April 13, 2018
Since the launch of Sputnik I in 1957, space has become an integral part of the military and commercial economy. Throughout the Cold War, space was dominated by United States and Soviet Union, and it was primarily used for military purposes to support nuclear forces. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the uses of space has become more diverse, disruptive, disordered, and dangerous. The space domain today presents a number of asymmetries that differ from other domains, creating a specific deterrence environment with unique policy implications. This report explores the uses of space as a contested domain, the changing threats to U.S. space systems, deterrence theory and its applications to the space domain, and findings from a space crisis exercise administered by CSIS last year.
Todd Harrison is the director of the Aerospace Security Project and the director of Defense Budget Analysis at CSIS. As a senior fellow in the International Security Program, he leads the Center’s efforts to provide in-depth, nonpartisan research and analysis of space security, air power, and defense funding issues. He has authored publications on trends in the overall defense budget, military space systems, civil space exploration, defense acquisitions, military compensation, military readiness, nuclear forces, and the cost of overseas military operations. He teaches classes on military space systems and the defense budget at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and is a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing.