Title: Space Doctrine for the 21st Century

Subject: Space Doctrine

Author(s): Robert D. Newberry; Thomas S. Kelso (Faculty Advisor)


Abstract: Today there is virtually no approved space doctrine to guide the development and employment of space forces. The supporting strategies for organizing, training, equipping, and employing space forces do not exist. There is no discussion of the tenets of space power or the operational art of employing space forces.

Space policy has emerged to fill the doctrinal void. Policy is the major influence on the organization, training, equipping, and employment of U.S. space forces. The preeminence of policy and absence of doctrine has caused military effectiveness to be muted in the debates over space forces.

Without a clear vision of what space forces should do, the Air Force has been left to build space forces in an ad hoc manner. There is no doctrinal guidance for how to achieve the offensive and defensive mix of forces called for in the national space policy and there is no approved process from which the needed doctrine can be developed. Although doctrine development follows a proscribed bureaucratic process, little consideration is given to the underlying thought process.

This paper attempts to define a doctrine development process and use it to formulate a space doctrine. This doctrine includes the tenets of space power, the operational art of space warfare, and implementation strategies for space forces. This doctrine can be immediately applied to ongoing space operations.

Last updated 1997 Oct 03