50 years on from the first lunar landing, the Moon is once again taking centre stage in international space ambitions. Yet, within a more democratised and complex space environment, and with Mars and other celestial bodies seen as additional exploratory targets, talk of a new ‘space race’ may be misplaced.
NATO’s primary military response to the Russian annexation of Crimea was to reinforce its long standing Baltic Air Policing operations. Airpower is a domain in which NATO can credibly challenge Russian dominance in the region and provide ‘hard’ deterrence against military intimidation.
Europe’s leading manufacturers are competing with each other to sell the latest generation fighters. But in an age of decreasing defence budgets, air forces around the world are being more cautious with their new purchases.
China’s sudden declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone covering the uninhabited Senkaku islands is not intended to extend Chinese airspace as part of an area-denial/anti-access strategy. China’s real aim is instead to strengthen their quasi-legal territory claims in the long term.