[FPSPACE] FW: US implementing the 2011 "Strategy to Protecting Space Capabilities"
pjp961 at svol.net
Mon Jul 20 20:30:10 EDT 2015
War is Boring via Matthew Aid's blog
It's a lengthy piece, but worth reading [which means I cannot provide the
entire article here].
ut-protecting-spy> U.S. Getting More Aggressive About Protecting Spy and
Communications Satellites in Space
July 20, 2015
The End of Sanctuary in Space
War Is Boring
July 19, 2015
The U.S. national security space community is implementing its 2011 strategy
for protecting space capabilities as a result of the perceived increase in
threat posed by the development of counterspace capabilities among potential
The strategy includes multiple elements for developing international norms
of behavior, enhancing commercial and allied cooperation, increasing
resilience and deterring and defeating attacks.
New evidence suggests that the implementation effort may be focusing
primarily on deterring and defeating attacks, and may include the
development of "active defenses" and new offensive counterspace systems.
While there may be a valid role for these capabilities, much depends on the
details of how they are pursued, and how they will support other elements of
Plus, there's the larger question of whether a more aggressive approach is
in the best interest of all of America's space organizations, including the
burgeoning commercial space sector.
We live in an age of proliferating anti-satellite capabilities. There is a
growing body of evidence that China is actively developing at least two
hit-to-kill ASAT weapon systems. The development process has included at
least five tests of these systems, including one that created thousands of
pieces of space debris.
Russia has fielded operational ASAT capabilities in the past, and Russian
officials have recently stated that development work has started again on an
air-based ASAT system. Not to be outdone, elements of the Indian government
have also signaled interest in developing both missile defense and ASAT
The United States and many of its allies in Europe and Asia are fielding
missile defense capabilities that have significant ASAT capabilities, as
demonstrated by the United States' use of the same missile defense system to
destroy a non-functioning satellite in 2008.
The number of other countries that already possess ballistic missile and
space launch technology-and could thus develop their own crude ASAT
The U.S. national security space community sees this shift towards a more
"contested" space environment as a very worrisome trend. There are currently
more than 150 U.S. military and intelligence satellites in orbit, providing
important national security capabilities such as precision navigation and
timing, global communications, missile warning, and intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance.
The proliferation of ASAT capabilities and the threat they are thought to
pose to these space systems presents a serious challenge to the United
States' military and intelligence capabilities. The concern extends not only
to the ability of the United States to defend its own national security
interests, but also to its ability to continue to contribute to the defense
of its allies.
The United States announced a new National Security Space Strategy in early
2011 that detailed five strategic approaches for dealing with a more
"congested, competitive and contested space environment."
The strategy includes a strong push for developing and promoting responsible
norms of behavior in space, increased partnership and cooperation with
allies and commercial firms and a shift toward making U.S. national security
space capabilities more resilient to attacks.
The strategy also includes preventing and deterring aggression on U.S.
national security space systems, and, should deterrence fail, defeating
attacks on said systems. Since the release of the strategy, the U.S.
government has been relatively public about how it will implement the first
three approaches, but less so about the last two.
That has now changed. Congress has included language in the National Defense
Authorization Act for the 2015 fiscal year, the primary piece of legislation
that authorizes and directs the activities of the U.S. military, calling on
the U.S. national security space community to report to Congress how it
plans to deter and defeat adversary attacks on U.S. space systems.
The NDAA language requires the Secretary of Defense and the Director of
National Intelligence to produce a study on the role of offensive space
operations, and specifies that the majority of the $32.3 million that
Congress gave to the Space Security and Defense Program in 2015 must be used
for "the development of offensive space control and active defensive
strategies and capabilities."
The NDAA language does not stipulate what is meant by offensive or active
defensive capabilities, but when combined with recent academic writings from
within the U.S. military, it suggests that America's strategy for protecting
its satellites is taking a more aggressive turn..."
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