Here’s what the new agency does. (2020). This article provides an excellent overview of the Space Force and its pros and cons.
The Space Force is with us, now what? The basic mission of the Space Force will be to train, equip and organize to conduct military operations in space. This means running the extensive constellation of U.S. military satellites (currently managed by the services separately depending on function); operating the military’s launch facilities such as the Air Force’s bases at Vandenberg in California and elsewhere; executing financial planning and programming to purchase satellites and ground support equipment; and above all, training a specialized cadre of space officers and enlisted men and women. It will start small with a few hundred specialists, probably reporting to a chief of space operations (a title resembling that of the head of the U.S. Navy, the chief of naval operations). Over time it will probably grow to 10,000 to 15,000 trainers, operators and leaders whose job will be to deliver capability in space to the 10 U.S. combatant commanders; the jobs I held at four-star level both for Latin America and Europe/NATO. .
A Pentagon strategy for elevating the space mission. This February 2021 article argues the Space Force should protect space assets for military and commercial purposes and that it should also conduct surveillance in space. Furthermore, it argues that innovation will be needed to meet challenges.
The Creation of a US Space Force It’s Only the End of the Beginning. (2020). This 2019 article provides an excellent overview of key issues related to space security.
A new U.S. Space Force has become a reality. On Dec. 20, the president signed the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which establishes a separate space branch of the military under the U.S. Air Force with Title 10, U.S. Code authorities….he current “spirit of the age” of space warfare holds that space is a warfighting domain. The character of space warfare will be distinct from conflict in the other domains, due to national interests, the space environment and associated physics, the current international legal regime, and advanced space technologies. Even though conflict initiated in or extending into space will be part of a war with an enduring nature, Space Force service members should recognize that space warfare will have its own character…This is the first time an Air Force Space Command high-level strategy document has acknowledged the broader space industrial plans of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, boldly stating, “The U.S. must recognize that in the world of 2060, space will be a significant engine of national political, economic, and military power” and openly discussing “space-based internet, in-space transportation, in-space propellant manufacture, lunar and asteroid mining, space-based solar power-beaming, orbital and lunar tourism” as potentially significant new industries which might be self-sustaining.
How the US Space Force doctrine paves the way for the future (2020). The U.S. Space Force is expected to eventually consist of 16,000 uniformed and civilian personnel. The service’s budget proposal for 2021 is $15.4 billion with an annual increase of $600 million over the next five years. Out of the total, over $10 billion will go into research, development, testing, and evaluation of space systems including funding for new missile warning satellites; $2.4 billion for procurement; and around $2.6 billion for ongoing space operations and training. To date, the force consists of over 2,400 active duty troops (and is about to get its first astronaut), although it reportedly has already 10 units stationed outside the continental United States. In September the service for the first time deployed to the Middle East.
he new doctrine lays out Space Force’s three cornerstone responsibilities: preserve freedom of action, enable joint lethality and effectiveness, and provide independent options for the U.S. Armed Forces. It also outlines five core competencies including space security, combat power projection, space mobility and logistics, information mobility, and space domain awareness. Cornerstone responsibilities like preserving freedom of action and joint lethality, in addition to core competencies such as combat power projection, are in line with doctrines from the other branches. Others like providing leaders with “independent options” – the ability to achieve independently strategic effects – are more specific to Space Force, but a logical consequence of the nature of the space domain. For example, offensive cyber operations executed via the space domain (via satellite links) can achieve independent strategic affects across multiple domains.
RAND Space War
Would Trump’s Space Force patrol the moon? (2018). The article discusses the general importance of the military protecting space assets and interests, including the acquisition and use of moon resources.
How would the Space Force wage war? (2020. This article contends the Space Force is needed to clean space junk and defend against ASATS.
Defense Space Strategy Summary (2020)
Show of force needed to deter space attacks (2019)
Challenges to Security in Space (2019).
Not enough Americans understand the need for a Space Force (2017)
Space-based capabilities provide integral support to military, commercial, and civilian applications. Longstanding technological and cost barriers to space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in satellite construction, space launch, space exploration, and human spaceflight.
Although these advancements are creating new opportunities, new risks for space-enabled services have emerged. Having seen the benefits of space-enabled operations, some foreign governments are developing capabilities that threaten others’ ability to use space. China and Russia, in particular, have taken steps to challenge the United States:
• Chinese and Russian military doctrines indicate that they view space as important to modern warfare and view counterspace capabilities as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness. Both reorganized their militaries in 2015, emphasizing the importance of space operations.
• Both have developed robust and capable space services, including space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Moreover, they are making improvements to existing systems, including space launch vehicles and satellite navigation constellations. These capabilities provide
their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide and also with enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track, and target U.S. and allied forces.
• Chinese and Russian space surveillance networks are capable of searching, tracking, and characterizing satellites in all earth orbits. This capability supports both space operations and counterspace systems.
• Both states are developing jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities, and ground-based antisatellite missiles that can achieve a range of reversible to nonreversible effects.
Iran and North Korea also pose a challenge to militaries using space-enabled services, as each has demonstrated jamming capabilities. Iran and North Korea maintain independent space launch capabilities, which can serve as avenues for testing ballistic missile technologies. The advantage the United States holds in space—and its perceived dependence on it—will drive actors to improve their abilities to access and operate in and through space. These improvements can pose a threat to space-based services across the military, commercial, and civil space sector
Space no longer peaceful (2019).
The workshop produced the following recommendations:
• The US must develop a long-term, national space strategy to ensure continued leadership. This strategy should be developed across government, industry, and academia to ensure synergy of
efforts to optimize and promote overall U.S. national space power and grand strategy.
• AFSPC should commit the resources to complete the strategy as outlined in this report as a part of its organize, train, and equip mission. U.S. Space Command should similarly commit resources to this effort as part of their strategic and operational execution missions.
• The strategy must address how the national security establishment will defend the full range of expanded national interests in space (i.e., civil and commercial space capabilities and citizens in space) – not just the services that directly support national security.
• Essential capabilities and technologies to enable positive future outcomes must be developed by the whole of government. An investment, policy, and regulatory strategy must be pursued to ensure those capabilities.
• The nation must commit to investment in science and technology to drive the rapidly changing global space environment as a key element of the strategy
Space as a warfighting domain
War in space would be a catastrophe
Wars of the future may be won or lost in space
Satellite warfare: An arms race is brewing in space
The final frontier of war
Challenges to security in space
Space threat assessment