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Outer Space in the German National Security Strategy

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Two weeks ago, the German government published its first proper National Security Strategy. Among other things, it contained a substantial number of references to outer space – its strategic importance, the vulnerability of space assets, and the importance of international rules for this emerging domain.

I’ve done a quick analysis of the ways that outer space is discussed in the National Security Strategy for the Blog of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). It’s in German so here is the executive executive summary in English:

  • The political relevance of outer space is growing – this is not limited to the current governing coalition but was also evident in the previous one.
  • The government is looking for ways to deter attacks on German/European space assets. I’m not convinced that deterrence works in outer space, at least not in the ways that we are used to.
  • The Federal government reaffirms its alliance commitments and is looking for ways to pool capabilities, e.g. in Space Situational Awareness.
  • German space infrastructures should become more resilient with responsive space being the goal. It is – as yet – a bit unclear how this will be achieved, particularly given the current lack in European launch capabilities.
  • Germany wants to develop and update the outer space regime. It also touts its commitment against debris-creating ASAT tests.

All in all, not bad but I’d like some more details. Thankfully, we can expect those in the National Space Strategy (forthcoming later this year) and the Space Security Strategy, which are expected to add some more depth to the relatively general statements in this document.


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