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Partnering with France: Defense Secretary Robert Gates and French Defense Minister Alain Juppe signed a bilateral statement of principles on space situational awareness Tuesday. This came just days after the US released a new national space strategy emphasizing the importance of building international partnerships in that domain. "These agreements help us mitigate situations by sharing information and pooling our varied capabilities. Our arrangement will foster safety and reduce the chance of mishaps, misperceptions, and mistrust," said Gates. Juppe called space one of the most challenging domains and said he has a "high level of confidence" in the two countries' military relationship. He also pledged France’s military support despite its own budget constraints. Gregory Schulte, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said such partnerships will force potential adversaries to think twice before attacking US space assets. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)