With or without a 'Space Force,' space will be part of future warfare

With or without a 'Space Force,' space will be part of future warfare

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Peter Wismer’s positions as noted in his June 19 op-ed, “Space is not the place for war,” are inconsistent with those of military space professionals (who do know a lot about war and space).

A de facto “Space Force” has existed for decades within the Air Force and, to a lesser extent, the other military branches. Everything a new branch would do already occurs and would continue regardless. Creation of a new military service would be about improved strategic focus and budgetary control and would not affect the question of space warfare.

Space as a warfighting domain is neither new nor a presidential creation. As early as the Gulf War, our adversaries recognized our military’s reliance on space and began developing and fielding substantial counterspace capabilities. Our military space leaders’ pragmatic acknowledgment of this has been in response to Russian, Chinese and others’ counterspace advances.

Finally, many with “sci-fi-deep” space knowledge focus only on destruction and debris, while most counterspace action involves jamming, blinding and other nondestructive means. This is important when examining the efficacy of new treaties. U.S. opposition to the United Nations’ proposed Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space treaty is based upon the principles of equity, verifiability and enhanced security for all, while known Russian and Chinese counterspace advances make their treaty support suspect.

Space Force or not, space is contested and will be part of any future warfare.

Robert Drozd, Silver Spring

The writer is a retired Air Force space and missile operations officer with arms-control experience.

 

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