President Bush signed a new version of the U.S. National Space Policy this week that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny space access to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests".
The document, the first full revision of overall space policy in 10 years, emphasizes security issues, encourages private enterprise in space, and characterizes the role of U.S. space diplomacy largely in terms of persuading other nations to support U.S. policy.
"Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power," the policy asserts in its introduction.
National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said in written comments that an update was needed to "reflect the fact that space has become an even more important component of U.S. economic, national and homeland security." The military has become increasingly dependent on satellite communication and navigation, as have providers of cellphones, personal navigation devices and even ATMs.