A Mahan or a Douhet theorizing the concept of space strategy has yet to appear. Dolman tried with Astropolitik, taking the concepts of sea power, and applying it to space. The exercise should be meant as something other than disinterested training for intellectual circles. Sometimes, reality simplification – whose knowability suffers from the limited condition of the human being – shall be helpful in formulating theories that make order (cosmos) among the chaos.
Far from proposing a strategic theorization of space strategy, this analysis aims to grasp aspects of it, correlate the geographical spatial conception with outer space, and consider the human factor and technology as intrinsic and forming elements of the system.
Horizontally, the space under study coincides with the Arctic Ocean. The choice finds justification in two orders of factors: in primis, in the wake of the Russian attacks on Georgia (2008), and Ukraine (2014 and 2022), the area is regaining the strategic significance of the bipolar US-USSR confrontation of the Cold War; in secundis, from a geopolitical point of view, allows for an analogy between Mackinder’s pivot area, Mahan’s chock points, De Severvensky’s spherical model, and Dolman’s geostrategy.
Therefore, along the vertical axis, the analysis considers the atmospheric belt between 200 and 800 km, also known as low orbit (LEO). However, in order not to fall into the trap of geographic determinism, the study emphasizes two other elements that equally shape the behaviour of national states: the anthropological-demographic and the technical.
The protagonist are the American and Russian people; the former defines itself as Arctic by purchasing Alaska in 1867, while the latter, the Russian bear, identifies the Arctic Ocean as its backyard. Finally, the technique. In order to comprehend the dual use (civilian and military) of satellite technology, which is then the focus of this research, shall be considered the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO) Polar Orbit Satellite Weather Program between 1962 and 1994. The goal is to form a historical reference model to better detect the military use of satellite technology to date covered by military secrecy. To do so, the author cannot help but take a holistic view to capture the complexity of the phenomenon under analysis
All’interno del Paper troverai:
- A literature review of space theory and strategy
- A general introduction to arctic geopolitics
- An analysis of the National reconnaissance office’s “Polar Orbit Satellite Weather program” (1962-1964)
- The human factor as indispensable element in national strategic doctrines
Un paper di Alice Tommasi
Foto in evidenza: By ESA–J. Huart, CC BY-SA IGO 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 igo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=101233822