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After three decades of
continuous decline, European defense budgets are again on the rise. What kind
of military capabilities will these investments provide? Money will only go so
far without the right strategic choices.
Professor Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen
started its manned space program four decades after the United States, but it
is making great strides while the American effort stagnates. Beijing has
long-term plans for a manned lunar base and is testing antisatellite weapons at
record altitudes. There appears to be little will in Washington to commit to a
multi-decade program needed to stay ahead of the Chinese, and no other country
appears able to compete on equal terms.
China's commercial aircraft market will soon be the world's largest, but its domestic industry is not well positioned to take advantage. Engine technology is lagging, while safety, maintenance and other performance issues have set back the development of new aircraft. The outlook for military aviation is even worse unless endemic corruption can be stamped out.