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Sep 5, 2021
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US in pursuit of space supremacy

“Maintain space superiority when, where and how long we need it.”

From 21 to 26 August, the 36th Space Symposium was held in Colorado Springs, USA, confirming the trend towards the militarization of space by the United States. For almost a week, senators, high-ranking military personnel, scientists, representatives of the military-industrial complex and foreign guests discussed various aspects of space exploration. The main interest was focused on military topics.

The commander of the US Space Forces, General Jim Dickinson, has promised to soon present a new strategy for Space Command, which will define “combat force in space.”

“US Space Command will maintain space superiority when, where, and how long we need it,”

– said the general.

Image Credit Flickr User glennbatuyong

Many leading figures in the US military space industry believe that the Space Forces and the Space Command should demonstrate to Moscow and Beijing the ability not only to disable any space countermeasures systems, but also to attack communications, positioning, navigation, and reconnaissance satellites.

On the eve of the 36th Space Symposium, debates and hearings in the United States on space issues were held at a variety of venues.

In July, the director of the Washington office Safe World Foundation Victoria Samson and Director of Program Planning Brian Weeden attended a private briefing for the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. They provided a brief overview of the report on global countermeasures in space and an overall assessment of the current space security situation. The closed briefing was attended by experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington) and former US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

In recent months, the Pentagon has also dealt with the removal of the secrecy label from a large number of documents that relate to weapons programs in space. The specialized media note that, first of all, we are talking about a system that has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy for a long time, this is the so-called Special Access Program, known only to very few US leaders.

Photo: REUTERS / Joe Skipper

The declassification is likely to include a demonstration of active defense capabilities to disable or destroy a targeted satellite and / or spacecraft. Assumptions of the kind of potential in question range from a mobile, ground-based laser to blind enemy reconnaissance satellites, to a powerful microwave system that can intercept electronics on maneuvering satellites that serve as security guards.

The issue of declassification arose due to the fact that American specialists are now working on a new “containment strategy” in outer space. And here you should pay attention to the special report of the corporation RANDdedicated to containing China.

The study was commissioned by the US Secretary of Defense’s Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all combatant commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and defense agencies and military intelligence. The main goal of the study was to identify potential methods by which the United States and its allies can effectively contain China in space. The report emphasizes that according to the 2020 US National Space Strategy, “Space is now a separate area of ​​warfare, requiring changes in policies, strategies, operations, investments, capabilities and expertise.”… Space containment is defined by the Americans as follows: “Deterring interference in any systems that operate in space or support the functioning of space systems from the ground.”… For the US military, classic deterrence also includes “punishment,” that is, retaliating immediately after an attack. Researchers from RAND believe that “A space containment strategy must… take into account asymmetric vulnerabilities … Messaging is an important tool for a space containment strategy, but the success of such an approach depends largely on the purpose of the messages. For this reason, adapting a deterrent strategy to a specific adversary is especially important. “

Photo: REUTERS / Handout

in the report RAND it is argued that China perceives outer space as one of the vulnerabilities of the United States. Beijing has anti-satellite weapons that can hit virtually any US “asset” in space. It is also believed that China is striving to achieve superiority in space, that is, to have freedom of action and at the same time not allow opponents to access outer space. The United States fears China’s possible deployment of any weapons systems in space, and relies on its allies to deter China. This is primarily Japan, but also South Korea, Taiwan and India.

There is a vicious circle in the arguments of the Americans. The United States says it does not want an arms race in space, but is forced to pursue a strategy of containing China and Russia. Deterrence requires demonstrating military capabilities that exceed those of a potential adversary. As a result, Washington is initiating an arms race and the militarization of outer space.

Cover photo: REUTERS / NASA

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