Skip to comments.U.S. Officer: Secrecy Among Coalition Forces Hinders Use of Space Assets in Afghanistan
Posted on 05/10/2010 11:13:53 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The 40-plus nations taking part in NATOs International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan are often in the dark about what space assets are available to them and are too often denied access to space-derived intelligence, according to the former chief of ISAF space operations.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Single, who this year returned from five months in Kabul trying to raise ISAF troops awareness of what satellites can bring to the war effort in Afghanistan, said secrecy often keeps coalition team members from speaking about space-related topics with each other.
Just as striking, he said, is the fact that many coalition members the United States being the obvious exception have not integrated satellites into their thinking about how to manage a war in a nation where communications by other means is often impossible.
In some cases, insurgents were much more savvy in using space than the coalition forces because they have to be, Single said here during the April 20 Milspace 2010 conference organized by SMi Group of London.
Single, an air and space strategist at NATOs Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kelkar, Germany, has long been outspoken about the need for NATO to integrate space-enabled capabilities more fully into its operations. But the organization has faced budgetary and other difficulties in getting this done.
Being stationed in Afghanistan reinforced his assessment that only the United States and a few of its allies have begun pushing space capabilities out of the strategic command centers and into the field for troops to use.
Not the least of the problems is the continued secrecy that surrounds some space operations, especially in Afghanistan, where suspicion of Afghan troops remains despite increased integration between Afghan and NATO forces, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at spacenews.com ...
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