Status Report

John Sheldon: In Defense of Space Control

By SpaceRef Editor
April 21, 2015
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On April 20, Dr. John Sheldon, Executive Director of the Marshall Institute, published an article on the Real Clear Defense website, “In Defense of Space Control.”  This article responds to objections and fears that defense of space assets may be a Trojan Horse for space-based weapons. 

Nor is space control anything new.  Dr. Sheldon notes: “The need to train, equip and prepare to exercise space control, should it be required, has been a continuing and consistent facet of national space policy since at least the Eisenhower administration, and is mentioned explicitly in the space policies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and now Barack Obama, all of which are publicly available.”

Further: “The current and proposed budgets support the claim that offensive force for space control will take place in terrestrial domains, since there is no U.S. plan to deploy (or even develop) weapons in orbit. Conventional weapons and capabilities based in the traditional domains of land, sea and air, as well as the EMS and cyberspace, can achieve the space control mission without even entering space by targeting, and if necessary attacking, adversary jammers and lasers, ASAT launch sites and other capabilities that might threaten friendly satellites. In this regard space control is no different conceptually from the sea and air control that navies and air forces have been employing effectively for a very long time.”

This article is available at


SpaceRef staff editor.