Modern military technology and the unfolding arms race make the militarization of space a matter of time. However, this process should not be confused with what we are used to seeing in science fiction. No one intends to build warships. Everything is much more prosaic and dangerous.
In December last year, Congress approved the creation of the Space Force – the sixth U.S. military, along with land, air, naval, as well as coast guard and marines. This move made clear the goals of Washington. How is this ambition justified? The answer is not as obvious as it may seem.
“The U.S. should not just be present in space, it should dominate it”, – said Donald Trump, and that might be enough to close the subject.
It seems quite logical to seek to spread its influence in a new environment, especially when it comes to such a powerful state. However, it is important to understand that the US is now the undisputed leader in the conquest of space. Huge sums of money are being spent on space programmes there. Of course, when Trump talks about domination, he means military domination. For example, the U.S. Space Force’s mission list clearly states the need to contain aggression in or from space. But who is the enemy that is capable of posing a space threat to the United States?
Recently, there was a remarkable case outside the Earth: near the U.S. intelligence satellite “USA 245” was seen the Russian spacecraft “Space 2542”. Americans did not hide their concerns. Moreover, in Washington they started openly talking about espionage by Russia.
Todd Harrison, head of the Aerospace Systems Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argues that Russian spy satellites are purposefully monitoring US spacecraft. “The Cosmos 2542, according to Harrison, can detect the aperture and resolution of cameras mounted on the USA 245 satellite. There is no point in proving or disproving this possibility. What cannot be doubted is that U.S. technology also makes it possible to conduct space espionage.
“So far, outer space has been considered a safe haven… It is no longer so”, – said General Andre Lanata, head of NATO’s Strategic Transformation Command, referring to the Russian threat.
John Raymond, who was only a candidate for Commander of the U.S. Space Force, also spoke of the incredible space threat from Russia, urging Congress to act to maintain its dominance in space.
When the authorities start talking actively about the same thing, it feels like a single position is simply being imposed on the public. People need to be convinced that it is the right position. It is not difficult to do it considering the political resource, and the goal is very justified. The militarization of space is not the most peaceful adventure. But it’s much more important for Washington to remove an obstacle – the Outer Space Treaty.
The 1967 treaty between the US, UK and the USSR is now a kind of a treaty to eliminate medium- and shorter-range missiles. In particular, the Outer Space Treaty prohibits the placement in Earth’s orbit of any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
The fate of the IRNFT is well known to all. he agreement collapsed after accusations were made against Russia that it had violated conditions by creating missile 9M729. Unfortunately, no one bothered to find out if this was the case. Even when Moscow agreed to present the missile to foreign observers, no one in NATO responded to this call. When the treaty was terminated, the US was already building a complex to produce previously banned missiles. Thus, Washington not only unleashed its hands on the issue of expanding its arsenal. He provided military companies with new major orders, and thus government funding.