Deterrence by Debris: The Downside to Cleaning up Space

When:  Dec 9, 2021 from 12:00 to 13:00 (CT)
Associated with  Greater Huntsville Section
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: Current calls to remove orbital debris come from nearly every corner, including governments, militaries, private corporations, and the scientific community. While debris poses a clear threat to space operations, and while this threat will continue to grow over time, too little energy has been spent considering the second-order effects of developing the ability to remove orbital debris. An unintended consequence of debris removal is that it would weaken one of the elements of deterrence that prevent self-interested states from engaging in more frequent kinetic antisatellite tests or taking hostile actions against orbital objects. In this talk Dr. Miller examines the issue of orbital debris, connects the existence of debris to deterrence, and then offers some solutions to mitigate the weakening of deterrence in the event that debris removal becomes a reality.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Gregory D. Miller is Professor of Military and Security Studies at the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), in Montgomery, AL, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Spacepower and Director of the Schriever Space Scholars program.  Prior to joining ACSC in January 2019, he was Chair of the Strategy Department at the Joint Advanced Warfighting School, in Norfolk, VA.  At ACSC, he teaches core courses in Leadership and International Security, as well as electives on The History of Modern Terrorism, Science Fiction and Strategy, and Arctic Strategy.

Dr. Miller received his B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of California, Los Angeles (1996), an M.A. in Security Policy Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University (1998), and an M.A. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) in Political Science from The Ohio State University.

His research interests cover a broad range of topics in the areas of international relations, terrorism, strategy, and space.  In 2012, Cornell University Press published his book, The Shadow of the Past: Reputation and Military Alliances before the First World War, as part of its Studies in Security Affairs series.  His writings appear in more than a dozen journals, including recent space-related articles in Space Policy, Air and Space Power Journal, and The Space Review.  He has a forthcoming article in Astropolitics and a completed book manuscript under contract with Naval Institute Press titled Sun Tzu in Space: What International Relations, History, and Science Fiction Teach us about our Future.

He previously held faculty positions at the College of William & Mary, the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University.  He was Founding Director of the Summer Workshop on Teaching about Terrorism (SWOTT), which ran from 2005 to 2008 and more recently ran the Summer Workshop on Teaching Space (SWOTS) for the first time in July 2021 with another one planned for summer 2022.
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