Cover of Securing Freedom in the Global Commons by Scott Jasper
Securing Freedom in the Global Commons
Scott Jasper


320 pages.
from $32.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804770101
Paperback ISBN: 9780804770118
Ebook ISBN: 9780804775991

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The new millennium has brought with it an ever-expanding range of threats to global security: from cyber attacks to blue-water piracy to provocative missile tests. Now, more than ever then, national security and prosperity depend on the safekeeping of a global system of mutually supporting networks of commerce, communication, and governance. The global commons—outer space, international waters, international airspace, and cyberspace—are assets outside of national jurisdiction that serve as essential conduits for these networks, facilitating the free flow of trade, finance, information, people, and technology. These commons also comprise much of the international security environment, enabling the physical and virtual movement and operations of allied forces. Securing freedom of use of the global commons is therefore fundamental to safeguarding the global system.

Unfortunately, the fact that civil and military operations in the commons are inherently interwoven and technically interdependent makes them susceptible to intrusion. This intrinsic vulnerability confronts the international defense community with profound challenges in preserving access to the commons while countering elemental and systemic threats to the international order from both state and non-state actors. In response, the authors of this volume—a team of distinguished academics and international security practitioners—describe the military-operational requirements for securing freedom of action in the commons. Collaborating from diverse perspectives, they examine initiatives and offer frameworks that are designed to minimize vulnerabilities and preserve advantages, while recognizing that global security must be underscored by international cooperation and agreements.

The book is written for security professionals, policy makers, policy analysts, military officers in professional military education programs, students of security studies and international relations, and anyone wishing to understand the challenges we face to our use of the global commons.

About the author

Scott Jasper teaches courses in International Defense Transformation in the National Security Affairs Department and the Center for Civil-Military Relations at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). As a United States Navy Captain, he served as the deputy for Joint Experimentation at Headquarters, U.S. Pacific Command. He is the editor of Transforming Defense Capabilities: New Approaches for International Security (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009).

"Securing Freedom in the Global Commons is the first book-length study of security throughout the 'global commons' . . . The volume is timely, as freedom and security in the commons are increasingly under pressure from certain states, terrorism, and such illegal activity as (maritime) piracy and cyber crime."

—Chris Rahman, Political Studies Review

"Securing Freedom in the Global Commons presents an extensive and diverse academic study of the complexities defense planners, government policymakers, and private enterprise will face in the commons in decade ahead."

— Eric Sayers, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

"The prosperity and stability of our global community depends increasingly on the open access to air space, outer space, oceans and more recently cyberspace as media for the continual transport of goods, capital, and information. Scott Jasper and his team have assembled the first comprehensive description of the multidimensional task of securing the global commons and the critical role our defense forces will play . . . A must read for serious analysts and educators in the national security field."

—Stuart E. Johnson, Senior Research Analyst, RAND Corporation

"This is the first book-length examination of the stark implications of current and future challenges to America's reach and influence in the global commons. Its breadth is matched only by its high degree of scholarship and its relevance. The authors offer invaluable insights into the scale of the problem we face, and are to be commended for their innovative strategic thinking about solutions. Securing Freedom in the Global Commons is highly recommended to policy makers and students of national security and international relations."

—Frank Hoffman, U.S. National Analyst, Author of From Preponderance to Partnership, American Maritime Power in the 21st Century and The Contested Maritime Commons

"This volume goes far beyond its title by locating the global commons at the heart of current and future security challenges, delineating the forms many of these challenges are taking and identifying possible responses. It is an important contribution to our understanding of emerging security threats and is rich in both concept and detail. A must-read for all those interested in national and global security."

—Phil Williams, Wesley W. Posvar Professor of International Security and Director of the Matthew Ridgway Center, University of Pittsburgh