How to Deter New Space Threats

By Todd Harrison

Todd Harrison is the director of the Aerospace Security Project and the director of Defense Budget Analysis at CSIS.  Harrison joined CSIS from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he was a senior fellow for defense budget studies. He previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton where he consulted for the Air Force on satellite communications systems and supported a variety of other clients evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. Prior to Booz Allen, he worked for a small startup (AeroAstro Inc.) developing advanced space technologies and as a management consultant at Diamond Cluster International. 

In the past, space was dominated by the Soviet Union and the United States. Today, however, space has become a vital part of all our lives, economies, and national defense systems. Satellites now crowd our orbit with vital communications, global positioning (GPS) networks, and imaging platforms. At the same time, improved technology and cost-cutting techniques have allowed other countries, as well as private spaceflight companies like SpaceX, to join the U.S. and Russia in orbit. This new age of commercialization and exploration offers many opportunities, however, it also presents the U.S. and other countries with unique security dilemmas. The Cipher Brief spoke with Todd Harrison, Director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS), to explore this new dynamic, the threats it poses, and the opportunities it opens for American space security.

The Cipher Brief: Why is space important to U.S. policy, especially in the national security realm, and how does the proliferation of international and private actors complicate that policy?

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