At the request of its commanders in Afghanistan, NATO is considering sending E-3 AWACS aircraft to assist with escalating combat operations. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer paid a three-day visit to the country last week, where he met with Afghan and International Security Assistance Force officials. However, the AWACS issue has been percolating at least since earlier this month. German media, including Der Spiegel, have reported on the controversy the request has engendered in that country, which houses 18 NATO E-3s and provides many of the crew members, and already is debating whether to send additional ground troops as combat operations have escalated. According to a July 31 report in Stars and Stripes, the German parliament plans to address the AWACS request in September.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”