Air power and Space power (US, UK and NATO strategies)

Air power is defined as: the ability to use air capabilities in and from the air, to influence the behaviour of actors and the course of events.

Space power is the totality of a nation’s ability to exploit the space domain in pursuit of prosperity and security. National space power is comparatively assessed as the relative strength of a state’s ability to leverage the space domain for diplomatic, informational, military, and economic purposes.

Air power, along with maritime, land, space and cyber power, form the interdependent levers of the military instrument of national power.

Key points regarding air power

  • Air power is truly global in nature, as it theoretically enables access to any point on Earth, be it over land or sea.
  • Air power offers policymakers an agile, timely and focussed capability that can be highly effective in resolving or averting a developing crisis.
  • A broad multinational and multi-agency response involving allies, can provide a wide range of air power options that most nations could not generate independently.
  • The fundamental purpose of air power is to support the three national security objectives, to help protect, project and promote.

Key points regarding space power

  • The exploitation of the attributes and roles of space power provides a significant contribution to the successful employment of joint action.
  • Although collaboration provides opportunities, such as affordable access international space capabilities, there are challenges with regard to classification and data-sharing.
  • Satellite services may be transparent or invisible to the end user, but they pervade almost every aspect of joint and combined operations.
  • The space environment should be considered as routinely as the other operating environments, and must be included in military planning processes.

USAF Air-power and Space-power Doctrine

UK Air and Space Power

NATO Air-power Strategy