Thesis Title

Ad Astra: Space and U.S. Geostrategy

Date of Graduation

Fall 2004

Degree

Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies

Department

Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave

Keywords

space, policy, power, control, geopolitics

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies

Abstract

The United States is currently the world's leading space power. Continuation of this preeminent position is not assured. The expansion of commercial activity in space and the increasing dependence of the military on space systems over the past twenty-five years have made space power a more critical element of world power and of U.S. strategy. However, the continued advance of U.S. space power has reached major obstacles. The U.S. aerospace industry, space launch facilities, and launch vehicles are aging and are increasingly insufficient to meet future U.S. requirements. The development and deployment of vital space control technology have retarded due to policy decisions, budget cuts, political maneuvering, and opposition to the "militarization" or "weaponization" of space. At the same time international involvement in space, including that of potentially uncooperative and hostile powers, has increased, as have political pressures to constrain U.S. military space activities through arms control. This thesis is an examination of the prerequisites for space power, the threats to U.S. control of space, the difficulties confronting U.S. space power, and the required changes in policy necessary for the United States to maintain and expand its dominant position in coming decades. In the analysis of these issues, it is determined that the continued significance of space as a strategic location demands the adoption of a space control strategy to replace the sanctuary strategy of the past five decades. The United States requires the capabilities necessary to deny an adversary access to space, disrupt or eliminate an adversary's space assets, and provide for a prompt global strike capability.

Copyright

© Scott E. Doxtator

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Dissertation/Thesis

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