The Space Campaign: Space-Power Theory Applied to Counterspace Operations

By Ziarnick, Brent D. | Air & Space Power Journal, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

The Space Campaign: Space-Power Theory Applied to Counterspace Operations


Ziarnick, Brent D., Air & Space Power Journal


Editorial Abstract:

Despite the importance of space to current and future military operations, one seldom hears discussions about the importance of establishing space superiority. Drawing on James Oberg's elements of space power, Lieutenant Ziarnick describes an operational space-superiority targeting doctrine, offers a foundation for fighting a space campaign, and suggests the adaptation of a model widely known to air strategists.

EVEN THOUGH SPACE operations receive wide recognition as an important part of present military operations and will likely play a dominant role in future conflict, one hears remarkably little discussion about achieving space superiority. Part of the reason for this apparent indifference is the common notion that we have no general theory of the relationship of space activity to both military operations and the national interest on which to base ideas. Therefore, thinking about military space either limits itself to loose generalizations based on established theory, such as that dealing with air operations, or emphasizes defeating specific systems/capabilities rather than producing a general doctrine applicable to all space systems, based upon a space perspective. James E. Oberg, however, in his book Space Power Theory, does make a notable attempt to form a coherent system for explaining space power.1

This article describes an operational space-superiority targeting doctrine based on Oberg's elements of space power. The proposed doctrine has immediate applicability to current space doctrine, relies on current or near-term military systems for execution, and includes sufficient flexibility to apply to any space scenario faced by a spacefaring nation. After introducing Oberg's theory of space power, the article explores the military utility of his space-power elements and considers the effect of conflict duration on the nature of space campaigns. It also offers a foundation for fighting a space campaign, culminating in a model familiar to modern air strategists.

Oberg's Theory of Space Power

Oberg defines space power as "the combination of technology, demographic, economic, industrial, military, national will, and other factors that contribute to the coercive and persuasive ability of a country to politically influence the actions of other states and other kinds of players, or to otherwise achieve national goals through space activity."2 From this definition, He derives a list of space-power elements-factors necessary for a nation or other entity to acquire and sustain space power-that includes facilities, technology, industry, hardware (space vehicles), economy, populace, education, tradition and intellectual climate, geography, and exclusivity of capabilities/knowledge.3 From a military standpoint, we can consider these elements essential centers of gravity for an adversary's space efforts. However, some of the more esoteric ones do not constitute viable military targets. For the military professional, the important attackable elements consist of an enemy's facilities, industry, hardware, economy, and-potentially-populace and exclusivity of capabilities/knowledge.

Facilities

The "hardware with which to conduct space operations," facilities include sites for manufacturing, launch (referred to here as space-ports), command and control (C2), and laboratories-all of them normally ground-based structures subject to attack and destruction by a variety of conventional means.4 We can also assume that they are finite in number and quite valuable to the adversary's space power. Successful elimination of a single facility could devastate an adversary's space capabilities, and complete destruction of a class of facilities (i.e., spaceports or C^sup 2^ centers) could prove fatal. We should consider facilities an attractive target for attacking an enemy's space power because of ease of strike as well as their high utility and cost of replacement in terms of both money and time. …

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

The Space Campaign: Space-Power Theory Applied to Counterspace Operations
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.