Category Archives: NATO

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

Wanted: Western Strategic Acumen

Ian Bremmer, writing in the A-List Blog of the Financial Times, takes a well-aimed shot at Western leaders who embarked on the ill-advised NATO campaign against Gaddafi’s Libya. Bremmer notes that NATO faces a quandary: either put NATO troops on the ground in order to turn the tide of the conflict; or, cut an ignominious (for NATO, at least) deal with Gaddafi. Bremmer, however, signs off his piece with the following admonition:

And so the stalemate will continue. Nato must now hope it gets lucky. In the mean time, its participants should reflect on the moral of this story for those western powers anxious to write its final chapter: a lack of international resistance can lead governments to start wars they don’t know how to win.
Bremmer is absolutely right, of course, and is channeling the Prussian master – Carl von Clausewitz – who warned the statesman and commander that:
… and:
Leaders in Britain, France, the United States, and, indeed, NATO, have singularly failed on both of these Clausewitzian criteria, leaving NATO credibility and solidarity dangerously exposed.
With the disgraceful political shenanigans of both sides over the U.S. debt ceiling threatening to drive already battered U.S. credibility off a cliff due to ideological intransigence (the more dogmatic the politician, the less seriously one should treat them); coupled with European wishful thinking and sclerotic politics throughout the West, one hopes that we shall hit bottom soon and that a renaissance in strategic thought is just around the corner.
I’ll keep on dreaming …

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Filed under Clausewitz, Ian Bremmer, Libya, Muamar Gaddafi, NATO, Strategy