WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 8 – Space is fast becoming the future theater of war as Russia and China ramp up orbital campaigns that test America’s resolve. The Website, Futurism, reports that the Chinese recently tested a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at five times faster than the speed of sound, able to initiate a nuclear attack on the U.S., leaving our defenses unable to stop it.
Are we headed for a real-life Star Wars-style conflict in the foreseeable future?
The Russians, too, are testing our resolve. They recently launched a missile targeting one of their own satellites and threatening astronauts and cosmonauts manning the International Space Station [ISS]. That test “generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations,” according to a U.S. State Department spokesman.
“With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS but also their own cosmonauts,” said Bill Nelson, an administrator at NASA.
Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin writes that these incidents bordered acts of war and that the pace of these activities are “intensifying, according to a top U.S. Space Force general he spoke with. Rogin cited General David Thompson, the Space Force’s chief of space operations, who said, “The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time. We’re really at a point now where there’s a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened.”
Thompson told Rogin that China and Russia are testing our resolve, using “non-kinetic means, including lasers, radio frequency jammers and cyber-attacks” to assault our satellites. According to Space Force General, American space technology “is still the best in the world, clearly in terms of capability.” But, he added that “They’re catching up quickly. We should be concerned by the end of this decade if we don’t adapt.”
All this off-world weapons testing may be going a bit too far. General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of staff, warned that “We’re witnessing one of the largest shifts in geostrategic power that the world has ever experienced. This shift is occurring alongside a fundamental change in the character of war.
We need to act with urgency to develop capabilities across all domains – land, sea, air, space, cyber, and our strategic nuclear forces – to address this evolving global landscape. We have to act now. Otherwise, we risk condemning our future generations to failure.”
It should be noted that the American powers that be are not just sitting around wringing their hands. Our own Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [DARPA] is working with the U.S. Air Force to develop our own Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept [HAWC] galactic missile. It was successfully tested recently. DARPA said, in a published report, that the HAWC missile was taken aloft aboard a Northrop Grumman scramjet that released the missile, which quickly “compressed incoming air mixed with its hydrocarbon fuel and began igniting that fast-moving airflow mixture, propelling the cruiser at a speed greater than Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound).”
Although America’s reaction to the China-Russia threat in outer space has been swift and successful, thus far, Josh Rogin pointed out in his commentary that Space is a new frontier unlike any in which our earth-cased military forces have had to navigate. He says that new “norms for space need to be established, mostly by diplomats. That will take years. Meanwhile, the arms race in space is heating up, and the United States risks losing it if it doesn’t recognize this reality.”