Fight for the Final Frontier

Irregular Warfare in Space

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Fight for the Final Frontier uses the concepts associated with irregular warfare to offer new insights for understanding the nature of strategic competition in space. Today’s most pressing security concerns are best considered using an irregular warfare lens because incidents and points of potential conflict fall outside the definition of armed conflict. While some universal rules of combat apply across all domains, conflict in space up-ends and flips those assumed standards of understanding.

John Klein provides a solution to reckoning with the many malicious, nefarious, and irresponsible behaviors in the space domain by using the irregular warfare framework. This offers a new paradigm through which one can view and study conflict, outside traditional combat, involving state and non-state actors. A “war” in space will be utterly unlike any that have happened on Earth, though scholars can provide lessons from past conflict to understand the flashpoints in the heavens.

Providing the needed foundational understanding, Fight for the Final Frontier makes the case that irregular warfare in the space domain is shaped by the fundamental nature of all warfare, along with universal principles of strategy and the essential unity of all strategic experience. Going one step further, John Klein outlines the new arenas for battle, new areas of conflict and competition, and the necessary concepts for operating in this bold new frontier.

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Editorial Reviews

Fight for the Final Frontier should be required reading across the professional military education community. The application of irregular warfare theory is a fresh perspective to view the current and evolving conflict in space.”—Mike Fowler, Associate Professor of Military and Strategic Studies, editor of Military Strategy, Joint Operations, and Airpower
"Klein consults and teaches space policy and strategy. War in space is unique because of the characteristics of the domain. Still, since conflict is a duel between humans, there are strategic insights—from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz to Mahan—that can be applied (with caution) to the space domain. Conflict in space is likely to be long, indecisive, messy, and very political. Klein's praiseworthy effort to apply irregular war theory to space is especially useful and valuable. Concepts like hybrid warfare, protracted operations, lawfare, attrition, terrorism, friction, deception, cumulative strategies, non-state actors, dispersal, coordination, maneuver, and surprise are critically important. If the book has any shortcomings, it is downplaying the unique characteristics and geography of space operations—things like gravity wells, constant movement, the energy requirements to shift from one orbit to another, and potential choke points in Celestial Lines of Communication, similar to those in Sea Lines of Communication. Perhaps Klein's next book can expand on these issues. Strategy is important. Logistics is the foundation that makes it possible, especially in space. But what Klein does, he does very well. An excellent contribution. Highly Recommended" —Choice