The itch of a (not cheerful) space war

Human being what he is, war on Earth is no longer enough for him: technical progress will soon allow us to play toys in orbit with the latest weapons. And the super-grown-ups are having a blast …

I have already mentioned in this blog the militarization of space, this place declared “sacred” not so long ago: it is accelerating from month to month, each accusing the other (or the others) of threaten the peace by deploying weapons in orbit capable of neutralizing all the satellite systems of a country. The three great powers play the main roles in this new (bad?) Play.

On August 24 (Saint-Barthélemy’s anniversary, it can’t be invented…), the online journal Space Daily published two articles on the subject. We reach summits (or rather abysmal depths).

In the first article, the CRS (Congressional Research Service), a research service of the American Congress, accused China and Russia of engaging in near-Earth space in activities that could endanger the national security of the United States and its countries. allies, by developing a whole arsenal of offensive space weapons. And to quote the known panoply: jammers, lasers, anti-satellite kinetic weapons, nuclear weapons activated in space and cyberattacks, before concluding: “American military superiority in space is no longer guaranteed”.

The funniest thing (if we can say so) is that the CRS report, without mentioning the weapons available to the Americans, states that many states and international entities, including NATO, have declared space “domain of war”, despite the existence of various treaties and agreements supposedly still in force and promoting space as “domain of peace”. That in gallant terms these things are said… By the way, who heads NATO?… Like what, again, it is the first who says who is.

The second article announced that the Pentagon was preparing to “unveil and demonstrate highly classified space weapons.” Hey, the US also has space weapons? Do what I say, don’t do what I do… The “show” was supposed to take place in August, but was postponed due to the events in Afghanistan. The demonstration focuses on a secret weapon capable of destroying a satellite and on the nature of which the experts are lost in conjectures: mobile terrestrial laser, proximity jammer mounted on satellite, microwave system, even kinetic weapon (less likely it would seem )? Without forgetting the mysterious small autonomous shuttle X-37B operational for ten years and of which we still do not know anything in terms of mission. Note that the Chinese are developing theirs, and the Russians don’t (but maybe they don’t need it?).

According to John Hyten, Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “deterrence does not happen in the classified world; it does not work in the dark, but in the white.” In other words: if you really want to deter, show off what you are capable of. It is a position which is defended, but which, one suspects it, also has its detractors. And the world is holding its breath while waiting for this demonstration intended to impress China and Russia: Who is the strongest in space, eh, who is it? …

China and Russia have always opposed US plans to deploy offensive weapons in the space, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes there is still a chance to come to an agreement to counter. a military confrontation in space: the two nations had already proposed in 2008 a treaty in this direction, but the United States had rejected it by treating it as “diplomatic ploy aiming at acquiring a military advantage”. It is true that neither China nor Russia are novices in terms of the militarization of space …

Behind all these great declarations of the three superpowers, we still end up having the impression that it titillates them somewhat to press if not on the trigger, at least on the button … Basically, everything would happen up there, not directly on Earth, then why a little star wars? It would offer us the unique opportunity to implement and test the most modern technologies, and all this without causing any victims on the ground (well… initially).

Given the now vital importance of space in our economies and even in our daily lives, it was inevitable that it would become the new military issue. This is the reason why governments should show a little more maturity in avoiding these auctions of ranting which sometimes borders on dangerous infantilism.

A chance that the sounds are not transmitted outside the atmosphere: this prevents us from hearing all these boot noises …

Source: UsineNouvelle – Actualités A la une by

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