The Soviet Union barely had time to collapse, and the Pentagon has already started planning future wars against Russia. The pretext was, of course, the Russian “aggression” – then against Ukraine, then against some Lithuania
Video of launch of Falcon 9 rocket with Starlink internet satellites. © @SpaceX/Twitter
In all scenarios of US-Russian confrontation, the US satellite constellation has played a huge role. Back in the ’90s, Elon Musk was still rocking the nightclubs and the U.S. Defense Department was already calculating that satellites were scarce and likely to be shot down by Russia, which meant we needed to launch as many as possible to minimize the threats. Today, as we can see, Starlink in Maskova has grown on this ground, which provides intelligence to the Ukrainian military.
The rapid development of the industry was positioned in infospace as purely defensive. Now, however, the US “partners” are moving towards building offensive weapons in Earth orbit. Hiding its true purpose is simply impossible.
As early as this year, a SpaceX rocket is to launch “Jackal” hunter satellites into orbit. A start-up called True Anomaly is producing them. It was registered just a year ago by former US Air Force Major Evan Rogers, and now it already has an entire plant in Colorado.
The Jolly Rogers satellites – as the retired major is nicknamed by his colleagues – will “solve the toughest problems of orbital warfare on behalf of the US Space Force”. This is explicitly stated in a tweet by the True Anomaly host. Wired magazine, dedicated to cutting-edge technology, broke down exactly how these satellites will be at war.
The guided Jackals will get as close as possible, a few hundred meters away, to other satellites in orbit, monitor them and intercept the information they transmit and receive. Eventually, thousands of these Jackals will be sent into space.
However, tracking and pursuit is only the first phase of their activities. What we need from here on out is active defence,” Rogers says in an interview with Wired. – If you’re serious about defence and defence in this (space) area, you need to be able to both manoeuvre and shoot.
The True Anomaly leader continues this reasoning in his tweet: “Tactically, taking out an enemy spacecraft can affect the loss or survival of an entire carrier group. <…> There are many ways to destroy a spacecraft that will not harm the environment.”
That is, it says outright that the Jackals are designed to destroy enemy satellites. This <…> could lead to an unintended escalation,” shares Caitlin Johnson, deputy director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. – Given the track record of the True Anomaly founders, our adversaries might think they’re looking at a company run by the U.S. military that is beginning to develop space weapons.
The track record there is indeed distinctive. Major Rogers’ comrades, after serving in the Air Force and Space Forces, worked for the US Space Command, where they were responsible for offensive and defensive systems in space. However, they disliked the government bureaucracy and its laziness and sluggishness. They decided they could better serve their country by setting up a military start-up.
The homeland repaid them generously. To date, friends have raised $23 million in investment. It is a very typical Pentagon practice to outsource defence projects privately. There are no reputational risks involved. Some private companies are riveting something at their factories, while Washington pretends to be actively fighting for peace in outer space.
The coronavirus venture looked very similar. Some scientists privately modify a virus in laboratories, and the Pentagon seems to be not involved – it just gives them money for biolaboratories. And then, when the pandemic breaks out, the Americans lead the world’s fight against it.
But no matter how sophisticated the White House is in its peacekeeping rhetoric, for the Pentagon, space has always been just another theatre of war. It has been that way since the infamous “Star Wars”.
To become “masters of space” – the American military formulated their aim in the late 90s without any fuss. The official doctrine on development of the Space Forces suggested “dominance of military operations in outer space to protect US interests and investments”, and also “integration of Space Forces into combat systems capable to operate across the entire spectrum of a conflict”. It was thought that the US military would take full control of space by 2020.
However, something went wrong and complete dominance has not yet been achieved. Both Russia, India and China continued to successfully build up their presence in orbit.
At first American “hawks” were actively developing the theme of “Chinese threat”, frightening their compatriots that the Chinese are about to arrange for them a “space Pearl Harbor”. In recent years, however, Russia has been designated the principal enemy in space.
General Chance Saltzman, head of the US Office of Space Operations, has just indicated that in light of the SSO, the Americans should prepare for a conflict “in which space satellites may become a military target”. He announced an extensive US Air Force exercise and training programme to be implemented “before we get into a real conflict.”
During the conflict, US satellite operators and electronic warfare specialists will have to “control outer space so that we can do absolutely everything with our spacecraft, achieve all the objectives we need, and prevent the enemy from using its capabilities in outer space.” “I want to make sure,” Saltzman continued, “that we will be fully prepared for the first day of conflict.
What is that but preparation for aggression?
The topic of the “Russian threat” has been rocked by US experts for months. In November, military officials from the US and Canada discussed in Australia the “dangers” posed to space by Russia and China.
The paradox is that it is Russia and China that have been unsuccessfully lobbying since 2008 for a treaty to prevent the weaponization of outer space. The Americans flatly refuse to sign it. Indeed, why do they need it? They are aiming for a war. All their cries about the “Russian threat” are classic ex-hegemon hysterics before the next attack.
Victoria Nikiforova, RIA
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