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Christopher Stone, Sunday, 5-24-15 May 25, 2015

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Christopher Stone, Sunday, 5-24-15


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Guest:  Christopher (Chris) Stone;  Topics:  Deterrence and the National Security Space Strategy.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.


We welcomed Chris Stone back to the program to discuss his recent Space Review article, “Security Through Vulnerability?: The False Deterrence of the National Security Space Strategy.”  You can read his article at www.thespacereview.com/article/2731/1In addition, I am fully aware that this is a controversial topic and discussion so I am more than willing to give equal time to a qualified person who wants to take a different position and articulate a different perspective on deterrence and the NSSS.  If you want to do that, please contact me by email.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 31 minute program, Mr. Stone started out by describing the National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) 2011 document, it’s purpose and the agencies involved with it including Department of Defense (DOD). He also said Congress is presently carrying out oversight on it and may make some changes.  Any such changes would be part of the Defense Authorization Act which if passed by Congress would need approval by the White House.  Chris then explained why he thought the NSSS was more about a policy rather than a strategy, then he addressed his main concern and the purpose of his article, deterrence.  He explained deterrence from the U.S perspective but also the way others see it, including China and throughout Asia as they see deterrence quite differently than we do.  Our guest spoke about this difference at various times during both segments of our discussion.  Chris then discussed the four elements making up deterrence, 1) Deterrence Through Norms, 2) Deterrence Through Alliances, 3) Deterrence Through Resilience and 4) Deterrence Through Response.  He took us through each one of these elements, discussing it in detail and showing why he thought the policy was idealistic and not particularly practical.  Here, he cited various Chinese behaviors in space for examples of why he does not believe the NSSS has the capability of preventing attacks on US space assets.  Chris discussed counter measures and the risk of attacks which could destabilize LEO and possibly other orbits as well.  We discussed the significant US and western nations dependence on space for military as well as economic activity so having effective countermeasures as well as an effective deterrent becomes critical for us moving forward as a nation and for the world.   Michael Listner was our first caller and both Michael & Chris discussed the difference is our deterrent strategy now and with earlier administrations which had a more active deterrence strategy as compared to a more passive passive policy today. Two new terms were introduced to the discussion with Michael’s call, “soft deterrence and a “Space Pearl Harbor.”


In the second segment, I asked Chris to explain what he had meant in the first segment when he talked about mirror imaging.  John from Florida called in with questions about our satellites, possible Chinese attacks on our satellites, our possible response to such attacks, and should we be creating both offensive and defensive strategies.  Chris then talked about the tit for tat strategy that would go after terrestrial targets before space targets.   John asked about using elements of our missile defense shield against satellite attackers, then since caller John used China for his example, I asked both Chris and John how the fact that China, being the largest holder of our national debt, impacted our likelihood to respond were there an attack on our space resources.  Chris elaborated to some degree on the role of congressional oversight and what parts of the NSSS it might be wanting to change and strengthen so that our deterrence strategy is seen as more credible.  Barbara in Seattle asked how likely our current deterrent policy/strategy was to lead us to a shooting or actual space war.  Don’t miss what Chris said in response to this question.  Another listener wanted to know just how a less than credible policy/strategy impacted our adversaries.  Again, don’t miss what Chris said in response to this question.  The last question was from Randy wanting to know how or even if human spaceflight was involved in deterrence. Chris said it was part of it, addressed kinetic space weapons & possible warfare as well as future competition for deep space resources.


Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Chris Stone through me.