Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Space Coast Guard?

How Quaint. How Naive. How 'Commercial'. How.....'Civilian'.
(H/T Instapundit)
A 'space entrepenuer' and 'Anglophile' James C. Bennett, (with whom I doubt I would find too many disagreements with based upon his writings) steps WAY out of his area of expertise in a new piece at New Atlantis titled "Proposing a ‘Coast Guard’ for Space" where he 'surprise!' promotes his rationale for a Space 'Coast Guard' of sorts. I note that his central reference, what he (not me) describes as: " a thoughtful article published in the Aerospace Power Journal in 2000" in which a "USAF Lt. Col. Cynthia A. S. McKinley proposed the creation of a Space Guard on the Coast Guard model", commits many of the sins of  predecessors in that the superficial 'roles and missions' point of view is used.

Needless to say I prefer another paradigm as a more rational approach to any perceived 'space force' needs.

I would welcome any civil discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of the options as presented.


Earlydawn said...

Speaking generally, the terminology of a "coast guard" evokes the image of a force or agency that is protecting a global commons for everybody. That seems like dangerous thinking to me. Strategic warfare always seems to seek the highest ground it can, be that air, space, or whatever comes after. Painting that high ground as a mutual commons for the whole planet injects the uncertainty and discourse of the international system into the equation.

Space should remain a fiercely guarded national asset, managed by the assorted space agencies and defended by the military. Space will be contested enough in this century. There's no reason to start on a weak footing.

SMSgt Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMSgt Mac said...

Agreed. In the Bennett piece, he zips right past the distinction between law enforcment and national security. When I first read the article I wondered if it was written by a lawyer, since the ideas proposed reek of 'lawfare'. This is not to say there might not be a reason for a Space Guard for the purposes of preventing smuggling, protection of asteroid belt mining claims, space rescue, space navigation aid management and repair or Heaven knows what else law enforcemen needs the future might hold. (most egregious typos corrected)