chapter  7
52 Pages

Space and the military


US and coalition forces achieved rapid and decisive military successes during operations Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf in 1991, Allied Force in Serbia in 1999, Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraqi Freedom in 2003 that illustrate a new American way of war empowered by a space-enabled global reconnaissance, precision-strike complex. A primary goal of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense (DoD) is to continue and accelerate this military transformation by developing even lighter and more easily deployed forces that are able to strike more precisely from greater distances and leverage network-enabled operations to empower users at the edge of the network and achieve decision dominance over adversaries. Space capabilities often provide the best and sometimes the only way to pursue these ambitious transformational goals. There are also, however, many longstanding, difficult, and fundamental issues related to space and defense policy including: the place of space in dealing with the novel security challenges of the post-Cold War and post-9/11 environment, the ability of space capabilities to dissuade and deter competition from potential military peers, the role of space in enabling the information revolution and the new American way of war, overlaps and changing roles in traditional space missions caused by growth in commercial space activity, and the current state of flux in many military space organizations and acquisition programs. Cumulatively, these factors make military space issues more indeterminate, complex, multidimensional, and controversial than ever before.