My colleague Paul Scharre recently wrote that the development of a #SpaceForce is misguided. His argument is based on the assumption that it will generally be cheaper to build antisatellite weapons than to produce resilient space systems. Therefore, he argues, space should only be one piece of a larger C4ISR and precision-navigation-and-timing system with terrestrial-based options that use drone swarms and advance battle networks.
Paul is not wrong to suggest America’s military advantage cannot rely on space systems alone. Resiliency does require dispersal and variety. What he gets wrong, however, is the assumption that space systems will continue to sit on the wrong side of the cost proposition compared to ASAT weapons.
To be sure, this assumption reflects the U.S. military’s past and current practice of procuring and relying on large “crown jewel” C4ISR and PNT space systems. Such systems, which can cost billions of dollars, sit in earth orbit like bright, shiny targets for an eager adversary. But this won’t be the future of space procurement.
The development of the space domain for economic purposes is increasing like never before. The commercial space sector has introduced rapid innovation into an area that has traditionally been dominated by slow, selective government acquisition processes. The commercial sector has accomplished this by developing new markets that allow companies to assume more research and development risk than was previously acceptable.
Read the Full Article at Defense One
Read Technology and National Security Director Paul Scharre's Rebuttal: The US Military Should Not Be Doubling Down on Space
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: Day One
The Biden-Harris administration will confront a range of national security challenges from the moment it takes office....
By Chris Estep
CommentaryHow the Defense Budget Could Actually Increase (Slightly)
Once all is said and done, it is more likely that defense spending will end up growing rather than shrinking....
By Diem Salmon
CommentaryThe President (Probably) Isn’t Going To Nuke Anything This Week
The idea that presidents are able to use nuclear weapons in any way they personally desire is not correct....
By Tom Shugart
VideoDefense Priorities Under Biden
Richard Fontaine and Robert O. Work join the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston to discuss the Biden Pentagon and the future of U.S. defense. Watch the full conversatio...
By Richard Fontaine & Robert O. Work