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CSAT Papers

The CSAT Occasional Papers series was established by the USAF Center for Strategy and Technology as a forum for research on topics that reflect long-term strategic thinking about technology and its implications for US national security.

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 CSAT 65: Blue Horizons IIThis study, Blue Horizons, was commissioned by the United States Air Force (USAF) chief of staff to provide “a new look at the future.” Specifically, the chief of staff asked the research team to provide “a common understanding of future strategic and technological trends for Air Force leaders to make better decisions.” The chief also sought to “confirm AU as [the Air Force’s] in-house think tank” and to improve the relevance of Air Force education to the decision-making processes in Washington. [Col John P. Geis II, PhD, USAF, et al. / 2009 / 60 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-193-0 / AU Press Code: P-64]
 CSAT 66: Resurgent Russia in 2030This monograph is concerned with the direction Russia will take over the next 20 years, its growing influence on the world scene, and the particular challenges it will present to the United States by 2030. The determination that Russia will be an adversary is certainly not a foregone conclusion; however, neither is long-term Russo–American friendship a predetermined outcome. What is certain is that whatever the intentions of Russia, the United States must be prepared to handle the challenges they may present. Further, the typical Department of Defense (DOD) myopia of focusing primarily on the war of the present may be blinding decision makers to the challenges of tomorrow. [Col Theodore C. Hailes, USAF (Ret), et al. / 2009 / 100 pages / ISBN: 978-1-5866-199-2 / AU Press Code: P-69]
 CSAT 67: Failed State 2030This monograph describes how a failed state in 2030 may impact the United States and the global economy. It also identifies critical capabilities and technologies the US Air Force should have to respond to a failed state, especially one of vital interest to the United States and one on the cusp of a civil war. Nigeria becoming a failed state is not a foregone conclusion. However, should the oil-rich state of Nigeria, a nation likely to provide up to 25 percent of US light, sweet crude oil imports by 2030, fail, then the effect on the United States and the world economy would be too great to ignore. This failed-state scenario is one of four that comprised the Blue Horizons study in 2008. It explores the implications of what it would mean for the US Air Force to respond to a failed state in 2030, one with a large population that has resources vital to the Western world. The capabilities necessary to detect threats, characterize the environment, rapidly deploy and protect responders, and sustain operations long enough to create conditions for the indigenous people to resurrect their fallen nation are all issues that need to be explored. From these, this monograph helps the study team understand what types of technologies the US Air Force should pursue to enable it to lead and prevail against the challenges and surprises posed by future failed states. [Col Christopher J. Kinnan, USAF, et al. / 2011, 156 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-203-6 / AU Press Code: P-77]
 CSAT 68: Discord or “Harmonious Society”?With its ancient cultural roots intact, the government of China, regarded by many of its people as having a “mandate of heaven,” is leading China into the future at almost blinding speed. Within the time frame covered in this monograph, China will supplant the United States as the greatest economic power on Earth. While its military capabilities are expected to lag slightly behind, by 2030 China will be, for all practical purposes, a peer of the United States in terms of its ability to influence interactions within the nation-state system. That China will be an adversary is not a foregone conclusion. Neither is its friendship. While this study concludes that it is China’s intent to seek mutually beneficial relations with the West, internal forces have the potential to drive China toward conflict. Should this occur, the most likely outcome would be a proxy war, where US and Chinese interests could clash. [Col John P. Geis II, PhD, USAF, et al. / 2011 / 148 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-209-8 / AU Press Code: P-64]
 CSAT 69: Finding the Shape of SpaceThe US National Space Policy specifically addresses the preservation of, and freedom of action in, space. In order for the policy to succeed, would-be attackers must believe that the United States will detect and attribute their actions. Today’s space surveillance network cannot detect either the newest and smallest satellites, nor can it detect small particles of space debris. It therefore cannot monitor or attribute the actions of small satellites, nor can it guarantee the safety of our existing space assets. As new technologies enable packaging increased capabilities into ever smaller spacefaring packages, by 2030 our inability to detect small objects in space will become a critical capability shortfall in preserving the United States’ freedom to operate in space. [John P. Geis II, Amanda S. Birch, and Tosha Meredith / 2011 / 143 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-208-1 / AU Press Code: OP-69]
 CSAT 70: Blue Horizons IVThis study examines the implications of exponential technological change on the panoply of threats the US Air Force may have to face in the future and how the Air Force should posture itself to best deter those threats. Of principal concern by the year 2035 are threats in six separate areas: nuclear weapons, attacks in cyberspace, directed energy weapons, space systems, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Each of these poses the risk of catastrophic attack to the United States, its citizens, and its infrastructure. [John P. Geis II, PhD, Colonel, USAF, Retired; Grant T. Hammond, PhD; Harry A. Foster; and Theodore C. Hailes, Colonel, USAF, Retired / 2014 / 86 pages / ISBN: 978-1-58566-231-9 / AU Press Code: CSAT-70]
 CSAT 71: American Aerospace PowerThe Center for Strategy and Technology (CSAT) was established at the Air War College in 1996 to engage in long-term strategic thinking about technology and its implications for US national security. The Occasional Papers series is the result of CSAT research on topics developed from Headquarters Air Force and other Department of Defense agency inputs. The ensuing research is published as Occasional Papers and disseminated to senior military and political officials, think tanks, educational institutions, and other interested parties. The papers are used to promote the integration of technology and strategy in support of US national security objectives. [Harry A. Foster, Dylan A. Bell, and Darren R. Turner / 2016 / 45 pages / ISBN: 9781585662609 / AU Press Code: OC-71]
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