NEW STRATEGIC FORUM: Global Commons and Domain Relationships
Strategic Forum 259, September 2010
The global commons, viewed as the essential conduits of U.S. national power in a rapidly globalizeing and increasingly interconnected world, have taken on an added degree of importance for th U.S. defense planning community over the last several years. The commons comprise the geographic and virtual realms of "space, international waters and airspace, and cyberspace" in addition to being a subset of broader domains that are accessible to all but owned by none.
The global commons are seen as the essential conduits of U.S. national pwer in a rapidly globalizing and increasingly interconnected world. Therefore, access must remain at the forefront of U.S. national security imperatives. Successful application of military power in and through the global commons in support of overarching U.S. national objectives is likewise dependent upon the ability of miliitary forces to access and maneuver within and acccross the commons - to deliver power in and through the various geographies.
Over the last two decades, a confluence of events and emerging issues has begun to impact the U.S. military's ability to gain access to the global commons, as well as its freedom of action within it. The continuing evolution of the commons presents the U.S. military with a host of new challenges and demands.
A paradigm shift to a macro perspective on a complex, interactive system that would provide the proper framework from which to address security and stability within the commons is needed to consider the global commons writ large. A Global Commons Operational Concept construct properly detailing the effective employment of military power to ensure commons access would serve not only military interests, but also broader national priorities within the diplomatic, economic, and informational realms as well.
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