Brussels, 27 June 2019 (dpa/MIA) – NATO has adopted its first ever space policy, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday, creating a framework to deal with threats targeting crucial space infrastructure, such as communications and navigation satellites.
“Today, NATO has taken another important step in our adaptation, by approving our first Space Policy,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter during a meeting of defence ministers in Brussels.
“Space is essential to the alliance’s defence and deterrence, from the ability to navigate and track forces to satellite communications and detecting missile launches,” he later told reporters.
The policy is aimed at coordinating efforts among NATO allies to confront challenges emerging in space. The alliance does not aim to develop its own space capabilities.
“This is not about militarizing space,” Stoltenberg stressed, while highlighting NATO’s role as a “forum to share information, increase interoperability, and ensure that our missions and operations can call on the support they need.”
Later this year, NATO could add space to its list of operational areas, alongside land, sea, air and the cyber domain, added in 2016. This would allow the alliance to earmark extra resources and treat space attacks similar to those in other areas.