Future Issue: Space-Based Warfare

March 1st 2009 - 12:00

 State and non-state actors use space for a variety of commercial, civil, and military purposes. The spending on space exploration and space technology research and development (R&D) is on the rise again, after a brief lull at the end of the nineties. Also, an increasing number of actors have access to space. Up till now, none of these actors has stationed weapons in space. However, a combination of rapid advances in technology, rising space budgets and dedicated efforts by numerous state and non-state actors to gain a space capability may produce serious threats to the future security environment. Moreover, the conduct of contemporary conventional warfare increasingly depends on spacebased assets for logistics support, reconnaissance, and command & control. Some authors expect space to become the locus of future warfare. This could lead to grave consequences for national and international security.

Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.