In 2020, what may not have caught Americans’ attention is the steady progression of the weaponization of space. Space is the newest theater of national strategic risk. If space satellites are no longer “safe” in orbit, American space assets become real targets, and the new frontier which the United States must defend. On July 15th, 2020, “Russia conducted a non-destructive on-orbit test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon,” declared General John “Jay” Raymond, Commander, U.S. Space Command and also serving as Commander, Air Force Space Command. This is the same weapon about which General Raymond raised concerns earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite. Should we be concerned? Yes. “This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold the U.S. and allied space assets at risk,” warns General Raymond.
So if true, what is the US dependence on satellites in space? Is the risk to our daily lives a genuine concern? The answers are: yes, virtually all Americans’ lives are impacted by satellites, and yes, the risk to our dependence on satellites in space is real. With both China and Russia demonstrating their potential capacity, although not verified, to destroy US satellites, this is our new Sputnik moment! While we are no longer racing to get into space first, we are now racing to protect and secure American space satellites from harm. America must rise and we will. With the standup of United States Space Command to “organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force,” our country is investing in our national defense even beyond our borders and earth’s atmosphere.
The American Way of Life and Critical Infrastructures
In 2019, the Gross Domestic Product of the United States, the world leader, was $21,427,100 million (or $21 trillion). The strength of the U.S. economy is due in large part to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, the reserved authorities of state and local governments, the commercial incentives available to the private sector, and our robust educational system.
Whereas the public sector and academia provide the framework for our prosperity, the private sector, small and large businesses alike, is the core of our collective prosperity. American businesses owners can embrace innovation when they see both a consumer need and a way to satisfy it, as well as make a profit. Capitalism has its strengths, and in the democratic collective prosperity approach, it creates a natural shared duty and mutual desire for success.
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Diane Janosek (2020, October 5). Our New Sputnik Moment: Space Security and Cyber Security Intersect. The Time to Act is Now. The CyberWire. https://thecyberwire.com/stories/72a9c35b6f6947a2b419f50943f20d49/our-new-sputnik-moment-space-security-and-cyber-security-intersect-the-time-to-act-is-now