Trade Space in the QDR

Gen. Robert Kehler, head of Air Force Space Command, believes topics ripe for debate during the just-commenced Quadrennial Defense Review include the need for “protecting our assets” in space and “how aggressively” the Air Force will be allowed to do that. Speaking Wednesday in Washington, D.C., during a National Space Foundation roundtable, Kehler said that space situational awareness will be a topic, as will “questions about resources” allotted to “foundational intelligence.” Also in the mix, he said, should be the Air Force’s role as executive agent for space, not to mention how DOD’s “bigger budget decisions” affecting space assets affect the US military as a whole. Kehler said much of the agenda will be fashioned during a Congressionally-mandated Space Posture Review. “The Department is just getting some traction on how it’s going to go about that Space Posture Review,” said Kehler, adding, “We are part of that discussion.” The last major space organizational overhaul happened on Donald Rumsfeld’s watch as he switched from his chairmanship of the Space Commission to Secretary of Defense and implemented many of his own recommendations.