The Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies’ report on “Space Deterrence: The Delicate Balance of Risk” briefly overviews fundamental deterrence concepts and evaluates how deterrence functioned during the Cold War; it masterfully assesses the most relevant and applicable lessons for today’s space deterrence challenges. The report comprehensively and multi-dimensionally addresses space deterrence by discussing key issues, including the vulnerability gap the United Sates faces with respect to space capabilities, the difficulty of defense, problems with credibility of retaliation in an asymmetric environment, and weaknesses in space situational awareness (SSA) and attribution. It also makes key recommendations to develop internal red lines, improve defenses, deploy in more responsive and defensible modes, expand military use of commercial constellations, lower dependency on space, seize the political initiative, and improve SSA. Together, the assessment and recommendations provide a very solid foundation for strengthening deterrence and assuring delivery of space capabilities that have become increasingly important for modern military operations and the global economy. In addition, there are other areas that may warrant further emphasis, discussion, and evaluation of how they could also contribute to space deterrence, including a fuller assessment and understanding of superpower space and deterrence issues, development of a better shared understanding of space deterrence issues within the U.S. Government and with key allies and potential adversaries, and exploration of ways to add additional layers and dimensions to deterrence by including more focus on humanity’s longer term costs and benefits of spacepower, such as debris mitigation and planetary defense.
Hays, Peter L.
"Strengthening Deterrence: Assuring Delivery of Space Capabilities,"
Space and Defense: Vol. 3:
0, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/spaceanddefense/vol3/iss0/6
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