The United States will create geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), which will monitor everything that happens on the territory of the country and opponents: from people and their movements to places and objects on the surface of the Earth. This is stated in an article on the c4isrnet website.
The US government and military circles believe that the GEOINT system will help the country regain the technological superiority lost after the end of the Cold War and improve its economic performance.
GEOINT includes all kinds of information about people, places and objects on the surface of the Earth, and has a wide range of applications, from mapping to mineral exploration and commercial logistics, but is especially valuable for military consumers seeking to understand the actions of potential adversaries.
But today, according to Lauren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, there is a threat that this project will not be implemented in the form in which its creators plan. This is due to the fact that foreign companies are investing in this project, which means that it will not be under the total control of the American government. For example, China increasingly dominates supply chains, sets global technology standards, and gradually squeezes American companies out of the market.
Thompson said the first step to revitalizing the commercial GEOINT segment in the US could be to update regulatory policies to reflect current market conditions. Due to the restrictions imposed by the US government to protect its national security, the economic benefits of GEOINT projects for US companies are in question. In comparison, Chinese businesses sell high-resolution, short-term return images on the open market for relatively less than Americans could. Thompson believes that America cannot remain competitive in GEOINT or any other critical industry if its own regulatory policies hold back innovation. And if its commercial capabilities cease to be competitive, the number of GEOINT providers in the US will continue to dwindle, and national security will certainly suffer.
As a second step, Thompson said, the government should use its enormous purchasing power to prioritize locally sourced commercial geospatial information whenever possible. American providers do not compete on equal terms with foreign competitors, and it is unrealistic to expect them to compete successfully with offshore organizations that are heavily subsidized by their governments. China is by far the worst offender in this regard, Thompson said.
In addition, the US intelligence community may be left without American technological products. It should never rely on intelligence infrastructure that is designed, built, operated, maintained, or hosted in other countries or by companies with foreign influence. But if domestic suppliers cannot match their product offerings with offshore ones, then the intelligence community may simply have no choice.