In this age of ballooning U.S. debt, it's hardly surprising that many Democrats and Republicans are pushing to reduce American military spending. But a closer examination of what's at stake reveals just how troubling the embrace of defense austerity will prove to be—for our nation's security, for the future of U.S. military innovation, and (of particular interest to this column) for American technological leadership...
...The commercial satellite industry provides critical geospatial information, imagery, and analysis to the Department of Defense and the national security community. They rely on the images and data to monitor hot spots around the globe.
It is likely you have benefitted from the collaboration between the military and the commercial satellite sector without even realizing it. Many of the dramatic, high-resolution, wide-scale satellite photos found today on Google or Bing are captured by DigitalGlobe and GeoEye, two American satellite imaging firms. Indeed, geospatial satellite imaging is starting to yield a surprisingly wide range of beneficial spillover effects.
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