This year marks the 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America – the July 4th, 1776. A history full of struggle, shocking events, domestic and international confrontations, but, at the end of the day, such struggle resulted in the American people’s ideals of union and state unification. The country’s expansion at the geopolitical and geostrategic level was quick and supported by the belief of a sort of one-of-a-kind exceptionalism in history, as well as by the American’s people desire to seek happiness, more precisely the freedom to seek happiness and fulfillment.
This year, as full of global challenges and full of questions about the future of the world as it is, we directly experience the mission of an extremely powerful robot, the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars. A hope that humanity is evolving and discovering other planets and other dimensions. We must not forget to thank God for allowing us this evolution.
The United States has evolved from a newly established state to a developing state, then to a global superpower. The United States has been stimulated by the desire for innovation. In the current geopolitical era, the absolute American hegemony obtained after 1989 is being questioned by new great competing powers. As a military confrontation would cause much more harm, the United States of America and the other major competitors headed for trade war, for ideological worldwide confrontation but also for the conquest of space.
This study is about the space policy of the United States of America. Every single data has been obtained from open sources and was subject to analysis. It is a study of the development of American space policy and space power in order to preserve the country’s hegemony and become a brainy superpower, a clever superpower using various means based on science and technology to maintain the US hegemony over the years to come.
- The National Space Policy of the United States
The programmatic document called the National Space Policy of the United States of America was published on December 9, during the Donal J. Trump administration. It is a document issued with a certain periodicity by the White House to regulate the new evolutions in the field of the national space policy.
A phenomenon occurred after the Cold War and the confrontation between the two great superpowers, which will help develop knowledge about outer space, namely international space-related cooperation. The Artemis agreements signed between the United States represented by NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and its partner countries Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom are an essential step for the peaceful exploration of outer space, as well as for cooperation on the surface of the Moon and of other celestial bodies.
The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China did not want to sign the Artemis agreements. The two states stated they ran their own space program and had their own vision. Here we notice how the confrontation in the cosmic space already has perceptible borders. We can witness the emergence of cosmopolitics and that of a cosmostrategy. That is a space policy of each state, and a strategy to achieve its goals in its particular political vision respectively.
The central goal of this policy is a new human landing on Moon, scheduled for 2024. This moon landing will lead to profound scientific and technological emulation, and the world will accelerate again in a race of science, not a race of weapons.
The National Space Policy of the United States considers space as a place for boosting the country’s economic potential, as well as the life standard of both the American people and of the entire humankind by exploring new resources, and a place led by democratic principles, by the human rights, and by economic freedom. 245 years from the establishment of the country, the same values are to be promoted in the cosmic space as well.
The general principles of the US National Space Policy:
- space operations at all levels (civil, commercial, military), involving all possible forces;
- some responsible action in space, resulting in long-term safety, stability, security, and sustainability – space-borne activities carried out along other international stakeholders so that space becomes an open, transparent, predictable place;
- some strong, innovative trade competition which is permanent source of progress and sustainability for the United States, to help establish a new American space leadership. This might help boost space exploration towards boundaries unknown to humankind so far;
- properly regulated international law should be in place with respect the Moon and other celestial bodies to prevent new conflicts and clashes for claiming sovereignty in the cosmic space, which can be defined an universal, worldwide asset;
- all countries are entitled to explore the cosmic space for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of the whole humankind. Every single state must observe international regulations in the cosmic space and not menace the national security of other countries.
We notice these general principles aim to establish a space power balance with no hegemonic principles on behalf of the United States. The competing countries wish new dimensions for space, and will thus use arguments to destabilize a potential cosmic power balance – at that precise time will start the clash we are further describing in this analysis.
These are the overall goals of the US National Space Policy;
- the United States will invest to develop a space industry able to generate goods and services in the space field;
- the right of the countries in the entire world to use space in a responsible, peaceful way;
- an extended international cooperation encourages by the United States;
- extending the capacity of the critical infrastructure to space civil level;
- extending new economic activities to the cosmic space;
- improving life standards and the wellbeing of the Americans and all the people worldwide;
- developing and extending space technologies; the US providing training, new services and new operations in the space level;
- the need to develop sectorial strategies related to the cosmic space of various Departments at federal level;
- reaching the US supremacy in the space scientific and technological field;
- developing new Space Industrial Bases and extending the old ones;
- creating capacities allowing secure access to space;
- protecting the space-related components of the critical infrastructure at the US national level;
- maintaining and developing the Global Positioning, Navigation, and real-time Rendering System of the entire surface of the Earth;
- extending international cooperation fields between the United States and other countries;
- preserving the interstellar and the cosmic space;
- developing, in the future, new nuclear capacities and nuclear propulsion capacities in the space systems for scientific, commercial, and national security purposes;
- developing new space ships and vehicles, the possibility to create nuclear space systems;
- protection of the Electromagnetic Specter;
- developing strong IT security at the level of the American space systems, as well as at civil, commercial, and military level.
All these goals are underpinned by a larger-scale purpose: increase the United States’ scientific, technological, commercial, civil, and military capacity in the space field. Since the US have competition, the country developed sectorial strategies based on the synchronicity principle.
Such synchronicity allowing to use Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic power tools to deter opponents and other stakeholders in order to use space peacefully for the United States and for its allies and partners.
Another goal is developing capacities to antagonize any potential opponent, and to preserve peace and stability in the cosmic space. Using the cosmic space peacefully is one of the major goals of the space policy of the United States.
For all these goals to become reality, a decision was made at the national level and by the US Congress to establish the sixth branch of the American armed forces, the US Space Force.
The Space Force aims to design power in space, from space and in space to defend the vital national interests of the United States, those of its allies and partners. Another goal set for the Space Force is to increase lethality and effectiveness at the level of national, joint and multinational operations.
The Space Force will work with the United States Intelligence Community to gather information, assess capacities, create strategic intelligence goals, and prioritize intelligence and other space missions. The Space Force will be protected by a complex cyber security system and will develop the possibility to remotely control space vehicles.
This programmatic document on space policy shows us that the United States has adapted to the new challenges and that it focuses on increasing space capacity.
The United States will focus its power tools and resources to conquer the space and to dominate the Kármán Line, which will represent the domination of both the atmosphere and the exosphere. In the coming years, the United States of America will thus target cosmotelurocratic hegemony through the military power tool, the United States Space Force.
- The US Space force – a new military branch
The sixth branch  of the US Armed Forces, the Space Force was established on December 20, 2019. Pursuant to the act issued by the United States Congres,s NDAA-FY2020 (the National Defense Licensing Act for the Fiscal Year 2020), the Space Force is subordinated to the Air Force Secretary in charge of organizing, equipping, and administering such Force. Four-starred Air Force General John W. “Jay” Raymond was appointed to command the newly established Space Forces on August 20, 2020.
The new act provided the Space Force is adequately equipped to ensure the protection of the US vital interests in space and to discourage other potential competitors from launching military operations or other actions against the United States in and beyond space.
The Space Force will conduct combat and combat support missions, defensive and offensive actions, space operations at the national, joint or multinational level to preserve the interests of the United States, those of its allies and partners.
When the Space Force was established, it relied on 75% of the Air Force’s resources and capabilities. The United States Air Force has extensively helped the newly established Space Force in terms of logistics, operational bases, civilian and military personnel management, IT support and financial management.
The former US aerospace command, the Peterson Air Base-based Air Force Command, became the United States Space Force, redeploying 16,000 of its military and civilian personnel to the new structure.
The United States Department of Defense (the Pentagon) supports the development of new forces to be integrated into the Space Force, as well as the design of new doctrines, concepts and strategies. The main responsibility of the Space Force is training professionals in the military space field, developing military space systems, and establishing a new doctrine for the space military power – the Space Power.
Some of the goals to be achieved by the Space Force are Space Superiority, Space Early Warning, Remote Control of Offensive or Defensive Operations, Control of military spacecraft and of military satellites.
An extremely important, vital goal to preserve the national security of the United States and that of its allies and partners is providing space support for the United States Nuclear Command through Control, Communications, Early Warning against Ballistic Missiles, Space Defense Operations undertaken by the Space Force.
The Space Force consists of three levels of command: land command, led by a three-star general, command at Delta level provided by officers with the rank of colonel, and command at the level of space squadrons led by officers with ranks below the rank of colonel. The command chain is provided and fulfilled by the Head of Space Operations, the Head of the Defense Department. The supreme command remains in the charge of the President of the United States in compliance with Article 2, Section II of the US Constitution.
For the fiscal year 2021, the Space Force is provided with a staff of 9,799 people, of which 6,434 military and 3,545 civilians. The National Defense Licensing Act also stipulates $ 15.5 billion in investments for the Space Force. Such investments are assigned as follows:
- Technological development – $ 8.9 billion
- Developing and building satellites – $ 4.1 billion
- Support for space-borne operations – $ 1.4 billion
- Launching military spacecraft in the cosmic space – $ 1.1 billion
All such financial resources will be used by the Space Force to develop military space bases, military launch vehicles, space command and control systems, satellite ground terminals, and space military equipment.
The goals of the Space Force and its development and space launch programs are part of preserving the national security of the United States.
The Space Force will work with other military and civilian bodies to develop another major project, the renewal of the Global Positioning System – GPS III. This new retechnologization will allow 24-hour surveillance, global coverage, accurate positioning, real-time and synchronous navigation, real-time rendering and the ability to use this system by civilian and military bodies.
The US Space Force has strong competitors that it must take into account and it must develop to maximize its capabilities and achieve its goals. To ensure a peaceful space climate, cosmic stability and predictability, the Space Force will develop and refine the following military technologies:
- Infrared Early Ballistic Warning System to ensure the national security of the United States, that of its allies and partners;
- establishing a complex system of Satellite Communications (USSATCOM) among strategic forces to ensure Command, Nuclear Control and to protect communications in hostile combat environments;
- providing long- and short-wave services to ensure optimal transfer of data and information from less hostile environments; the Space Force will work with civilian bodies to implement these services.
Since the American hegemony has competitors, we will also describe the space military capabilities of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. It is a competition for gaining strategic prevalence in the outer space.
The space military organization of the Russian Federation has in the foreground the joint preservation of air and space capabilities. Since 2015, the Aerospace Defense Forces of the Russian Federation have had a component of outer space forces. The main mission of the Russian military space forces is to monitor outer space, to identify threats to the Russian Federation. The integrated forces of the Russian Federation have as their main strategic goal to prevent the space military development of any other competitors, especially the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
The Russian military strategy has not separated the air force from the space forces, as Russian military strategists believe that outer space is a continuation of the competition in the atmosphere, so they have common and integrated aerospace forces. Russian aerospace forces are able to hit satellites and military vehicles of other international stakeholders. They have also developed high-performance anti-satellite weapons such as the PL-19 Nudol rocket, which can hit American, Chinese or other satellites in low Earth orbit, i.e. 2,000 kilometers away from the Earth’s surface, the exoatmospheric area closest to Earth. Russian military forces have focused on developing weapons and countermeasures to thwart efforts to gain space supremacy by the Artemis Agreement member states led by the United States, as well as against China’s ambitions.
The People’s Republic of China – or “the two-system country”, as it is called by many analysts has long maintained an outdated conception in the military field. Modeled on the Soviet Union, China developed its ground forces by neglecting naval, air or space forces. Towards the end of 2015, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping decided on a radical reform of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It was the most important reform since the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.
The Chinese army has developed its Strategic Support Forces with the mission of securing the outer space by bringing together three elements: cyber defense, electronic defense, and military defense. Outer space is seen by the Chinese as an environment in which cyber and electronic defense increase military efficiency in gaining supremacy at the cosmic level. The Support Forces have 4 departments: the General Department, the Weapon Department, the Network Systems Department, and the Space Systems Department. The latter is in charge of launching and operating satellites, communications and computers at the cosmic level, as well as of organizing intelligence, coverage, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.
The Chinese space component has also focused its efforts on developing missions to counter competitors to hegemony in outer space. It has developed systems that can disrupt the capacities of other countries, that can counteract other states’ satellites, and missiles modified according to the Dong Feng 21 missile, kinetic attack vehicles, and other capabilities. In 2016, the Chinese government victoriously claimed being able to develop the first space kinetic weapon, without announcing within what timeframe. The Chinese government has also launched a program to develop satellites for peaceful purposes and research.
The development of its other competitors led to the development of a separate force structure in the United States, a Space Force whose sole mission is to develop and design a space force allowing the United States to reach a level of geopolitical and geostrategic domination unprecedented in the world history.
- The Space Defense Strategy of the United States
The Space Defense Strategy is a strategic document drafted under the auspices of the Department of Defense (the Pentagon). The document represents a strategic synchronicity between several strategies issued by the US government, the National Strategy for Space in 2018 and the National Defense Strategy in 2020. This Space Defense Strategy was issued in June 2020, intended for the public, as a summary, the content of this strategy not being public due to the elements aimed to preserve the national security of the United States.
This strategy is a document laying the basis for a 10-year development program of the Space Force. It focuses on 4 lines of effort:
- acquiring a comprehensive military advantage in space;
- space operations at national, joint and multinational level – operations that can be defensive and offensive;
- modeling the international strategic space environment;
- cooperating with allies and partner states, with industry entities and other departments and agencies of the United States Government.
The United States Space Force is a new branch of the United States Armed Forces with a single command, the United States Space Command and various capacities to be developed in the coming years. Its primary goal is to project American power, values, and interests globally but with a different, top-down approach. We can observe the emergence of new concepts, doctrines that will shape the future conflicts and give rise to new battles for power and hegemony. The post-hegemonic era, of telurocratic or thalassocratic hegemony, will be an era of unprecedented hegemony, an era in which a state will be able to control the Earth’s surface, water mass, air and space beyond the Earth atmosphere – that is total hegemony.
The Space Defense Strategy aims to meet sine qua non requirements for development:
- a 10-year strategy for creating and developing space military power;
- clear and concrete goals with military applicability of the acquired space power;
- the power to influence decisions at the strategic level, which can change the strategic space environment.
Another important element is mixing diplomatic, informational, military and economic power tools with applicability in space, in peacetime and in wartime, to achieve national goals.
The Space Force has developed in an unpredictable, uncertain strategic context. A volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world in which the confrontation for global domination is more refined and applied. The Space Force must discourage aggression from other stakeholders, protect the national interests of the American people, and impose itself in military or other confrontations. We thus witness a re-emergence of global competition, which must be carried at the space level because humankind can no longer afford a global clash that would endanger the human civilization.
The increase of the capacities of both the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are the main threats to the US Space Force, along with the uncertain growth of the military threats of North Korea and those of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The space operations that the Space Force must carry out are those intended to maintain a peaceful space exploration environment and those deployed in case it is needed to respond to various attacks.
The Chinese and the Russian space policies have the sole purpose of counteracting the space policy of the United States and preventing the development of an American space capacity.
We will extract some examples of challenges that the Space Force must overcome, which are designed and analyzed by the Department of Defense, from the summary of the Space Defense Strategy:
- The Department of Defense (Pentagon) believes that much of the US strategic advantage depends on outer space, where the United States can project its power and quickly respond to various crises;
- The Department of Defense (the Pentagon) admits there is currently limited experience in managing initial or extended conflicts at the space level, so it takes time to increase space capacities;
- the activities carried out by the US on land and in space due to technological knowledge can be exposed at an early stage, while freedom of maneuver can be reduced because US opponents also take important steps in space technologies. Such steps urge the U.S. opponents to counter advances in space, civilian, commercial, or military space technology.
- a strategy must be built for the public opinion to understand and accept the need to develop the Space Force. Public support must also be obtained to assign significant resources to develop the Space Force.
The Space Defense Strategy also identifies the following opportunities:
- the American leaders understood the critical role of space in preserving national security and ensuring the well-being of American citizens as well as that of its allies and partners. The Space Force will promote the concept of Space Security to set freedom of movement in the outer space;
- the new Space Force, subordinated to the Department of Defense, must undertake a historic reform in the vision of airspace defense, a new strategic approach, a space-air one;
- the Department of Defense (the Pentagon) established a position as Assistant in charge of space procurement and integration to the Air Force Secretary. The Space Force Endowment Council was also established;
- the United States of America promotes solid alliances in the international environment and in the cosmic space, based on trust, common values, and sharing the same interests;
- space commercial activities are significant for generating goods and products for technology and science in general and in particular as well.
The United States Department of Defense (the Pentagon) will develop a Complex and Integrative Strategic Approach to boost the capacity of the space power within 10 years to conduct space operations for the national benefit and also for that of the US allies and partners. Moreover, the Department of Defense (the Pentagon) will develop a new conceptual and doctrinal vision for approaching space operations that will allow projecting American interests beyond the atmospheric space towards the exoatmospheric space. The US military space force will be based on clear and well-established concepts and doctrines.
Another major success of the United States is the intense cooperation with the country’s allies and partners in the space field at the civil, commercial, and military level, as well as the promotion of traditional values the American state was established on 245 years ago. The emergence of the Space Force can be compared to the development of the American fleet at the beginning of the 20th century, with the advent of nuclear weapons, modern communications, and the birth of the Internet.
Through technological endowment and the development of new weapons and exoatmospheric space defense and attack vehicles (such as ASM 135 ASAT) the United States will gain tactical, operational, and strategic superiority of the Space Force in the outer space.
Maj. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman was the first U.S. Air Force general officer transferred and promoted to lieutenant general in the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at the Pentagon Aug. 14.
On cosmotelurocratic hegemony
The hegemony theory has shown us over time that a state can become a great power if it has power-triggering resources (geography, population, leadership, national will) and tools (of diplomatic, informational, military and economic nature) necessary to turn a great power into a hegemon.
Two types of hegemony has characterized the countries throughout history: a tellurocratic hegemony, i.e. a state that rules a large territory and has multiple soil and underground resources. A classic example of tellurocratic power in history is the Roman Empire. Thalassocratic hegemony is specific to states that control an aquatic mass through key points, islands, peninsulas, isthmuses, straits, and other points of maritime constriction. A classic example of thalassocratic power in history is the city of Carthage.
The fall of Carthage did not mean the fall of the thalassocracy, but a redefinition of it until the peak of thalassocratic power in history, that is the British Empire, the largest empire in the world history, spreading over about 30 million square kilometers during its period of maximum expansion, after the end of the First World War.
The Cold War, dated by some authors between 1947 and 1991, while by other authors as starting from 1946, represented the direct confrontation of two great superpowers, a telurocratic power (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and a thalassocratic power (the United States). These two great superpowers dueled on ideological, political, economical, and military grounds. The state that adapted its economy and its financial system to the natural evolution of history – the thalassocratic power – won.
According to the hegemonic stability theory, the international world is more conflict-free and the state of competition is reduced when a nation-state becomes the dominant or hegemonic power.
The hegemon is a state that can project its power in all the cardinal points of our planet, and that can impose its domination in all geographical areas. Earth, water, and air were completely ruled by the United States in the late twentieth century. The world has become a uni-multipolar world, as the great political scientist Samuel P. Huntington states, a hegemon surrounded by several power poles, and by several competing states.
After the awful September 11, 2001 attack, many analysts proclaimed that the era of absolute American hegemony was over. Some even launched the concept of post-American world, or post-hegemonic world. The decline of American power was considered irreversible by some authors convinced of the rise of other powers.
History has taught us that those who do not adapt are defeated, so the United States has adapted and become a hegemonic power under transformation. A political, economic and ideological metamorphosis that will last for several years, a decade or even more for the United States of America to become a smart power or Brainy Power subsequently to such mutations. A hegemon dominating the world through science and technology, along with its huge economic and military resources. The absolute American hegemony expressed by the thalassocratic power (the most powerful military fleet in the maritime history of the world) but also by the telurocratic power (extremely well prepared and endowed weapons and troops) will be totally transformed.
For the first time in history, hegemony will be imposed from top to bottom, from sky to Earth. Building a cohesive space policy and correlating it with all the areas involved in this process, the use of power resources and power tools will make the United States a space hegemon. The creation of the Space Force will allow focusing all efforts, resources, tools, vectors, as well as technical and scientific knowledge for this Force to become the strongest in the outer space. This Space Force will be able to have the supremacy over the Kárman Line, the control of the Earth’s low and high orbits, a complex satellite system, and continuous global and cosmic monitoring.
The American hegemony to be imposed by the control of space and its resources will therefore become a cosmotelurocratic hegemony – mastering the space beyond the atmosphere, the atmosphere, and the Earth (the concept “telurocratic” refers to it as a whole consisting of the terrestrial surface and the planetary water mass).
Such achievement requires time, as well as imposing future-oriented ideas and visions, cosmopolitics, and cosmostrategy. Cosmopolitics can be defined as a space policy in which decisions are made based on the analysis and observation of outer space. Cosmostrategy is the way in which the policy of a state imposes itself in the cosmic space through ideas, means, capabilities, general, or sectoral doctrines. Cosmic-level competition can arise by establishing these new concepts and by adjusting new directions of political and strategic actions.
I believe the battle for outer space will start around 2030, to be completed by the end of the 21st century, once space is dominated by a state and the first human colonies are established with the help of artificial intelligence on some planets or on the surface of other celestial bodies. In my opinion, this battle will be won by that state which will distinguish its space policy and strategy from the rest of its mechanisms maintaining the state at the international level.
The creation of a Space Force is a first signal that the United States of America is reinventing itself at the age of 245, and that it wants to achieve the Mankind’s dream for millennia, i.e. deciphering the mystery beyond the stars seen by billions of people.
 The other armed structures are the Army, the Marine Corps, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard.
I am passionate about history and literature. I studied the history of Romanians and universal history. I wrote poems and short stories. Currently, I am deepening the study of Romanian-American relations to highlight the role of this bilateral relationship in the history of both countries, a full and tumultuous history.