Basically Unchanged

The Administration’s new National Space Policy is not a call to arm space and has not “changed significantly from the beginning of our ventures into space,” said top arms control official, Robert Joseph, Wednesday at a Washington roundtable sponsored by the George C. Marshall Institute. He went on to explain that the policy emphasizes “increased actions” to secure US space assets “in light of new threats and as a result of our increased use of space.” Like the one before it, the new policy stands on the premise that all nations should have unfettered access to and use of space—for peaceful purposes. The US, as the most dependent upon space of any nation, he explained, must be able to counter state and non-state actors that increasingly have the capability to damage US space assets, whether by employing GPS jammers or by striking a ground station with rocket-propelled grenades. However, the space policy paper’s unheralded release two months ago started a fresh round of complaints that the US was engendering a space arms race. Joseph emphasized, “There is no arms race in space and we see no signs of one emerging.”