Yes, a #SpaceForce is a dumb idea, but not because @realDonaldTrump said it. The U.S. military has real problems in space and a Space Force is likely to make them worse, not better.
Space is “congested, contested, and competitive” — as many have pointed out — and the U.S. advantages in space are waning. But responding by creating a Space Force is building a castle on a foundation of sand.
Space is an inherently vulnerable and offense-dominant domain. Satellites move through predictable orbits. There simply aren’t many good options for space hardening/defenses.
Defenders can add fuel to a satellite to make it mobile and move and change orbits, but more fuel adds weight and there is no easy way to refuel the satellite once in orbit. The same applies for defenses or armor. Defenders pay for all of that weight in launch costs. Defenders can make satellites stealthy-ish, but if even amateur observers can find secret military satellites, surely nation-state adversaries can. And even if satellites remain hidden, they’re still vulnerable to debris in low earth orbit, a growing problem that isn’t getting better.
The reality is that satellites are vulnerable to attack — through both kinetic and non-kinetic means from lasers, electronic warfare, and cyber — and there is no good way to fix this. America has built a military that is heavily dependent on a global C4ISR [command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance] architecture that runs through space — the eyes and nervous system of the Joint Force. The United States was able to do this because for a long time no one contested the U.S. in space, but that era is over.
Read the Full Article at Defense One
Read CNAS Research Associate Adam Routh's Rebuttal: The U.S. Military Should Be Doubling Down on Space
More from CNAS
CommentaryEsper's Convenient Lie
Esper’s claim that the two decades of countering violent extremism left the U.S. under-prepared for a near-peer fight doesn’t hold water....
By Paul Scharre
VideoApple announces new products amid Epic fight, plus the latest on TikTok: CNBC After Hours
As President Trump prepares to review Oracle’s proposal to partner with TikTok, international security experts Kara Frederick and Bobby Chesney explain the national security r...
By Kara Frederick
PodcastEp. 75: The next big thing(s) in unmanned systems
This episode, we'll explore emerging trends in unmanned systems. We’ll start in the air, before turning to the land and sea in a review of Russian-made systems and military th...
By Samuel Bendett
CommentaryDesigning a U.S. Digital Development Strategy
The digital choices that U.S. allies and partners make today will play a critical role in shaping the future of U.S. national security....
By Siddharth Mohandas, Kristine Lee, Joshua Fitt & Coby Goldberg