The US space forces will be able to conduct offensive operations and attack objects on the ground and in outer space if necessary, according to the doctrine of this new service of the United States armed forces.
The document, titled Spacepower, explains what the military’s space division will do and explains why the US considers space to be a field of war. In the doctrine, military operations in space are considered as a separate area of warfare, and not as the sphere of competence of other types of troops.
Offensive operations, according to the doctrine, can be carried out “when it is justified.” In particular, to confront an adversary who intends to gain access to the space sphere or use it in their own interests. Offensive actions are said to be “essential to achieving superiority in space.”
Offensive operations target an adversary’s space and counterspace capabilities, reducing the effectiveness and lethality of adversary forces across all domains.Offensive operations seek to gain the initiative and may neutralize adversary space missions before they can be em- ployed against friendly forces. Offensive operations are not limited to adversary counterspace systems and can also target the full spectrum of an adversary’s ability to exploit the space domain, which includes targets in the terrestrial and cyber domains.
The space forces also noted that the conduct of offensive operations is not limited only to countering the enemy’s missile defense systems, but can be carried out in relation to “the entire spectrum of the enemy’s anti-satellite potential.” This includes ground targets and objects in cyberspace.
Also, the space forces reserved the right to conduct defensive operations – both passive and active. The latter are needed “to destroy, deprive the enemy’s means of attack of the ability to perform tasks or reduce the effectiveness of threats.”
The US Space Force was created on December 20, 2019. John Raymond was appointed Commander of US Space Command in January 2020.