South African Defence Expenditure In The 20th Century
In an economic sense defence expenditure is normally exogenously determined, that is economic forces do not play the leading role in determining the level of defense expenditure. Adam Smith, in his writing An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations states that "It is only by means of a standing army therefore that the civilization of any country can be perpetuated or even preserved for any considerable time" (Canon, E., ed, 1976). A country can thus not supply defence, i.e. defence expenditure is a given to any national economy. South Africa is no exception. The levels of defence expenditure in South Africa were mainly determined by political and security factors up to the last decade of the 20th century, where after economic and social factors increasingly became more important than political an security factors in determining the level of defence expenditure. It also stands to reason that South African defence expenditure had an overall neutral effect on the South African economy with positive and negative effects over different time periods.
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