By Bruce M. DeBlois (ed.)
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Additional info for Beyond the Paths of Heaven the Emergence of Space Power Thought
Preparation actions include establishing the detection area, using available detection sensors to define the battlefield, determining the location of high-value targets, and protecting the main battle force and logistics support elements. Army commanders seek to shape the battlefield to gain and maintain the initiative. To accomplish this task, they rely upon the heavy use of air assets and long-range fires to disrupt the enemy. By integrating tactical air support, battlefield air interdiction, and conventional weapons (and nuclear and chemical ones if required), the Army plans to mount a massive fire support effort to throw the enemy force off balance and keep them there.
Many other firms rely upon the government for varying but significant portions of their revenues. At times government support has taken the form of loan guarantees like the $250-million loan guarantee to Lockheed in the 1970s. A special risk results from government involvement in aerospace—political risk. N o w h e r e i s t h i s r i s k m a n i f e s t e d s o clearly as in the US space industry. 3 2 Through NASA, the government controls the price and schedule of the US space launch business.
In the next section, the potential for future war and also some imperatives that will govern the application of military force are examined. War and Political Imperatives The second element of aerospace power is the military one. Prior to looking at how military aerospace capabilities influ ence the military strategies of the services, one must consider two questions. First, will war or conflict be a factor in the future conduct of nations? Second, if war and conflict persist in the future, what political imperatives might control a US r e s p o n s e t o a c r i s i s ?