On the Offense in Space

Despite budget cutbacks, Defense Department officials believe that there are critical areas where they must make investments in the new strategic environment, said Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday. This includes building resilient space systems, and having the ability to challenge others in space, he said during a May 7 speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. As with cyber warfare, DOD needs to figure out where to defend, when it is possible, and when it is not possible across its various space systems, such as weather and navigation satellites, and how to operate without the availability of these capabilities, said Carter. “We are also developing options to counter space capabilities of potential adversaries,” he noted. For the first time, DOD is integrating experts into its space programs who understand anti-satellite and counterspace threats and are helping to develop plans of action to make space systems more survivable, he said. “This is a new effort and we are devoting resources to that in this budget,” said Carter. DOD is also making investments in capabilities to “deny the use of space against our forces,” he said. (Carter transcript)