Space Weapons Earth Wars

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This overview aims to inform the public discussion of space-based weapons by examining their characteristics, potential attributes, limitations, legality, and utility. The authors do not argue for or against space weapons, nor do they estimate the potential costs and performance of specific programs, but instead sort through the realities and myths surrounding space weapons in order to ensure that debates and discussions are based on fact.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rand Corporation
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Published on
Feb 13, 2002
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Pages
228
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ISBN
9780833032522
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Language
English
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Genres
Technology & Engineering / General
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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It is not yet 60 years since the first artificial satellite was placed into Earth orbit. In just over a half century, mankind has gone from no presence in outer space to a condition of high dependence on orbiting satellites. These sensors, receivers, transmitters, and other such devices, as well as the satellites that carry them, are components of complex space systems that include terrestrial elements, electronic links between and among components, organizations to provide the management, care and feeding, and launch systems that put satellites into orbit. In many instances, these space systems connect with and otherwise interact with terrestrial systems; for example, a very long list of Earth-based systems cannot function properly without information from the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Space systems are fundamental to the information business, and the modern world is an information-driven one. In addition to navigation (and associated timing), space systems provide communications and imagery and other Earth-sensing functions. Among these systems are many that support military, intelligence, and other national security functions of the United States and many other nations. Some of these are unique government, national security systems; however, functions to support national security are also provided by commercial and civil-government space systems.


The importance of space systems to the United States and its allies and potential adversaries raises major policy issues. National Security Space Defense and Protection reviews the range of options available to address threats to space systems, in terms of deterring hostile actions, defeating hostile actions, and surviving hostile actions, and assesses potential strategies and plans to counter such threats. This report recommends architectures, capabilities, and courses of action to address such threats and actions to address affordability, technology risk, and other potential barriers or limiting factors in implementing such courses of action.

Future Battlespace Situational Awareness is the third workshop in an ongoing series of workshops conducted by the National Research Council's Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests. The first two workshops looked at individual technologies related to "big" data and future antennas and provided context for the topic addressed in the third workshop-the planning of a future warfare scenario. The objectives for the third workshop were to review technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for red and blue forces; and emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace.

The workshop was held on May 30-31, 2012, in Suffolk, Virginia, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation. The sessions were not open to the public because they involved discussions of classified material, including data addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables. This series of workshops address U.S. and foreign research, why S&T applications of technologies in development are important in the context of military capabilities, and what critical scientific breakthroughs are needed to achieve advances in the fields of interest- focusing detailed attention on specific developments in the foregoing fields that might have national security implications for the United States. These workshops also consider methodology to track the relevant technology landscape for the future.

The three workshops feature invited presentations and panelists and include discussions on a selected topic including themes relating to defense warning and surprise. Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness summarizes the third workshop.

Space has been militarized for over four decades. Should it now be weaponized? This incisive and insightful book argues that it should not. Since the cold war, space has come to harbor many tools of the tactical warfighter. Satellites have long been used to provide strategic communication, early warning of missile launch, and arms control verification. The U.S. armed forces increasingly use space assets to locate and strike targets on the battlefield. To date, though, no country deploys destructive weapons in space, for use against space or Earth targets, and no country possesses ground-based weapons designed explicitly to damage objects in space. The line between nonweaponization and weaponization is blurry, to be sure—but it has not yet been crossed. In Ne ither Star Wars nor Sanctuary, Michael E. O'Hanlon makes a forceful case for keeping it this way. The United States, with military space budgets of around $20 billion a year, enjoys a remarkably favorable military advantage in space. Pursuing a policy of space weaponization solely in order to maximize its own military capabilities would needlessly jeopardize this situation by likely hastening development of space weapons in numerous countries. It would also reaffirm the prevalent international image of the United States as a global cowboy of sorts, too quick to reach for the gun. O'Hanlon therefore asserts that U.S. military space policy should focus on delaying any movement toward weaponization, without foreclosing the option of developing space weapons in the future, if necessary. Extreme positions that would either hasten to weaponize space or permanently rule this out are not consistent with technological realities and U.S. security interests.
As appreciation of the interdisciplinary and multidimensional character of environmental issues has increased, there have been attempts to address regional needs more directly. One of these, the Regional Marine Research Program (RMRP), was established by Congress in 1990 to provide a mechanism to fund coastal marine research based on regionally-defined priorities. The RMRP legislation established a system of nine regional marine research boards around the United States. Each board was responsible for planning marine research to address issues of water quality and ecosystem health on a regional scale. Although all nine regions received funding for planning activities and development of a research plan, only the Gulf of Maine RMRP received funding for program implementation. The completion of the Gulf of Maine program, in 1997, presents an opportunity to evaluate whether the process for planning and managing the Gulf of Maine research was adequate, whether the research fulfilled the goals of the program, and whether this experience should serve as a model for similar regional programs elsewhere.

Bridging Boundaries through Regional Marine Research is a study of the RMRP, with a specific review of the Gulf of Maine program as well as an assessment of other modesl for regional marine research. This report assesses the need for regional marine research,reviews processes by which regional marine research needs can be defined, and discusses existing programs for regional marine research in the United States. It also identifies short- and long-term approaches that might be taken by NOAA.

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