U.S. Space Ambassadors Will Soon Be Around the World
FThe diplomats are first to arrive, followed by the fighters. The National Defense Authorization Act, which created the U.S. Space Force on December 20, 2019, was signed. This was the first new military branch to be established in 72 years. The Space Force’s remit was not just to protect U.S. assets, like spy satellites, from attacks by hostile nations; it was also to prepare the nation for the possibility that space might one day become a war-fighting domain. The Space Force’s motto? “Semper Supra,” or “Always Above.”
It appears that the same applies to ground. You can see it. Air Force Magazine reports this week, the new branch of the military is looking to exercise soft power as well, planning to create a Regional Space Adviser (RSA) program that would establish the position of space attaché in select countries around the world. According to Space Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Brooke Davis, the new program will “develop a cadre of space professionals focused on strengthening allies and partner relationships.”
The biggest decision the Space Force faces at the moment is how widespread the diplomatic corps will be and which host countries will get an attaché. U.K. will be the country that welcomes the diplomats. The U.K. already has a space force, has the highest number of satellites and is second only to China. Other countries considered likely to be home to a space attaché include Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Denmark, and India—all of which have extensive space assets that could benefit from partnering with the U.S.
However, patience is necessary. Diplomatic wheels turn slowly, and not only are the countries that will receive attachés not selected, no timeline for when those officers would be dispatched into the field has been set.
“The Space Force just stood up in the past two or three years,” Colonel Charles Metrolis, the Air Force attaché to the U.S. embassy in London, told Air Force Magazine. “They’re going through their personnel and deciding how they want to work on the diplomatic side.”
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