America’s military leaders are increasingly expressing concerns that the nation’s days as the planet’s only true superpower could be numbered if advancements by top rivals continue at the current rate.
U.S. Space Force Gen. John Raymond, who serves as chief of space operations, sounded the alarm in an explicit warning he issued on Thursday.
“From a position of strength”
The general pointed to China and, to a lesser extent, Russia, as the nations posing the greatest military threat to American in terms of transforming space into the next battlefield.
“One of the main reasons why we established the Space Force was to go fast and stay ahead of a growing threat,” Raymond said.
While former President Donald Trump faced some partisan mockery for his push to create the Space Force, Raymond offered a compelling case for its existence.
“The best way we know how to deter conflict from beginning or extending into space is to do so from a position of strength,” Raymond said. “We’re prepared to protect and defend our capabilities today. We will remain prepared to protect our capabilities into the future.”
The general explained that China and Russia have devoted extensive resources toward developing a “suite of capabilities” that had the potential to rival America’s dominance, if not exclude the U.S. from the arena altogether.
“Our pacing threat”
“We have seen what China has done with, and Russia, has done in developing a suite of capabilities designed to deny our access to space,” Raymond said.
He cited advancements such as “reversible jamming of communications satellites and GPS satellites, to directed energy weapons, to satellites in orbit that are designed to destroy U.S. satellites in orbit, to missiles that are being launched from the ground to destroy satellites” are among those being pursued by China and Russia.
While he advised that “significant work” remains, he is confident in America’s plans to retain military dominance on the world stage.
“We are focused and committed to moving fast and developing the capabilities and the tactical timelines that we need to stay ahead of this growing threat and remain the best in the world,” Raymond concluded.
His recent remarks were not the first in which he signaled similar concerns. During a Washington Post interview in April, for example, he remarked that “China, which is our pacing threat, and Russia have developed weapons that can either disrupt our satellites or destroy our satellites, from on the ground or in space, or in cyber.”