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AA 22/11/19: NATO to protect satellites in space: Expert

Senior expert at German Marshall Fund says NATO has yet to develop its policy on space.


A defense expert has praised NATO's move to develop a policy to deter potential aggressors in space.

NATO allies agreed earlier this week to recognize space as a new operational domain for the alliance, alongside air, land, sea and cyber.

Bruno Lete, a senior expert at German Marshall Fund, told Anadolu Agency that space is increasingly becoming a field of military concern.

Lete said this concern stems from satellites in space which have military purposes.

They include GPS satellites that help tanks, frigates and warships navigate across lands or seas.

"Those satellites are vulnerable, they are just out there, unprotected," he said.

"France and the U.S. have accused two major competitors of NATO, notably China and Russia, of looking to develop technologies that could take out Western satellites," he said.

He said the new move of NATO on space is to protect its infrastructure there, implying the satellites.

"I think the next step would be to develop a policy," Lete added.

French leader's comment

He voiced concern over French President Emmanuel Macron's comments on NATO saying the alliance is "brain dead".

He said Macron made that statement to please his voters.

"NATO is still a beacon of stability in a security architecture that is changing rapidly," Lete added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has previously said that NATO has no intention to put weapons into space, and the alliance’s approach to space will remain fully in line with international law.

However, this latest expansion of its ambit into space has sparked a debate on whether it be part of the collective defense of NATO allies, also known as article 5.

NATO has not made a clear statement over the issue and said that it is still early to discuss the applicability of article 5 on space.

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