineers and programme managers that have been selected based on merit and experience. As with all other government and military systems in Singapore, the defence procurement process is not fully transparent, but this has not resulted in known malpractice. The country’s defence procurement system is unique in Southeast Asia, in that there are few records of allegations of malpractice or external influence in relation to defence contracts [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no evidence suggesting procurement initiatives have been influenced by domestic political pressures [1, 2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are credible claims that substantial political pressure, particularly by the British government, was influential in the selection process of the 1999 Strategic Defence Procurement Package [1]. However, recent acquisitions, such as Projects Hoefyster [2] and Biro [3], have not been accompanied by substantiated claims of political influence on the parts of Finland and the Netherlands, respectively.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The most recent major acquisition, Project Biro for offshore patrol vessels, was strongly justified by the Department of Defence [1] with reference to the findings of the 2015 Defence Review [2] and the escalating maritime security threat [3]. However, the details of the selection process itself, and the reason for choosing a design by Damen have not been made public.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is a lack of evidence showing any acquisitions undertaken as a result of domestic pressure. A scan of acquisition-related articles from the past five years on DefenceWeb, South Africa’s primary outlet for defence-related news, did not turn up any articles claiming political pressure in acquisitions during that time [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. South Korea was the 9th largest importer of major arms worldwide between 2014 and 2019, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). [1] Since South Korea heavily relies on the United States for national defence, defence acquisition decisions are often influenced by the United States. [2] In April 2019, the South Korean Air Force announced a plan to order 20 more F-35As, stealth fighter jets, from the U.S. government, from whom it had initially planned to purchase 40. The number increased due to military need. [3] After the announcement, U.S President Donald Trump publicly said South Korea agreed to purchase a tremendous amount of American military equipment” during the summit meeting between two countries in April 2019. [4] Given the large scale of U.S. military involvement in South Korea, this remark is highly political and put pressure on the South Korean government to buy more U.S. weapons. [5] [6]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Due to the long-term military tension between the two Koreas and close military alliance with the United States, defence purchases are often justified for military need. [1] When the plan of additional F-35A purchases was first announced, the Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said that it was important to import additional stealth fighter jets due to the defence and security environment in Northeast Asia. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI._x000D_
_x000D_
Although South Korean defence purchases are conducted within a clear defence procurement policy, such as the Defence Acquisition Programme Act, [1] a defence expert said that some acquisitions are affected by domestic political pressures. [2] In a recent example in May 2019, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) released the result of a two-year inspection over the F-35A purchase made in 2013. [3] The F-15SE, built by Boeing, was initially selected as the preferred bidder by the South Korean Air Force. However, the plan changed to the Lockheed Martin’s F-45A after the DAPA’s executive meeting led by Kim Kwan-jin, a former Minister of National Defence. [4] The BAI concluded that the decision over the F-35A purchase was “political judgement”, indicating domestic political pressure from the government.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Given that there is no publicly available information that has leaked out about the buying process (e.g Israeli weapons), it is not easy to tell if political influence by the selling nation played a role here. Nevertheless, some senior members of the Mossad (now mostly retired) have connections with senior members of the government, dating back to the Anyanya War of Liberation (1955-1972) when Israeli support was instrumental in upgrading the fighting capacity of the Anyanya. President Salva Kiir Mayardit participated in that war. The key Mossad agent tasked with helping the Anyanya has been on a visit to Juba many times where he was publicly feted [1]. This passage from the Jerusalem Post in December 2015 gives an idea of his role:
“Ben Uziel was invited to the capital, Joba, where he received a hero’s welcome. He met with his old comrades from the battlefield, some of whom now held high positions in the government and military. Mayardit, himself an Anyanya fighter, appointed Ben Uziel as his special representative in Israel. In the president’s eyes, “John” was the architect of the nascent South Sudanese army.” But whether this connection was used to influence South Sudan to buy weapons from Israel is not known.

Regarding the purchase of weapons through third parties, like Uganda, it is worth mentioning that the president of Uganda is South Sudan’s closest ally in the region. As well, senior members of the Ugandan military have strong ties to generals in South Sudan’s army [2]. This relationship dates back to the war period (1983-2005) when the Ugandan army cooperated with the SPLA to root out the activities of the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. It is possible that these ties were instrumental in the use of Uganda as an agent to purchase weapons for South Sudan.

Between 2014-2016, South Sudan purchased 6 Mi-24 second Combat helicopters from Ukraine, in a deal worth $42.8 million, according to SIPRI [3]. But there are no details on political influence to make a sufficient assessment. Ukraine, too, is not in South Sudan’s sphere of influence. It is possible that a third party may have been involved to facilitate this deal. Similarly, details about the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers purchased from the UAE are not publicly available to establish political influence.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government has not even acknowledged the purchase of the weapons cited in 75A, let alone justify the reason for buying them.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

So far none of the known purchases in the SIPRI data base and those reported in the media indicates that elites pushed for their purchases [1]. In South Sudan, there’s been no discussion on national security and defence policy issues that has been conducted publicly since 2013. Such discussion should normaly crop up when the defence policy is being discussed. But there has been no discussion on the defence policy(The SPLA White Paper on Defence, which is dated) since 2018 to enable a glimpse into whether political elites influenced the purchase of the weapons discussed above.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfer Database for 2015-19 (generated: 3 June 2016), Spain’s trend-indicator value (TIV) of imported arms from France was 58%, Germany 24%, the USA 18% and Israel 0.2%. This means only four countries out of dozens of exporting countries, and a high concentration of suppliers, with 99.8% of exports coming from just three countries. Considering an extended period (2010-19), the SIPRI’s database shows imports from 10 countries, but France, Germany and the US still account altogether for 88% of the total). On the other hand, in the period 2015-19, Spain exported arms to 31 countries (49 in the extended 2010-19 period), which shows a much wider diversity [1]. France, Germany and the US are EU and/or NATO partners.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The situation of imports, outlined in 75A, from a small number of countries has not been the object of relevant debate in the media or the Parliament, and authorities have not been questioned. Justification for the need of particular suppliers and particular acquisitions have been as rare as the public requests to provide such explanations. The 2003 Strategic Defence Review; however, explained the facilitation of “the integration of Spanish companies in the international market through governmental agreements with other countries [1]. Among them, the ‘Framework Agreement’ for the restructuring of the European defence industry stands out for its importance, which, with the status of a Treaty, has been signed by Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain, and which is in the phase advanced development. To this must be added the “Declaration of Principles” recently agreed between the United States and Spain, whose development work will begin shortly. This refers to the cases of France, Germany and the USA, but it does not explain the irrelevance of imports from the UK, Italy and Sweden.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Felix Artega, of the Royal Institute Elcano, stated that “decisions on major weapons programmes have not been taken in line with defence needs but rather mainly as a result of political, industrial and social criteria” [1]. He added three concrete but significant examples:
“In order to be able to build Leopard tanks in Seville and Asturias, the Airbus 440M in Seville and Tiger helicopters in Albacete, more equipment was purchased than the Armed Forces needed. In the same way, participation in European programmes like the Eurofighter plane was agreed on to support the European industry despite the greater cost of equipment and the availability of aircraft that met the military’s needs, like the F-18. Interestingly, up to 85 F-18 fighters have to be replaced and the formula proposed is to resort to the EF-2000 T3 to favour the Spanish production as they would be assembled in Getafe (Madrid), even if this means to depend exclusively on one single model instead of the traditional mix of European and US-made fighters” [2].

Finally, “orders and the timetable of naval construction have been decided more in line with the workload of national shipyards than with the needs of the Navy” [1]. In the case of the state-owned company Navantia, both political and social pressures are constant as the company is often in a critical situation affecting a very high number of jobs [3, 4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. A 2017 report by Chatham House reads that 50% of Sudan’s arms purchases came from Russia [1]. According to a report published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Russian companies were given preferential access to mine gold in Sudan, following a meeting between the two countries’ executives in Sochi in 2017 [2]. Russia also hopes to build a military base on the Red Sea in Sudan and has sent private military contractors to provide training to Sudanese troops [3]. The Carnegie report reads as follows: ‘In order to bolster perceptions of its influence amongst U.S. allies in the Gulf and cement its long-term interests in Sudan, Russia wants to ensure that pro-Kremlin elements within the Sudanese military remain dominant’ [2]. This suggests that Russia’s decision to provide defence items and technical assistance to the Government of Sudan – which it has otherwise found difficult to access due to embargoes – is likely tied to promises by government officials that Russia will have priority access to valuable gold deposits and strategic positioning on the Red Sea, which increases Russia’s ability to exert influence in the region. Notably, SIPRI lists China and Belarus as significant arms exporters to Sudan. However, although one can easily speculate, this study did not find any clear evidence of a direct link between arms imports from these countries and political influence [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The government’s purchasing activity and justification criteria for its purchases have long been completely secret and opaque. No evidence could be found of government entities explicitly justifying their source selection criteria or even explicitly revealing where they purchase their supplies from. Sudan’s options for procuring military-use items have long been highly limited by U.N. sanctions [1], so procurements have been conducted with great secrecy from illicit sources. It is unclear what domestic politics might have been at play among elites who had/have links to these illicit sources.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. No reliable evidence can be identified to validate whether or not political elites attempt to influence acquisitions. Sudan’s options for procuring military-use items have long been highly limited by U.N. sanctions [1], so procurements have been conducted with great secrecy from illicit sources. It is unclear what domestic politics might have been at play among elites who had/have links to these illicit sources. However, as Gallopin writes in his report for the European Commission on Foreign Relations, it is worth keeping in mind that, ‘despite the fact that a ‘constitutional declaration’ places the civilian-dominated cabinet in charge of the country, the generals are largely calling the shots. They control the means of coercion and a tentacular network of parastatal companies, which capture much of Sudan’s wealth and consolidate their power at the expense of their civilian partners in government’ [2]. With respect to domestic acquisitions, Sudan’s kleptocratic model is one in which the military forces own large swathes of the means of domestic production of military and non-military supplies alike, and management positions in these companies were dispensed as patronage by former President Bashir and the heads of the SAF and the NISS [2]. It is possible or even likely that, in cases where multiple state-owned enterprises produced the same military-use goods, the elites who had a stake in one company or another might pressure the President or delegated decision-makers to issue contracts to their own preferred company. However, no reliable evidence of such jockeying could be identified.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

This question depends on how we define ‘political influence’. When the government decided to purchase a new air defence system in 2018 and Swedish Defence Materiel Administration Agency (FMV) eventually opted for the ‘Patriot’ system [1], the defence minister was cited saying that the decision to invest in a US manufactured system (rather than an EU one, such as SAMP/T) was to a significant extent motivated by political reasons: ‘The transatlantic link is key for our defence industry cooperation and security policy’ [2]. Moreover, the Swedish arms industry’s largest lobby group, the Swedish Security and Defence Industry Association (SOFF), makes it clear in their annual strategy documents [3] that they seek to actively maintain the political and industrial relationship with USA and reduce trade barriers by e.g. having a staffed office in Washtington D.C. and cooperating with their US partner organisation the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA). The case of Patriot from 2018 can illustrate a situation where a specific materiel purchase was determined by the political influence of the selling nation in the sense that Sweden wanted to politically and strategically position itself closer to USA and become part of its anti-missille umbrella. If we define ‘political influence’ differently, as direct political pressure from foreign governments, this appears to be very rare – if at all existing – in Swedish defence acquisitions.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. As noted in Q58, Q61, Q74 as well as in previous iterations of the Swedish GDI assessments, transparency is frequently lacking when it comes to the reporting of defence materiel acquisitions [1]. The government tends to cite the military need for purchases in the materiel planning documents [2] [3], but decisions to order from particular suppliers seem to be less frequently justified or made clear. When it comes to arms deals with domestic suppliers, there have been cases where materiel purchases have been based on biased or aribtrary decisions [4] (see also Q63). When it comes to imports, the Patriot acquisition from 2018 can once again be cited as an example. Here, the government’s geopolitical and strategic reasons for dealing with the US grew clear over time [5], but the strictly military needs for trading with the US (rather than e.g. an EU state) were however far less justified.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. It seems like no acquisitions during the studied time period have been granted as a result of domestic or foreign political pressures. The defence minister admits that during the negotiations leading up to the Patriot deal with the USA (see Q75A) certain ‘secret information operations’ took place where ‘interested parties were trying to affect the outcome’ of the Swedish-US discussions [1], but that these in the end had ‘no effect’ on the government’s decision.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In general, political power is diffused in the Swiss political system (seven-person coalition government, federalist structure, direct democratic instruments, etc.), and this makes it difficult for a selling nation to exert direct political pressure or influence. The most probable situation such influence could be exerted is for major armament purchases, which are also typically more scrutinized by the public and the parliament. There are no reports of attempts to take undue political influence by foreign selling nations beyond widely common lobbying. In 2017, producers of fighter jets were present at the biggest air show in Switzerland and allegedly sent out invitations at least to members of parliament working in relevant committees [1, 2]. Newspaper reports in 2019 uncovered that a pilot and high ranking officer was allegedly hired by Saab to lobby for the Gripen fighter jet Switzerland was considering buying [3]. Other news stories have highlighted possible influence on procurement decisions; for example, in 2021 the French Defence Minister made a visit to Berne a few weeks before the Federal Council was to decide on the purchase of a French fighter aircraft [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Armament purchases are based on the Federal Council’s strategy [1]. The MASTERPLAN is developed by the Armed Forces Staff [2]. It covers the planning for eight years, and the MASTERPLAN is continuously re-worked. The document defines the required capabilities and translates the strategic goals and the medium and long-term planning into short term steps, and an investment plan is derived. The plan is approved by the minister of defence [3]. Every year the government submits a “Message” (“Armeebotschaft”) to parliament containing a defence spending plan (“Rüstungsprogramm”) and a property plan (“Immobilienprogramm”) [4]. Due to the direct democratic nature of the Swiss political system, such projects are typically politically contested and publicly scrutinized. This means that there is the threat of a referendum, and the government has to justify in detail the purchase. The planned acquisition of fighter jets has spurred such referenda in the past, for example in 1992 an initiative of the groups “Swiss Without Army” launched an initiative to stop the purchase of a set of F/A 18 fighter jets [6], in 2012 in an optional referendum on the purchase of Gripen jets [6] and most likely in 2020 again [8, 9].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In general political power is diffused in the Swiss political system (seven-person coalition government, federalist structure, direct democratic instruments, etc.); this makes it difficult to exert direct political pressure or influence. When it comes to armament purchases there are the domestic political pressures to prioritize domestic suppliers on one hand, which is reflected in the rationale for the existence of RUAG [1] or the logic of offset contracts [2]. On the other hand, there is also political pressure stemming from the federal and multilinguistic structure. For example, for offset contracts, the government aims at a geographical quota for suppliers (65% German, 30% French and 5% Italian speaking regions) [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Due to Taiwan’s unique “status quo”, the US is Taiwan’s major armament supplier. The “Taiwan Relations Act” means that the US Government is obliged to provide Taiwan with sufficient defence equipments to defend itself with [1, 2]. Juggling between Taipei, Beijing, and Washington DC, the US Government carefully measures volatile security environment across the Taiwan Strait and its national interests in order to supply Taiwan with adequate weaponry. Taiwan armament procurement is inevitably under US influence [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

For example, M1A2 Abram tanks have been on Taiwan’s wish list since 2000 in order to improve Taiwan’s army’s fighting capability by aligning its helicopter fleets with these state-of-the-art main battle tanks; however, the US repeatedly denied Taiwan’s desire and insisted that the country does not have such military needs [1]. However, in 2019, Washington DC suddenly decided to sell 108 M1A2 Abram tanks to Taiwan, which is expecting the first of these tanks to arrive by 2023 [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Experts across the Pacific have speculated over the real reasons behind this unexpected change of tone. According to a western journalist based in Taipei, Taiwan’s M1A2 Abram tank programme should be considered in terms of Taipei’s political (as opposed to military) relations with Washington DC [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Tanzania is the largest country in the region, strategically located along shipping lines and continental transit routes, and located between three significant conflict zones – Somalia, Great Lakes, and northern Mozambique. Increased French interest in the region is seen economically through the work of oil company Total, and in the recent sale by Airbus of helicopters to the Tanzania People’s Defence Force. [1] Overall, such influence- if applied – will be behind closed doors.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The criteria and justification for major military procurement is rarely, if ever, made publicly available.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Procurement is made on the recommendation of the Tanzania People’s Defence Force, which is regarded as one of the most critical elements of the country’s political establishment, and on which the ruling party depends for its legitimacy. Accordingly, the defence forces have outsize influence on procurement decisions. [1]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Thailand’s decisions to procure military equipment from China have been cited as evidence of a rising political alignment with China, which has eclipsed that of the United States [1]. During the NCPO’s regime, the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act barred American security forces from cooperating with nations where an elected government has been toppled through a coup, including Thailand. Even though military ties have improved since civilian rule was officially restored in 2019 through the Thai general election, major weapon deals had been made between Thailand and China, tightening the relationship between the two countries and increasing China’s influence in Thailand [2]. Notably, Thailand’s 2015 decision to acquire three diesel-electric submarines from China for 1.03 billion US dollars was the most expensive and significant defence procurement decision in the country’s history. The deal came under domestic criticism for its lack of transparency, excessive cost and strategic rationale [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In 2017, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General (retired) Prawit Wongsuwan stated, by way of justification, that the Thai Navy required submarines to maintain military balance in the region because neighbouring countries already had them, so it was for the purpose of preparation [1]. Preparedness is a common justification provided by the military, but the price and the weakened relationship with the US were considered the most important reasons for the attractiveness of Chinese deal [2]. However, the later-disclosed confidential cabinet approval of this deal was criticised for its lack of transparency. This is because the approved purchase did not conform with the policy regarding anti-corruption and transparency in state projects and the specs of the submarines did not conform to Thailand’s geographical environment either [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

A major threat in the eyes of Bangkok’s elites is actually the domestic demand for democracy. Political elites in the country not only consider China an economic partner but also an ally in its fight to prevent the return of Thai democracy. Since the military coup in 2014, Thailand has rapidly deepened its defence relationship with China, who could provide diplomatic cover for the junta’s assault on democracy, rule of law, human rights and freedom of expression [1]. Simultaneously, US-Thai relations weakened after Prayut led a military coup in 2014, restricting their defence ties until democracy was restored. According to Paul Chambers, an expert in the field of Thai military, this reset in Thai-US relations resulted in more weapon deals with China [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, Tunisia is one of the few North African countries whose military acquisition is not driven by political influence from the selling nations for several reasons, mainly, the army size and the size of purchases, which means the country does not spend many resources compared to other countries in the region(1,2). Tunisia’s defence equipment inventory is largely based upon its historic links with France and the United States. Tunisia’s reliance on donations and low-cost loans have helped improve Tunisia’s relationship with the United States and European allies. China is also a potential supply source. Other countries such as the Netherlands sold military equipment to Tunisia (3). No evidence could be found allowing them to affirm that acquisition decisions are to be based on political influence by selling nations (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, the Government explains and justifies in many cases the military expenditures. MoD did so a few times in the last years and early 2019(1,2). The Government may sometimes justify purchases by referring to military need. Several articles commenting major equipment acquisitions provide general justifications: fighting terrorism, fighting smuggling, and illegal immigration (3,4,5,6). The Minister of Defence explained before the Parliament on the occasion of the Budget discussion for the year 2019 the details of donations and funding of military acquisitions (7).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to our sources, there is no domestic pressure in relation to military purchases. There has never been any in the past(1,2,3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

As explained across this assessment, Erdogan’s presidential palace is the top decision-maker on defence/security acquisitions. Please also note that all state institutions are now attached to the presidential palace and under its full executive control. Interviewees 5 and 6 suggested that there is no legislative oversight or civil society monitoring at all [1,2]. Therefore, as unanimously agreed by all interviewees, acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by selling nations [1,2,3,4,5,6]. The findings from open-source research confirm these assertions [7,8].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

All interviewees unanimously asserted that, as seen in the cases of S-400 acquisition, Turkey’s leaving the F35 programme, the Altay tank project and the armed drone development programmes, it is political factors rather than technical and capacity-related factors that are prioritised when deciding on defence/security procurement [1,2,3,4,5,6].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Interviewee 6 suggested that everything is currently for domestic political gain in Turkey, meaning that all defence/security-related decisions are made in the light of their impact on the domestic front [1]. The primary motivation shaping these decisions is to maintain Erdogan’s legacy and increase his popularity among his conservative and nationalist power base [2]. For instance, in September 2013, there was political intervention in the procurement tender for the MILGEM naval frigate, and the tender awarded to Koc Holding, which at that time had an anti-Erdogan stance due to the Gezi protests, was annuled following President Erdogan’s direct involvement [3]. According to Interviewee 6, following the SSB’s direct attachment to the presidential palace, it is impossible to go against President Erdogan’s will in any major defence procurement [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is political influence from the selling countries. So far, Russia has been the biggest beneficiary in shipping arms to these countries and China is scrambling to catch up. When some 40 African heads of state and their delegations descended on the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi this October 2019, excitement over military cooperation and military hardware almost obscured deals in nuclear energy, oil, gas, agriculture, and diamondsRussia is the second largest supplier of arms in the world but, according to reliable reports, it leads in sales to Africa; supplying 39% of Africa’s imported arms between 2013 and 2017 [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The government does not disclose or justify why it purchases arms from particular countries. However, Irina Filatova, a history professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics says that African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and Uganda, are buying arms from Russia because they are good, cheap and Russia does not hold intending importers accountable for their human rights record [1]. SIPRI Arms Transfers and expenditure Databases show that Uganda purchased most of its equipment from Russia, with the biggest purchases happening in 2011 [1]. That is when it got the six SU-30mk aircraft in a US$635 million deal with accessories like guided bombs, anti-ship missiles, and anti-tank missiles. Uganda also bought 32 BTR-80A Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and 44 TS-90s tanks. These assets have given Uganda superior airpower, compared to Rwanda, the DRC, Burundi, South Sudan, and Tanzania. Only Kenya boasts more air firepower. Just recently, on 7 November 2020, President Museveni graduated eighteen Ugandan Air Force pilot cadets at the newly upgraded Gulu Air Base. The base has new training facilities, equipment, and aircraft. The ceremony featured flight demonstrations with Cessna 172 piston trainers and L-39 jets from Bulgaria [2, 3].

There is pressure from political elites and other sources, who are deemed powerful, such as relatives of army officers, relatives and friends of the president and the first family like Salim Saleh and his aides [1, 2]. An MP [1] stressed that during the procurement of bad helicopters from Belarus, the agent involved was a civilian, who got away with his commission for linking the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs (MoDVA) and the supplier. However, in 2016, the MoDVA’s spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Ankunda noted that Captain Ronald Muhoozi and a civilian Sam Ssimbwa had been arrested for allegedly posing as agents of the MoDVA to con a Polish company (BMP Poland SP) to allegedly secure a deal to supply arms to the MoDVA. The company paid the men €520,000 to help it secure the arms deal, on the pretext that the men were representatives of Prima Investments Uganda, a company allegedly affiliated with the MoDVA. Ankunda denied there was such a company and said that the men defrauded the Polish company. Muhoozi at the time was an aide of President Yoweri Museveni’s brother, Salim Saleh [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is not strong evidence of political influence of seller nations on Ukraine. Moreover, the situation seems to be the opposite, with many countries not willing to sell arms to Ukraine [1, 2] with only five countries providing lethal weapons [2]. It should be noted that some countries (the USA in the first place) provide arms to Ukraine [3], but those transfers are made as donations and not as purchases.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Justification for the procurement of armaments is based on state policies and requirements of the General Staff of the AFU [1], which bases procurement on the needs of the AFU. However, there is evidence that some of the purchases can be influenced by the personal interests of some politicians [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is evidence that major arms procurements in Ukraine are strongly influenced by politicians [1, 2, 3], in terms of selecting vendors and setting the price. It is unlikely that this state of affairs also applies to tenders of a smaller scale.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Research has revealed that the UAE is considered one of the top 15 military spenders and importers of military assets. The UAE is seeking to become a major global player by engaging with the P-5 countries, the US, France, the UK, China, and Russia, and by being open to all suppliers. The US is the major exporter of weapons to the UAE; however, the UAE has been attempting to diversify its suppliers by engaging with different arms suppliers. For example, the UAE-French deal includes LeClerc tanks, Mirage fighters, and Baynunah corvettes. The British Government provides the UAE with military and police training programmes (1). The UAE is still in negotiations with Russia and China; however, there is no evidence of actual weapons purchases over the past few years. According to many sources, defence sector purchases by the UAE are politically motivated and based on regional and international dynamics (2), (3), (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no public deliberation within the UAE concerning any type of policy, including procurement and public spendings. Therefore, the government is unlikely to justify military procurements by referring to military need; the UAE does not justify its defence and security expenditures at all (1), (2), (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no evidence to suggest that domestic political pressure on defence decisions exist in the first place. It has already been established that the UAE has many restrictions on freedom of speech, CSOs activities, and its advisory council does not have power over the defence sector (1), (2), (3), (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. UK defence purchases are conducted within clear policy frameworks such as the Defence Equipment Plan [1]. There is no indication that acquisitions are granted as a result of political influence by selling nations.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The UK MoD does not operate with preferred supplier lists and has clear procurement principles, which incude non-discrimination (on grounds of nationality), equal treatment (of all suppliers), transparency (act in fair and non-discriminatory manner), mutual recognition (of equivalent documents and standards) [1]. At the same time, the defence Equipment Plan cites clear and justifiable military need for all planned purchases [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. UK defence purchases are conducted within clear policy frameworks such as the Defence Equipment Plan [1]. There is no indication that acquisitions are granted as a result of domestic political pressure.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. A review of the SIPRI arms transfer database shows that the United States imported arms from 15 countries between 2015 and 2020, with the top exporters being the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Australia and Israel. All 15, and particularly the top 6, are key allies of the United States and also NATO partners. This would suggest that the imports are strategic rather than a result of political influence. The data from SIPRI does not reveal a dependence on a partner, but rather a diverse set of selling nations, which would also mitigate the risk of political pressure [1].

What is more relevant for the US is the influence the country itself exerts in the export of arms and provision of security assistance to partner countries. Security assistance is often conceived of as a means to not only build the capabilities of partner countries, but also to guarantee influence over their policies and access to influential institutions and personalities [2]. US arms sales to the Middle-East in particular have been used as a key foreing policy tool to exert influence over a region which has long been a key driver of the global trade in weapons and which holds particular strategic importance [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. While the US has a formalised and effective process for defence procurement, justification for purchases is not always clear and there have been question marks raised over the military need for certain acqusitions. In 2015, citing the military-industrial complex as a key factor, senators and the joint chiefs of staff both complained of how the military was having to procure systems that it didn’t need, including “hundreds of millions of dollars on tanks that we simply don’t have the structure for anymore” [1]. Accusations of unjustified military spending are often aimed at the Pentagon which has wasted $67 billion since the late 1990s on a balistic missile system that has never been demonstrated to work and can easily be countered and continues to acquire Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets despite the fact they are plagued with technological faults and bugs, and other potentially more viable models exist on the market [2]. The revolving door between the military and private companies has also acted to stifle innovation as sustained lobbying by defence companies overwhelmingly pushes conventional weapons systems over cyber-security capabilities for instance [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Domestic acquisitions are heavily influenced by the defence industry, as well as government officials, as part of the military-industrial complex. The defence industry is extremely adept at engaging in strategic influence of US defence and acquisitions policy. Defence firms finance think tanks and research agenda to promote certain policy decisions and armament strategies, place executives on the National Security Council and use their privilieged regulatory position to steer defence priorities [1]. Defence industry is able to leverage a number of different pathways, which include lobbying, campaign financing, soft influence, conflicts of interest and outright corruption, in order to exert influence over procurement decisions [2]. The consequence is a repetitive cycle of influence that often aims to sustain or prolong conflict to the benefit of contractors, as has been the case in relation to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen for instance [2].
With regard to imports from foreign governments, the extent to which acquisitions are influenced is not clear.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Arms purchases in recent years have been solely concentrated on suppliers that have partnerships with the government and direct interests in the country. Since 2015, the only suppliers of arms to Venezuela have been Russia and China [1]. Although these sales are a response to domestic interests, the interests held by these foreign nations in Venezuela have also been a determining factor in maintaining the arms trade.

Experts have assessed the impact of the interests of Russian oil companies (such as Rosneft), Russian geostrategic interests in the region, and the interests of the Russian arms industry – which pursued the installation of Kalashnikov rifle factories and arms contracts signed since 2013 – as factors that have sustained military agreements between it and Venezuela [2]. Moreover, the increase in Russian armaments has created a reliance on training and spare parts from this country. Although this does not currently represent a problem due to the shared political interests of the two countries, this could lead to a dependency that produces obstacles to the diversification of acquisitions in the future.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Arms acquisitions are not justified beyond the use of arguments put forward in the strategic objectives of strengthening national defence and strengthening military capacity in the face of possible internal and external threats [1]. When public reference has been made to arms suppliers, they are presented as political allies, so there is no detailed justification corresponding to financial criteria for the selection of these suppliers [2]. Some analysts argue that the government’s justifications for agreements with Russia are rooted in economic dependence created by debt financing and the warmongering discourse of both governments [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Although the rearmament plan has been upheld since 2005 [1], arms acquisitions have recently been more focused on responding to the internal political crisis, unlike previous acquisitions were focused on the interests of national defence.

Purchases made since 2016 have been aimed at equipping the National Guard with anti-riot equipment [2], coinciding with the context of mass protests and operations for maintaining internal order implemented by the government. Since 2017, when mass protests took place in the country, the government announced the activation of a military operation known as the Zamora Plan for the restoration of internal order. In previous years, operations such as Operation Liberation and Protection of the People were launched to deal with organised crime within the country [3, 4]. Likewise, evidence points to the re-equipping of intelligence agencies and the police Special Action Forces (FAES), which have remained mobilised in light of events that the Maduro administration has considered attempted coups d’état [5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Zimbabwe’s arms deals are primarily determined by the geopolitics and strategic interests of the day. Zimbabwe has longstanding relations with China and Russia dating back to the 1970s liberation war when the country’s two liberation movements Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) & Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) received military support from the two countries, respectively. Zimbabwe has been purchasing arms from China and Russia since the country was placed under an arms embargo by the EU and the USA [1, 2, 3, 4]. However, it is difficult to establish the extent to which Russia and China have influenced the choices made in the arms deals since details are always secret and not readily available.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The government rarely speaks publicly about its military acquisitions; hence there are usually no justifications for acquisitions [1]. The few times there are public pronouncements on military acquisitions, senior public or military officials refer purchases from what they call “friendly nations” who help them bypass “sanctions imposed by western countries” [2]. This is as far as they go in publicly providing justifications for military acquisitions.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It is difficult to establish whether certain military acquisitions are a result of domestic pressures. However, what is certain is that the ruling party, the ZANU-PF has a lot of influence over the operations of the military and other security sector institutions. Military and other security sector acquisitions are, on the one hand, meant to ensure that security forces protect the partisan interests of ZANU-PF [1, 2]. For example, purchases of arms and equipment meant to deal with public protests, which are usually led by the opposition and civic groups. These purchases serve the interests of ZANU-PF [3, 4]. It is not clear whether the purchases are made as a result of the domestic influence from the ruling party.

Country Sort by Country 75a. Prevalence: selling nations Sort By Subindicator 75b. Justification Sort By Subindicator 75c. Prevalence: domestic pressures Sort By Subindicator
Albania NS NS NS
Algeria NS NS NS
Angola NS NS NS
Argentina NS NS NS
Armenia NS NS NS
Australia NS NS NS
Azerbaijan NS NS NS
Bahrain NS NS NS
Bangladesh NS NS NS
Belgium NS NS NS
Bosnia and Herzegovina NS NS NS
Botswana NS NS NS
Brazil NS NS NS
Burkina Faso NS NS NS
Cameroon NS NS NS
Canada NS NS NS
Chile NS NS NS
China NS NS NS
Colombia NS NS NS
Cote d'Ivoire NS NS NS
Denmark NS NS NS
Egypt NS NS NS
Estonia NS NS NS
Finland NS NS NS
France NS NS NS
Germany NS NS NS
Ghana NS NS NS
Greece NS NS NS
Hungary NS NS NS
India NS NS NS
Indonesia NS NS NS
Iran NS NS NS
Iraq NS NS NS
Israel NS NS NS
Italy NS NS NS
Japan NS NS NS
Jordan NS NS NS
Kenya NS NS NS
Kosovo NS NS NS
Kuwait NS NS NS
Latvia NS NS NS
Lebanon NS NS NS
Lithuania NS NS NS
Malaysia NS NS NS
Mali NS NS NS
Mexico NS NS NS
Montenegro NS NS NS
Morocco NS NS NS
Myanmar NS NS NS
Netherlands NS NS NS
New Zealand NS NS NS
Niger NS NS NS
Nigeria NS NS NS
North Macedonia NS NS NS
Norway NS NS NS
Oman NS NS NS
Palestine NS NS NS
Philippines NS NS NS
Poland NS NS NS
Portugal NS NS NS
Qatar NS NS NS
Russia NS NS NS
Saudi Arabia NS NS NS
Serbia NS NS NS
Singapore NS NS NS
South Africa NS NS NS
South Korea NS NS NS
South Sudan NS NS NS
Spain NS NS NS
Sudan NS NS NS
Sweden NS NS NS
Switzerland NS NS NS
Taiwan NS NS NS
Tanzania NS NS NS
Thailand NS NS NS
Tunisia NS NS NS
Turkey NS NS NS
Uganda NS NS NS
Ukraine NS NS NS
United Arab Emirates NS NS NS
United Kingdom NS NS NS
United States NS NS NS
Venezuela NS NS NS
Zimbabwe NS NS NS

With thanks for support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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