National Security and Space

National Security and Space

A changing international security environment has made space more important for national security.

Effective use of space programs can improve national security. A number of factors have made space more important for national security. These factors arise from the changing international security environment, where there is greater risk and competition; the evolving nature of warfare, where informational advantage and asymmetric attacks are increasingly important; and with the rapid pace of technological change, that makes military or intelligence services from space much easier to acquire.

Highlighted Publications

Waiting for Sputnik: Basic Research and Strategic CompetitionWaiting for Sputnik: Basic Research and Strategic Competition
James A. Lewis
March 2006

The 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik shocked America into a major scientific, technological, and educational effort to protect the United States’ place in the world. It became apparent then and must be understood again, in our time, that research and development (R&D) is essential for U.S. economic strength, technological leadership, and national security and that the risks from shortfalls and misallocations are great. This report identifies trends in the U.S. scientific establishment, describes their implications for the long-term national interest in a period of strategic competition and national security challenges, and discusses potential remedies.

Space and National SecuritySpace and National Security
James A. Lewis
November 2007

Japan is facing major decisions regarding space and national security.  The reason Japan needs to make this decision can be found in the larger context of global space and security activities.  In this context, a decision to use satellites to improve national security would be logical.  There are two reasons for this.  First, the benefits to national security from space operations and services have increased greatly in the last few years.  Second, Japan’s neighbors are vigorously engaging in space activities, as are many other countries around the world.  These changes mean that to think realistically about the Asian security environment, we must now look beyond sea and air and into space.       

Surmounting the Peak: China’s Space ProgramSurmounting the Peak: China’s Space Program
James A. Lewis
November 2005

China is the third nation to put a human in orbit, and the Chinese government is understandably proud of this accomplishment.  China’s space agency has expansive plans for future space exploration.  This paper briefly discusses the history of this program, its costs, the relation to military space, plans for the future, the possibility of cooperation, and some implications for the U.S.

Recent Publications

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