Title: Space Dominance: How the Air Force Plans to Control Space
Subject: This paper will discuss the Air Force's attempt to define space dominance in terms of viable military doctrine. It will evaluate whether current doctrine is adequate to develop military plans for space dominance/space superiority, and if not, what additional considerations must be addressed.
Author(s): Richard S. Stapp; Ed Greer (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: DOCTRINE, MILITARY DOCTRINE, SPACE DEFENSE, SPACE LAUNCHED, SPACE SURVEILLANCE, SPACE SYSTEMS, SPACE TECHNOLOGY, SPACE WARFARE, SPACE WEAPONS
The Air Force, as part of its vision for the 21st century, has declared Space
Dominance and Space Control as new military objectives. It is not clear if the
Air Force understands the difficulties associated with dominating the space
environment, but several issues have yet to be resolved.
While the requirements for achieving space control are numerous, three stand out as especially critical: sound doctrine, viable technology, and political resolve. Doctrine provides our basis for employing forces and waging war. Without strong space doctrine, space control will likely meet with less than successful results. Technology is the linchpin which allows space operations to be achievable and effective. Without the required technology, space control is impossible. Politics is the last and most critical requirement in achieving space control. Neither doctrine nor technology can compensate for the lack of political resolve. Without it, all other efforts are futile.
This paper discusses the doctrinal, technical and political difficulties of achieving space control as well as other issues which complicate the space control mission. Based on the analysis of these elements, a determination is made as to the feasibility of effectively implementing a space control policy.