NATO Space Enterprise: Throttle Up or Fall Short


Jun 4, 2024

View of Earth from space with grid network around the planet, photo by Eoneren/Getty Images

Photo by Eoneren/Getty Images

This commentary originally appeared on Defense News on June 4, 2024.

This piece is part of a commentary series on the upcoming NATO summit in Washington in which RAND researchers explore important strategic questions for the alliance as NATO confronts a historic moment, navigating both promise and peril.

The importance of space has been increasing for allied defense, deterrence, operations, and resilience over the last few decades. This summer's NATO summit in Washington presents a key opportunity to build on the alliance's nascent space policy and structure at an inflection point for NATO and space power.

NATO has made slow, steady progress on space policy for just over a decade. NATO published its first policy-level document related to space in 2012 and focused on space support to operations, but not until 2019 did NATO release a new space policy and declare space an operational domain.…

The remainder of this commentary is available at

Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Bruce McClintock is a senior policy researcher at RAND, where he leads its Space Enterprise Initiative. He previously served as a defense attaché in Russia from 2014 to 2016. Anca Agachi is a defense policy analyst at RAND and a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council think tank.