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News Release


Release No: 540-96
September 19, 1996


Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Space Robert V. Davis participated today in the White House announcement of the new National Space Policy signed by the President. This new classified policy supersedes the 1989 policy. The directive provides guidance for the conduct of United States space activities, and updates and reaffirms U.S. goals and activities in space.

Prominent aspects of the new policy dealing with the Department of Defense include:

Renewed direction that the United States will maintain its leadership role by supporting a strong, stable and balanced national space program that serves our goals in national security and other areas.

Renewed direction that the goals of the U.S. space program include:

- Strengthening and maintaining the national security of the United States;


- Promoting international cooperation to further U.S. national security and foreign policies.

Renewed direction that the U.S. Government will maintain and coordinate separate national security and civil space systems where differing needs dictate.

Renewed direction that the United States will conduct those space activities necessary for national security. These activities will be overseen by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence consistent with their respective responsibilities as set forth in the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, other applicable law, and Executive Order 12333.

Direction that key priorities for national security space activities are to improve our ability to support military operations worldwide, monitor and respond to strategic military threats, and monitor arms control and non-proliferation agreements and activities.

Direction that the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence shall ensure that defense and intelligence space activities are closely coordinated; that space architectures are integrated to the maximum extent feasible; and will continue to modernize and improve their respective activities to collect against, and respond to, changing threats, environments and adversaries.

Renewed direction that national security space activities shall contribute to U.S. national security by: >P> - Providing support for the United States' inherent right of self-defense and our defense commitments to allies and friends;

- Deterring, warning and, if necessary, defending against enemy attack;

- Assuring that hostile forces cannot prevent our own use of space;

- Countering, if necessary, space systems and services used for hostile purposes;

- Enhancing operations of U.S. and allied forces;

- Ensuring our ability to conduct military and intelligence space-related activities;

- Satisfying military and intelligence requirements during peace and crisis, as well as through all levels of conflict; and

- Supporting the activities of national policy makers, the intelligence community, the National Command Authorities, combatant commanders and the military services, other federal officials, and continuity of government operations.

Direction that critical capabilities necessary for executing space missions must be assured.

Renewed direction that DoD shall maintain the capability to execute the mission areas of space support, force enhancement, space control, and force application.

Renewed direction that DoD, as launch agent for both the defense and intelligence sectors, will maintain the capability to evolve and support those space transportation systems, infrastructure, and support activities necessary to meet national security requirements.

Direction that DoD will be the lead agency for improvement and evolution of the current expendable launch vehicle fleet, including appropriate technology development.

Direction that DoD will pursue integrated satellite control, continue to enhance the robustness of its satellite control capability, and coordinate with other departments and agencies, as appropriate, to foster the integration and interoperability of satellite control for all governmental space activities.

Renewed direction that, consistent with treaty obligations, the United States will develop, operate, and maintain space control capabilities to ensure freedom of action in space and, if directed, deny such freedom of action to adversaries.

Direction that the United States will pursue a ballistic missile defense program to provide for: enhanced theater missile defense capability later this decade; a national missile defense deployment readiness program as a hedge against the emergence of a long-range ballistic missile threat to the United States; and an advanced technology program to provide options for improvements to planned and deployed defenses.

In general, this first post-Cold War statement of National Space Policy provides a coherent vision and direction for the conduct of space activities in response to the major changes which have occurred since 1989. These changes include: the transformation of the international security environment; recent operational employments of space forces; reductions in the resources allocated for national security; advances in military technology which are altering the conduct of warfare; the increased interaction among the national security, civil and commercial space sectors; and the global proliferation of space systems, technology and information.

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