Hegemony denotes dominance by one or more states over a group of states, or sometimes, when simply economic or military, within a regional area. Economic or ideological hegemony may be reinforced by the supply of weapons to the dominated nations by the dominating nation. Arms can be provided to enable local forces to perform military tasks which are in the interests of the supplying country. The arms may serve to strengthen the relationship between the supplying country and the recipient government (possibly through pre-emptive supply which forestalls any effort of another supplying country to enter into the same kind of relationship). The supply itself may provide an opportunity for influencing individuals in the recipient countries, especially those of the military establishment in countries where the military plays an important role in politics.
The use of arms trade as a means to secure the allegiance of a recipient regime has been used extensively by the USA, USSR and, to a lesser extent, France and the UK. The European countries tend to supply military aid to ex-colonies or to countries where there is a sizeable resident minority of the donor's nationals. Professional contacts between military personnel of supplying and recipient countries are therefore a useful way of maintaining sales channels. Through training, foreign servicemen become indoctrinated with the donor's defence thinking and weapons systems, and this encourages further purchase of such systems from the dominating country.