Effect on Operational and Tactical Surprise by U.S. Military Forces Due to the Proliferation of Unclassified Satellite Imaging Systems   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the thesis abstract: "This study investigates the ability of U.S. military forces to maintain surprise over the next five years, in view of the highly capable unclassified satellite imaging systems available soon. These systems, developed for a broad range of scientific, commercial, civil, and media applications, will have the potential to provide space-based imagery of ongoing U.S. military operations. The U.S. may no longer maintain the element of surprise that is held so dearly in its doctrine. The study uses three types of research methodology to analyze the problem: case studies, measurement research, and relationship research. The study examines the importance of surprise during three operations: El Dorado Canyon, Just Cause, and Desert Storm. This study systematically and speculatively determines if several programmed and proposed commercial satellite imaging systems have the quality, timeliness, and accessibility to defeat military surprise and examines the potential countereffects of policy, diplomacy, and passive and active countermeasures. The study's conclusion is that the U.S. can defeat these electro-optic imaging systems during mostly military operations using unilateral methods, such as deception, concealment, and night operations."

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