Report

Strategic Alert: Towards a Space Security Strategy

March 31st 2021 - 09:00

The world is entering a new and highly consequential phase of the Space Age.

This brings with it many threats and opportunities. The Netherlands boasts a productive and innovative space industry. Globally, launch costs have been reduced dramatically. Yet this democratization of space access also brings with it many challenges. Increased access means increased congestion, risk of collisions, space debris and a growing dependence by the Netherlands on space-based infrastructure.

The extra-terrestrial realm contains vast quantities of raw materials which bring the prospect of enormous economic gains. The increasing number of actors operating in space raises the scope for geopolitical competition. This in turn has led major powers to begin militarizing and weaponizing space in support of terrestrial warfighting capabilities on Earth, while moving towards the establishment of extra-terrestrial footholds.

Our new Strategic Alert delves into the challenges and opportunities of the Space Age and how the Netherlands, and the world, should deal with them.

Authors: Hugo van Manen, Tim Sweijs, Patrick Bolder, with contributions from Jens Emmers and Benedetta Girardi.

Download the PDF here.

Hugo van Manen holds a Master’s degree (MSc) in International Public Management and Policy from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Leiden University. Prior to joining HCSS, Hugo worked as a consultant at Ecorys, where he was involved in several EU-commissioned projects within the field of civil protection, including the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation, DRIVER+, and DG ECHO’s peer review program.
Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Patrick Bolder is an officer in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Since January 2019 he is seconded to The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. His expertise lies in all Defence matters, with a focus on Military Space, Unmanned systems, European Defence issues and Nuclear Policy.