The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) identified China and Russia as its chief adversaries in potential outer space warfare on Wednesday, announcing a new Defense Space Strategy aimed at deterring the threats posed by the two countries and maintaining U.S. dominance in space.
According to the report, the “actions, intentions, and military strategies of potential adversaries [of the U.S.]” have transformed space into “a warfighting domain.” As the DoD explains, two countries stand out as the biggest threats to U.S. superiority in space:
China and Russia present the greatest strategic threat [to the U.S.] due to their development, testing, and deployment of counterspace capabilities and their associated military doctrine for employment in conflict extending to space. China and Russia each have weaponized space as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness and challenge our freedom of operation in space.
In the report, the DoD says it will respond to China and Russia’s threats by pursuing strategic objectives for space-related military development under its new defense space initiative over the course of the next ten years. The measures include further development of the U.S. Space Force, the latest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces; integrating military spacepower into “national, joint, and combined operations”; and cooperating with “allies, partners, industry, and other U.S. Government departments and agencies.”