« Trumps Trade War - Still Easy To Win? by Walrus. | Main | "... could save Americans $30B a year." Podium »

24 August 2019


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Barbara Ann

Agreed. Priority has to be ensuring the US wins the race to make extraterrestrial resource exploitation profitable. Tax dollars may be needed on incentives to achieve this goal and military strategy should follow from this imperative. As TTG says, so long as 'brown water' superiority is retained it will be possible to blockade any competitor's off-world colonial expansion long into the future.


So, China or India or FRS launch an exploratory to Mars, strictly scientists and other civilians. Will the USSF brown water version destroy them on their launch pad, or as they exit low earth orbit. It is so easy to imagine blockades and sanctions when the size disparity is large between the sanctioned and the sanctioner. The problem is that both are acts of war; the aggressor has to win every action.
But on the positive side, their are no known aboriginals on any of the asteroids or nearby planets (Marvin the Martian does not count) so no problem with exploiting the natives.


It is 01:30, almost, on a beautiful late summer afternoon. As I sit here reading the deep thoughts of the committee of correspondence regarding the USSF, I have questions.
If the brown water model is the appropriate one, then why should it be part of the AIR Force? Would not the USCG be a better and more appropriate model. If instead the blue water force projection model is the appropriate one, would not the USN be more appropriate. And if the appropriate model is both the brown water for close in and the blue water for force projection in an entirely different pair of environments would it not make more sense to have an independent Interplanetary force. Consider the way the USAF has tried to handle the A-10 and succeeded in handling the SR-71, would you really trust them to treat the USSF any better? Space is not the atmosphere without air, one cannot parachute from deep space to the ground, changing directions in orbit is nasty on the body and brain. Consider how difficult it is to pull 9 gravities within the atmosphere now consider how many g's you would need to withstand in a LEO to do a 45 degree turn.
In an earlier post on solar sails the Col. pointed out how easy it is to gain speed in space if one is merely patient. Inertia is nowhere near so accommodating.

Philippe Truze

Near Space : a today necessity.
Far Space : a tomorrow necessity.
Besides, the first helps the implementation of the second.

The Twisted Genius

No, my grandparents came here before the war. My father learned English from some Lithuanian nuns when he started Catholic grammar school in Connecticut.


so they left Lithuania because it had been annexed by the USSR?

The Twisted Genius

My grandfather got out during the interwar period. The interwar peiod was marked by three wars of independence against the Bolsheviks, the White Russians and the Poles followed shortly afterward by a minitary coup d'état. Four of his brothers that stayed never returned from the gulags. A few others got out after the war.

Barbara Ann

I don't think we are quite at the stage of destroying one another's scientific missions yet. I was thinking more of China trying to turn the Moon into Mischief Reef.

English Outsider

The language that's closest to Indo-Germanic, they say. Also the last European country to be converted. Those huge forests ...

And lost 20% of its population in the twelve years to 2016. What happened?

Off topic, but I'm reading some bad stuff about what's happening in the Donbas region. Also still shelling and some small scale fighting.

I don't know if you're still keeping an eye on that, but if so do you know what's really happening there?

John Minehan

Consider the Outer space Treaty (https://2009-2017.state.gov/t/isn/5181.htm) as it stands, it seems to create a "tragedy of the commons" scenario: where no one owns anything, no one bothers to maintain anything.

Yes, it is what is done in Antarctica, but to this point our interactions with it have been limited and we anticipate our interactions with space to be much broader, especially with Low Earth Orbit (at this point).

John Minehan

Nothing better to avoid "shiny, expensive, dysfunctional, unfocused, overreaching nonsense" than having to make money. Nothing clears your head more than having to face a board when your "great idea" loses money for a quarter

John Minehan

Your thought about the civilian contractors made me think about the Field Artillery, which started out (say, around the fall of Constantinople in 1453) as forces of civilian contractors (mercenaries, but very technical ones).

At least in the British Army, the last civilian parts of the Royal Regiment of Artillery (drivers and teamsters) were not incorporated formally into the Army until of Napoleonic Wars.

This might be how it goes with space.

John Minehan

The technology does not exist yet, but everyone is trying to develop it.

The historic analogy is less St. Brendan and more just before Henry the Navigator.


As opposed to the USA turning the moon into Diego Garcia or Gitmo, or India turning the moon in Jammu and Kashmir, or Russia turning the moon into Kaliningrad oblast? Whichever nation gets there first will attempt to impose the power of the high ground. Climbing the gravity well is hard, throwing rocks back down it is easy and the math isn't even rocket science.
How do you and TTG suggest using the brown water space force to prevent other nations' colonial expansions into space? First strike? Contrived "orbital accident".


What is the meaning of your mention of our relative ages? You think me senile? I remember sitting on the front porch with my father around 1950. the moon shone high. I said I though men would walk on the moon soon. He laughed and said that would not happen in my lifetime. You sound like him.



I think neither concept should dominate, but there is money to be made out there on the moon and in the asteroids and that will speed the "blue water" concept up in achieving dominance.

Barbara Ann

OK, so a better analogy is ships carrying ballistic missiles en route to Cuba. And yes, if persuasion & threats doesn't work, blow them out of the sky. An act of war? Certainly.


One wonders how the Jupiter MRBMs were positioned at Turkey's Russian border months before the Cuban missile crisis.
It reads as though you are suggesting that the only armed vehicles to be allowed into space would be the US Brown or Blue variety. I suppose that might work if all the other nations were just bunches of worthy oriental gentlemen; they aren't. Five other nations have space vehicle capability right now. That is five other blue or brown space forces to deal with.


Of course, when the USAF does realize that neither variety of space force will require butts in the ejection seats nor ejection seats the whole intellectual exercise will become moot. The TOP GUN model is morté https://www.rt.com/news/466637-okhotnik-drone-fresh-video/

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad