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US Space Superiority: It was Good While it Lasted; Exploring the Contesting and Congesting of the Space Domain

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Technical Report

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Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The United States current state of space superiority may soon be a thing of the past because other nations are developing new capabilities that are both contesting and congesting the space domain. Therefore, the United States must seriously consider future courses of action to mitigate the effects of a congested and contested space domain. This research paper uses the scenario planning methodology to examine how the US dependence on the space domain may change in a more contested or congested space environment. Three fictional, yet plausible scenarios are developed to illustrate how US space superiority may be challenged approaching the year 2025 in conjunction with driving forces such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulation, global demands for energy, and emerging cyberspace capabilities. Through these scenarios, a rather gloomy picture emerges of what might happen if the United States loses its robust space capabilities. Consequently, five recommendations are made for decision makers to consider in the hope that the trends and driving forces contributing to the aforementioned scenarios can be reversed before any real damage is done.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Civil Defense
  • Government and Political Science

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