There is growing emphasis on coalitions to provide military force in support of international policy. This fact, coupled with decreasing resources for defense, and the global dissemination and rapid advance of technology, increase the potential pay-off and importance of having a long-term strategic plan for international cooperation.
This revision to the ASTMP--which for the first time, explicitly addresses potential cooperative opportunities in basic research topics--represents the next step in an evolution. The changes in format and structure respond to fundamental changes in the environment in which international programs are conducted. One of the key changes has been the streamlining of the process for implementing international agreements. At the same time, the need for identifying programs that will build sustainable ties has become evident. As a result, emphasis is shifting from attention to specific MOUs and DEAs, towards a strategy that will ultimately provide both technical detail and broad assessments of significant trends.
Better understanding of trends is key to an effective strategy. Technology is advancing rapidly, and some opportunities may be time-sensitive. The arrows in the summary charts reflect a general assessment of country capabilities, and their rate of advance relative to field at large, as follows:
The country is considered to have world class capabilities in one or more key aspects of the subtechnology identified. Based on current and projected levels of research and expenditures, the level is likely to continue to define or remain near the global state of the art.
The country is considered to have world class capabilities in one or more key aspects of the subtechnology identified. Based on current and projected levels of research and expenditures, the level will no longer define the state of the art, although it should remain near world class capabilities.
The country presently has world class capabilities, however, current research activities are unlikely to keep them at this level.
The country is not yet considered a world class actor in this field. The country has promising capabilities or an accelerated, coordinated research and development effort underway, in selected areas of technology, which could contribute to making it among the world leaders or enable it to help define the global state of the art in the future.
The country has capabilities in selected areas which are not considered world class, nor are likely to achieve that level in the near future. The capabilities still could contribute beneficially to US Army research and development activities.
The country has capabilities which could contribute in the short-term to US Army research and development requirements, but are likely to be overcome or rendered irrelevant by future advances elsewhere.
Again, the trends tables address specific technological and research opportunities tied to specific subtechnologies and topics identified in Chapters IV and V of the ASTMP Volume I. The lack of an entry does not necessarily indicate the absence of cooperative opportunities. In some cases, work by a single researcher in a foreign university may prove important.