Space: The Fourth Military Dimension. The Strategic Defense Initiative and the Implications for Land Warfare in the Twenty-First Century
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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This study considers space as the fourth and newest military dimension and examines the implications of spacepower and new technologies on land warfare to the mid-21st century. A resurgence of interest in military space operations among the senior leadership of the Army began around 1983. Studies had established that, while the Army was not fully exploiting the potential capabilities of space to support land combat, it was already deeply dependent on space systems. This dependence was increasing yearly without any planning having been done to evaluate its impact on future land combat operations overall goals and objectives for Army participation in space activities. The Army has begun to correct these shortcomings but many far-reaching decisions need to be made in the near future. This study examines some aspects of space which need to be considered in making these decisions as space systems become operational military systems. The author concludes that the Army does not have the qualified personnel or organizational structure to use space and space-based systems to their fullest potential. This is an immediate requirement, and meeting this challenge will greatly help in the longer range requirements of assessing and incorporating military operations in space and space technologies into land warfare, preparing the Army to fight in a four-dimensional environment, and establishing the proper perspective in the Army for space operations.
- Space Warfare