Outer Space and Global Security

Outer Space and Global Security

Outer Space and Global Security

Outer Space and Global Security

Synopsis

This publication contains a number of papers presented at an international conference on the current and future military uses of space, held in Geneva in November 2002, as well as the conference report. Participants, who included governmental and non-governmental representatives, discussed a wide range of short and long-term measures to enhance space security, including the possibility of a ban on the deployment of any weapons in space.

Excerpt

“Spacepower” is literally a cosmic concept that is complex, indeterminate, and intangible. It is pregnant with a range of possibilities but it means so many different things to different people and groups that the concept is fraught with ambiguity. Confusion swirls on the semantic level because there is no commonly accepted definition or accepted wording for this concept. There is not even agreement on basic issues such as where the atmosphere ends and space begins. Yet, despite these weaknesses in the conceptual foundation for spacepower, a strong and widespread consensus has developed concerning the growing importance of space to global security. Indeed, this is a central theme in much recent literature such as the Space Commission Report, Barry D. Watts' The Military Use of Space, Steven Lambakis' On the Edge of Earth, Everett C. Dolman's Astropolitik and Bob Preston's Space Weapons: Earth Wars. In addition, spacepower has figured very prominently in several of the most recent Title X wargames conducted by the US Army and Air Force.

This paper explores the emerging consensus on space's growing importance but takes a wide-ranging perspective on the attributes that comprise spacepower, sees the elements of spacepower as interrelated and multidimensional, and emphasizes that the determinants of space's strategic utility go beyond just international military competition. It first looks at ways to categorize spacepower such as space activity sectors, military space mission areas, and David Lupton's four military space doctrines. It also examines a broad range of factors that shape our perceptions and use of space. Throughout, it argues that economic factors . . .

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