Biden administration to streamline regulations for commercial military satellites

Biden administration has decided to use capitalism in space in the building and launching of future military reconnaissance and surveillance satellites.

The Intelligence Community (IC) and key policy-makers within the Biden administration are intensifying efforts to reduce regulatory burdens and encourage more competition in the commercial remote sensing satellite marketplace, said Stacey Dixon, deputy director of national intelligence.

While she provided few specifics about plans in her address to the annual GEOINT conference today, she did say that in their deliberations on the way forward, government officials are looking to the model of streamlined space launch licensing practices. Regulatory reform has freed the launch industry in a way that has allowed prices to loft satellites to orbit to drop dramatically, she explained, and there is a thriving ecosystem of American companies competing for business. “It is important to realize and recognize that there’s a growing consensus, not only in the IC but also among policy-makers, that the kind of change that we’ve seen in launch services is the right way to go in other areas,” Dixon said at the conference hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF).

It appears that the success by SpaceX and others in the rocket industry has finally convinced the Washington swamp community, from both parties as well as within the bureaucracy, to embrace private enterprise and freedom, at least in their efforts to launch their space assets.

Don’t be fooled, however, into thinking the Washington bureaucracy and the Biden administration are now free market capitalists. Hardly, as illustrated by this further statement by Dixon:

“If we don’t adapt, others will set the rules and challenge our new leadership. We should set the rules. We should influence the standards, and do so in a way that is consistent with our democratic values,” Dixon said. [emphasis mine]

The swamp is embracing capitalism because they have realized that if they don’t, they will lose all control as private enterprise runs circles around them. By now supporting capitalism, they can create the illusion that they made things happen, when in truth they have simply hitched their mostly useless covered wagon to a very powerful sports car.

Regardless, this decision is good news, as it shows that the Biden administration will continue the free market policies in space that were established during the Trump administration.