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.
Monopoly over military technology is beginning to play a cardinal role in a similar monopoly over new technology of immense importance in the economic life of nations and in the relations between powers in general. This leads to the emergence of a duopoly of the two superpowers in regard to modern technology, giving them a more and more dominating hegemony over world affairs. Only they can wield power over – and virtually only they have access to – new provinces of our planet (i.e., sea-bed, outer-space, underground) which are being opened up due to the highly advanced technologies that originate in research and development for military purposes.
The hegemony of one or more states can be voluntarily delegated to them or acquiesced in, by the national member states in their league. In this sense USA Leadership is democratic; the USSR's was not. Moreover, west European and Japanese initiatives do not allow for a 'duopoly' nor for world-conquest by any one power.