Accession Number:

ADA522541

Title:

Deterrence and First-Strike Stability in Space: A Preliminary Assessment

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

82.0

Abstract:

Space stability is a fundamental U.S. national security interest. Unfortunately, that stability may be eroding. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. military forces have repeatedly demonstrated their dominance in conventional warfare, and future enemies will be well aware that the dramatic warfighting advantage that U.S. forces possess is largely the result of support from space. With a growing number of states acquiring the ability to degrade or destroy U.S. space capabilities, the probability that space systems will come under attack in a future crisis or conflict is ever increasing. Deterring adversaries from attacking some U.S. space systems may be difficult due to these systems inherent vulnerability and the disproportionate degree to which the United States depends on the services they provide. Nevertheless, the United States can fashion a regime to raise the thresholds of deterrence failure in terms of destructive attacks on its space systems and thus achieve a measure of first-strike stability in space during crises and at some levels of limited war.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Space Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE