Sunday, April 03, 2011

The necessity to militarise space

The Pentagon recently released plans that outlined the needs to better protect military satellites and improve its ability to use them as weapons as the battle-lines become drawn in the increasingly crowded and dangerous environment of space.

A new strategy for space calls for greater cooperation with other nations on space-based programs to improve America’s ability to deter enemies. “It’s a domain, like air land and sea,” said Gen. Kevin Chilton, USAF Ret. former STRATCOM Commander. “Space is not just a convenience. It’s become a critical part in every other [battlefield] domain.” Chilton said that the U.S. needs to be sure that it protects and maintains the battlefield capabilities it gets from space-based assets, including GPS data, missile warnings and communications with aircraft and drones drones for surveillance or missile combat.

Chilton warned however that as the U.S. and allies depend more on satellite technology; it becomes a greater enemy target. He anticipates that the U.S. will not enter a future conflict with a technological enemy without expecting to be challenged in space and the U.S. military needs be thinking about how they can tip the balance of the battlefield in their favour.

VCJCS General James Cartwright, USMC also a former STRATCOM Commander said that countries need to have guidelines that govern approximately 22,000 man made objects orbiting earth, including over 1000 active satellites. He also outlined that there's no right of way if two objects are on a collision course and something needs to be done to ensure that their signals do not also conflict.

While the strategy offers little detail about offensive operations in space; The DOD says that China, Iran and others have demonstrated their abilities to take action in space such as in 2007, when China destroyed a defunct weather satellite with a ballistic missile. This was alarming as previously only the U.S. and Russia had performed that action with an air-launched missile and a hunter satellite respectively.

The U.S. also needs to make it clear that even if someone attacks an American satellite, the military response wouldn’t be limited to space-based action.

Lt. Colonel “Stargazer” Smith, USAF, Deputy Orbital Operations Commander for UNETIDA also urged the necessity for global co-operation in space suggesting that when extra-terrestrial aggressors approach we may need the combined space-based military resources of the planet to "blow them out of the sky."

Source: AP


Civilian Overseer said...

Wernher Von Braun had it right, if we don't weaponise space someone else will, do you want to go through a Chinese passport check on our moon?

ouperce said...

Incidentally ... happy First Contact Day

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, Happy first contact day?!,... kindly deal with this tree hugging hippy Jedi scum