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Commission calls for increased U.S. defense emphasis on space
Posted: Fri, Jan 12, 2001, 2:09 PM ET (1909 GMT)
The United States needs to do more to protect its space-related interests, an independent commission concluded in a report issued Thursday. The report noted that the nation's increasing dependence on space systems, from communications to reconnaissance, makes it vulnerable to a "Space Pearl Harbor" in a future conflict, and that the government has done little to address this threat. The report provided a number of recommendations to make the government more focused on national security space policy, including a request for additional support from the President and changes in the structures of the Defense Department, Air Force, and other government agencies. The report stopped short, however, of endorsing a "Space Force" as an independent branch of the military, but acknowledged that it might be necessary in the long term. The report's recommendations stand a good chance of being enacted as the commission was chaired by Donald Rumsfeld, President-elect George W. Bush's choice for defense secretary.
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