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Op-ed | Priority-one for space policy should be to protect U.S. satellites

12 Oct 2019, 09:14 UTC
Op-ed | Priority-one for space policy should be to protect U.S. satellites
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Should dominance be our immediate space security priority? The short answer is no. Why? Doing so jeopardizes achieving the more urgent task of protecting our critical satellites. Dominance may be desirable but, for now, the United States must tackle the weightier task of preventing Russia and China from disabling our key satellites.
Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center; and Defense Intelligence Agency have warned us our satellites are facing a new threat. They’ve spotlighted recent Chinese and Russian testing and demonstration robotic spacecraft that can switch from refueling, repairing and repositioning their satellites to damaging and pushing ours out of position. This emerging threat will be realized in a few short years.
Our space efforts, however, are not quite focused on this. Of the four pillars underlying President Trump’s National Space Strategy unveiled on March 23, 2018, two focus on enhancing satellite self-defense and strengthening space partnerships with the private sector and our allies. Both pillars are needed. Yet, the internecine fights over how best to organize our space force and efforts to achieve space dominance are consuming so much financial and political capital that space self-defense ...

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