The authors of the “Space Deterrence” report provide thoughtful, common sense recommendations to strengthen space deterrence, and given the complexity of deterrence, provide a “layered defense” strategy. The first recommendation given was to improve space situational awareness (SSA). As the authors acknowledge, these recommendations are not “cost constrained.” Although this and other recommendations bear consideration, one difficult task will be in addressing potential costs. The next recommendation is to develop internal red lines, a system by which internal alerts provide notifications to the “national command authority.” (National Command Authorities was a term that referred collectively to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. The term was discontinued in 2002.52 The singular term, “national command authority,” was not an officially accepted term, although often (mis-) used since, individually, the President was, and is more correctly referred to as the President or Commander-in-Chief.). The third recommendation refers to enhancing the ability to defend against threats to the capability that space systems provide; little specificity is given. Given the proliferation of jammers and other disruptive technologies and efforts (e.g., cyber and so forth) this recommendation needs to be further defined. Next, the authors recommend deploying space assets in “inherently more defensible modes.” Fifth, the authors recommend “operational responsiveness.” They largely discount the efficacy of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) concept of “Operationally Responsive Space,” as was defined by the Deputy Secretary of Defense in his 2007 memorandum by that title and reported in the DOD’s 2007 Report to the United States Congress.53 Sixth, “expand military use of the commercial constellation” to complicate targeting options by a potential adversary is recommended. This is not without issue, since one might argue that this also serves to increase the risk that and potentially lower the threshold by which a commercial system will be targeted, which raises many implications regarding commercial assets becoming military targets. Seventh, “become potentially less dependent on space” is advanced. If a state can afford to better proliferate capabilities among space and non-space assets, this naturally complicates an adversary’s attack plan; however, it does not come without significant opportunity costs and/or the willingness to expend resources on alternate capabilities that may not be as well suited as those that can be provided by space assets.
Rauhala, Dwight D. and Kasku-Jackson, Jonty L.
"An Alternative View on Space Deterrence,"
Space and Defense: Vol. 3:
0, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/spaceanddefense/vol3/iss0/9
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