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 research projects in horizon scanning, conflict analysis, international and national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. His main research interest concerns the changing character of modern day conflict. He has led multicenter research projects for both private and public sector organisations. Tim is also an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgiatech.