An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Feb. 11, 2019

Defense Intelligence Agency Releases Report on Challenges to U.S. Security in Space

By DIA Public Affairs

Contact: James Kudla,, 202-231-0818

    CDR Pam Rawe,, 202-231-0808

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) today released “Challenges to Security in Space,” a report that examines the space and counterspace programs that could challenge U.S. or partner interests in the space domain.


The advantage that the United States holds in space – and our perceived dependence on it – will continue to drive actors to improve their abilities to operate in and through space.


The report notes that “space-based capabilities provide integral support to military, commercial and civilian applications” and that “longstanding technological and cost barriers to space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in satellite construction, space launch, space exploration and human spaceflight.”


Although these advancements are creating new opportunities, new risks for space-enabled services have emerged, according to the DIA report.


“Having seen the benefits of space-enabled operations, some foreign governments are developing capabilities that threaten others’ ability to use space. China and Russia, in particular have taken steps to challenge the United States,” the report said.


In particular, the report notes that:


  •  Chinese and Russian military doctrines indicate they view space as important to modern warfare and counterspace capabilities as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness.
  • Both countries have developed robust and capable space services, including space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • China and Russia are making improvements to existing systems including space launch vehicles and satellite navigation constellations.
  • These capabilities provide their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide with enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track and target U.S. and allied forces.
  • Chinese and Russian space surveillance networks are capable of searching, tracking and characterizing satellites in all earth orbits. This capability supports both space operations and counterspace systems.
  • Both states are developing jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities and ground-based antisatellite missiles that can achieve a range of reversible to non-reversible effects.


DIA’s “Challenges to Security in Space” report is intended to support a deeper public understanding of key space and counterspace issues and inform open dialogue and partner engagement on these challenges.


LINK to report: http://www/


DIA officers are united in a common vision – to be the indispensable source of defense intelligence expertise for the nation. For 58 years, DIA has met the full range of security challenges faced by the United States. DIA intelligence officers operate across the globe, supporting customers from forward-deployed warfighters to national policymakers.