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American Thinker
American Thinker
22 Apr 2023
Matthew G. Andersson

NextImg:Trump was right about the US Space Force

On April 21, the Financial Times ran a story that should be front and center in U.S. national security policy circles ("China building cyber weapons to hijack enemy satellites").  It asserts that a "Classified CIA document assesses Beijing's ambitions to take control of communications critical to fighting wars."  Instead, this issue is being drowned out publicly by domestic partisan distractions, and the presence in our nation's capitol of a political party that appears indifferent to American vital interests, and may even be hostile to them.

The F.T. report highlights one of the biggest military risks faced by the U.S. and its Western allies.  The next frontier of war-making is in space, and China is already there.  The  Chinese are indeed ahead both in some applied technology and, especially, in national policy planning.  Former president Trump appeared to understand this, and it was central to advancing the new U.S. Space Force through the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act.  Unfortunately, this has, like NASA, been subject to the progressive left's unrelated ideologies and is being diverted or distracted from its core strategic imperative.

Part of the problem for the U.S. is that, while it has undoubted strength in cyber–command and control, and clearly so in space flight operations and technology, it is not currently unified at a national level in space law and policy.  There is not one fully active and robust air, space, and security institution that is leading such efforts.  Certain leaders within the USAF are clearly aware of the critical mission of the Space Force, but they are hampered by a civilian leadership with other priorities, or by its incapacity.

While the U.S. is distracted by internal politics and division, we are neglecting a clearly growing presence and determination by China to control space rights and rules, and even to make space property claims, all while creating an existential dominance over the fate of many basic public systems including communications, energy, and transportation.

This makes the establishment of a U.S. Air and Space Law Institute a national priority, and one that is fully financed from both the public and private sectors.  While America fritters away its resources on so-called green energy, and its young adults in college are consumed with personal issues, the Chinese make no such indulgences.  They have their eye on global, and now orbital, space, and planetary dominance.

Matthew G. Andersson is a former aviation CEO and aerospace and defense consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton.  A professional pilot graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he authored Emerging Space Flight Operations and their Significance to Law and Policy.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.