The acquisition of modern weaponry was a major preoccupation - it might be said an obsession - of Egypt and Israel throughout the pre-Suez period. As in the issue of regional defence, Israel's overriding interest was strategic; arms acquisition was considered essential to the country's defence against external threats. Egypt's basic concern, especially under the military-minded RCC, remained political: to help establish the regime's legitimacy at home and its influence in the region. Though always intense, the two countries' search for weapons did not initially trigger an arms race. Such a competition, however, would emerge with the breakdown of the status quo. In time, it would dominate Egypt-Israel relations and ultimately constitute a primary catalyst for the second Arab-Israel war.