United States Space Force via Wikimedia Commons

Both China and Russia continue to expand their military space capabilities, further justifying President Trump’s strong emphasis on maintaining US space dominance. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) warned back in January last year that China and Russia both consider space to be “important to modern warfare” and said the U.S. should be prepared.

China is rapidly developing a potentially military lunar presence, while last week Russia tested an anti-satellite missile designed to destroy satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO).

Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, the commander of the USSPACECOM and the U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, explained in a statement that Russia’s test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile can knock out satellites, reported American Military News (AMN).

AMN further noted that Brian Weeden, at Secure World Foundation, described Russia’s latest anti-satellite missile as a Nudol ballistic missile. He said, “This appears to have been the 9th or 10th test of the Nudol system since 2014, so we know this system has been in development for a while.”

Previously Russia has conducted close satellite passes near U.S. spy satellites, possibly testing their ability for offensive maneuvers. AMN cited TIME Magazine’s report of a January incident when two Russian satellites, dubbed COSMOS 2542 and COSMOS 2543, “drifted their orbits gradually closer to a U.S. classified imaging satellite operated by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).”

These Russian space efforts pose a security threat to U.S. space-based assets of all types. Gen. Raymond said, “Russia’s DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious and growing,”

Meanwhile the Chinese are growing their new lunar presence after their successful Chang’e-4 mission to the far side of the moon in January 2019. That presence includes both a rover and a lander. Space.com explained that “China does not separate its scientific and military space programs as the U.S. does, with NASA being a strictly civilian agency. Instead, the China National Space Administration is a branch of the Chinese military.”

This is why media reports in October that China was building a spacecraft have some  analysts worried that China’s move to human exploration could be a prelude to a militarized lunar presence. However, even their robotic presence raises concern.

Space.com reported that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., told delegates at the Space Foundation’s State of Space conference in February that he is worried about the security implications if China has a permanent presence on the moon.

They very much have military thoughts in mind when it comes to what they can do with a military presence on the moon, and the ability to see things and track things with the unchanging platforms that no one really has right now,” Lamborn said at the conference, referring to media reports from 2019 that the Chinese may be considering establishing a robotic base at the moon’s south pole.

In response to these Chinese and Russian threats, Gen. Raymond said. “The United States is ready and committed to deterring aggression and defending the Nation, our allies and U.S. interests from hostile acts in space.” But to do so, Raymond has warned about the need for U.S. space assets to respond to both Russian and Chinese space weapons, “including increasingly sophisticated lasers, anti-satellite weapons and state-of-the-art spacecraft that could cripple U.S. space satellites.”

According to Newsweek, Space Force is doing just that, reportedly “building a stockpile of new systems that are capable of jamming communications satellite signals during orbital conflict.” Last month Space Force confirmed its new system — the Counter Communications System Block 10.2 — was operational. The technology is described as a “transportable space electronic warfare system that reversibly denies adversary satellite communications.”

We can expect much more from the U.S. Space Force, and our other space agencies, including a manned U.S. landing on the moon’s south pole by 2024. This is why President Trump has taken such a forward-thinking position on aggressively developing U.S. space policy, and creating the first US Space Force. Space is a domain the US must dominate.

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Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Sirdirkfan
Sirdirkfan
2 years ago

President Trump enacted the Space Force only after the Department of Defense/Pentagon made it already dominant over China and Russia and Pakistan and India, etc. – the US never brags particularly b/c it invented stealth, while we have to listen to the bravado lies of China especially and Russia’s using air space to annoy our own aircraft in our own space (which happened again a couple days ago) b/c the Russians can’t keep up, and China boasting that their satellites ‘are armed’ when they first put up a satellite and that didn’t deter the US b/c we continued to go after it and they knew their economics was at stake so they unleash manmade viruses from their nasty labs to attack us like China did, again, while China especially doesn’t care about its 1 billion + population b/c it’s a way for it to reduce the numbers while hurting us and everyone else not-China that automatically makes them China’s enemy – it has nothing to do with possessing Hong Kong or Taiwan or Tibet, and it’s not just the government it’s the people who support that kind of anti-human Emperor government.
What will happen is what is now happening to the Iran Terrorist Regime – orders are to destroy those annoying little gunboats – leave it to Trump to change the Climate, the heat is on. – Never underestimate the Power of the Yank, there’s extreme intelligence and confidence locked in.

A. D Roberts
2 years ago
Reply to  Sirdirkfan

Your ignorance is showing. The Chinese have us in just one area that I will mention here. Medical drugs. HOW? Our companies have gone over there to produce most of our medicines. IF they were to shut down production, our people would die. And that does not even mention the other things they have on us. Like millions of dollars invested in their companies in OUR VERY OWN FINANCIAL MARKET

Vladilyich
Vladilyich
2 years ago
Reply to  Sirdirkfan

I’ll take at least a kilo of what you’re smoking. I hope you’re prepared to lose another nspace race like you did the original one.

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

Mmmmmm…..the quote above concerning China’s military presence on the Moon….could be some prelude to yet another nuke test on the moon. Allow the Chinese to get on the moon all cozy and comfy in their operations…..then…Oops….sorry Mr. Xi (President for Life)….our test went off course. We should be more careful next time.

a fool
a fool
2 years ago

We must out smeart the Chinese in everywhich way! We arae better~~ God is on our Side!
Pray ad Trust, do everything with love and devotion to God, Country, Families and Nieghbors!

A. D Roberts
2 years ago
Reply to  a fool

I have heard that before. So by what authority and power do you claim that God is on your side. I have news for you God is not on ANYONE’S side. And what HE is looking for is men and women who are on HIS side.
Want to see where the end of this is? Matthew 7:21-23. ALL that matters is DID YOU DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER.