Mastering the Ultimate High Ground: Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space

Mastering the Ultimate High Ground: Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space

Benjamin S. Lambeth
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 212
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1649af
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  • Book Info
    Mastering the Ultimate High Ground: Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space
    Book Description:

    Assesses the military space challenges facing the Air Force and the nation in light of the findings and recommendations of the Space Commission. The author reviews the Air Force's involvement in space since its creation as an independent service in 1947; examines the circumstances that occasioned the commission's creation and the conceptual and organizational roadblocks that have impeded a more rapid growth of U.S. military space capability; and enumerates the challenges facing the Air Force with respect to space.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3412-0
    Subjects: History, Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. SUMMARY
    (pp. vii-xii)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. ACRONYMS
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  7. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-8)

    On January 11, 2001, the long-awaited report of the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization (more commonly known as the Space Commission) was released. It crisply defined an American “whither military space” issue that had been percolating with mounting intensity for several years.¹ Mandated by the fiscal year (FY) 2000 National Defense Authorization Act, largely at the behest of Senator Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire), then-chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, the commission was directed to consider possible near-term, medium-term, and longer-term changes in the organization and conduct of U.S. national...

  8. Chapter Two THE AIR FORCE’S STRUGGLE FOR SPACE
    (pp. 9-36)

    The idea that space is a natural extension of the third dimension has endured for so long in Air Force folklore that this mission area has been accepted by most airmen as an Air Force birthright almost from the start. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. On the contrary, even a cursory overview of Air Force involvement in space since the end of World War II makes it clear that that involvement has been one of constant and relentless struggle with the other services, with competing civilian entities, and with the ruling political establishment for control of the...

  9. Chapter Three AIR AND SPACE VERSUS “AEROSPACE”
    (pp. 37-60)

    From the earliest days of its independence from the Army in 1947 until nearly the end of the next decade, the Air Force paid close attention to space as an arena of interservice feuding over rightful prerogatives when it came to missile and satellite development. However, not only did it do little to begin actually pursuing the requisite missile and satellite technologies for exploiting space until well into the 1950s, it did virtually nothing to develop a coherent set of principles for understanding how space related to its evolving air doctrine.¹ Indeed, during that period, the Air Force did not...

  10. Chapter Four THE SPACE COMMISSION AND ITS IMPACT
    (pp. 61-96)

    As noted at the outset of this study, the congressionally mandated Space Commission was expressly established to deal with the national military space conundrum addressed in the preceding chapters. Chaired by Donald H. Rumsfeld, who had previously served as Secretary of Defense in the Ford Administration and who subsequently, just prior to the release of the commission’s report, was again appointed Secretary of Defense by incoming President George W. Bush, the commission’s membership consisted of uniformly qualified participants. Its 13 members included, among others, two former commanders in chief of U.S. Space Command, retired Air Force Generals Howell M. Estes...

  11. Chapter Five ON SPACE CONTROL AND SPACE FORCE APPLICATION
    (pp. 97-124)

    Until now, the Air Force has largely been limited in its space involvement to the two most basic mission areas of (1) space support, the launching of satellites and day-to-day management of on-orbit assets that underpin military space operations, and (2) space force enhancement, a broader mission category that includes all space operations aimed at increasing the effectiveness of terrestrial military operations.¹ These two mission categories have traditionally been politically benign, with no sensitivities attached other than cost considerations. Most would acknowledge that the Air Force has done commendably well at developing them in the nation’s interest since the 1950s....

  12. Chapter Six THE ROAD AHEAD
    (pp. 125-168)

    As this study has documented in detail, there have been two distinguishable schools of thought throughout most of the Air Force’s history with respect to whether air and space should be treated as two separate operating mediums and mission areas or as a single and seamless “aerospace” continuum. The introduction of the “aerospace” construct by Air Force chief of staff General Thomas D. White in 1958 was principally the outgrowth of a perceived need to help ensure the Air Force’s institutional survival. As such, it was a product of artful sloganeering that was never really backed up by any deep...

  13. Appendix DoD DRAFT DIRECTIVE ON SPACE EXECUTIVE AGENT
    (pp. 169-180)
  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 181-194)