Accession Number : ADA331513

Title :   Is the Weaponization of Space Inevitable?

Descriptive Note : Research rept.

Corporate Author : INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s) : Donatelli, Delia E.

PDF Url : ADA331513

Report Date : APR 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 68

Abstract : Development of technologies for directed energy and kinetic energy space weapons systems has progressed to the point where the United States could demonstrate concepts within 5-10 years if adequate funding is provided. While Congress debates whether such weapons are needed and should be funded, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Commander in Chief of United States Space Command take the position that weapons in space are necessary and inevitable. They view space as the medium where the next step in the natural evolution of military operations will occur. Operation Desert Storm emphasized the importance of space assets to US military operations, a conclusion as obvious to the rest of the world as to the US. This implies a vulnerability, noted in the recent Army After Next wargame held at the Army War College which could be exploited by any individual, nation, or state wishing to target the US. This paper addresses the need for space weapons and issues and concerns relating to their deployment. It begins with definitions of space weapon and weaponization of space. This is followed by an overview of the evolving global environment, including a summary of space activities and stakeholders. The advantages and liabilities of space weapons are discussed within the context of national interests, from military, political, and economic perspectives. Alternatives for addressing needs served by space weapons are considered.

Descriptors :   *SPACE WARFARE, *NATIONAL DEFENSE, *SPACE DEFENSE, MILITARY REQUIREMENTS, SPACE TECHNOLOGY, VULNERABILITY, THREAT EVALUATION, STRATEGIC WEAPONS, MILITARY MODERNIZATION, MILITARY PLANNING, DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS, SPACE WEAPONS.

Subject Categories : Space Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE