Trump fury: US President makes shock move to cement space warfare ‘dominance’ over Russia
In a statement made to reporters in the White House Rose Garden, the President said he has launched a new warfare programme to ensure the US is free to pursue advancements. He said that a new Pentagon command focused on warfare in space is being launched to safeguard the military in the final frontier.
The command will focus its efforts on defending US interests in space, such as protecting the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.
Mr Trump said: “SpaceCom will ensure that America’s dominance in space is never threatened.
“This is a landmark day, one that recognises the centrality of space to America’s security and defence.”
Although there is already an Air Force focused on space warfare, the new command is to be developed in anticipation of space showdowns, similar to those seen in sci-fi films.
Air Force General John Raymond, who will lead the new command, said US adversaries are seeking to develop their military capabilities in space, and thus US preparation was only the next natural step.
He said: “I’m convinced that space is a war-fighting domain. I’m convinced that our way of life and our way of war depend on space capabilities.”
Trump said of space being the next “war-fighting domain”, that is was “pretty obvious to everybody”, words that suggest the President is not shy of inter-galactic battle.
The announcement of SpaceCom effectively creates a new, sixth branch of the US’s armed forces.
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Trump said: “Our adversaries are weaponising Earth’s orbits with new technology targeting American satellites that are critical to both battlefield operations and our way of life at home.”
Last year, CNBC reported on a never before seen Russian missile mock up of an anti-satellite weapon that would be ready for warfare by 2022.
A source told the publication the missile was attached to a space launch vehicle is expected to target communication and imagery satellites in low Earth orbit.
China has also illustrated that it can target satellites with missiles.
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The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has said China “is second only to the United States in the number of operational satellites.”
China is also seeking to rapidly grow its presence in space, despite the Communist nation’s official statement that it advocates for a “peaceful use of space”.
By 2020, China is expected to field a ground-based laser weapon that can counter low-orbit space based sensors.
A space command had previously existed in the US, initially running from 1985 to 2002.
It was terminated, however, after the 9/11 terror attacks, when the Pentagon focused its efforts on homeland security instead.
China, Russia and the US have all tested weapons that are capable of taking out a satellite, according to research by the Secure World Foundation, which records military capabilities in space.
Last year, France accused Russia of space espionage, claiming Moscow’s Luch satellite came to close to a Franco-Italian Athena-Fidus military communications satellite.
Weapons based weaponry, therefore, are likely to instil more fear into world leaders, as both Russia and China might covertly attack western communications satellites.
Trump started wanting about developing space threats from rivals at the beginning of 2018, telling reporters that “I’ve seen things that you don’t even want to see”.
During the Cold war, the US and the Soviet Union used satellites to spy on each other, though no actual fighting took place.
No actual fighting took place, as was the case with the Cold War, but what happens now is unclear, with improved technologies and bold statements from all nations accelerating the race for space dominance.
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