U.S. Launches ‘Defense Space Strategy’ to Deter China, Russia

astronaut / earth / space
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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.”

The DoD unveiled its new Defense Space Strategy one day after Beijing said it was forced to delay the launch of its BeiDou-3 satellite due to “technical problems.” The satellite is the final iteration of the third generation BeiDou navigation system, hailed as China’s answer to the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), which is operated by the U.S. Air Force. China launched its first BeiDou satellite in 2000. With considerable investment from Beijing, the navigation system has grown considerably over the past two decades and is today used for applications in large-scale commercial activities.
In May, the U.S. Space Development Agency announced plans to launch 150 satellites into space by 2024 in an effort to track Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons in orbit.

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