December 14, 2021

Will Strong Actions Follow Words in Biden’s Space Policy?

By Hannah Dennis and Kaitlyn Johnson

The bipartisan nature of space policy has allowed collaboration across the federal government and a continuity between administrations that is rare in the national security world. The new Space Priorities Framework [PDF] released earlier this month by the Biden White House follows in that tradition, reaffirming space priorities that will allow the US government to catch up with the American commercial space sector and protect national interests in an increasingly contested domain.

From that standpoint, the framework scores full marks for continuity in strategic priorities and some improved messaging, but these priorities must be followed by actions and investments. So what do the Biden administration and Congress need to do to walk the space walk?

From setting a strong anti-satellite weapons test policy to engaging in space traffic management, the United States needs to make several key decisions and investments in the coming months to begin following through on these commitments.

The United States is the world leader in space. A robust space program enables us to expand our alliances and partnerships and underpins our military strength.

In the new framework, consensus priorities include investment in space domain awareness capabilities, which serve important peacetime functions of preventing and resolving non-hostile threats (through space traffic management, or coordination) and deterring hostile acts (through demonstrated capabilities in detection and attribution). In wartime, space domain awareness capabilities help the United States respond to hostile acts when deterrence fails.

Two additional related lines of effort are the pursuit of improved acquisition processes for essential space technologies, investment in more resilient systems and architectures, and increased cooperation with other civil, commercial, or military space actors.

Read the full article from Breaking Defense.

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