NATO unveils ‘space policy’ — Analysis

US-led alliance explicitly said that space threats ‘could lead to the invocation of Article 5’

NATO sees space as increasingly crucial to its mission. In response to potential threats to its orbital assets and the threat of being attacked by other nations, it has made an announcement.

On Monday, the US-led Alliance publicly published its Overarching Space Policy. It declared space to be “increasingly important”Its members’ security and prosperity. NATO was also concerned that space could be used by others to project power or track the activities of its alliance partners, as well as interfere with their space assets in conflict situations. “complicate”Its response “deny or degrade”They are able to do so. 

Another concern of NATO is that space capabilities could be affected in a way that’s “damaging or disruptive to economic or public life”But it falls “below the thresholds of threat of force, use of force, armed attack or aggression.”

They include cyberattacks and jamming. “high-end kinetic capabilities that produce irreversible effects and which may result in significant and adverse long-term impacts to the space environment,”This includes space debris.

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NATO defines space as “an inherently global environment” so that even if the alliance isn’t directly involved in a conflict, its space assets could still be considered at risk. Monday’s policy explicitly refers to the communique from the 2021 Brussels Summit, which said that such space threats “could lead to the invocation of Article 5,” NATO’s mutual defense clause. According to the policy, this decision would be made case by case.

NATO, however, is “not aiming to become an autonomous space actor,” leaving individual members – such as the US and France – to manage their own military space programs, but with a pledge to voluntarily provide the alliance with “data, products, services or effects that could be required for the Alliance’s operations, missions, and other activities.”

NATO has declared space an “operational domain”The US also established the Space Force in 2019 as an independent military branch. In Ramstein, Germany (alignment), the US established a Space Command in 2019. The NATO Space Center of Excellence is being set up in Toulouse, France. 

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