Challenges to Security in Space by Nicholas Martin (A24)

by Chris Burke
Feb 05

The first panel of ALLIES’ Seventh Annual Civil-Military Relations Conference on "Securing the Final Frontier: The 21st Century Space Race" featured three panelists who discussed the "Challenges to Security in Space". Our first panelist was David Burbach, Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College. His talk concerned the extreme reliance of the United States - at both a civilian and military level - on space-based technology, as well as the return of Great Power competition between China, the United States, and Russia in space.

Our second panelist was Dr. Damon Coletta, Associate Director at USAFA's Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies. He posed several ideas to the audience concerning the differences between Cold War nuclear deterrents versus those of space conflicts, the role of space technology as a public good conflicting with national interests due to competition, and the shifting nature of civilian-military relations and the US Space Force.

The final panelist was Dr. Everett Dolman, Professor of Comparative Military Studies at the US Air Force's Air Command and Staff College. His presentation covered a wide range of topics, including the idea of satellites as critical infrastructure, as well as technology that could be used for space combat. He introduced Domain Theory in relation to the Space Force, which involves how military branches control and contest their specific domains.

Through the presentations and the following Question & Answer section, the audience gained a deeper understanding of the nature of conflict in space. Ultimately, dominance in space would be hard to achieve due to a large first-strike advantage and the inherent fragility of satellites, as well as how civilian space programs can easily execute offensive maneuvers.

"Challenges to Security in Space" was just one of the four panels featured in ALLIES' annual Civil-Military Relations Conference. Other panels included:

Watch the recording of the Challenges to Security in Space panel here: