Space Force to Optimize for Great Power Competition

What Happened:

The U.S. has been interested in space since the race with the USSR began in 1955 and arguably ended in 1969 with a moon landing made by an American astronaut crew. Since then, the United States has shifted its focus and finances to other concerns, until recently.

The Space Force was made an official branch of the U.S. military on December 20, 2019, marking a renewed interest in space and the national security implications that it involves. The goals and strategic objectives include “protecting space capabilities and the services they provide while defeating our adversaries capabilities.

Since then, the U.S. government has worked to get the private sector on board and jump start the “lunar economy.”. The Odysseus moon landing mission’s success signals a shift in the goals of American agencies across the board.

Earlier in February, the Air Force announced “sweeping changes to maintain superiority amid great power competition.”. This included a reshaping, refocusing, and re-optimization of air and space assets to ensure the U.S. exercises continued supremacy in their respective domains while also preparing to deter or prevail in a great power competition.

The Details:

The primary goals are “development of people, generating readiness, projecting power, and developing capabilities.”. On a more practical level, each of these goals involves generating combat-ready personnel and equipment in short amounts of time. With better training being implemented, there is also an increased focus on securing strategic assets in space. The focus has been on responding to “adversaries.”.

The Space Force intends to redesign career paths to produce “guardians” that can meet the multiple operational demands of the job. They have also stated a need for close collaboration with the commercial space industry and other allied nations.

“I believe this is the most significant change in space classification policy in 20 years, and it will help us to share more information, more quickly, with more stakeholders to better address the challenges in today’s competitive space environment,” said Gen. Chance Saltzman, who is the Chief of Space Operations.

They are also offering expanded roles for officers and civilians. These include new training courses, collaboration, and education opportunities. Currently, the total personnel is around 14,000, but Gen. Saltzman stated that it “is small when compared to our sister services. But do not mistake our size for our value or our impact. But just because we’ve come a long way does not mean we’ve arrived.”

What’s Next:

Space is likely going to be the next field of focus for many powers across the planet. The U.S. and its allies, as well as its rivals, all have their eyes set on supremacy in space. The Space Force has recognized this, and implemented strategic changes that will address the many concerns that come from the space sector.

Although the recommended changes have not been finalized, it does signal that the government is paying close attention to space. Last week, a national security threat was announced with the apparent development of a Russian satellite with nuclear capabilities. The goal of the reorganization is to have personnel who are better prepared to face threats like these at a moment’s notice.


Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.


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