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US DoD releases Space Force defence strategy

Stephen Kuper

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has released the Defense Space Strategy, which identifies how Department of Defense will advance spacepower to be able to compete, deter, and win in a complex security environment characterised by great power competition.

US DoD releases Space Force defence strategy
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Through the strategy, the US Department of Defense will advance spacepower through the pursuit of three objectives: maintain space superiority; provide space support to national, joint, and combined operations; and ensure space stability.

Secretary Esper said, "We desire a secure, stable, and accessible space domain that underpins our nation’s security, prosperity and scientific achievement.

"However, our adversaries have made space a warfighting domain and we have to implement enterprise-wide changes to policies, strategies, operations, investments, capabilities, and expertise for this new strategic environment. This strategy identifies a phased approach on how we are going to achieve the desired conditions in space over the next 10 years."

Additionally, the Department will pursue four priority lines of effort to achieve the desired conditions while addressing identified threats, opportunities and challenges:

  • Build a comprehensive military advantage in space;
  • Integrate military spacepower into national, joint and combined operations;
  • Shape the strategic environment; and
  • Co-operate with allies, partners, industry, and other US government departments and agencies.

Secretary Esper added, "The Defense Space Strategy is the next step to ensure space superiority and to secure the nation’s vital interests in space now and in the future."

The Defense Space Strategy identifies how DoD will advance spacepower to enable the Department to compete, deter and win in a complex security environment characterised by great power competition.

These key factors include: 

  • Unfettered access to and freedom to operate in space is vital to the nation’s security, prosperity, and scientific achievement. Ensuring the availability of space-based capabilities is fundamental to establishing and maintaining military superiority across all domains and to advancing US and global security and economic  prosperity.
  • The DoD is adapting to a new security environment in which space is now a contested, warfighting domain. This requires comprehensive Department-wide changes to ensure US space superiority and to secure the nation’s vital interests in space.
  • This strategy will align the DoD space enterprise by providing strategic direction to leverage historic opportunities for reform due to the establishment of the US Space Force, US Space Command, and the Space Development Agency, along with enhanced space acquisition efforts.
  • The strategy embraces space as a unique domain of military power that, together with the other domains, underpins multi-domain joint and combined operations to advance national security.

The unclassified summary of the Defense Space Strategy is available here.

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