Space and Military Power in East Asia:
The Challenge and Opportunity of Dual-Purpose Space Technologies

Rebecca Jimerson and Ray A. Williamson, Editors


The Asia-Pacific is one of the world's most diverse and prosperous, but politically precarious and rapidly changing regions. Several conflicts born in the Cold War continue to define the region, even as these conflicts co-evolve with changes in the external security environment, and the technological capabilities of relevant nations. The increasingly wide availability of satellite information technologies, including communications, remote sensing, and position/navigation/timing (PNT), used in similar form by both the civilian and the national security worlds, will greatly affect the development, elaboration, and conduct of security planning and likely even the conduct of future conflict throughout East Asia.
This collection of papers was originally prepared by the students in a graduate seminar on the potential effects of the global proliferation of dual-purpose space technologies on the strategic balance of power in East Asia, an area of extreme strategic importance to the United States. The seminar constituted an important part of the Space Policy Institute study on Dual Purpose Space Technologies and U.S. Policymaking.
These papers make a significant contribution to a broad-based study of U.S. policy toward dual-purpose space technologies. Each student was asked to choose a political entity (China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, or Taiwan) or technology (satellite communications, remote sensing, or position/navigation (PNT)) to study and report on. The resulting country papers summarize the military and economic posture of each political entity, along with its experience with and use of space technologies. The technology papers focus on summarizing the technologies available to the region and their level of sophistication. The overall result is a unique, cross-cutting set of papers on regional military force posture and space capabilities in East Asia, and a detailed discussion of the future of U.S. policies in the region.
Among other things, these papers illustrate how complex are the economic, political, and military relationships within the region. They also reveal the important part that dual purpose space technologies play in these relationships.
The papers follow. We thank Mr. John Baker, Dr. Dana Johnson and Dr. Scott Pace of RAND, Mr. Richard Buennecke of the Aerospace Corporation, and, Mr. Dean Cheng of SAIC for providing stimulating lectures during the seminar. We also thank Mr. Dean Cheng of SAIC and Dr. Kirk Larsen of The George Washington University for their assistance in reviewing several chapters. We welcome constructive criticisms and comments. Please address all comments to Professor Ray A. Williamson at

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