Policy, Influence, and Diplomacy: Space as a National Power Element   [open pdf - 845KB]

From the thesis abstract: "This study investigates how United States space systems can be used to directly achieve diplomatic objectives. While space systems are widely acknowledged as vital enablers of terrestrial-based forces, they are often overlooked as a critical component of national power capable of directly pursuing national objectives. A brief review of space doctrine and policy from the Department of Defense, Joint Staff, Unified Command, and Air Force perspectives reinforces the thesis that space systems' ability to independently shape events and achieve objectives, beyond their support to terrestrial forces, is overlooked. Historical precedent for the use of space systems and other military forces in directly supporting diplomatic objectives is then established through case studies on Sputnik's effect on global affairs, the use of U-2 imagery during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the use of the United States Navy as a tool of diplomacy. The study then presents the Space-Diplomacy model that posits seven facets to the diplomatic power of space assets and shows when they can be effective over the spectrum of conflict: prestige, technology partnerships, access to space services, legal precedent, objective information, presence, and threat of punishment. Based on the model, the study offers six ways in which the United States could better leverage its existing space assets for diplomatic advantage."

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