Congress needs to make clear the military is responsible for planetary defense and preparing for the remote but catastrophic possibility of an asteroid threatening the Earth, according to a new paper published by the American Foreign Policy Council.
Peter Garretson, a retired Air Force officer and space strategist who is now a senior fellow in defense studies at AFPC, points out that a 2001 commission recommended a “joint civil and military initiative to develop a core space infrastructure that will address emerging national needs for military use and planetary defense.”
“Unfortunately, the intervening two decades have not resulted in such a coordinated initiative, but instead the lack of legislative clarity has led to competing and often contradictory impulses,” Garretson writes.
It is time for Congress to fix that, he added. “Now that a Space Force and dedicated U.S. Space Command exist, it is appropriate for Congress to author legislation affixing these responsibilities to the agencies statutorily tasked to ’protect the interests of the United States in space’ and conduct operations in, from, and to space to defend U.S. vital interests.”
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