Yesterday, the Cato Institute1 release a report that I wrote2 on the United States Space Force. The report is available here, and these are my introductory thoughts:
The Space Force is the first new independent U.S. service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947. At its inception, the Air Force had hundreds of thousands of personnel, several years of battle experience, a coherent body of doctrine, and a robust organizational culture. Even so, the creation of the Air Force sparked bitter interservice conflict for the first decade of its existence.
However, the Space Force lacks a strong institutional basis, an identifiable organizational culture, and an established foundation of strategic theory. In the short term, it runs the risk of disrupting existing procedures and relationships that enable the U.S. military to function. In the long term, it runs the risk of distorting the procurement and force structure of U.S. space capabilities.
Long story short, the Space Force was not well-conceived and is inviting all manner of trouble. That said, I’m skeptical that Biden will go to the time and trouble of dis-establishing the USSF, especially since that would require legislation. But read the report; I’d like to think it’s good.
I recorded a podcast on the subject with John Glaser, which is available here. Most importantly for our purposes, however, I’ll be doing an Online Policy Forum event with Brian Weeden and Kaitlyn Johnson at noon on December 8. Registration is free, and I would love to see a significant LGM contingent in the virtual audience.
1Yes, Cato is bad on most domestic policy (but not all; they’re pretty solid on criminal justice reform), and the fact that I’m working with them on defense policy (where they’ve been consistently pretty good) does not constitute an endorsement of their domestic program.
2Yes, I was compensated for writing this report, and it turns out their money spends.