Press Release

Commission Urges Recognition of Space as Top National Security Priority

By SpaceRef Editor
January 11, 2001
Filed under ,

Military Space Report The US is more dependent on space than any
other country. That dependence is increasing rapidly, and it creates new
vulnerabilities, which ought to receive top priority attention at the highest
levels of US Government. According to the Report of the Commission to Assess
United States National Security Space Management and Organization, delivered to
Congress and the Secretary of Defense today, “Only the President has the
authority … to provide the guidance and direction… needed to ensure that the
United States remains the worldís leading space-faring nation.”

The bipartisan Commission, established by Congress last year, is composed of
experts from the private sector, Congress, and the executive branch of
government. Emphasizing the importance of protecting peace and security in
space, they determined that “the Department of Defense and Intelligence
Community (are) not yet arranged or focused to meet the national security space
needs of the 21st century.” The panel concluded that a number of
organizational changes are required within the executive branch to achieve
greater responsibility and accountability for space issues.

Of special importance, the report points out, is the relationship between the
Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence. These two must
collaborate closely and continuously so as to resolve the differences over space
programs that inevitably arise between their two large bureaucracies.

Six months of research, hearings, and interviews with the countryís top
experts have convinced the Commission that it is a virtual certainty that space
will witness conflict as have the other transportation media – air, land, and
sea. “This will require superior space capabilities,” the panel
concludes, which the United States must take immediate steps to develop.

Particularly crucial in the Commissionís view is the nourishment of the
sophisticated scientific and technological resources (which include people as
well as facilities) the United States will need to retain its position as the
worldís leading space-faring nation.

The report, which is unclassified, is available to the public through the
Internet at www.space.gov.


Media Contact: Paul Hanley, Tel: 703-684-3144; FAX: 703-519-0133; Email:
[email protected]

  • Report of the Commission to Assess United States National Security, Space Management and Organization (full text)

  • SpaceRef staff editor.