Mastering the Ultimate High Ground

Next Steps in the Military Uses of Space

by Benjamin S. Lambeth

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The author assesses the military space challenges that face the Air Force and the nation in light of the findings and recommendations of the congressionally mandated Space Commission, released in January 2001. After reviewing the main milestones in the Air Force's involvement in space since its creation as an independent service in 1947, he examines the circumstances that occasioned the Space Commission's creation, as well as the conceptual and organizational roadblocks that have impeded a more rapid growth of U.S. military space capability. He concludes that the Air Force faces five basic challenges with respect to space: continuing the operational integration of space with the three terrestrial warfighting mediums while ensuring the organizational differentiation of space from Air Force air; effectively wielding its newly granted military space executive-agent status; realizing a transparent DoD-wide budget category for space; showing progress toward fielding a meaningful space control capability while decoupling that progress from any perceived taint of force-application involvement; and making further progress toward developing and nurturing a cadre of skilled space professionals within the Air Force.

Table of Contents

  • Summary PDF

  • Preface

    All Prefatory Materials PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    The Air Force's Struggle for Space PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Air and Space Versus "Aerospace" PDF

  • Chapter Four

    The Space Commission and Its Impact PDF

  • Chapter Five

    On Space Control and Space Force Application PDF

  • Chapter Six

    The Road Ahead PDF

  • Appendix PDF

  • Supplemental

    Supplementary Materials PDF

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The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force.

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