NATO is set to launch its first strategy for space, as the alliance looks to combat the growing military capabilities of Russia and China beyond planet Earth. Defense ministers from its 29 members are next week expected to open a debate on how NATO should deal with threats ranging from satellite disruption to the militarization of space and the threat from space debris.
Diplomats say the talks could lead NATO to make space an official domain of operation with the possibility that attacks there would trigger the organizations “Article 5” provisions on collective defense, although they also cautioned that internal differences remained.
“What we are looking towards is to bring space firmly on to the agenda at NATO. What the environment is, what the threats are,” said one alliance diplomat. “It is about understanding how things in space interact with what is on Earth — and understanding what resilience we would need to mitigate that.”
The decision, set to be taken at a Dec. 3-4 leaders summit in London that Trump is due to attend, would formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space. “There’s agreement that we should make space a domain and the London summit is the best place to make it official,” said one senior NATO diplomat involved in the discussions, although cautioning that technical policy work was still underway.
Ministers are expected to agree the creation of the space strategy at their regular meeting in Brussels starting on Wednesday, after leaders last year sought a solution to the issue and ahead of another summit due in London in December.
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17 November, 2019