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  • 2018 Gen. Bernard A Schriever Memorial Essay Contest Airman/NCO Category Winner: "Command of Space"

    Italian Air Marshall Guillo Douhet’s maxim of Airpower[1] in the 20th century equally applies to Spacepower in the 21st. In order to assure an adequate national defense, it is necessary -- and sufficient -- to be in a position, in case of war, to conquer the command of space. The United States (US) has enjoyed uncontested usage of space in support of global military operations for decades. Yet the resurgent and revisionist powers of Russia and China have ushered in a new era of great power competition. Both recognize the combat advantage the US military gains from its space capabilities and are developing doctrine and systems to deny and degrade the US’ advantage in a future conflict. The US must employ the following mix of strategies, policies and systems to strengthen US deterrence and dissuade adversaries from extending conflict into space. First, the Department of Defense (DoD) must employ a Spacepower Doctrine that actually recognizes space as a warfighting domain. Second, the US must stop funding Russia’s space program, increase funding to the American space industry and deepen cooperation with partner space programs to successfully achieve a balance of power in space. Third, the US military must incentivize space-focused education for its future leaders. All three points will help ‘generate decisive and sustained U.S. military advantages’ through a ‘more lethal force, strong alliances and partnerships, American technological innovation, and a culture of performance.’[2] This essay will briefly define key concepts of great power relations and follow with an examination of the three aforementioned recommendations.
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