The Department of Defense and Intelligence Community still lack a comprehensive strategy for national security space, and until one is issued, the nation runs the risk of facing capability gaps in some areas while pursuing redundant systems in others, the Government Accountability Office warned Congress in a letter report issued March 27. “DOD and the IC have not developed, agreed upon, or issued a National Security Space Strategy,” reads the report, which GAO prepared for the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. Without the overarching guidance of the document, “the defense and intelligence communities may continue to make independent decisions and use resources that are not necessarily based on national priorities,” GAO says. While the National Security Space Office did develop a comprehensive strategy in 2004, it has never been issued for a variety of reasons ranging from leadership changes in the Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office and “differences of opinion between the defense and intelligence communities,” states GAO. It noted, however that both DOD and the IC see a benefit in having a strategy. As that unfolds, US Strategic Command is building a national military strategy for space operations, Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, who heads the command, said March 4.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.