Japan Times: How space became the next ‘great power’ contest between the U.S. and China
Mon January, 2021, Age: 2 years
Over the past two decades Space has emerged as a frontier for military competition between the U.S. and China. In the early years of the new millennium, as the U.S. prosecuted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, China realized that U.S. military might was heavily reliant on the U.S.’s assets and preeminence in Space. Satellites helped guide missiles and bombs to their targets and allowed the Pentagon to keep in constant communication with the full panoply of U.S. military might across the globe. China began a campaign to erode the U.S.’s dominance in Space by developing, over the course of the last two decades, an array of offensive weapons that are now theoretically capable of knocking out U.S. satellites in orbit (either through missile strikes or lasers capable of blinding satellite communications). China has also been honing its cyberattack capabilities to cripple the U.S.’s vast cyber network. The U.S.’s ability to maintain its military effectiveness will depend in large part on its ability to harden its defense of its fleet of satellites and to improve the security of its cybernetwork. The U.S. is likely to look to its nascent Space Force to help compete with China going forward, and to rely on a private-public partnership with U.S. Space and aeronautics companies.