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  • Author: David C. Gompert, Phillip C. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and China each have or will soon have the ability to inflict grave harm upon the other by nuclear attack, attacks on satellites, or attacks on computer networks. Paradoxically, despite each country's power, its strategic vulnerability is growing. Particularly since September 11, 2001, Americans have sensed this vulnerability. The extent to which the Chinese sense it is unclear. Vulnerability to nuclear attack is familiar to both countries. But the United States and China are also becoming exposed to damage in space and cyberspace because of their growing reliance on those domains for their prosperity and security, as well as each side's increasing antisatellite (ASAT) and cyber war capabilities. For China, economic integration, production, and commerce-and thus, sustained growth and perhaps political stability-depend vitally on data sharing, making networks and satellites as strategic as they are for the United States. All three strategic domains are "offense dominant"-technologically, economically, and operationally. Defenses against nuclear, ASAT, and cyber weapons are difficult and yield diminishing results against the offensive capabilities of large, advanced, and determined states such as the United States and China. Nuclear weapons are patently offense dominant because a single explosion can destroy a city. Moreover, it is easier and cheaper for China to improve the survivability of its strategic missile launchers, to multiply deliverable weapons, and to penetrate U.S. missile defenses than it is for the United States to maintain a nuclear first-strike capability. Though it has yet to admit it, the United States cannot deny the Chinese the second-strike nuclear deterrent they are determined to have. Satellites are inherently vulnerable: conspicuous, easy to track, and fragile. Destroying them or degrading their performance is easier than protecting them. ASAT interceptors are much cheaper than satellites. Likewise, defending computer networks becomes harder and more expensive as the scale and sophistication of the attacker increase. The woes of the cyber defender are compounded by integrated global markets and supply chains for digital components and equipment-in which U.S. and state-affiliated Chinese corporations are leading competitors-increasing the potential for strategic degradation of network infrastructure and disruption of services. In general, strategic offense dominance gives each country an incentive to invest in offense, which in turn spurs the other to keep pace. Apart from offense dominance, the advance of technology has slashed the costs in lives and treasure of strategic attack, as capabilities have graduated from mass invasion to heavy bombing to nuclear weapons to ASAT and cyber war. If one ignores possible deaths resulting from disruption of public services, ASAT and cyber war might even be considered "nonviolent." As the number of expected casualties from strategic attack options drops, so could international opprobrium and the inhibitions of decisionmakers. Absent deterrence, thresholds for war in space and cyberspace could become perilously low as offenses improve.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Communism, Intelligence, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: James Clay Moltz
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In contrast to the close cooperation practiced among European states, space relations among Asian states have become increasingly tense. If current trends continue, the Asian civilian space competition could become a military race. To better understand these emerging dynamics, James Clay Moltz conducts the first in-depth policy analysis of Asia's fourteen leading space programs, concentrating especially on developments in China, Japan, India, and South Korea. Moltz isolates the domestic motivations driving Asia's space actors, revisiting critical events such as China's 2007 anti-satellite weapons test and manned flights, Japan's successful Kaguya lunar mission and Kibo module for the International Space Station (ISS), India's Chandrayaan lunar mission, and South Korea's astronaut visit to the ISS, along with plans to establish independent space-launch capability. He investigates these nations' divergent space goals and their tendency to focus on national solutions and self-reliance rather than region-wide cooperation and multilateral initiatives. He concludes with recommendations for improved intra-Asian space cooperation and regional conflict prevention. Moltz also considers America's efforts to engage Asia's space programs in joint activities and the prospects for future U.S. space leadership. He extends his analysis to the relationship between space programs and economic development in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, making this a key text for international relations and Asian studies scholars.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Science and Technology, Asia
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Asia, South Korea
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231527576
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN