An arms race occurs when two or more groups compete in increases in military personnel and material.[need quotation to verify] Simply defined[by whom?] as a competition between two or more states to have superior armed forces; a competition concerning production of weapons, the growth of a military, and the aim of superior military technology, the term is also used to describe any long-term escalating competitive situation where each competitor or competitive group focuses on out-doing others.
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Unlike a sporting race, which constitutes a specific event with winning interpretable as the outcome of a singular project, arms races constitute spiralling systems of on-going and potentially open-ended behavior.
The existing scholarly literature is divided as to whether arms races correlate with war. International-relations scholars explain arms races in terms of the security dilemma, rationalist spiral models, states with revisionist aims, and deterrence models.