Mattis sees need for new DOD space programs
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said he’s open to funding new space programs if Congress delivers on the military spending hike the White House has sought.
“In space, we need new starts in order to take advantage of what industry can deliver if we are willing to invest there,” Mattis said Sept. 20 during a keynote speech at the annual Air Force Association Air Space Cyber conference here.
Space is becoming a more dangerous military region, Mattis noted.
“In outer space,” he said, “we used to consider it a sanctuary.”
But now, he said, adversaries are challenging the U.S. in that domain as they are in others. “It is contested.”
One particular area that relies heavily on space-related systems is national nuclear deterrence and Mattis spoke of the need to maintain the robust capability. “We have to make sure that the war that can never be won is never fought.”
He pointed out it has taken only a decade for space, as well as cyber, to emerge as major warfighting domains. The U.S. military, he said, must move at a faster pace to keep up.