John Sheldon's Articles

Dr. John B. Sheldon is president of the Torridon Group LLC, an international space and cyberspace policy and strategy consultancy based in Washington and.a Marshall Institute Fellow. Dr. Sheldon was a visiting professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, where he taught and directed the Space and National Security and the Information, Cyber, and Intelligence Power courses. Prior to his Marshall Institute and SAASS appointments, Dr. Sheldon was program director for Space Security at the Centre for Defence and International Security Studies, Henley-on-Thames, UK. Dr. Sheldon is also Editor Emeritus of Astropolitics, of which he was a founding co-editor, a peer-reviewed space policy journal published by Routledge, and has published numerous articles and chapters on national security space policy and strategy, cyberspace, and strategic theory. Dr. Sheldon formerly served in the British Diplomatic Service, and received his BA (Hons.) in Politics and International Relations and MA in Security Studies from the University of Hull, UK, and his Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies from the University of Reading, UK. Dr. Sheldon now resides with his American wife in the United States. His weblog can be found at

Strategy Still Needed to Deal With Putin’s Russia, Despite Oil Prices

Supporters of a rules-based international order are probably just a little bit pleased that neo-reactionary Vladimir Putin and his inner circle are experiencing an economic meltdown of unprecedented proportions thanks to tumbling oil prices. However, any Schadenfreude one might experience should surely be tempered by the understanding that the real victims of Russia’s economic woes […]

Geopolitics and Cyber Power: Why Geography Still Matters

Implicit in many analyses of the use of cyber power in international politics and foreign policy is that realist geopolitics no longer matter. Even when the term geopolitics is used in such analysis, it is as though the geography has become unmoored from the politics. While there is undoubtedly a geographic foundation to cyberspace because […]

A Pacific Space Age and Implications for the U.S.

Institute Fellow Dr. John Sheldon appeared at a Heritage Foundation event on March 11 discussing Japanese, Chinese and American space policy and the strategic implications they hold for the future.

A New Chance for U.S.-Asian Space Cooperation

The enactment of much-needed satellite export control reforms in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is not only a welcome opportunity for the U.S. space industry to compete on a more level playing field with international competitors, it also offers a unique opportunity for U.S. commercial interests to dovetail with Washington’s strategic interests in […]

North Korea’s Space Program Takes On a Life of Its Own

The launch of the Unha-3 space launch vehicle on December 12, 2012 is without doubt another iteration of North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile program, as numerous commentators have pointed out in recent days. While a great deal of attention is understandably devoted to North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programs, what is often left out of the […]

Returning to Fundamentals: Deterrence and U.S. National Security in the 21st Century

Is deterrence a “one-size fits all” strategic concept? Can it be applied equally effectively to security challenges as diverse as nuclear weapons and cyberspace? Or do the emerging domains of outer space and cyberspace require their own deterrence strategies? These and related questions are the subject of a collection of essays recently published by the […]

Importance of Leadership in Space Security

Dr. John Sheldon, a Fellow at the George C. Marshall Institute, discusses the role of leadership in outer space.

Space Conflict and Norms

Dr. John Sheldon, a George C. Marshall Institute Fellow, discusses the contributions of ‘rules of the road’ and ‘codes of conduct’ in meeting the security challenges confronting the United States in space.

Space Deterrence

Dr. John Sheldon, a George C. Marshall Institute Fellow, discusses space security challenges facing the United States and and the utility of deterrence in meeting those challenges.

A Day Without Space: Considering National Security Implications

On July 19, 2011 the Space Enterprise Council and the George C. Marshall Institute hosted A Day Without Space: Considering National Security Implications. The Day Without Space series was launched in 2008 and strives to educate policy makers and the public about the growing importance of space to their daily lives and to U.S. economic and […]

Achieving Mutual Comprehension: Why Cyberpower Matters to Both Developed and Developing States

Cyberspace and the security issues pertaining to it have recently taken up a significant portion of the diplomatic and international security agenda. This is largely due to the perceived and actual threats posed by cyber capabilities to the national security and economic well-being of states. So far much of the agenda and its attendant debates […]

Space Power and Deterrence: Are We Serious?

It is commonplace, if not universal, for defense officials and punditry to acknowledge the vital role of satellites in the maintenance and execution of U.S. national security across the entire spectrum of war. Certainly, very few would argue — and argue plausibly — that the plethora of satellites at the disposal of the U.S. government […]

A Day Without Space: Economic and National Security Ramifications

Space systems provide significant benefits to American commerce and national security.  On October 16, 2008 the George Marshall Institute and the Space Enterprise Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a “A Day Without Space” to discuss the implications of losing access to space-borne assets and information for the U.S. economy and national security. Speakers […]

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