Tailoring Deterrence For China in Space

RAND

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The United States has become increasingly reliant on space-based capabilities for its own economic prosperity, for the defense of both the United States and its allies, and for facilitating cross-domain joint military operations. At the same time, China has come to assign a great strategic importance to space superiority and may view U.S. activity in space as an obstacle to achieving space supremacy. As a result, the U.S. government views the protection of these capabilities and the deterrence of any activity that could degrade them as vital to national security. This report examines the application of classical deterrence theory to the space domain and discusses how China’s own objectives should be considered to build a tailored deterrence strategy for China in space.