Article by Brandon J. Weichert September 12, 2020 (nypost.com)
• For the last decade, Beijing and Moscow have both reorganized their militaries — and developed weapons to wage a space war against the United States. President Trump created the US Space Force and charged it with ensuring American dominance in space. But over the past 20 years, US leaders have failed to maintain American dominance in space. The situation is now so precarious that we could see another “Pearl Harbor” in space.
• Without the Space Force, America’s satellites would be left completely open to attack. Still, Space Force is criticized, lampooned, or opposed based only on partisan politics. It has received no support from the US Air Force, as it thinks that the Space Force will siphon funding and resources away from it. Congress itself has not adequately resourced the new military branch, and in-fighting at the Pentagon has not helped.
• Meanwhile, China has developed multiple ways of deactivating or destroying an orbiting satellite, from powerful lasers that can blind American satellites to ground-based anti-satellite (ASAT) rockets. In 2007, China demonstrated its capabilities by launching an ASAT weapon to decimate a derelict Chinese weather satellite, thereby creating the largest debris field in human history. Beijing even has the ability to “spoof” American GPS satellites, to confuse American military units and weapons in times of war.
• On September 3rd, China launched a reusable spacecraft that, before returning to Earth three days later, released a smaller object that still remains in orbit today. There is concern that this device is an offensive “space stalker” designed to covertly tailgate American satellites and push them from their orbits. (see ExoArticle here) Russia has nearly identical counter-space capabilities. As recently as July, the US and UK governments accused Russia of illegally testing a space stalker in orbit.
• Without the dominant protection of our assets in space, US forces patrolling the South China Sea could find themselves under attack and unable to respond due to our satellites being disabled. Russia could do the same to nudge US satellites out of orbit, rendering vulnerable our NATO forces in Eastern Europe. Space Force will need considerably more support and less bureaucratic squabbling to provide this essential protection – and it must happen in relatively short order.
• [Editor’s Note] The US’ military and those of China and Russia are well aware of the United States’ vast but undisclosed secret space program which is decades ahead of anything that the Chinese or the Russians have. Starting with Space Force, President Trump is consolidating our disparate space assets and programs to secure space dominance in near orbit (cis-lunar) space while the Navy’s Solar Warden will continue to patrol the solar system and deep space. Not that there aren’t other advanced space programs out there to worry about, such as the Draco Reptilian fleet and the Nazi Dark Fleet. But from an exopolitical standpoint, China and Russia are the least of our worries.
For the last decade, Beijing and Moscow have both reorganized their militaries — and developed weapons — to wage a space war against the United States. The situation is now so precarious that America could face a Pearl Harbor in space.
As far back as 2007, China shocked the world when it launched an antisatellite (ASAT) weapon into low-Earth orbit and decimated a derelict weather satellite. ASAT technology is not new but the way China deployed it was both irresponsible and aggressive. Traditionally, countries have publicly announced when they planned to conduct ASAT tests, because they could damage satellites passing by the test site. China told no one. Then, China’s ASAT test created the largest debris field in human history. It also signaled to the West that China was ready for a new form of combat.
China has invested heavily in lasers powerful enough to blind American satellites. Beijing has also developed the ability to “spoof” American GPS satellites, which could confuse American military units and weapons in times of war. On Sept. 3, China surprised the world when it launched a reusable spacecraft that, before returning to Earth three days later, released a smaller object that still remains in orbit today. There is concern that this device is an offensive “space stalker” designed to covertly tailgate American satellites and push them from their orbits.
Russia has nearly identical counterspace capabilities. As recently as July, the US and UK governments accused Russia of illegally testing a space stalker in orbit.
This is all deeply worrying. Either Beijing or Moscow could use their technological might to rewrite the geopolitical order in their favor. US forces patrolling the South China Sea, for example, could find themselves under attack from China but unable to call for reinforcements or coordinate a viable defense — simply because their critical satellites have been destroyed before the siege began.
Similarly, Russia could disable NATO forces charged with defending an Eastern European state — simply by nudging US satellites out of orbit.
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