On February 19, 2019, President Trump signed a new Space Policy Directive, which directs the Department of Defense (DoD) to formally create a separate military service for space. This long-anticipated announcement endorses DoD to submit to Congress a request to stand up the U.S. Space Force.
Expectations have been building for the FY 2020 defense budget request, a budget that acting secretary of defense Shanahan has called the “masterpiece.” As the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) works on finalizing the request, experts from the CSIS International Security Program outline what to look for in the FY 2020 defense budget.
As the administration moves forward with establishing a new military service focused on space, leaders should keep their language clear and use this opportunity to educate the public about both civil and national security space. Keeping NASA and the Space Force separate rhetorically and organizationally is best for national security and for space exploration.
In a world where unmanned aerial vehicles are plentiful, cruise missiles are becoming more abundant, and hypersonic boost glide vehicles are just over the horizon, air and missile threats are coming from all directions. To address the realities of this environment, effective defenses require an air and missile defense sensor architecture that looks in all directions as well.
One of the often-used excuses given by Congress not to authorize a new round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) is that the military is currently growing and could use the excess capacity to house that growth. But executing a BRAC round while the force is scheduled to grow will allow DoD to think critically about where that growth should go, instead of simply sending it to where there is room.
We recognize that the magnitude of the threats posed by malicious cyber activity leads people to look for a big, bold, visible sign of change. Creating a U.S. Department of Cybersecurity is not the answer. We cannot stovepipe thinking about cybersecurity into one centralized place or approach. The threat is so pervasive and so severe that it requires a recognition that a change in thinking is necessary for everyone operating an enterprise.
Although the Trump administration has not yet released its Missile Defense Review, as mandated by Congress, it is considering the possible deployment of space-based interceptors. At a time of growing budgetary pressures as well as increased competition with other great powers, the United States can ill afford to waste precious dollars on space-based missile defenses and a new arms race that will make us less, rather than more, secure.