Building Space Resiliency

China opened the world’s eyes in 2007 when it blew up one of its own defunct satellites, irresponsibly littering space with many thousands of pieces of debris. But it’s not the only country employing counterspace capabilities. Both Iran and Ethiopia have jammed commercial satellites, said Gregory Schulte, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy. “If Ethiopia can jam a commercial satellite, I mean, you have to worry about what others could do,” he said during a Pentagon briefing with Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn. The newly released National Security Space Strategy outlines a four-layer approach to building space resiliency in an effort to protect US assets against such capabilities. Schulte said the “first layer of deterrence” is to develop a set of international norms, creating an extra layer of protection against possible adversaries. The US also must build international partnerships, so “an attack on one would be an attack on all,” he said. The third layer requires the US to revamp its training and doctrine so that the military is able to fight on despite an attack. The final layer is to respond to an attack, if necessary. (Lynn-Schulte transcript) (NSSS fact sheet) (See also Crowded, Congested Space from Air Force Magazine’s 2010 archive)