Guarding the High Ocean: Towards a New National-Security Space Strategy through an Analysis of US Maritime Strategy

By Shaw, John E. | Air & Space Power Journal, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

Guarding the High Ocean: Towards a New National-Security Space Strategy through an Analysis of US Maritime Strategy


Shaw, John E., Air & Space Power Journal


Editorial Abstract: By and large, the medium of space is still fairly unregulated. China's recent no-notice, unilateral targeting of a low-orbit weather satellite produced space debris that will cause ongoing navigation issues; this action will also redefine space as a contested medium. The author argues that such activity has geopolitical security significance and requires the United States to establish a consistent space strategy. By drawing parallels with and inspiration from US maritime strategy, he postulates a new model for space.

WHAT IS THE nature of the medium of outer space from a geopolitical and "astro ? oliti cal" perspective? Is it a peaceful environment for shared exploration? Is it a free and open fron- tier for pursuit of commercial activities and intelligence collection? Or is it a military me- dium to be mastered in the pursuit of broader national and global-security objectives? The fundamental assertion here holds that space is necessarily all of these and that an effective US national-security space strategy would inte- grate ways, means, and ends to ensure the effective implementation of broader US national space policy that recognizes and supports all in a unified manner.

Unfortunately, no such wide-ranging and inclusive national-security space strategy currently exists.1 This void appeared in sharp relief in January 2007, when China conducted a rather spe eiacular test of an antisatellite (ASAT) capability, destroying - without notice - an old weather satellite in low Earth orbit and producing a significant debris field in the process. In addition to sparking an international firestorm of criticism, this event also exposed the cognitive dissonance pervading the current US (and, to some extent, international) approach to space security. It seemed to highlight the dangers inherent in an unconstrained and uninhibited approach to space, one that could lead to disorder and chaos in the heavens. At the same time, the Chinese action confirmed the view of space as a contested medium, indicating that the concept of space as a sanctuary devoid of competition had become increasingly, perhaps permanently, untenable. Further, the event exposed the lack of established norms that typify the free and open space environment. (Nevertheless, the resultant debris cloud, though a significant hazard to space navigation, likely to remain for dozens of years, did not constitute a violation of any formal norm or existing agreement on space.)2 To resolve these divergent views and circumstances, we need a coherent and integrated national-security space strategy to implement broader US space policy.

The argument here towards such a strategy proceeds in two parts: first, current geopolitical security issues and challenges demand a consistent approach to space and an accompanying national-security space strategy as never before. Second, the most recent US maritime strategy, published in October 2007, addresses many of these very same challenges from the maritime point of view, and its proposed imperatives, implementing actions, and priorities can inform an effective national-security space strategy - one that enables the United States to better ensure security through guarding the high ocean of space.

An Indefinable Ideology of US Space Security?

What, truly, is or has been the United States' ideological position with regard to security challenges in the space arena? Various attempts have sought to provide a useful taxonomy of space-security ideologies, conceptual frameworks, or schools of thought. In 1988 David Lupton defined four doctrines across the spectrum of potential space warfare, stretching from sanctuary to survivability to high ground to control school.3 More recently, Karl Mueller provided six such schools of thought on the narrower topic of space weaponization, ranging from the pure sanctuary idealist to the pro-weaponization space hegemonist.4 Most revealingly, neither analysis (as well as others like them) adequately and unequivocally states which position the United States, as a nation, advocated at any given time in its space history - chiefly because America has never really had a truly all-encompassing implementation strategy for national-security space policy and issues, one that integrates differing, but not necessarily incompatible, approaches. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Guarding the High Ocean: Towards a New National-Security Space Strategy through an Analysis of US Maritime Strategy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.