Date of Graduation

Fall 2015


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Dana Johnson


strategic culture, deterrence, space policy, strategy

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


This thesis was written to provide the reader with a firm understanding of the realities of the current DoD space deterrence concept, its shortcomings and the threat that these shortcomings pose to the United States and its Allies if a more realistic, credible space deterrence concept is not created and deployed. To highlight these shortcomings, a review of deterrence theory from classical to modern writers were explored to compare and contrast with the DoD's present concept to highlight its lack of deterrence theory. In addition, it was highlighted through an analysis of the Chinese view of deterrence in space, space weapons and the United States, just how in effective DoD space deterrence theory is and how the current National Security Space Strategy, the location of the DoD space deterrence concept, is more likely to give rise to a "space Pearl Harbor” than to prevent one. The United States must re-think its current posture in space and develop a tiered, tailor, triad of capabilities and concepts that credibly deter, or if necessary defeat an enemy attack on our nation's critical space infrastructure. KEYWORDS:


© Christopher Michael Stone

Open Access