The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess, has gone on public record declaring that China is preparing for future warfare in space.
The Chinese have not tried to hide their ambition to become the world’s only superpower. They have set a course they believe will occult the power of their primary adversaries, the Russian Federation and the United States of America. A significant part of their game plan involves mastery and domination of space: both near Earth orbit and the Moon.
The newest information, released in the form of a warning from the DIA, outlines China’s emerging capabilities in the areas of cyber warfare and anti-satellite offensive weaponry.
While China touts its space program as non-military, the DIA and other intelligence networks scoff at the claim. Countering China’s civilian posturing with its space program, Burgess asserts: “The space program, including ostensible civil projects, supports China’s growing ability to deny or degrade the space assets of potential adversaries and enhances China’s conventional military capabilities.”
The DIA chiefs assessment of the Chinese threat was reported by military and intelligence journalist BIll Getz in freebeacon.com, an Internet news source that reports primarily on breaking news in Washington, D.C.
China ascends while America descends
As America winds down its manned space program and future goals, China is ramping theirs up. The Chinese have created a step-by-step blueprint to achieve domination of near Earth orbit and construct their own ambitious space station. Although advertised as a civilian project, the space station will be built and manned by military astronauts.
Following the orbiting station, the Chinese will mount an aggressive manned lunar program with the intention of gaining a permanent foothold on the Moon and establishing one or more military bases there.
“China’s successfully tested a direct ascent anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) missile and is developing jammers and directed-energy weapons for ASAT missions,” Burgess is quoted as saying. “A prerequisite for ASAT attacks, China’s ability to track and identify satellites is enhanced by technologies from China’s manned and lunar programs as well as technologies and methods developed to detect and track space debris.”
China is definitely testing its near Earth space warfare abilities. Besides the well-publicized destruction of their own test satellite, evidence emerged during the last quarter of 2011 that China may have attacked a U.S. satellite through cyber warfare. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued their report with specific evidence that China may have interfered with the Terra EOS AM-1 Earth observation satellite twice.
Although not publicly expressing their growing concern over China’s accelerated space presence, the Russian Federation is worried about China becoming the dominant power in space. Moscow has also admitted nervousness over the idea that the Chinese may reach the Moon before Russian cosmonauts and establish a military presence.
Theoretically, a military base on the Moon—the ultimate military high ground—could checkmate both Russia’s and America’s earthbound military forces and swing the balance of power wildly towards China’s favor.
Both Russia and America know that the Moon is China’s ultimate goal and why the nation of the rising dragon desires it.
Russia is also aware that China’s new Beidou global positioning system satellites can be easily utilized for military purposes such as tracking ships and enabling highly accurate targeting capabilities of enemy assets during any future war.
Like the Russians, the Pentagon too has expressed deep concern as the Chinese military could use the Beidou GPS system to track and target America’s naval fleet, including U.S. supercarriers. During late 2010 China began deploying its Dong Feng 21D cruise missiles designed to take out carriers.
Proposals shot down
Three times in the past two years Russia has proposed joint missions with NASA. One for a large expansion of the existing space station, another for lunar exploration, and the boldest: a plan to build gigantic nuclear-powered spacecraft in orbit that could regularly shuttle to the Moon and open up Mars for colonization. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, even took the extraordinary step of meeting with NASA officials in a bid to sell their idea.
But the daring plan was dead on arrival. Although the Russian delegation was warmly recieved by NASA officials, the present administration has little vision for lunar and Martian colonies and seems to have turned a deaf ear towards the warnings coming from the Pentagon and intelligence community about China’s ominous march towards the Moon.
Frustrated, Russia has turned to the European Space Agency and India with a watered down version of their original plan.
Meanwhile, China forges ahead.