Preventing Commercial Colonialism and Retaining Sovereignty Over National Policy and Military Strategy in Space
Technical Report,31 Jul 2017,09 Apr 2018
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA NORFOLK United States
Pagination or Media Count:
History shows that governments lose strategic initiative and primacy over national policy when commercial entities create outposts beyond the governments reach. The impending emergence of commercially funded space operations is an indicator that nations are heading towards a problem last encountered in the Eighteenth Century. Yet, there is no research to aid identification of the incipient loss of strategic initiative or policy primacy. This paper examines the evolution of commercial influence on national military strategy discussing three discrete examplesthe English East India Company, the U.S. opening of the West, and Chinas recent development of African trade. In comparing indicators of rising commercial influence to the emerging commercial space environment, it finds that state authority will remain effective while orbital space operations continue to base from Earth. However, establishment of outposts farther afield will put sovereignty at risk. The paper finds that without changes to policies, strategies, and capabilities, the U.S. Government could face a loss of sovereignty over military strategy in space by the mid-2030s. The likely location of the loss of government initiative over military strategy is the Moon and the paper identifies several potential mitigations to this scenario.
- Government and Political Science