Title: Convergence or Divergence: The Relationship between Space Doctrine and Air Force Doctrine

Subject: Future Air Force Doctrine: Should Air & Space Doctrines Converge or Diverge?

Author(s): Budd Jones Jr (Faculty Advisor); Steve L. Kwast

DTIC Keywords:

Abstract: This paper suggests that Air Force doctrine, in general, and space doctrine, in particular, are moving in different directions and that this divergence poses a threat to our future capability as an air and space force. It identifies the airman and the institution as the root cause for this divergence. Airmen think too narrowly in their specialty and work in institutions that resist collective cooperation, broad perspectives, and overarching doctrine. It suggests mentoring airmen with broader perspectives and changing the Air Force institution to be consistent with combining air and space capabilities in an overarching doctrine of air and space power.

The research was prepared by reviewing key air and space doctrinal documents published since 1918 and interviewing people at all levels of involvement in air and space doctrinal development-both inside and outside the Air Force. These sources were combined to analyze the issues and support the thesis.

This paper is presented in the form of a modified critical analysis. Chapter one outlines a short history of Air Force doctrinal development to illustrate the type of airmen and institutional structures our history has created. Chapter two highlights how space doctrine has developed down a separate path from Air Force doctrine. Chapter three explores the relationship between air and space doctrine in terms of our possible futures in order to lay the groundwork for a solution. Chapters four and five explore the risks and benefits associated with both divergence and convergence of air and space doctrine.

Armed with this background and analysis, chapter six explores why diverging doctrines pose a threat to the future of our national defense. Chapter seven proposes a solution that attacks the root cause of this problem. It proposes mentoring airmen who can articulate robust air and space power theory and doctrine that encompasses the full spectrum of military capability. It suggests developing Air Force institutions that allow such cooperation and collaboration.

Only by developing a culture of broad perspectives and integrated air and space capability will we be able to contribute significant capability to the joint warfighting team of the 21st century.

Last updated 1998 Mar 12