Category Archives: Diplomacy

An Investment Strategy for US National Security Space


In collaboration with my friend and George C. Marshall Institute boss Jeff Kueter, I authored a Special Report for the Heritage Foundation titled “An Investment Strategy for US National Security Space.”

Jeff and I wrote the report last summer, partly during when I was still working for the U.S. Air Force. For the purposes of full disclosure, when I was employed by the U.S. Air Force I wrote this report in my own spare time using my own private resources.

The report can be accessed for free, but I am posting the abstract here for those hard-pressed for time to wade through a 26 page document:

Today’s space systems fulfill five purposes: (1) environmental monitoring; (2) communications; (3) position, navigation, and timing; (4) integrated tactical warning and attack assessment; and (5) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. These missions are integral to a new American way of warfare. Direct and indirect challenges to American power in space are growing. Other nations are expanding their capabilities to interdict or deny U.S. access to space. Mounting fiscal pressures will likely necessitate changes in national “security space” force structures and acquisition approaches. This Special Report explores the implications of these challenges on U.S. national security space programs and policies. It sets the context for future decision making, providing insight into the myriad issues—from allied capability and intentions to extant arms control proposals—that will likely influence these decisions.The United States is approaching a critical juncture on its investments in national security space capabilities. This juncture is imminent due to the convergence of three forces: (1) a fundamental shift in U.S. defense and diplomatic strategy from the western to the eastern Eurasian landmass—the so-called pivot toward the Asia-Pacific; (2) a large number of the national security space capabilities upon which the United States and its allies critically rely are now legacy systems in need of upgrades and replacement; and (3) severe fiscal pressures on Department of Defense and intelligence community budgets. As the strategic context shifts, the military’s dependence on space systems becomes ever more acute. Since the 1990s, military use of space has grown exponentially, but new strategic demands, bolstered by the accumulating demands of technology, require development of entirely new national security space systems if the United States is to meet future national security challenges with plausible preparedness.

I welcome any comments on this report, and – of course – any other publications I post here.

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Filed under Arms Control, Asia-Pacific, Australia, Diplomacy, Emerging Space Powers, George C. Marshall Institute, Heritage Foundation, Israel, Japan, Jeff Kueter, NATO, Publications, School of Advanced Air & Space Studies, Shameless Self-Promotion, South Korea, Spacepower, U.S. National Security Space, United States, Vietnam

Space and Cyber Security Policy Approaches – A Chatham House Event

Chatham House Royal Institute of international affairs

I shall be in London this week to speak at Chatham House on U.S. approaches to space and cyber security policy making, and their impact on the international landscape. Details of the event can be found here.

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Filed under Chatham House, Cyberpower, Cyberspace, Cyberwar, Diplomacy, Events, Shameless Self-Promotion, Spacepower, Speaking Engagements

Aaron Ellis on Israel’s deficit in strategic thought


Aaron Ellis of the spiffy Thinking Strategically blog has written a very interesting post about the disturbing tendency of Israeli leadership to shoot itself in the strategic foot. Ellis writes:

To think strategically is to distinguish the woods from the trees. Binyamin Netanyahu, his government and its ‘neocon’ fans have consistently failed to do this in the two years they have directed Israeli foreign policy.

Ellis touches on something that should concern any friend of Israel. A country that was once lauded for its strategic acumen has, since its invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982, lost its strategic way and too many of its officials and military officers confuse proficiency in tactical and operational art with strategic wisdom.


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Filed under Diplomacy, Israel, Strategy

Sheldon speaking at UNIDIR/SWF Space Security Conference 2011, 4-5 April, Geneva


I shall be in Geneva attending the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and Secure World Foundation (SWF) Space Security Conference in Geneva. I'll be giving a presentation titled 'Reducing Military Tensions, Building Trust' on 5 April.

I shall also be participating in an international discussion on outer space and cyberspace issues.

Hope to see you there!

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Filed under Arms Control, Cyberspace, Diplomacy, Events, Shameless Self-Promotion, Spacepower, Speaking Engagements

Patrick Porter on the Libyan intervention


Dr. Patrick Porter, currently of King's College London, has a worthwhile blog called The Offshore Balancer that is a great read regardless of the topic. Patrick is one of many great exports from Down Under and is the author of the brilliant Military Orientalism: Eastern War Through Western Eyes (published in the UK by Hurst, in the US by Columbia University Press, in 2009) which I highly recommend.

Patrick can only be described as a classical realist and it is his application of this worldview to 21st century issues, along with his fine prose, that makes him worth noting. His recent postings on events in Libya are particularly refreshing.

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Filed under Current Affairs, Diplomacy, Strategic Theory, Thucydides, U.K. Defense Policy

Sheldon in RUSI Journal: Britain and Spacepower

Shout it from the rooftops

The journal of the Royal United Services Institution for Defence Studies RUSI Journal – is publishing in its forthcoming December 2010 issue an article by me titled "The Strategic Rationale for Britain in Space: Issues, Opportunities and Challenges." Anyone interested can read it here: Download The Strategic Rationale for Britain in Space – RUSI Journal December 2010

I am told that the online publication of the December 2010 issue is imminent, and the hardcopy should hit the streets just before Christmas.

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Filed under Arms Control, British Foreign Policy, Clausewitz, Diplomacy, Economics, Publications, Shameless Self-Promotion, Spacepower, Strategy, U.K. Defense Policy

World Politics Review Op-Ed: “The Case Against Cyber Arms Control”

Shout it from the rooftops

World Politics Review has just published my op-ed, "The Case Against Cyber Arms Control."

The op-ed is based on an earlier post on this blog, "Cyber Arms Control and Pink Elephants."

I should say that this shameless self-promotion will stop … but I doubt it will.

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Filed under Arms Control, Cyberspace, Diplomacy, Publications, Shameless Self-Promotion, Web/Tech