The Air Force faces five basic challenges with respect to space: (xii, 167)
- Continuing the operational integration of space with the three terrestrial warfighting mediums while ensuring the organizational differentiation of space from Air Force air.
- Effectively wielding its newly granted military space executive-agent status.
- Realizing a DoD-wide budget category for space that imparts transparency to how much money and manpower are going into space each year and for what.
- Showing real progress toward fielding a meaningful space control capability while decoupling that progress from any perceived taint of force application involvement.
- Making further progress toward developing and nurturing a cadre of skilled space professionals within the Air Force ready and able to meet the nation’s military space needs in the coming decade and beyond.
Space control (98)
Force application (98)
Why space control now? In other words, why quit treating space as a sanctuary? The most compelling reason is that the US is now unprecedentedly invested in and dependent on on-orbit capabilities. (99)
When the space capabilities represent an easier target than other critical nodes, we should expect interference with them. (100)
The pillars of space control start with space surveillance. (104, 109)
Beyond improved surveillance and situation awareness, much more can be done to develop an operational space control repertoire merely by using existing ISR and strike assets to engage a potential enemy’s most immediately accessible and exposed space system nodes, such as ground-based satellite uplinks and downlinks. (110)
Flexible Negation: involves such measures as jamming, spoofing, and blinding enemy satellites and disabling enemy ground stations. The underlying idea is to temporarily disable a satellite rather than to damage or destroy it, and to do so in a manner that might provide the attacker with a certain amount of deniability. (110)
Space weapons: things intended to cause harm that are based in space or that have an essential element based in space. (112)
The unanswerable question concerns when – not whether – our opponents will decide to become militarily proactive in space to counter US dominance. (118)
An important challenge facing the Air Force entails helping to inform such analysis and discussion by taking the lead in articulating the issues authoritatively, while disavowing any immediate programmatic commitment to space force application and, at the same time, keeping the argument for space control unswervingly fixed in its public message as the nation’s most pressing priority for expanded space mission development. (123)
Budget issues to maintain two domains with one-third the total DoD resources. Army, Navy free riders. (142)
Cost per pound to put into orbit (144)
Virtually every major US military space system is facing a planned upgrade or replacement over the coming decade, at an estimated cost of some $60 billion. (145)
Any transition to space [of current non-space assets] should also be paced by a prior determination that the mission or function in question can be performed more cost-effectively from space than from the air. (156)