A Chinese rocket with two satellites on board lifts off

The militarization of space: separating the hype from the real risks

  • As great-power rivalry moves into space, costs are skyrocketing
  • Sustaining the advanced research required to develop weapons will be key
  • Russia’s bravado suggests it may have trouble, while the Chinese remain quiet
  • The U.S. may be escalating the race to try and outspend its less-rich adversaries

In December 2018, President Donald Trump announced the formation of a sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces – the Space Command. Rumors that he would do so had abounded for some time, so it was not a major surprise. Nor is it clear that the decision will have much of an impact outside bureaucratic turf wars. After all, the U.S. first introduced the Space Command back in 1985; it was disbanded and transferred to the Strategic Command in 2002. President Trump’s decision to revive it is more of a political move than a serious military development. Unsurprisingly, however, it has provoked angry reactions from the Kremlin.

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Offense will remain the best defense
read more about it in the report
What's inside
  • As great-power rivalry moves into space, costs are skyrocketing
  • Sustaining the advanced research required to develop weapons will be key
  • Russia’s bravado suggests it may have trouble, while the Chinese remain quiet
  • The U.S. may be escalating the race to try and outspend its less-rich adversaries
Who will benefit?
  • Report is targeted to the decision makers in cross country manufacturing – suppliers, manufacturers, logistics.
  • Also considered useful for the administrative university facilities, to better understand the possibe effects of current decisions.
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