In addition to this new policy's ownership statement of outer space, the policy also rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space.
The introduction of the new policy begins with "Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power." However, the White House has denied that the policy was written.
The 10-page National Space Policy document states that U.S. national security "is critically dependent upon space capabilities, and this dependence will grow." The document goes on to say "The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space … and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to US national interests."
A senior Bush administration official indicated that the new policy was not about developing or deploying weapons in space -- but Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center -- a non-partisan think-tank that follows the space-weaponry issue -- said the policy changes will reinforce international suspicions that the U.S. may seek to develop, test and deploy space weapons.
Bush administration officials have asserted that the new policy and its specifics were geared towards international diplomacy and cooperation rather than secluding space rights for American weapons and related systems. White House officials added that the document also makes the U.S. position clear, and that no new arms-control agreements are needed, because there is no space arms race.
But the new National Space Policy calls on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide "space capabilities" to support missile-warning systems as well as "multi-layered and integrated missile defenses." Although a number of nations have pushed for talks to ban space weapons in recent years, the United States has long been one of a handful of nations opposed to the idea.