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US Defense Space Strategy Factsheet

This short document outlines the motivations and goals behind the creation of the United States' space defense organization. Check out the pdf version here:

CENTRAL PROBLEM: The U.S. defense space enterprise was not built for the current strategic environment. The intentions and advancements of potential adversaries in space are threatening the ability of the United States to deter aggression, to protect U.S. national interests, and to fight and win future conflicts.

DESIRED CONDITIONS: The space domain is secure, stable, and accessible. The use of space by the United States and our allies and partners is underpinned by sustained U.S. military strength.

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

  • Unfettered access to and freedom to operate ins pace is vital to our 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Space Force, U.S. 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 DSS describes how the Department will address threats, challenges, and opportunities in the current and future security environments.

  • China and Russia have weaponized space and turned it into a warfighting domain. They present the greatest strategic threat due to their development, testing, and deployment of counterspace capabilities and their associated military doctrine for employment in conflict extending to space.

  • In parallel, the rapid expansion of allied, partner, and commercial activities in space in recent years has added complexity to the space operating environment while creating unprecedented opportunities for collaboration.

The DSS provides guidance to DoD for achieving our desired conditions in space at an accelerated pace over the next 10 years, focusing on the military application of spacepower. DoD will advance spacepower through the pursuit of the following objectives:

  • Maintain Space Superiority

  • Provide Space Support to National, Joint, and Combined Operations

  • Ensure Space Stability

The strategy guides the most significant transformation in the history of the U.S. national security space program with a phased approach across four lines of effort:

Build a comprehensive military advantage in space

– TransformtheDoDspaceenterprisebyreformingorganizations,toincludebuildingoutthe U.S. Space Force; field assured and resilient architectures; improve intelligence, command and control, and our ability to counter hostile uses of space; and develop spacepower culture, expertise, doctrine, and operational concepts commensurate with the threat. Integrate military spacepower into national, joint, and combined operations – Developandenhancetheintegrationofspacepowerdoctrine,capabilities,andpersonnelinto national, joint, and combined operations, to include integrating space warfighting operations, intelligence, capabilities, and personnel into military plans and staffs; enable U.S. Space Command to bring full-time operational focus to deterrence and employment of military spacepower; realign operational authorities and update rules of engagement; update security classification for DoD space programs; and integrate allies and partners into space activities. Shape the strategic environment – Deter adversary aggression and attacks in space; align with allies and partners to develop and promote standards and norms of appropriate behavior in space to reduce the potential for miscalculations; inform international and public audiences of growing adversarial threats in space; and advance U.S., allied, and partner national security interests. Cooperate with allies, partners, industry, and U.S. Government departments and agencies. – Enhance space cooperation within the U.S. Government and with the international community and commercial sector to leverage opportunities in policy, strategy, capabilities, information sharing, and operations.

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