The top intelligence official for the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command, Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, says China is developing space weapons that can close the gap between American and Chinese technology in space.
Studeman says China is developing anti-satellite weapons:
China is pushing to develop antisatellite weapons with capabilities from “dazzling to jamming, to kinetic kill-from-the-ground, from space — all that, they’re on the march,” Rear Admiral Michael Studeman said this week during an intelligence-security trade group’s webinar.
The U.S. has a “substantial amount of activity going on on our side” as “we recognize the threat here,” Studeman said. “It will be a game of measures and countermeasures and counter-countermeasures for some time to come.”
A top U.S. counterspace weapon designed to temporarily jam but not destroy Chinese and Russian satellites is known as the Meadowlands system. The U.S. Space Force is building an arsenal of as many as 48 of these ground-based weapons over the next seven years and declared the first one operational in March 2020.
Fighting the United States head-to-head with conventional weapons is going to be a losing battle. On the other hand, nuclear weapons are so destructive that if a nation engages on that front, they’re getting into a lose/lose battle. If you “win” the war but we nuke dozens of your cities, did you win or did both sides lose?
This is what makes space weapons so strategically appealing. They change the whole game. If you can cripple the satellites the opposing military is using, they are essentially blind. Suddenly, we wouldn’t be able to guide a missile into a target hundreds of miles away or have large forces quickly and effectively move into perfect position hundreds of miles away. The nation that controls what happens in space, controls who wins and who loses conventional engagements.
Last but not least, it’s also worth noting that what is being done on both sides is rudimentary. The time will come when there will be weapons capable of destroying missiles, armies, and even whole cities from space. If a nation like China manages to become the first to do that, freedom as we now know it will no longer exist. Fortunately, we now have a Space Force to prevent that from happening.
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