Iran Press TV

NATO plans new center in France amid space militarization

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 06 February 2021 10:59 AM

The US-led military alliance of NATO has formally announced plans to create a new space center in France, which already hosts one of the 27 space organizations of the alliance.

The French Air and Space Force's space command will accommodate the "center of excellence" in the city of Toulouse, starting next summer.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization made the decision last month, but the announcement was made on Thursday.

"Toulouse is the beating heart of the space industry and research in France with the CNES, Airbus, Thales," said a spokesman for the French Armed Forces Ministry.

"The minister of the armed forces, Florence Parly, had decided to establish the space command in Toulouse, so we already have military personnel in situ."

According to the alliance, its centers "offer recognized expertise and experience that is of benefit to the Alliance... while avoiding the duplication of assets, resources and capabilities already present with the Alliance.'

The first of 42 experts, of whom 25 will be French, are expected to arrive at the site this summer. The remainder will be at the site in 2025.

The alliance adopted a Space Policy in 2019 and recognized space as a new operational domain, alongside air land and sea.

Back then, former US president Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to establish the Space Force – the first new US military branch in 72 years – calling for his country's "dominance in space."

In the waning days of his presidency, Trump's administration said that the Space Force will become a full member of the US intelligence community.

According to Trump's director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, the Space Force would become the 18th member of the US intelligence community.

The community already includes the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and multiple other agencies.

The move "breaks down barriers to information sharing and ensures that Space Force leadership has access to all the intelligence it needs to be successful," Ratcliffe's office said.

A senior intelligence official said back then that they "refer to outer space as a war fighting domain."

Trump had said earlier that the world "will witness the birth of the Space Force" and that there was "going to be a lot of things happening in space."

He had also accused both China and Russia of seeking to militarize space, saying that Washington has to "beat out its rivals out there."

Russia, however, had expressed concern about the growing militarization of space by the United States and its allies, warning that such hostile measures should be counterbalanced.

Moscow warned that the implementation of US military plans in space could trigger a new era of arms race in the outer space of the earth.

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