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Biography

Wing Commander Cliff ‘GSL’ Fletcher-Jones is a senior officer in the Royal Air Force and is the Chief of the Air Staff’s Portal Fellow undertaking doctoral research to develop a theory of spacepower. He has over 14 years of experience in military space operations and has been mission qualified in ten operational space roles.

He holds multiple Master’s degrees and is a Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He is a Qualified Space Instructor, wrote the MSc Aerosystems: Operations and Tactics for the QSIC, and lectures internationally on space power and space warfare.

Research interests

  • Spacepower
  • Anthrocosmology
  • Human geography
  • Organisational psychology
  • Taoism
  • Strategy

Doctoral research

Thesis title: 'Tethered to Terra: A spacepower theory that explores the human-space relationship and, using strategic principles of Sun Tzu, considers the human response to actions taken in the space domain'

GSL’s PhD research is grounded in the exploration of cultural perspectives from across the ethnopshere to demonstrate the significance humanity attributes to the heavens, and how humans have constructed cosmologies that give meaning to terran existence. It considers evidence gained from the field of Anthrocosmology to explore the physical and spiritual relationship humanity has with space. The investigation of space, as a place that gives meaning to existence on earth, challenges the western-centric view of space as a domain to be used for projection of power, exploration, prestige, and exploitation.

Once shown that humanity is inviolably linked to space; the spacepower research will focus on understanding: space as terrain; the relationship between freedom of action in, from, through, or to space and terrestrial activity; and, based on Taoist principles found in the strategic work of Sun Tzu, will investigate the hypotheses that if space can be affected by small scale actions, then actions in space may have disproportionate effect on terran politics.

The hypotheses will be tested using wargame methodology.

Supervisors

Dr David Jordan

Dr Ian Gooderson