The Vice Chief of Space Operations with the United States Space Force has declared that China is a tremendous threat. General David Thompson spoke with Fox News on Sunday and explained that China is making a challenge against the dominance of the United States in space. To counter China’s new level of aggressiveness, America is preparing to launch more satellites that can thwart any attacks on the present U.S. satellites in space.
The general was talking with Christ Wallace of Fox News. Wallace made it clear that China was putting up satellites at twice the rate that the U.S. is at present. And Thompson agreed with that assessment. The Fox News host said that at that pace, by the end of the decade, China would replace the U.S. as the preeminent power in space.
Thompson made it clear that some do believe that it is inevitable that China will be the leader in space by the end of the decade. He described their movement forward at an incredible pace. But the general also declared that America is still the best in the world in space. He said that we must adapt our capabilities and approach to the intensity with which China is moving so that we can keep pace and even outpace them.
The Vice Chief of Operations said that China is able to threaten us “kinetically.” He warned that they have robots in space that could conduct attacks on our satellites, using jamming attacks and laser dazzling attacks. Thompson said that China has “a full suite of cyber capabilities.
The Fox News anchor began his discussion with Thompson by acknowledging that General Raymond, the leader of the Space Force, compared space to the wild west. Wallace asked, “If the Space Force is the new sheriff in town, how do you keep law and order in that kind of situation, and what constitutes an act of war in space?”
Thompson responded by saying that we are not the sheriff in town, we are a military force. He said that they will firmly advocate for regulation and a standard for conduct that conduct everybody should follow and that America should follow as well.
Wallace asked him if China could get take out U.S. sensors and then they would have first strike offensive capability. Thompson said that he believes that is a possibility.
“That’s one of the reasons the Space Force was created, to understand that threat, to design tactics and techniques, to design counters to that threat, to design a system that provides for intelligence collection and awareness and understanding,” Thompson said.
He then described the necessity of knowing both their tactics and their systems so that America can create the needed counters. The Space Force is planning for space robot attacks so that they can create a counterforce that would prevent such an attack from being successful.
Wallace also asked about the plan for the United States to create lower-cost satellites as a part of a new strategy. Thompson said that was exactly the plan, and he talked about the resilience that is necessary for the space war. He wants to ensure that it is too hard, too expensive, and too unlikely that China will succeed.
In the past, America has produced a smaller number of sophisticated satellites, but they now intend to send up a lot lower cost ones. He explained that, in aggregate, they will produce the same level of capability.
Wallace ended the interview with Thompson by asking him how seriously America’s adversaries were taking the Space Force. Thompson answered by explaining that humor is a “fundamental avenue of the human society and always has been a part of American culture.” He then talked about the ability of the Space Force to “take a joke,” and if they couldn’t deal with humor about the Space Force, they probably couldn’t face the greater challenges.
So while many still may be laughing about this new branch of our military, they are putting a strategy in place to maintain dominance of our adversaries.