The 2010 National Space Policy, intended “to express the President’s direction for the Nation’s space activities,” was released by the Obama Administration on June 28. Responses were for the most part swift and predictable. While drawing heavily from past consistent principles, all analysts agreed that the tone and emphasis differed significantly from the 2006 Bush Administration policy, which itself was a departure from past policies in terms of a greater military focus and nationalistic orientation. Views on which tone and emphasis is best has ranged along the ideological spectrum. A sampling of opinions is indicative. Baker Spring, from the conservative Heritage Foundation, focused on the Bush approach to space being “right” as much or more than analyzing the Obama policy. Jeff Keuter at The Marshall Institute provided a useful side-by-side comparison of the language, in part, it seems, toward establishing that the Bush policy was consistent with past policies and therefore any changes in the Obama policy required explanation for the shift. Michael Krepon at the Stimson Center positively noted the difference between the Bush and Obama policies regarding Obama’s renewed openness to consider diplomatic initiatives toward strengthening U.S. international leadership on space issues, but cited a lack of specifics about potential initiatives, appearing disappointed that the policy did not go further. Some analysts thought there were too many details, some not enough. Experts on a panel held shortly after the policy was released sponsored by The Secure World Foundation (SWF) and The Arms Control Association (ACA) again noted content consistencies with the past, and differences in tone from the Bush policy. Independent analyst Marcia Smith from SpacePolicyOnline.com said it was “less nationalistic, more friendly” but noted “she had a friend” who viewed it as a “policy of appeasement rather than leadership.” Bruce MacDonald from the U.S. Institute for Peace said he for one was “overall quite pleased with the revised policy”, Not surprisingly, professionals and pundits alike read the policy much like a Rorschach test, interpreting it largely based on long-established prior perspectives. Across the spectrum of opinion, all acknowledged that the devil is in the details of implementation.
"The 2010 National Space Policy: Down to Earth?,"
Space and Defense: Vol. 5:
0, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/spaceanddefense/vol5/iss0/5
Asian Studies Commons, Aviation and Space Education Commons, Defense and Security Studies Commons, Eastern European Studies Commons, International Relations Commons, Leadership Studies Commons, Near and Middle Eastern Studies Commons, Nuclear Engineering Commons, Science and Technology Studies Commons, Space Vehicles Commons