ENHANCING NAVAL OPERATIONS THROUGH SPACE COOPERATION: THE ROLE OF ALLIES
Arrigo, Grant P.
Moltz, James C.
Kline, Jeffrey E.
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Since 1957, space has been a significant domain of great power competition, generating soft power and providing pronounced military benefits. As the United States enters an era of renewed great power competition with peer adversaries, the U.S. Navy, operating as a forward presence, faces increased challenges from Russia and China. This thesis investigates possible allied space coalition structures and how space cooperation can be leveraged as a force multiplier to enhance naval operations. Two case studies are featured as a means of evaluating current U.S. allies, their space capabilities, policies, and histories. Germany, France, and the UK are examined in the context of challenges from Russia in the Mediterranean and Arctic, and Japan, Australia, and South Korea are considered relative to the operational challenges in the South China Sea and a Taiwan contingency resulting from the rise of China. The military space programs of Europe are found to be much more developed and interconnected than the more nascent Indo-Pacific military space programs, which remain separated as a result of historical tensions and Cold War–era bilateral cooperation structures. Ultimately, this thesis determines that a U.S.-led space coalition should break from past bilateral or regional alliance structures in favor of a global space coalition to best leverage the benefits of burden sharing, deterrence, mission assurance, and increased capacity to support global maritime operations.