3 September 2008. This latest edition of "ESPI Perspectives" was prepared by Thomas Single (Major, U.S. Air Force), who is Subject Matter Expert on Space Operations at NATO's Joint Air Power Competence Centre. It contains suggestions for concepts to be included in the development of a NATO Space Policy.
In May 2008, the Joint Air Power Competence Centre released the "NATO Space Operations Assessment". One of the recommendations was the need to develop a NATO Space Policy that would form the foundation for the Alliance, national and public investment in space to better provide for NATO security and to better enable coalition space operations.
This NATO report was drafted by Major Thomas Single, who is also the author of the present "ESPI Perspective 12". He argues that the Alliance requires strategic direction on the use and integration of space capabilities to ensure interoperability and reduce duplication of efforts on similar space systems. Policy and guidance help to define how existing capabilities will be used and to provide direction for the development of new capabilities. There is a need to plan for space systems and capabilities today due to long lead times and the great expense of space systems. The priorities for space today and in the future must be shared amongst the Nations. Currently, space in NATO is fragmented into narrow functional areas. Until there is policy, strategy and high-level guidance, NATO will continue to work in an ad hoc way. A NATO Space Policy would be a first step and should be followed by the development of a strategy, doctrine and other guidance to ensure the Alliance makes best use of the advantages and capabilities offered by space.