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Toward Fusion of Air and Space: Surveying Developments and Assessing Choices for Small and Middle Powers

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The contemporary international security environment is increasingly volatile. It is also characterized by the rapid acceleration of technological change and the growing availability and proliferation of advanced commercial technologies and systems. These developments have led to the rethinking of military doctrine, the wider application of these technologies and systems to operational exercises, and complications for interoperability among coalition partners with differing technological capabilities. These developments assume special significance in the domain of space, as this domain has come to acquire a broad and unique appeal as offering tangible and public advantages. Many nations, including a growing number of small and medium powers, are thus presently confronting important choices in deciding how to proceed in their space activity. Specifically, they commonly debate whether and how far to go in acquiring independent aerospace capabilities, whether to depend on other nations for aerospace support, whether potential costs and vulnerabilities are incurred for those relationships, and whether they are willing politically to accept both the benefits and the risks of dependence. Prudent decisions in this area clearly require a deep understanding of what commercial and technological developments are occurring in the utilization of space, as well as what is involved in integrating commercial and civil aerospace systems and technologies into military operations and organizations in order to determine which national courses of action to pursue and which to avoid.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Astronautics
  • Military Intelligence

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