The Capability Criterion: International Cooperation and National Priorities in Space Development
Captain Christopher M. Stone
US Air Force
Captain Brent Ziarnick
US Air Force
The choices between international cooperation and competition, and finding the right balance between the two, has been a major concern of space diplomats and leaders in Asia, Europe, and North America for much of the last few decades. Debate in policy circles has revolved around questions of cooperation, and whether collective assurance or independence is the best course of action.
For many decades there has also been an air of utopianism in the space enthusiast community which suggests that by moving into space, humanity could eliminate poverty, unlock the secrets of creation, and make everyone free, wealthy, happy, and wise, and in many ways space development does indeed have the potential to increase wealth and also lead to major advances in physics, biology, philosophy, and other fields. But regardless of the great perceived potential of space activity to mitigate many human ills, the same utopian view of humanity’s potential in space also brings baggage that may cause space enthusiasts to unwittingly hamper the activities that may bring the very benefits they most desire.