Mastering the Ultimate High Ground: Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space
Ben Lambeth assesses the military space challenges facing the U.S. Air Force and the nation in light of the 2001 findings and recommendations of the congressionally mandated Space Commission. After reviewing the chief milestones in the Air Force's involvement in space since its creation as an independent service in 1947, he outlines the circumstances that occasioned the Space Commission's creation and explores some conceptual and organizational roadblocks that have impeded a more rapid growth of U.S. military space capability. Along the way, he probes the differences in outlook that, until recently, had the Air Force speaking with more than one voice on the key issue of whether air and space should be treated as a single and seamless "aerospace" continuum or as two separate and distinct operating mediums and mission areas. He also zeroes in on the growing need for more serious U.S. investment in space control and argues for decoupling this important mission need from the pursuit of space weaponization aimed at attacking terrestrial targets from space. The author concludes that the Air Force needs an approach that will enable it to do full justice to its ever-expanding military space opportunities without, in the process, unduly compromising its long-standing mission responsibilities in the air arena.
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