As the administration moves forward with establishing a new military service focused on space, leaders should keep their language clear and use this opportunity to educate the public about both civil and national security space. Keeping NASA and the Space Force separate rhetorically and organizationally is best for national security and for space exploration.
In a world where unmanned aerial vehicles are plentiful, cruise missiles are becoming more abundant, and hypersonic boost glide vehicles are just over the horizon, air and missile threats are coming from all directions. To address the realities of this environment, effective defenses require an air and missile defense sensor architecture that looks in all directions as well.
One of the often-used excuses given by Congress not to authorize a new round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) is that the military is currently growing and could use the excess capacity to house that growth. But executing a BRAC round while the force is scheduled to grow will allow DoD to think critically about where that growth should go, instead of simply sending it to where there is room.
We recognize that the magnitude of the threats posed by malicious cyber activity leads people to look for a big, bold, visible sign of change. Creating a U.S. Department of Cybersecurity is not the answer. We cannot stovepipe thinking about cybersecurity into one centralized place or approach. The threat is so pervasive and so severe that it requires a recognition that a change in thinking is necessary for everyone operating an enterprise.
Although the Trump administration has not yet released its Missile Defense Review, as mandated by Congress, it is considering the possible deployment of space-based interceptors. At a time of growing budgetary pressures as well as increased competition with other great powers, the United States can ill afford to waste precious dollars on space-based missile defenses and a new arms race that will make us less, rather than more, secure.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), colloquially known as the “Ban Treaty,” is hailed by supporters as the beginning of the end for nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons states, including the United States, have criticized the treaty on its shortcomings as a legal instrument for disarmament. Beyond this criticism, the United States has done little to engage with the Ban Treaty or its supporters. But ignoring the Ban Treaty is a bad idea that will exacerbate the divide between nuclear and non-nuclear states and could lead to a dangerously uneven pace of international disarmament.
The notion of “requirements” is deeply embedded in military jargon and decision-making processes. But the notion of “requirements” has two perverse effects. The first is that it encourages advocates to ask for maximum capabilities. The second is that it sets goals without a sense of trade-offs. The term should be abolished.
The proposed creation of a new military service for space, known as the Space Force, is likely to be a hotly debated issue in the FY 2020 legislative cycle. This brief provides rough estimates for the number of military and civilian personnel, the number and locations of bases, the budget lines that would transfer to the new organization, and the additional personnel and headquarters organization that would be needed for the new military service.
The Trump administration increased spending for defense by $95 billion between FY 2016 and FY 2019, but even with such a large increase, there was no escaping the trade-off among readiness, modernization, and force structure. Readiness came first so that forces could meet a minimum standard. The next priority was to increase modernization by expanding…