Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea

Edited by Natalie W. Crawford, Chung-In Moon


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North Korea's ballistic missile program, the theater missile defense debate, and ongoing discussions concerning South Korea's next-generation combat aircraft have combined to heighten awareness of the critical importance of aerospace power. To assess these and other related issues, the Air Power Program based at the Center for International Studies at Yonsei University in the Republic of Korea (ROK), together with Project AIR FORCE at RAND and the Pacific Century Institute, co-organized the Second International Air Power Conference, held June 11-12, 1999, in Seoul. The conference addressed ROK's desirable force structure in the 21st century, the role of air and space power in shaping future deterrence and defense missions, the ballistic missile threat both now and in the near term and options for responding to it, and collaboration on long-term development of air power. It is expected that the findings in this volume, a compilation of the 15 papers delivered at the conference, will have critical implications for Korea's national security, defense planning dynamics, force structuring, and air defense modernization programs.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Authors


  • Introduction

    Introduction: Air Power: The 21st Century Catalyst for Progress, Change, and Prosperity

  • Chapter One

    Potential Threats and Policy Responses of the Major Powers

  • Chapter Two

    Defense Planning in an Era of Uncertainty: East Asian Issues

  • Chapter Three

    Going into the "Unification Tunnel": Strategic and Military Implications

  • Chapter Four

    Conceptualizing Post-Unification Defense Challenges and Strategies

  • Chapter Five

    Changing Threat Environment, Force Structure, and Defense Planning: The South Korean Case

  • Chapter Six

    The Role of Air Power Going into the 21st Century

  • Chapter Seven

    The Challenge for the ROK Air Force in the 21st Century

  • Chapter Eight

    Maximizing Manpower Utilization: Civil-Military Cooperation Prospects in Korea

  • Chapter Nine

    The Emerging Ballistic Missile Threat: Global and Regional Ramifications

  • Chapter Ten

    Coping with the North Korean Missile Threat: Implications for Northeast Asia and Korea

  • Chapter Eleven

    TMD Architectures in East Asia: Military and Political Alternatives for Reducing Threats

  • Chapter Twelve

    Suggestions for Korea's Air Defense Modernization

  • Chapter Thirteen

    Current Status and Emerging Trends in Korean Aerospace Power Strategies

  • Chapter Fourteen

    Challenges in Research and Development for the Korean Aircraft Industry

  • Chapter Fifteen

    U.S. Aerospace Technology and Implications for Korea

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE.

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