(ORDO NEWS) — US Space Force Commander Gen. John Raymond said the country’s security at the last frontier faced “the full range of threats” from China. And they should be resisted by the joint efforts of the allies.
In a telephone interview with Nikkei, the general said the Chinese are building or have already built “everything from the reversible jammers of our GPS system — which provides navigation and high-precision timing — to jammers for communications satellites. They have rockets that they can launch from Earth to destroy satellites. I am convinced that this power that they are building will be used by them in any potential conflict.”
John Raymond has been the first to lead the Space Force since its inception in 2019. They have become the sixth branch of the US military, the scale of their activities is comparable to that of the ground forces and naval forces. The general gave the army over thirty years, most of which he served in the Air Force.
In his opinion, the United States is faced with a force in space that has become much more competitive: “Space is the basis of our instruments of national power – be it diplomatic, economic, informational and [in general] national security. Competition between superpowers is broader than competition between military forces alone. It goes through all government aspects. Space is crucial for this.”
Satellites play an important role in US military activities, with their help, the movement of enemy forces is tracked and communication between units is provided. In this regard, the general is sure, the possibility of free access to space, as well as freedom of maneuver in outer space, are of particular importance.
It is believed that the United States rely too much on its space capabilities: in the event of an armed conflict with China or Russia, one of the first steps that should be taken is to attack American satellites in order to cause significant damage to the US combat capability.
One of the options to allay such concerns about Beijing, according to John Raymond, would be to establish a bilateral dialogue between the military. However, this did not happen, since tensions between the two countries increased significantly under the previous US president, which gave rise to a new round of the race.
Therefore, you have to rely on allies. During the June NATO summit, a joint communiqué was issued, according to which Article 5, which deals with joint defense issues, is brought into action when any member of the alliance is attacked. However, this may not be enough, since it is not clear whether an attack on the satellites of one of the organization’s members can be considered as such, and in the case of an electromagnetic or cyber attack, it is not always possible to trace the cause. Therefore, each case, according to the currently approved standards,
The general considers space debris to be another problem. The US monitors more than 30,000 objects in orbit, including debris, and collision avoidance is becoming an increasingly difficult task. In 2007, China conducted a test rocket launch to destroy a failed satellite. The target was hit successfully, but another 3,000 garbage objects appeared in orbit, US military experts calculated.
In June, during a meeting of the G7 format, a decision was made to create norms of international law on this issue at the level of the UN and other organizations. Russia and China expressed their desire to participate in the legislative process, proposing, among other things, to limit the placement of weapons in space. These proposals were rejected by Washington. The risks to space activities are increasing, but obstacles to international cooperation remain.
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