“The technology of the current satellite architecture is pretty much at its limit, and the commercial satellites are producing just about the same thing at a much lower cost,” said retired Gen. James E. Cartwright of the Marines, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “The government’s satellites are better, but the question is, What do you need? Most studies show that about 90 percent of what the military needs can be solved with commercial.”
The military also favors commercial satellites because imagery from the intelligence community cannot be easily shared with allies. “The beauty of commercial imagery is that it is unclassified,” said Walter Scott, chief technical officer of DigitalGlobe, a satellite company based in Longmont, Colo.
Phi Beta Iota: Kill MASINT, shut down the NRO, cut NSA in half, cut cyber-security by four-fifths, fund the multinational clandestine human intelligence field stations, fund the Open Source Agency (with responsibility for open source software, open spectrum, and in passing cyber-security) and move on. This is not rocket science. All it takes is integrity.