Space-Based Offensive Weapons: Have Policymakers Discussed This Enough?
By 2025 it is very likely that space will be to the air as air to the cavalry today.
-Air Force 2025: America's Vigilant Edge
In general, technological innovations in air and space will maintain a revolutionary pace well into the 21st century. The technical pathway of what can be accomplished given enough resources and political will versus what should be accomplished is a process constantly in transition. Technical difficulties that seemed almost insurmountable a decade ago are being conquered today somewhat routinely and on a regular basis. Plans to move out into space have been on the drawing boards for years. Paralleling advancements in the general area of air and space are developmental plans regarding space based offensive weapons.
Satellite Systems Developments
Two technological impediments to space offensive weapons deployment serve as the greatest challenge to date. They fall into two categories: space launch technologies and high power generation systems. Space launch systems are very expensive and limit the size of the space cargo able to be transported. Lift in the US is particularly expensive, hence commercial satellite provider's usage of Baikenour in Kazakhstan and other launch facilities in China. Power requirements to operate satellites tactically, i.e., to move them from low orbits to high, necessitate enormous amounts of energy. High power generation systems are needed to fire and maintain weapons that use high-energy lasers, thereby avoiding frequent and costly re-fuelling.
Considerable interest has developed in devices to decrease the size of future space platforms and ease the space lift requirements. These tiny devices, called microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), numbering many thousand to a standard computer microchip, will be able to sense heat, light, motion and sound and can be used in a number of space applications including control of reflective mirror surfaces in space-based laser systems. In discussing power generation systems, one cannot overlook the potential use of nuclear power in space, especially for long-term power requirements. Power beaming technologies, transmitting power through ground-based lasers to satellites, may be technologically feasible and would be more politically appealing. They would also represent a tempting target.
Each weapon system that is developed and deployed will require a complete "system of systems" architecture approach for the design. Each weapon will be associated with its interconnected surveillance, acquisition, tracking and battle damage assessment system for a complete stand-alone capability. These constellations of satellites will be less susceptible to attack because a single attack will not disable the entire system. Several of these constellations, in low earth orbit, can provide global, full-time coverage. Two basic types of weapons systems are being touted as the most realistically achievable: high-powered lasers and kinetic weapons.
High-powered chemical lasers have been developed and tested for years, initially for missile defense systems. Over time, these weapons have undergone significant improvements in optics, power generation, beam control, miniaturization, and other key factors. In the next thirty years, a prototype system could be developed that will allow global engagement of targets in minutes or seconds anywhere in the world.
Chemical oxygen-iodine lasers (COILs) have been produced that also have weapons applications. The US Air Force will use this type of laser in the Airborne Laser (ABL) system. This system, designed for ballistic missile defense, will soon reach operational capability. The disadvantages of the ABL, the requirement to be airborne in the area of operations during expected attack by ballistic missile, is precisely what makes a space-based laser a desirable achievement. A space-based laser system would provide constant coverage if enough constellations were deployed.
The power density (fluence) or the energy density (irradiance) achieved on target as measured in kilojoules per square centimeter or in watts per centimeter determines the lethality of the weapon. The power radiated by the laser and the size of the spot on the target affects this density. The smaller the spot size with a given quantity of energy irradiating the target, the greater the lethality of the weapon. Against satellite targets, lower amounts of energy would be required due to the short time of irradiation and the lack of atmospheric interference. Typical irradiance levels required for surface targets range from 100 to 10,000 watts/cm2; for satellites, 1 to 10 watts/cm2 is sufficient to achieve target kill.
Effective focusing of the laser's beam is a primary consideration in weapons design. Because the same amount of energy is contained in the beam, a larger spot size equates to lesser irradiance and thus less lethality. To improve the beam focusing, various technologies will have to be developed such as large lightweight optics, adaptive optics using MEMS, or arrays of solid-state diode lasers. All of these improvements are currently being funded and researched.
Chemical lasers will likely later be supplanted by solid-state diode pumped lasers (SSDPLs). Power levels of these new types of lasers have been attained in the kilowatt range. Advances in production will lower the cost of these lasers and will lead to megawatt scale high-energy lasers of a compact nature for use in space-based applications. There are no apparent technical limitations on power level for these lasers. Current developments indicate the potential of arrays of diode lasers becoming the weapons of choice for space applications.
Lasers are not, however, all weather systems. Clouds, rain, and atmospheric effects can scatter the laser's beam and require an increased power output to compensate. Large optics are also required; the size is dependent upon the frequency of the laser output and the range to the target. For the frequencies of laser systems currently under development, a 20-meter diameter optical system will be required for a satellite in low earth orbit.
Lasers are extremely flexible weapons in that the amount of lethality can be controlled by the duration of the pulse and the power of irradiation. Thus, at high power levels and long duration (several seconds), burn through and target destruction can be achieved. At lower power levels, electronic degradation, melting, infrared sensor blinding, and target designations for laser-guided weapons can be produced. Flammable materials will catch fire under fairly low irradiation levels making targets such as gasoline refineries tempting.
Several methods provide defense against the efforts of lasers. Covering targets with a reflective or ablative fire resistant coating will lessen the heat buildup on surfaces. Protective coatings on missile launch sites, radar and electronic equipment may forestall laser attacks. Another potential countermeasure takes advantage of the fact that lasers will not penetrate through layers of earth, making hardened and buried targets safe.
Moving targets are not safe, especially if the acquisition and targeting systems are interconnected with the weapon in real time. Lasers can destroy targets in seconds from activation making even supersonic aircraft vulnerable. Lasing of fuel tanks or external weapons will explode the aircraft.
High-powered lasers have already proven effective in providing cruise missile defense and downing ballistic missiles in boost phase. Once high power generation technology advances are made and miniaturization techniques are employed easing the space lift burden, space laser weapons should be readily available for production and deployment.
Kinetic weapons are missiles or other types of projectiles launched from space-based platforms and either guided by GPS or laser designator. They destroy the target by attaining hypersonic speeds and shattering it with an enormous force. This type of weapon has the projected capability of destroying targets buried hundreds of feet underground. Again, space based kinetic weapons would provide yet another tempting target for an adversary.
Kinetic weapons have the potential to be extremely accurate with GPS terminal guidance, similar to current day precision guided munitions but without explosives. They have great destructive potential due to the speeds that they obtain. Single targets or multiple targets can be attacked depending on the type of projectile employed. Unlike lasers, they will be all-weather weapons, capable of being launched from satellites and striking targets anywhere on earth in a matter of minutes.
Kinetic weapons will not require the power generation equipment that high-powered lasers will. This gives them a distinct advantage. Interconnectivity with surveillance, acquisition, and targeting satellites in a system architecture will, like laser, create a potent weapon system. The distributive nature of the constellation approach to satellite weaponry will allow less susceptibility to anti-satellite attacks. Other stealthy approaches to manufacture will also aid in defense.
The main problem with kinetic weapons is the fact that they generate lots of heat upon reentry. This can seriously degrade the electronic GPS receiver for terminal guidance. The use of a laser beam to lead the projectile through the atmosphere, creating a bow wave to partially shield it is one potential cure. Defense against kinetic weapons is nearly impossible once the weapon has been launched. Anti-satellite weapons to eliminate the satellite before it launches or disruption of GPS service appear to be the only defensive measures to prevent kinetic attack. Of course, neither of these have the capability to prevent a preemptive strike making them rather vulnerable.
The technology to allow kinetic strikes is available today. Thus, in the future, advancement in technology will allow even greater accuracies and destructive power. This technology has some very appealing attributes for future space weaponry.
Strategy and Doctrine
Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the changes in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after they occur.
Military commanders are expected to limit the loss of troops and equipment in modern warfare. Precision guided munitions and stealth technologies provide an invaluable tool in such an effort. Historically, weapons like the Tomahawk missile have helped eliminate the need for aviators to attack through enemy air defenses, reducing exposure to hostile fire and protecting the pilot and jet. By all estimates, war in the future will be even more technologically oriented with little direct confrontation.
Commanders, isolated from the danger of the battlefield, will employ unmanned systems to execute surveillance, target and destroy the enemy. Offensive space weapons will improve the commander's ability to protect and defend with less loss. Space weapons will also have a true global reach. This will clearly impact peacetime military roles and combat planning. US national security strategy needs to be specific in the appropriate application of such systems should they ever be deployed. Assuming that the decision to deploy offensive spaced based weapons is a foregone conclusion, military strategy and doctrine must be adapted accordingly.
Doctrine in Peacetime
The primary peacetime manifesto for these weapons will be deterrence. The potential destructiveness will at first be questionable, but will no doubt give US adversaries reason to ponder nonetheless. Unfortunately, out of sheer mistrust they are likely to pursue efforts to combat a perceived threat, whatever allegedly positive US intentions for use of the weapons might be.
Additionally, since these weapons will be susceptible to anti-satellite technology, it will be tempting for the US to preemptively strike anti-satellite production facilities and launch sites of any adversary. The collateral damage from these weapons may also be so small as to favor these preemptive strikes because negative international reaction will be at a minimum as long as damage is contained and personnel casualties are low. This is quite different from the previous philosophy of avoidance of military action in peacetime unless directly attacked. Of course, the goal of avoiding preemption has already been circumvented by military action in Iraq.
Deployment of offensive satellite systems, especially in peacetime, will automatically generate international reaction. Nations who have rivalries with the US, whether economic or military, will find it necessary to try to develop countermeasures and defensive systems. In some cases, countermeasures are currently on the drawing board but limited because steps areexpensive to design and build. The US monopoly on the deployment of these weapons would likely be temporary at best. The primary threat to the US domination of space, anti-satellite weapons, would have to be frequently monitored and upgrades would constantly be needed.
Once deployed, the presence of space weapons may not have a great deterrent effect. To date, the quantity of destructive power is not available to seriously disable aggressive actions before they start. The mere presence of lethal equipment has not historically impeded an aggressor's actions and there's no reason to believe an unseen weapon in space would have any effect, particular one without major potential for total devastation.
Doctrine in War
Wartime use of space weapons will be multi-faceted and immediate. As part of a strategic campaign against an enemy nation, space weapons will be able to attack anywhere within seconds. This will make nearly any military or civilian target that has not previously been protected subject to destruction. Specific targets might include intelligence headquarters, electric power grids, communication nodes, leadership, command bunkers, dams, roads, bridges, buried ammunition bunkers, and energy facilities, but anything would be vulnerable. The pinpoint precision and impact within seconds sends a strong psychological signal to an enemy. Consequently, with such destructive ability comes the responsibility to act and plan conscientiously.
Tactical targets can be attacked directly from space. Due to the quick reaction and speed of laser weapons, tanks, aircraft, armored vehicles, missiles, helicopters, and ships, nearly any surface-based military target can be engaged and destroyed. Ships at sea will no longer be immune from attack in any part of the ocean. Eventually, nations will need to control space in order to control the sea, air or the land.
Such envious capability will be why space will become the main battleground once US space monopoly ends. The battle for control of space will be the total war. Anti-satellite weapons will be used extensively to eliminate the earth attack satellite systems. Anti-satellite weapons would have to be developed and deployed to counter the enemy space control weapons. The never-ending cycle will drive a continuous arms race in space.
Joint Pub 3-14, Joint Space Doctrine, assigns force application and space control as primary space missions. Force application will include attacking airborne and terrestrial targets and possibly missile defense. These will be the primary missions of a future "Airspace Force." At a conference in Huntsville Alabama in 2002, J-5 Vice Director of US Space Command admitted that the command is directly responsible for this type of mission. The type of global reach described has not been seen before. Although, stealthy B-2 bombers can apply precise force anywhere in the world, the time to get there is not comparable to the speed of delivery from space.
Stealth is never absolute. Conventional Tomahawk and air-launched cruise missiles will become obsolete. Space control will be a second primary mission, defined as the ability to assure freedom of action in space and deny the same to the enemy. This translates into an ability to defend US space assets from space. US policymakers have put the task in the hands of the US Space Command. However, the US Army has addressed the issue as well. They are concerned that such space based capabilities will negate the current advantage they possess by the use of satellite imagery, communications and precision targeting.
The New Strategy
To assess the impact of offensive space weapons on military strategy in the 21st Century, one must look at history. After World War I, many in the fledgling US Army Air Service and elsewhere throughout the world were expounding the theory of air power. Strategic bombing of cities was presumed to eliminate the enemy's will to fight bringing all future conflicts to a rapid conclusion. Guilio Douhet proclaimed that the side who had control of the air would win the next war. Billy Mitchell proved how air power would master the air above the sea as well as land by sinking the German battleship Ostfriesland from the air in 1921. The obvious conclusion was that land and sea forces were no longer needed. Air power had arrived. But like many new innovations, its promise was well beyond its ability to deliver.
Another revolutionary weapon introduced at the end of World War II, the atomic bomb, demonstrated the dominant role air power would play. Many now believe these weapons showed, as Mitchell had predicted, that air power would eliminate the need for conventional military forces. Nuclear attack would decide all future wars. The fear of nuclear annihilation kept the two superpowers from engaging in a conventional military confrontation and "mutually assured destruction." Real deterrence had arrived.
The argument for a space force that will reduce or eliminate the need for other surface or air forces generates similar claims. Space-based weapons, responding in seconds, penetrating anywhere on earth, always available, flexible and lethal, can become the new weapon of choice to control and end conflict and prevent through the fear of attack any aggression on the part of our enemies. On the other end, they can kill us all; especially if nuclear.
In reality, nuclear weapons have not eliminated the need for a robust conventional weapons capability to include navies and armies; and it is likely space-based offensive weapons will not either. Generally, dream usage of new weapon systems do not often materialize as expected. Ultimately, war is reduced, and some would argue always reduced, to man versus man, the essence of human confrontation.
History has shown also that the ability to attack from more than one direction or dimension using more than one weapons system has been a valuable force multiplier. Although space weapons may be a formidable asset to the Joint Force Commander, a commander will still rely more conventional "tools in the regular toolbox" weapons systems.
Currently, space weapons do not have the destructive power of nuclear weapons unless they themselves are nuclear. Such deployment of nuclear weapons in space is particularly confrontational and should definitely not be pursued unless some truly remarkable circumstances somehow arise. Therefore, space weapons become just another conventional precision attack weapon. They will continue to be an augmentation to other weapons, not a replacement. Nuclear military strategy is unlikely to be affected.
Although space weapons may have a role in future conflict at sea, peacetime presence and crisis response missions, including Marine Corps contingency operations are not likely to disappear. The Navy will have a viable and significant role to play in this arena. Aircraft carriers, as the showpiece of American diplomacy and the center of crisis response operations, will still be a viable and reliable tool; but strategists will need to consider defending them appropriately. Simply put, there will be nowhere to hide.
Ground combat operations will be needed for the same reasons they are utilized today - permanent conflict termination. Without ground forces present inside the enemy nation, the end of war may not be affected on the term desired by the US political leadership regardless of how difficult it often is to win the peace. Army forces will remain the final tool in US power diplomacy. The Air Force may have expanded roles in the control of space but will, politics aside, not delete any of its current airborne missions and rely solely on space-based offensive weapons. Close air support and air reinforcement operations will serve the same functions they have in the past and the long range bombing option will still provide an alternative choice.
Space control warfare, with anti-satellite missions in prominence, will impact future strategy and planning. Information technology and the data received and heavily relied upon by field commanders, provided today to the commander from satellites, may be interrupted. Back-up systems will have to be developed, possibly using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) able to provide real-time surveillance, intelligence, and targeting information in lieu of satellites or the old fashioned way.
Revolutionary changes in the conduct of war in the next century cannot solely be predicted based on the presence of space offensive weapons. As a force multiplier, they can be a significant asset to a commander due to their quick reaction, measured lethality, and global availability. Kinetic weapons will have an added capability to destroy deeply buried command or ammunition bunkers. Regardless, as a significant factor in influencing the outcome of a conflict and in totally eliminating the need for other more conventional weapons, they will not alter the status quo, just enhance it.
Anti-satellite weapons will have a significant place in future military planning. Using the same kinds of technologies described, whether space-based or ground-based, the US space control mission will eventually be expanded. The US historically has resisted up until the current Administration, placing any anti-satellite weapons systems in operation. The expectation is still that this system will remain ground-based. However, a space-based system could easily be developed as the logical follow-on to the ground-based one.
Another likely scenario to begin space weaponization would be the first space-based anti-ballistic missile defensive system, consisting of some type of laser. This system would be the obvious follow-on to the Airborne Laser program. Because President Reagan gave the impetus to ballistic missile defense in the 1980's, before the fall of the Communist governments in the former Soviet Union, and because of the evil publicity engendered by Saddam Hussein's use of Scud missiles during Desert Storm, the public support for such a program will likely be fairly positive.
Both of these weapons system development programs are likely scenarios for the beginning of the militarization of space, which could open the door for further offensive weapons development and deployment. The future of space, beyond the information age, is likely to be warfare.
A new set of rules for the conduct of war will have to be devised and a whole new set of ideas of strategy learned by those charged with the conduct of war.
-Brig. General Billy Mitchell, USA (1925)
The US could be the first nation to break the international self-imposed moratorium on placing offensive weapons in space. The American public's sense of fair play that the US always abides by the rules in international conduct will suffer a setback, although no treaties would be broken. But it is likely that the US public will support defensive weaponry, such as anti-satellite systems, especially since 9/11. Unilateral arming of space will cause a credibility problem with US allies around the world. However, the current administration hasn't seemed too concerned in this regard.
The US cannot afford the exorbitant financial expenditure of space weaponization at this time. The US must do all it can to avoid a space war. The optimum way to do this will be to ban anti-satellite weapons. However, this will not by itself eliminate the threat from space. Space-based anti-ballistic missile systems are likely to also be produced which can easily be transformed into ground attack systems.
The US must consider and define the gains, if any, from the unilateral deployment of offensive space weapons. Less costly and equally effective systems for anti-ballistic missile defense exist or can be developed that are ground-based or airborne. The commercial use of space is extensive; especially in the domain of communications. Opening space up to potential conflict would devastate American industrial and commercial activities. Simply put, denying the West access to commercial communications satellites would bring all our economies to their knees in very short order.
The questions to be answered by US policymakers and military planners can be consolidated into three significant issues. First, will the US be able to afford these systems and are they worth the investment? Secondly, will US arrogance expect other nations to refrain from matching US efforts in space once the US breaks the moratorium? Thirdly, will offensive space weapons threaten the stability of the world?
These questions have no simple answers. Many would argue that it is time to ban all weapons in space. They compare this decision to the one made in abandoning pursuit of a neutron bomb. However, the pursuit of technological advancement will continue and the military has the responsibility to continue to develop better weaponry in order to stay ahead of potential competitors. Conflict between competing nations is not likely to end soon and has existed since time immemorial. Finding a more effective way to prepare and to win the next war is an obligation not a theory. The US must lead and, as the scouts say, be prepared. There is no question that protection of space assets, including but not limited to communications satellites, constitutes a major national security strategic asset for every nation.
- Department of the Air Force, Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force (Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1996), pg 7.
- Michael J. Muolo, et al., ed. Space Handbook : A War Fighter's Guide to Space (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL : Air University Press, 1993), Vol. 1.11-12.
- Sharon Weinberger, Aerospace Daily, 7 March 2002.
- Bruce A. Hurwitz , The Legality of Space Militarization (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science Publishers, 1986), pg 108.
- Robert Burns, "General Calls for Space Weapons," Associated Press, The Augusta Chronicle, 13 June 2001.
- Eisenhower, Dwight, 1958, 132 January, letter to Nikolai Bulganin, http://www.eisenhowerinstitute.org.
- Paul B. Stares, The Militrization of Space: US Policy, 1945-1984 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985), 29-30.
- Ibid, 12.
- Ibid, 13.
- Space Handbook, 42.
- Spares, 135. The playing of the "China card" by then President Nixon has been discussed as one aspect of the relaxation of tensions with the Soviet Union and the beginning of the détente era in the US-Soviet relations. See, e.g., Henry P. Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), 703-761.
- Michael R. Mantz, The New Sword: A Theory of Space Combat Power (Maxwell Air Force Base: Air University Press, 1995), 7.
- Kerry Gildea, "Air Force Space Officials Believe US Use of Space is Inevitable," Defense Daily, 28 Feb 2002.
- John Markoff, "Next Wave in High Tech: Tiny Motors and Sensors," N.Y. Times, 27 Jan 1997.
- New World Vistas, directed energy volume, xiii.
- See Williams A Owens, "The Emerging System of Systems," Proceedings 121, no.5 (May 1995): 35-39.
- Air University, Air Force 2025: Vol. 4, chap 3, pg 13.
- New World Vistas, v.
- Ibid, vii-viii.
- Ibid, ix.
- Ibid, xii.
- Ibid, x.
- Air Force 2025, 38.
- Ibid, 39.
- Ibid, 38.
- Ibid, 40.
- The one exception may have been President Clinton's use of cruise missiles to persuade Saddam Hussein not to wage war against his Kurdish population in northern Iraq in September of 1996. This is very analogous to the situation I have described because of the low possibility of collateral damage and the lack of placing US personnel in harm's way. Perhaps this prophecies the war of the future.
- Mantz, 45.
- Carl H. Builder, The Icarus Syndrome (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1994), 53.
- Air Force 2025: America's Vigilant Edge, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University, CD-ROM, 1996.
- Anselmo, Joseph C. "New Funding Spurs Space Laser Efforts," Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 14, 1996: 67.
- Benko, Marietta, de Graaff, Willem, and Reijnen, Gijsbertha C.M., Space Law in the United Nations, Hingham, MA: Kluwer Academics Publishers, 1985.
- Builder, Carl H. The Icarus Syndrome, New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1994.
- Burns, Robert, "General calls for space weapons," The Augusta Chronicle, Associated Press, 14 June 2003.
- Canan, James. War in Space, New York: Harper and Row, 1982.
- Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Joint Vision 2010. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996.
- Christol, Carl Q. The Modern International Law of Outer Space, Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press, 1982.
- Clinton, William J. A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement, The White House: Government Printing Office, 1996.
- Cox, Donald W. The Space Race, Philadelphia, PA: Chilton Books, 1962.
- Department of the Air Force Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996.
- Fulgham, David A. "USAF Covets Space Laser," Aviation Week and Space Technology, November 20, 1995: 34-35.
- Gabriel, Kaigham J. "Engineering Microscopic Machines" Scientific American 273, no. 3 (September 1995), 118-121.
- Harley, Jeffery A. "Information, Technology, and the Center of Gravity" Naval War College Review L, no. 1 (Winter 1997): 66-87.
- Hurwitz, Bruce A. The Legality of Space Militarization, Amsterdam, NL: Elservier Science Publishers, 1986.
- Hutchens, Theresa, "Weapons in Space: A silver Bullet or Russian Roulette?, The Policy Implications of US Pursuit of Space-Based Weapons,"; http://www.cdi.org/missile-defense/spaceweapons.cfm, 18 April 2002.
- Joint Pub 3-14: Joint Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) for Space Operations, (Final Draft), April 1992.
- Kirby, Steven, and Robson, Gordon, eds., The Militarization of Space, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.
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- Markoff, John. "Next Wave in High Tech: Tiny Motors and Sensors," The New York Times, January 27, 1997.
- Moore, George M., Budura, Vic, and Johnson-Freese, Joan. "Joint Space Doctrine: Catapulting in the Future" Joint Forces Quarterly (Summer 1994), 71-76.
- Muolo, Michael J., etal., eds., Space Handbook: A War Fighter's Guide to Space, Vols 1 and 2, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1993.
- Owens, William A. "The Emerging System of Systems," Proceedings 121, no. 5 (May 1995): 35-39.
- Scott, William B. "USSC Prepares for Future Combat Missions in Space," Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 5, 1996: 51-55.
- _____________."New USAF Roadmaps Spotlight Space Warfare Technologies," Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 6, 1997: 59-63.
- Spacecast 2020, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1994.
- Stares, Paul B. The Militarization of Space: US Policy, 1945-1984, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985.
- Szafranski, Richard and Libicki, Martin C. " '…Or Go Down in Flame?': Toward an Airpower Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century" Airpower Journal X, no. 3 (Fall 1996): 65-77.
- US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century, (Summary, Directed Energy, Space Technology, and Space Applications Volumes), Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995.
- Zwaan, Tanja L., ed., Space Law: Views of the Future, Deventer, NL: Kluwer Law and Taxation Publishers, 1998.
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