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Space Control for the Theater Commander: Naval Blockade as a Precedent.

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Final rept.,

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Theater commanders depend increasingly on space systems to conduct military operations. As the cost of space systems has dropped, the opportunities for an enemy to use space systems against the commander have increased significantly. The commander cannot afford to ignore such capabilities without sacrificing operational protection for friendly forces, sacrificing the principles of security and surprise in his operations, and leaving significant enemy capabilities outside his objectives. The thesis of this analysis is that naval blockade offers precedents that could be extended into space operations. Naval blockade provides precedent for both the concepts to employ in space warfare, and for the incremental approach to establish international law favorable to such operations. The analysis examines certain concepts relevant to military operations at sea, and offers an extension into space. The scope of this analysis is narrow. First, the analysis focusses on the commanders perspective, and assumes that the strategic issues have been resolved. This analysis does recognize the strategic ramifications of operational and tactical actions, and the proposed approach seeks to support, rather than undermine, the United States strategic position. Second, the analysis looks at denial capabilities only because these are existing technologies that can readily be fielded for a commanders use within the Future Year Defense Program. The analysis does not look at destruction capabilities, because these capabilities can not be deployed soon. Denial capabilities represent a smaller step toward military space operations therefore the international community is more likely to be accepted them. Third, the focus is limited to what the commander could use operationally under his command.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Space Warfare

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