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A new military emphasis on space
Posted: Mon, Jan 29, 2001, 9:55 PM ET (0255 GMT)
The new year -- and the new administration -- has brought with it the hints of a change in U.S. national space policy, highlighted by two articles published Monday. One article, published in the Washington Post, described the Air Force's first war game to focus on space. The war game featured a conflict in 2017 between the nations "Blue" (the U.S.) and "Red" (presumed to be China), that included a very strong use of space-based satellites and other military assets as well as third-party commercial satellites. Meanwhile, Frank Sietzen's regular "Spacelift Washington" column published by SpaceRef took a look the Rumsfeld report on the military space policy. That report, along with the Bush administration's decision to keep NASA chief Dan Goldin in office temporarily, suggests to Sietzen that "national security space", and not civilian space, needs might be addressed first by the new president. The article also notes that Rumsfeld, who not only chaired the commission that produced the report but is now in his second stint as defense secretary, has a long interest in military space: as a young Congressman in 1963, he was among a small group of Republicans that dissented against NASA's plans for the Apollo program, arguing instead that military space development was a higher priority.
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