Space, The Final (Military) Frontier

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Space, The Final (Military) Frontier

The Sino-American struggle for 21st-century dominance is complex and involves a wide range of intertwined political, economic, and military threats and opportunities.  Inevitably, space will become a major theatre of operation is this struggle, eclipsing the role it played in the Cold War.

Today the United States is still far ahead of any other nation, including China when it comes to space research, as well as commercial exploitation of space.  But as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich argues, “we are potentially at a turning point that could determine the future of our country – and all humankind.”

Gingrich notes that NASA, as well as America’s.  Legacy space companies “continue to fumble around while protecting their prized projects.  Meanwhile, China is aggressively seeking to overcome the United States as the dominant space-faring nation.”

It should come as no surprise to students of China’s Mercantilist trade strategy that it is investing heavily in its launch capabilities while trying to kill international competition with exorbitant subsidies and noncompetitive financing plans.  And it’s even working on a space-based solar power system which could revolutionize clean energy.

Obviously, the United States is home to a host of enterprising entrepreneurs who are seeking to lead in space.  Blue Origin, SpaceX and others are making rapid advancements that are lowering the cost of launch. We also have companies like Solaren working on space-based solar power and other important breakthroughs.  But the big question is whether these companies will be able to compete against a slew of state-sponsored Chinese businesses that aren’t concerned with making a profit.

As of 2019, aside from certain military applications, we’ll discuss shortly, the U.S. still has a significant advantage in terms of capabilities and current assets in space.  But, across a broad range of targets, the Chinese Communist Party is currently working at a much faster clip than we are.

This is why Administration proposals to develop the moon and Mars are so important.  Leadership in space is a vital American interest.

To date, the United States has largely mastered low-earth orbit (or LEO) as well as Geo-synchronous Earth Orbit (or GEO).   That is where most of our satellites and the International Space Station reside.  But the country that masters “cislunar orbit” (the area of space between Earth and the moon) will have the new high-ground – in both a security and economic sense.

Economically, that country will be able to set the rules for future space commerce...

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