TWQ: Promoting Security in Common Domains - Summer 2010
July 1, 2010
Over the last several years, it has become apparent that the domains facilitating all international interaction—sea, air, space, and cyberspace—are increasingly congested, contested, and complex. These domains constitute the connective tissue of an ever more interconnected international system. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that the level of activity and investment by both state and non-state actors is rapidly increasing. Satellites are being launched, submarines are being built, long-range aircraft procured, and powerful cyberspace capabilities are being maintained by states that only two decades ago were just beginning to employ rudimentary computer systems. Non-state actors, ranging from pirates off Somalia to cyber ‘‘hacktivists’’ to the growing number of commercial players that own and operate satellites, further complicate this landscape.
The implications of these developments are not fully understood by the U.S. national security community. Yet, there is a broad consensus that they represent both a significant challenge and a major opportunity. Therefore, if the United States is to continue its role in helping create and sustain an international system that promotes peace and prosperity, it must update strategic concepts, adapt instruments of statecraft, and develop innovative approaches to leadership in these critical domains.