An Examination of the U.S. National Security Space Strategy

When: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Where: Choate Room, 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036

In 2011, the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) that provided guidance to the U.S. national security space community on how to address the challenges of what they deemed an increasingly "contested, congested, and competitive" space environment. The 2011 NSSS proposed the following set of interrelated strategic approaches for meeting U.S. national security space objectives:
  • Promote responsible, peaceful, and safe use of space;
  • Provide improved U.S. space capabilities;
  • Partner with responsible nations, international organizations, and commercial firms;
  • Prevent and deter aggression against space infrastructure that supports U.S. national security; and
  • Prepare to defeat attacks and to operate in a degraded environment
In the five years since, the debate over the U.S. approach to meeting the challenges of the future space environment has only intensified. Within the national security space community, there has been a significant amount of effort put into fleshing out the concepts to implement the 2011 NSSS, culminating in the publication in 2015 of a white paper outlining a taxonomy for Space Domain Mission Assurance and elements of the FY2016 budget request. But details are still scarce, and both the overall approach outlined in the 2011 NSSS and its implementation have attracted significant criticism and critique. Congress has signaled its concern by mandating a study on "Alternative Defense and Deterrence Strategies in Response to Foreign Counterspace Capabilities" in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act. Outsiders have criticized the current approach as both too weak and too aggressive.
This luncheon panel discussed a range of perspectives on both implementing the 2011 NSSS as well as alternative approaches to addressing the challenges of the current and future trends in space. 


To listen to the audio, please click here.

For the transcript, please click here. 

To read the article in Space Review, please click here.


For further information, please contact SWF Washington Office Director Victoria Samson.


Last updated on June 20, 2016