US Space Force Chief Calls for Action to Prepare for Possible War in Space

 In Americas, Cyber/ICT, Air, Space, Forces & Capabilities, FVEY, P5

The United States doesn’t want to engage in war­fare in space but must be pre­pared for such a sce­nario, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond said during the Air Force Association’s 2020 Air, Space & Cyber Conference.

“We want to deter that from hap­pen­ing,” Raymond stressed. “However, if deter­rence fails, a war that begins or extends into space will be fought over great dis­tances at tremen­dous speeds.”

To plan for con­flict in such con­di­tions, the US Space Force must be lean, agile, and fast, Raymond said. “I’m not con­fi­dent that we can achieve vic­to­ry, or even com­pete, in a modern con­flict with­out space power,” he mentioned. The gen­er­al added that he was not will­ing to lose in order to learn.

Increased Urgency  

Raymond’s call for quick, deci­sive action evoked an increased urgency in response to grow­ing chal­lenges poised against the United States.

“Our adver­saries are moving delib­er­ate­ly and quick­ly in order to reduce our advan­tage,” Raymond said. In July, Washington accused Russia of test­ing a sus­pect­ed “in-orbit anti-satel­lite weapon.” The UK cor­rob­o­rat­ed the accu­sa­tion.

“In order to be ready for this con­flict we must be bold,” Raymond said. “We must inno­vate. We must move and think faster. And we must empow­er and lever­age the out­stand­ing talent we have in the Space Force.”

The Chief of Space Operations offered a detailed pic­ture of what a space war would entail. “Direct ascent anti-satel­lite mis­siles can reach low earth orbit in min­utes,” he described. “Electronic attacks and direct­ed energy weapons move at the speed of light, and on orbit capa­bil­i­ties move at speeds greater than 17,500 mph.”

The United States must have the capa­bil­i­ty to neu­tral­ize these threats and “punch back” if needed. Raymond stressed that estab­lish­ing options in space will allow the coun­try more lever­age to act in other domains.

Alliances and Measures

As part of the efforts to for­ti­fy American space pres­ence, the Space Force had estab­lished a Space and Missile System Center with a team seek­ing to part­ner with Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Raymond iden­ti­fied an agree­ment the US is forg­ing with Norway, where­in American pay­loads will be includ­ed in Norwegian space launch­es. They will also equip Japanese satel­lites with US mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties.

Raymond also intends to pub­lish a “space doc­trine” which seeks to inform the “why” and “how” of the space pro­gram. The pur­pose is to garner more sup­port from space and air indus­tries and pro­fes­sion­als, and even Congress to rec­og­nize the Space Force’s intent to “com­pete, deter, win and lead.”

The Defense Post source|articles

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