A Space War With China or Russia Is a Real Threat
by Justin Johnson
A war in space sounds like a great plot for a summer blockbuster.
Unfortunately, a conflict in space isn’t just a Hollywood movie script anymore, but a threat in the real world.
Both Russia and China have developed, or are developing, the ability to shoot satellites out of space.
In addition to this, a number of other countries are developing ways to harm satellites from the ground using jammers and lasers.
Lieutenant General John Raymond, who is in charge of U.S. military space operations, told Congress earlier this year that the Chinese have tested anti-satellite weapons twice in the past two years and that the Russians have a previously undeclared microsatellite in space, which some believe to be a space weapon.
America’s potential adversaries are developing these capabilities because they’ve realized how incredibly vital space is, as a tool, for the U.S. armed forces and intelligence agencies.
Satellite communications allow our troops to be able to operate anywhere in the world, and can range from simple text messages, to nuclear command and control.
GPS is able to provide precise location and timing for cruise missile launches, as well as enable close air support to troops on the front line. Intelligence and surveillance satellites provide imagery and technical intelligence including missile warnings.
This week, The New York Times editorial page discussed preventing a war in space. Regrettably, their proposal is predictable and not particularly helpful (calling for more diplomacy).
In “Preventing a Space War,” the argument is made for developing some sort of international treaty. This op-ed rightly notes, that China and Russia have proposed a legally binding ban on space weapons.
These proposals come, however, as both are developing weapons that could be used in a space conflict. Despite China and Russia’s space weapon development, some in the State Department seem to be interested in pursuing a space arms control treaty.
Read more: dailysignal.com