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Space! Comparatively…


Over at the Diplomat I’ve been doing some columns on institutionally comparisons for how countries manage the problem of space. Here’s Russia:

The Russian Aerospace Forces thus integrates a number of key functions in space warfare, including ballistic missile defense, space observation and surveillance, space launch, and global communications. It carries out these functions alongside the more conventional air force responsibilities of the rest of the organization, representing a model similar to that which the United States discarded in 2019. Rather than establish a separate space force, Russia has determined that space should be integrated with other aerospace assets. 

Here’s Japan:

Consequently, Japan has steadily increased its institutional military engagement with space, allowing the Ministry of Defense to collaborate with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the civilian space agency, for the first time in 2012. Japan also established a Space Operations Squadron (SOS) within the Air-Self-Defense Force in May 2020, with expected operational readiness in 2023. The squadron will have 100 members by the time it stands up. The portfolio of the squadron, which seems to most closely resemble the former Air Force Space Command in the United States, includes liaising with U.S., German, and French space organizations. 

And here’s India:

Perhaps more importantly, in 2019 India established two new bureaucracies for space, the Defense Space Research Organization (DSRO) and the Defense Space Agency (DSA). The former is a research organization geared toward facilitating the development of civilian space technology for military purposes, while the latter plays a role similar to that of a combatant command in the United States, integrating space assets from the army, navy, and air force and formulating strategy. The DSA, commanded by an air force officer, began with a staff of some 200 officers drawn from the three services, and took over the duties of some existing military organs, including the Defense Imagery Processing and Analysis Center and the Defense Satellite Control Center.

China on the way soon…

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