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The term arms race refers to intense military competition between two or more states in which arms acquisitions choices are made in reaction to the actions and choices of the opposing states. Historically, arms races have led to increased instability and risk of military conflict and have been caused by competition between opposing states in which mutual suspicion generates a security dilemma. Arms races have also been caused by the appearance of new types of military technology that can give military advantage to the state that can acquire and exploit it most rapidly. Examples include the dreadnought of the pre–World War I period, which generated naval arms racing between Great Britain, Imperial Germany, and other European states, and, more recently, the emergence of nuclear weapons ...

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