“Assuring access to the Global Commons will be the central challenge of the coming decade.” Dies ist der Kernsatz einer Studie von Major General Mark Barrett, Dick Bedford, Elizabeth Skinner und Eva Vergles. Als global commons werden die Bereiche See, Luft, Weltraum und Cyber definiert. Die Studie wurde im Rahmen des NATO Transformation Commands unter dem Titel Assured Access to the Global Commons verfasst. Wir möchten an dieser Stelle die Aszüge vorstellen, die für einen maritimen Blog interessant sind:
The maritime domain has been used by humans for millennia, air for a century, and space for about six decades. Cyberspace, the newest domain, has been widely available for less than thirty years, yet more than a quarter of the world’s population now use it every day, and that number continues rapidly to expand.
The four domains have many similarities and are closely interwoven, yet each has its own distinct properties, and thus they need to be addressed both individually and as a whole. Maritime, air, space, and cyber are crucial enablers of international security and prosperity. Most of the nations that are members of NATO, and many of its partners, have highly globalized economies that depend on assured access to all four domains.
“The ocean is a mighty harmonist.” William Wordsworth
The maritime domain, the oldest and best understood of the four domains of the Global Commons, has been used by humans as a highway for trade and conquest ever since the first Phoenicians began to explore the Mediterranean Sea more than 4000 years ago. Today, many consider the maritime domain, the international waters of the world’s oceans, to be globalization’s circulatory system.
Eighty-five per cent of all raw commodities and merchandise that move between nations are transported by sea, with a full three-quarters of that cargo transiting through international chokepoints such as a canal or strait at some point in that journey. Some 50,000 merchant ships, registered to 150 nations, and crewed by more than a million seafarers of every nationality, use the maritime domain annually. From 1968 to 2008, the volume of goods transported via the oceans of the world essentially quadrupled. More than half of the world’s oil travels across the world’s oceans. Both China and Japan import 80% of their oil through the Strait of Malacca. Thanks to maritime security, enhanced command and control via internet, and satellite-enabled global positioning, maritime commerce is a major aspect of the “just-in-time” inventory system. Containers and the ships that carry them have replaced warehouses. As in any system where timing is essential, the ocean-borne transportation system is vulnerable to disruptions, whether natural or man-made, which can create cascading effects throughout the supply chain.
The utility of the maritime domain depends on more than ships and harbours. The transmission of information such as orders, inventories, and the tracking of assets utilizes a vast network of both intercontinental undersea cables and space-based satellite links, and is a critical enabler of “just in time” business models. The naval equivalent of supply chain efficiency has been smaller crew sizes, reduced armour and survivability, and greater dependence on commercial “off-the-shelf” (rather than custom-designed) equipment. Even more than commercial operators, navies are dependent on digital communications and satellite reconnaissance and navigation for deployed operations, maritime related flight data, and missile guidance.
Hier finden Sie die vollständige Studie im PDF-Format:
Assured Access to the Global Commons, von Major General Mark Barrett, Dick Bedford, Elizabeth Skinner und Eva Vergles. Norfolk, Virginia USA, April 2011.