* At the establishment of the Space Force on Dec. 20, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stated, "Our military services have created the world's best space capabilities. Now is the time for the U.S. Space Force to lead our nation in preparing for emerging threats in an evolving space environment. This new service will help ensure we are postured to deter aggression, defend our national interests and outpace potential adversaries."
With that, after years of studies, debate, stalled legislation, and controversy, the Space Force became a reality. Establishment of the Space Force makes moot the arguments about the pros and cons of the new organization. However, the concerns voiced by advocates and critics alike about establishing a bureaucracy vice delivering advanced space capabilities and the ability to fight and win in space remain. Its establishment failed to address significant and legitimate concerns about organization and resourcing. In the enthusiasm for the potential benefits the sixth military branch brings to national security we cannot overlook these concerns; instead we must focus on them.
As a nation, we need to get the Space Force right from the start to fully realize the promise of having an organization whose leaders wake up every morning focused on space superiority and the integration of space warfighting capabilities into America's global strategies. That will take hard work and glass breaking to assure this organization has two critical prerequisites for long-term success--an effective organizational construct and adequate resourcing.
Structurally, it needs to organize, train and equip to understand and achieve space warfighting readiness and force integration across domains while consolidating and integrating the currently fragmented space acquisition system that often delivers too late and too expensively.
Furthermore, it needs to leverage all available space resources including those resident within the Army, Navy, office of the secretary of defense, and portions of the National Reconnaissance Office and National Security Agency. The Space Force will need to advocate for the additional resources above and beyond what the legacy Air Force space enterprise needed in order to increase space warfighting capabilities to extend and re-grow U.S. space advantages over any competitor nation.
The timing of Space Force establishment was driven by the need for America to retain a critical capability advantage it has enjoyed since the...