Friends of the George Marshall Institute,

I am pleased to announce the release of two publications by the Marshall Institute under the auspices of our National Security Space Program. The first is a Policy Outlook by James E. Oberg given as a presentation at the Workshop on Space, Strategy and China’s Future at the Air War College Center for Asian Strategic Studies on June 27, 2006. The paper examines recent calls for expanding U.S. – Chinese space cooperation and the need to carefully engineer any future relationship in this regard.

Describing the short list of potential benefits of such a relationship, he concludes: “These benefits are nowhere on the scale of grandiose promises once made for the ‘Russian space partnership,’ and sometimes still claimed, falsely or in ignorance, to actually have been achieved, or the fanciful hope-driven hand-waving of current advocates of a grand new U.S.-Chinese space partnership. But they could have the advantage of being real, and of quite possibly coming true, if properly negotiated.”

The report also contains a useful review of the U.S. – Russian space partnership while questioning the necessity of similar U.S.-Chinese cooperation. Copies of the Policy Outlook are available at:

The Institute has also released a transcript of a Roundtable event held on May 12th at the National Press Club, titled “National Space Policy: Does it Matter?” Four speakers, Richard Buenneke, Richard DalBello, Cargill Hall, and Roger Launius, mediated by Robert Butterworth, discussed the importance of national space policy.

Presidential decisions about launchers and satellites directly affect the nation’s space program. But the impact of a “national space policy” seems at best distal. Sometimes it sets future priorities; sometimes it ratifies previous ones; sometimes it reflects a president’s views; and sometimes it is bureaucratic sausage. Producing it often involves plenty of bureaucratic sound and fury. But what does the product signify?

The event discusses the current implications for living on the policy established by a previous administration and seeks to answer the question: Does national space policy matter?

The transcript of the event is available at:

Best regards, Jeff Kueter President