Volume 11 Issue 1 (Spring 2019)
Editor's Note Vol. 11 No. 1
This issue of Space & Defense enriches our collaboration with USSTRATCOM’s Deterrence & Assurance Academic Alliance (https://www.stratcom.mil/Academic-Alliance/). DAAA cultivates a network of leading universities with faculty and students interested in contributing analysis and solutions to problems of deterrence in the 21st century. Given the USAFA Eisenhower Center’s heritage exploring space politics and policy, we found extraordinarily productive overlap between the editorial ambition of this Eisenhower Center journal and DAAA’s mission. To enable future joint efforts, prior to publication, we welcomed Dr. Michelle Black, former USSTRATCOM civilian, cofounder of the Academic Alliance, and current assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, to our editorial board.
Our lead article this issue, “China’s Military Space Strategy,” by Sam Rouleau, 2Lt, USAF, applies concepts from political-economy to glean insights on the roots and future direction of China space. The field of political-economy is routinely concerned with the role of ideas in shaping material incentives for state actors. Rouleau analyzes the Marxist dialectic from Chinese Communist Party ideology and traces how such an important belief system within the Chinese leadership ought to affect investment in space capabilities. Rouleau’s article is straight from our customary mold at Space & Defense. It also touches upon academic interests at STRATCOM in cross-domain deterrence.
Subsequent articles in this issue address questions of interest to DAAA that travel beyond the technical confines of space policy to include cyber and nuclear decisions. Two of the articles, by Timothy Goines, Maj., USAF and myself, on cyber and cross-domain deterrence, respectively, were in fact presented at the Academic Alliance’s annual tabletop exercise and workshop in March 2018. This issue’s third feature article, by Saint- Clair Lima da Silva, Col, Brazil Air Force (AFB), presents comparative research, again in a political-economy context, investigating how state inculcated ideas of sovereign autonomy provide an unconventional yet superior explanation to that of regional power rivalry when analyzing drivers for Brazil’s nuclear program during the 1970- 1980s.
Finally, we are pleased to feature the return of our “Student Voice” section, also aligned with DAAA goals. Laura Olson, 2d Lt, USAF (USAFA ’17) won the Political Science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha’s Best Undergraduate Class Paper Award in June 2017. Her study, part of her capstone experience at the U.S. Air Force Academy, synthesized public opinion data and media content analysis to demonstrate significant gaps in correlation between media framing and American support for post-Cold War uses of force in Kosovo (1999) and Syria (2012-2016). In 2Lt Olson’s case, as is true for all our authors, contributions herein are academic and do not represent official policy or opinion of the U.S. Air Force.
Consistent with President Eisenhower’s legacy of critical thinking on space and national security, and lining up with deterrence and assurance research priorities of the STRATCOM Academic Alliance, we ask new faculty and student voices to speak up as they tackle thorny problems. Our type of defense challenge often affects multiple actors while weaving together political and economic as well as military dimensions of power at the frontiers of defense policy.
Damon Coletta, USAFA
Building Beyond Samba and Soccer: Why Brazil Ventured a Nuclear Program
Saint-Clair Lima da Silva