The Bush administration warned Wednesday against threats by terrorist groups and other nations against U.S. commercial and military satellites, and discounted the need for a treaty aimed at preventing an arms race in space.
Undersecretary of State Robert G. Joseph also reasserted U.S. policy that it has a right to use force against hostile nations or terror groups that might try to attack American satellites or ground installations that support space programs. President Bush adopted a new U.S. space policy earlier this year.
"We reserve the right to defend ourselves against hostile attacks and interference with our space assets," Joseph said in prepared remarks to the George C. Marshall Institute.
Joseph, the senior arms control official at the State Department, said nations cannot all be counted on to use space purely for peaceful purposes.
"A number of countries are exploring and acquiring capabilities to counter, attack, and defeat U.S. space systems," Joseph said