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JSPES, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Spring 2003 )
pp. 3-29

The United States Post Cold War Military Space Policy

Matthew Mowthorpe

This article examines the United States' military space policy since the end of the cold war. It analyses President Clinton's two terms of office and the start of President Bush's administration with respect to missile defence policy and military space policy. The Clinton administration's period in office saw political manoeuvring between Congress and the president over national missile defence plans. A number of congressionally initiated acts instigated a programme towards the building of a national missile defence system, including an exoatmospheric interceptor. It examines the significance and rationale for the United States withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. The Commission to Assess the U.S. National Security Space Management and Organisation reported during the first months of President Bush's administration. The impact this had on military space policy and the organisational changes it had on the space infrastructure are analysed. The space-based weapons that are being considered are outlined, and the impact and contribution military space assets have made to recent conflicts such as the campaign in Yugoslavia and events in Afghanistan are discussed.