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US gears up for space war against China and Russia

By Camila Abdo

The Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States (US) Department of Defense, is preparing for a possible war in space as China and Russia ally and deploy missiles and lasers that can destroy satellites and disrupt military and civilian communications.

The information is from The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. has long opted to use satellites instead of manned space weapons. According to US Defense, space physics makes it impossible to sneak up on an enemy or suddenly change orbit or direction.

“You can’t dig trenches in space,” said Marty Whelan, senior vice president of the Defense Systems Group at The Aerospace Corp, a U.S. government-funded research group.

Images of United States Satellite at Night. (Photo internet reproduction)

“If deterrence fails, you can’t wait until something bad happens to prepare. It would be best if you had all the infrastructure put together,” said Whelan, a former Air Force major general who led a strategic review of space systems for the Pentagon and the Intelligence community.

China’s threats range from missiles or lasers launched from the ground, which can destroy or disable U.S. satellites, to cyber interference and attacks in space.

The Asian country has invested heavily in its space program, with a human-crewed orbital station, developing ground-based missiles and lasers, and more surveillance capabilities.

This is part of its broader military goal of denying adversaries access to space-based assets.

In response, the White House this month proposed a US$30 billion annual budget for the U.S. Space Force, nearly US$4 billion more than in 2022, including the Air Force and Navy.

The spending includes plans for simulators and other equipment to train the “guardians,” as Space Force members are known, who are called up at specific times.

The contingent numbers 16,000 Guardians, tasked with executing launches of rockets, satellites, communications equipment, and ground sensors.

The U.S. Defense believes the training will be critical as space is filled with tracked objects in orbit, reaching 48,000, more than doubling in the last four years.

The Pentagon’s concern about China is not just about the ground. The Biden administration considered China to be the greatest danger to U.S. security.

The U.S., China, and Russia are signatories to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space, including scientific work. All three also have significant military assets in space.

With information from Revista Oeste

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