Best Defense: Charting the Future of US Space Strategy and Policy   [open pdf - 3MB]

"This thesis seeks to inform modern-day space strategy decisions through an examination of three historical case studies in which U.S. strategists and decision makers faced similar high stakes national security decisions with uncertain outcomes: the hydrogen bomb, MIRV missiles, and Star Wars. Analyses of these decision making processes and the resulting consequences give insight into these important questions and may inform us on the potential road ahead for space. These cases reveal how military superiority strategies; faith in, and reliance upon technology to solve complex national security problems; and a strong preference for offensive solutions to secure U.S. national security can produce the opposite of their intended effects. The potential exists for the United States to adopt a military strategy for space -- and acquire weapons to support its fulfillment -- that undermines U.S. grand strategy and delivers less security. The author concludes that given the current context, the nation is better off pushing the status quo in space without perturbing strategic stability, which will help retain the political, military, and economic advantages it has worked so hard to achieve."

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