Space, cyberspace and strategic stability: toward a common framework for understanding
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A critical component of strategic thinking is the study of how new capabilities and concepts are disseminated in a multi- or bilateral strategic relationship. The United States is a consistent leader in developing and introducing new capabilities and must therefore constantly reassess how its own strategic concepts and assumptions are disseminated to and understood by other actors in the international system. Without common strategic understandings, stability can be tenuous; when assumptions about common strategic understandings prove to be untrue, stability can easily be imperiled. At present, developments in two of the most important and novel domains, space and cyberspace, are changing the way the Asia-Pacific understands strategic problems, with important consequences for both nuclear and cross-domain stability. The Asia-Pacific is home to five treaty allies, five nuclear powers and several countries with a latent (or near-latent) nuclear capability. Its expanding geopolitical importance and military significance are well recognized, as evidenced by efforts by the United States to rebalance its military and diplomatic attention toward the region. Less well understood, however, is how emerging strategic dynamics within space and cyberspace will affect regional strategic stability. Navigating the complexities of this shifting strategic environment will be critical to the future stability and prosperity of the region as well as the United States. In this context, in January 2016 the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) convene a series of workshops on space and strategic stability, bringing together regional experts to discuss some of these issues. Roy Kamphausen (NBR) served as the Project Director, and Bruce MacDonald (Johns Hopkins SAIS) and Elbridge Colby (Center for a New American Progress) served as Senior Advisors to the project.
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