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Space Operations in the Joint Warfighting Arena: The Viability of a Joint Force Space Component Commander

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Master's thesis

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This paper is written for the non-space-minded person who is willing to hear ideas of how to integrate space power throughout the U.S. militarys joint warfighting ways. The U.S. military is becoming increasingly more dependent upon space assets to help win wars. In fact, some have said, Operation DESERT STORM was the first space war. As the worlds dependence on space assets grows, so grows the costs of building space assets and launching them into orbit. As such, the business of building and launching space assets fits the classic low supplyhigh demand relationship. But as the costs to gain space power increases, the U.S. Department of Defense s budget continues to decrease. Therefore, the U.S. military must rely on commercial and civil--as well as its own--space assets, to maximize the effects space power brings to the theater Commander in Chief. Additionally, it s not difficult to imagine that the U.S. military may also rely on the space assets of allied countries in future coalition wars. So, given the U.S. militarys limited budget, coupled with its increasing reliance on space assets, it is imperative to maximize all available space power in future wars. It follows, then, to question whether the U.S. military currently integrates space into the joint warfighting arena as effectively and efficiently as possible. Today, the U.S. military relies on the air component, within the joint warfighting structure, to work space issues for the Joint Force Commander JFC. However, information distilled from United States Space Commands estimate of world space assets reveals that the U.S. military owns or controls less than 15th with the U.S. Air Force owning the majority of those of the space assets potentially available for U.S. military use in the next war. One might wonder how the other 45ths are integrated into the fight

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Astronautics

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