Strategic geographical points in outer space

The Space Review – Geography has long been a critical factor influencing national strategy, playing a vital role in both international politics and military planning. Captured in history’s stories are countless examples of how geography shaped everything from economics and trade to military conflict. While space can appear both abstract and intimidating, traditional studies of strategy and geography can be successfully applied to the space domain.

From Orbit to Ocean—Fixing Southeast Asia’s Remote-Sensing Blind Spots

US Naval War College Review – Improving maritime domain awareness (MDA) in Southeast Asia is critical not only for regional states but for the national-security interests of the United States. MDA in the coming decades will be dominated by cheaper, more-efficient remote-sensing tools, and the United States and other outside parties should shift toward introducing partners to the booming private-sector offerings in remote sensing.

Military Space – Ike’s gambit: The development and operations of the KH-7 and KH-8 spy satellites

The Space ReviewIke’s gambit: The development and operations of the KH-7 and KH-8 spy satellites

The Space ReviewIke’s gambit: The KH-8 reconnaissance satellite

While there are considerable details now available about one of the earliest US spy satellite programs, CORONA, far less is known about another early program, GAMBIT.

Military Space – The Sky Is Falling

The Atlantic – An interesting article that puts the material discussed here in a different perspective by describing a poorly understood but serious threat to mankind.

The odds that a potentially devastating space rock will hit Earth this century may be as high as one in 10.

So why isnít NASA trying harder to prevent catastrophe?

And why is the US Air Force interested in working this problem?

Military Space – How China Loses the Coming Space War

Wired – A year ago, China knocked a weather satellite out of orbit, and threw the international community into panic. Some figured the satellite-killer test was the harbinger of a future war in space — the kind of conflict that could cripple a tech-dependent United States military. Geoffrey Forden, PhD — an MIT research associate and a former UN weapons inspector and strategic weapons analyst at the Congressional Budget Office — examines the possibilities of an all-out Chinese assault on American satellites.

Read all three parts: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Military Space – Military Satellites 2006

Center for Defense Information – Excellent summary that points out that
critical space capabilities are evolving rapidly throughout the world. The age of
microsatellites and low-cost launch will dramatically lower the threshold for nations
desiring space capabilities, likely producing a space-faring boom. The dissemination of
imagery capabilities useful for military operations as well as space surveillance
capabilities will continue ñ meaning that there will soon be ìno place to hideí either on
Earth or in space. (PDF format)

Military Space – Space-Based Weapons

Naval War College Review – Basing weapons in space might in the short term increase U.S. military capabilities, but their broader, long-term effect would be negative-especially because of likely foreign responses, inherent vulnerabilities, and crisis destabilization. A decision not to deploy weapons in space, and a treaty discouraging other nations from deploying them, would be much more in the national interest.