The US is planning to reveal a new, secret anti-satellite “capability” in space
Brace yourself. “The Pentagon has a space weapon it’s ready to show, but it’s not clear exactly what it will be,” says arms control expert Theresa Hitchens in the defence industry report, Breaking Defense.
Nobody knows what the weapon test will reveal. “Space based jammers? Kinetic kill vehicles? Ground based lasers?” wonders Hitchens.
The weapon could date back as far as the George W. Bush administration, but is only coming to light now. “The Bush administration’s 2006 policy prompted widespread US public and international criticism about its open embrace of space weapons, distain of international agreements and “unilateralist” tone.”
Canadian space expert Jessica West of Project Ploughshares slammed the proposed test as irresponsible, writing in Breaking Defense that, “It also risks derailing what little progress has been made to develop international military and security-related norms for outer space.”
West points out that the Outer Space Treaty promotes the “peaceful purposes” of outer space.
“For decades, peaceful purposes have been expanded and stretched to include widespread military use, obscuring a simmering arms race,” said West.
Space based jammers? Kinetic kill vehicles? Ground based lasers?
– Theresa Hitchens
“For example, everyone claims to be committed to a space environment free of [junk], one that is sustainable for future generations. And yet the amount of space debris increases year after year. Instead of making our practices match our principles, we often stretch those principles out of any recognizable shape in an attempt to accommodate bad practices,” she adds.
Read more in Breaking Defense:
- Exclusive: Pentagon Poised To Unveil, Demonstrate Classified Space Weapon, by Theresa Hitchens, August 20, 2021
- What Satellite Attack Weapon Might The US Reveal Soon?, by Theresa Hitchens, August 24. 2021
- A Weapons Test Is The Wrong Way To Advance Norms On Responsible Behavior In Space, by Jessica West, August 26, 2021