The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has published its “Space Threat Assessment 2021.” The report is a detailed look at the many ways in which space is a potential battleground. With each successive year, the CSIS’ annual assessment paints a more troubling mural of expanding numbers and complexity of space-based threats represented by near-peer national security competitors and others. The CSIS report provides a taxonomy of military counterspace weaponry the U.S. faces.
Article by Dave Patterson from Liberty Nation.
Such weaponry falls into four basic categories: kinetic physical, non-kinetic physical, electronic, and cyber. According to the report, kinetic physical threats include:
- Attacking an adversary’s ground stations with kinetic weapons like missiles or a variety of other conventional weapons.
- Attacking an enemy’s satellites with a direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile launched from the earth.
- Co-orbital ASAT satellites launched from the earth establish the same orbit as the target satellite, then maneuver close to the target satellite and explode, destroying the target.
In the category of non-kinetic physical, such counterspace weapons are as follows:
- High-altitude nuclear detonations use the detonation-generated electromagnetic pulse to destroy the electronics in an adversary’s satellites. This approach to counterspace weapons is less appealing as it is not discriminating as to whose satellites are destroyed and the nuclear detonation leaves residual radiation.
- High-powered lasers on naval vessels, aircraft, ground-based or other satellites that destroy the adversary’s satellite operations.
- Laser dazzling or blinding another’s satellites’ optical and other types of sensors temporarily or permanently.
- High-powered microwave beams that use ground stations, naval vessels, other satellites or aircraft. The microwave counterspace weapons can disrupt satellites’ electronics, impact data storage and memory, and generally degrade the satellite’s electronics.
Electronic counterspace weapons disrupt the electromagnetic spectrum used by satellites to send and receive data. These weapons are primarily devices that use radio waves to jam the communications potential of an enemy’s satellites.
Cyber counterspace weapons focus on corrupting the data that is being transmitted and attempts to control data flow.
Cyberattacks can target ground stations and satellites. Cyberattacks on U.S. space systems can lead to loss of data transmission for the full range of satellite communications and GPS precision location services.
Ten countries have publicly announced an intention to pursue counterspace operations. Only China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and India have the “most public advancements” in developing counterspace weapons. Others, like the United Kingdom, France, Israel, South Korea, and Japan, have included space and the pursuit of counterspace weapons in strategic and weapon system development planning.
India demonstrated a successful kinetic physical counterspace ASAT test in 2019 and continues to grow its space capabilities. India’s capacities in space have grown rapidly since its first satellite launch in 1980, and the country is readying its third exploration mission of the Moon.
Viewing the counterspace weapons capability of all those possessing such capability or working toward having such space weaponry, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) 2019 report warned:
“China and Russia, in particular, have taken steps to challenge the United States. Chinese and Russian military doctrines indicate that they view space as important to modern warfare and view counterspace capabilities as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness. Both reorganized their militaries in 2015, emphasizing the importance of space operations.”
Amplifying the DIA assessment, Chelsea Gohd, staff writer for Space.com, explained, “Security experts say that when it comes to threats in space, Russia is raising more concerns than China.” Gohd goes on to point out that “Russia has become a bigger threat to orbiting satellites, with signs of escalation to come. Meanwhile, although China has also increased its space capabilities this year, it has not displayed aggressive anti-satellite behavior like Russia.”
The counterspace threats posed by potential adversaries are top priorities for the U.S. national security leadership. While discussing the importance of the new U.S. Space Force, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Hyten said:
“Russia and China are building capabilities to challenge us in space because if they can challenge us in space, they understand as dependent as we are in space capabilities that they can challenge us as a nation. Therefore, it is our responsibility as leaders of the defense enterprise to make sure that we continue to educate the population about the threats that we face and then, put forth recommendations to deal with those threats in a rapid, responsive way.”
Sixty years ago, Alan Shepard was America’s first man in space. From that historic event, the U.S. space program has never looked back. But as America’s ingenuity and technical prowess grows, so do the perils posed by adversaries who move forward with counterspace weaponry to threaten the U.S.
The CSIS report and others like it are warnings. America must understand those warnings and meet the counterspace challenge it faces.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Read more from Dave Patterson.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $4100 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.