China shoots down satellite. The U.S. saw it coming Freitag, 19. Januar 2007, 20:44:41
As we all know by now, the Chinese used a missile to ram and destroy an old, orbiting satellite. While I was searching for news on this event, I found the following interesting report:
Pentagon Report: China's Space Warfare Tactics Aimed at U.S. Supremacy, 01 August 2003
Dean Cheng, Research Analyst with Project Asia at the CNA Corporation in Washington, D.C., has also perused the DoD report on China.
"I think that the Second Gulf War highlighted, on the one hand, the dependence of the United States on space-based systems, which China's People's Liberation Army cannot help but notice and note," Cheng said. "Space assets gave U.S. forces a significant edge, and that is something that the Chinese have noticed."
Cheng said the DoD report correctly observes that the Chinese are showing an interest in the topic of physical attack against satellites.
"It would be dangerous and foolhardy, in my opinion, to either ignore such reports, or worse to pooh-pooh them. Given the degree of American reliance on satellite systems, it would behoove us to consider the prospect of attack against our space-based infrastructure from all potential sources, and to explore and, where possible, undertake countermeasures against such possibilities," Cheng told SPACE.com.
As the DoD report notes, Cheng said, "the Chinese have highlighted space systems as targets for preemption. That should only make us pay more attention to improving the survivability of the American space force."
You know why the Americans are pissed? Justa few months ago they had published their new US National Space Policy:
The United States is committed to the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes, and for the benefit of all humanity. Consistent with this principle, "peaceful purposes" allow U.S. defense and intelligence-related activities in pursuit of national interests;
(More background about that policy is available here).
You get it? The US declared that Space may only be used for peaceful purposes by others, and By God if they don't comply the US would shoot them out of the water - or space, as it were. And now China beat them to it. No wonder they're pissed.
Not that I trust China further than I can throw it.