NATIONAL HARBOR: The Air Force vision is of a seamless global network, swiftly spotting threats and taking them down with smart bombs, computer viruses, or (one day) lasers as the situation demands. The reality? Not so seamless. Air Force Space Command, for example, houses both the military’s space operations center and a new cyber ops… Keep reading →
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CAPITOL HILL: The US military spends too much time acting as the FAA of space and not enough watching for potential threats, the deputy chief of Strategic Command said today. That has to change as outer space becomes increasingly contested and increasingly intertwined with cyberspace, Lt. Gen. James Kowalski told a Peter Huessy breakfast here.… Keep reading →
WASHINGON: From space weapons to armed drones, Chinese technology is accelerating into worrying new arenas, warns the Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military power. But that doesn’t mean China is overtaking the US, a leading space expert cautioned, and a panicked over-reaction could drive bad policy. “Perhaps the most worrying part of the report from a… Keep reading →
UPDATED: HASC StratForces Moves To “Protect” Space Control; Designates Space An MFP WASHINGTON: When the United States government writ large — the military and the Intelligence Community — thinks something is important enough to spend $5 billion in new money from existing sources that’s a strategic commitment and is worth paying very close attention to. The… Keep reading →
COLORADO SPRINGS: Citing “increasing threats” against America’s satellites, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said here today that the US military “must be able to respond in an integrated, coordinated fashion” to attacks on US space assets and he used the charged term “space control” in making his argument. “While we rely heavily on space capabilities,… Keep reading →
COLORADO SPRINGS: We’ve known for some time that China conducted an anti-satellite test July 23 last year, but we learned today that that test was “successful” even if it didn’t destroy anything. China has successfully placed low earth orbit satellites at risk, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond told an overflow audience at the annual… Keep reading →
NEWSEUM: After more than a year of saying that the United States is losing its relative edge in military technology to China and Russia, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer upped the ante today and said that the top American advantage — space — “is particularly bad” because both Russia and China are fielding a suite of anti-satellite capabilities.… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Watch the skies. While they’re far from falling, the head of Air Force Space Command said today, the heavens aren’t the “peaceful sanctuary” they once were, either. Nothing short of a nuclear missile could pull the plug on a satellite constellation as robust as the Global Positioning System (GPS), Gen. William Shelton said, semi-reassuringly.… Keep reading →
China unveils a new “stealth” jet, but we don’t know how stealthy it is or when it might fly actual missions. China unveils a new aircraft carrier. Its leaders boast about extending China’s reach, but the carrier doesn’t have any planes and we aren’t sure when they might build them. Monitoring a rapidly developing China, whose language is unknown to most Americans and whose government is obsessed with secrecy, requires a degree of speculation. Perhaps by design, China makes it hard to separate fact from fiction and intent from aspiration.
Estimations of Chinese capabilities and interpretations of Chinese intent based on single-source or dated information will not yield useful analysis. Distinctions must be made between official Chinese policy and the opinions of individual Chinese researchers. This is especially true when discussing China’s space programs. Given the dual-use nature of the overwhelming amount of space technology, as well as the competitive character of U.S.-China relations, technical information can easily be misinterpreted through a prism of assumed ill intent. While the military must consider worst-case scenarios, recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly demonstrated the dangers of basing policy decisions and consequent military strategies on poor technical assessments. Keep reading →