Space Threat Assessment 2021




Space Threat Assessment 2021 reviews the open-source information available on the counterspace capabilities developed in the past year that can threaten U.S. space systems and which countries are developing such systems. The report is intended to raise awareness and understanding of the newest threats, debunk myths and misinformation, and highlight areas in which senior leaders and policymakers should focus their attention.

This report focuses on five specific countries that are either avidly pursuing counterspace capabilities or that present the greatest risk to U.S. National Security: China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and India. A sixth section analyzes the counterspace capabilities of select other countries, including some allies and partners of the United States and some non-state actors. This report is not a comprehensive assessment of all known threats to U.S. space systems because much of the information on what other countries are doing to advance their counterspace systems is not publicly available. Instead, it serves as an unclassified assessment that aggregates and highlights open-source information on counterspace capabilities for policymakers and the general public. This is the fourth annual update of this report, and more in-depth information can be found in past iterations.

This report is made possible by general support to CSIS. No direct sponsorship contributed to this report.

Todd Harrison
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Aerospace Security Project and Defense Budget Analysis
Kaitlyn Johnson

Kaitlyn Johnson

Former Deputy Director and Fellow, Aerospace Security Project

Joe Moye

Former Military Fellow