Title: Clausewitz on Space: Developing Military Space Theory through a Comparative Analysis

Subject: Military Space Theory: Articulating critical theoretical concepts of military space operations through comparison to classical theorists

Author(s): Arnold H. Streland; Edward F. Greer (Faculty Advisor)


Abstract: America has been in space for over 40 years, yet there seems to be little common understanding of how to integrate space into all aspects of military operations. A common vision for the military application of space forces is vital for America in a period of growing space reliance and decreasing space budgets. Our fielded forces rely on space for a variety of essential missions including communications, intelligence, weather, navigation and missile warning. Our commercial space industry has become a huge economic center of gravity for our nation. Our enemies are discovering the benefits of space by developing their own systems and purchasing commercial space services. We face the daunting challenge of expanding our exploitation of space and protecting our existing space assets, while operating in a fiscally constrained environment. We face this challenge today without a common vision of how to use space. America's space effort is divided between the Department of Defense (DoD) (led by U.S. Space Command), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and commercial industry. Each group has its own motivations and priorities that come into conflict at times. Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz and others believed sound theory was the key to providing a common vision of military operations to all members of an organization. This paper seeks to provide some keys to space theory in order to create a common vision of the effects of space on military operations.

Last updated 1999 Oct 14