The US, NATO and Russia have a new area in which to compete: SPACE. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the US Space Force posed a threat to Russia and that this was a growing concern. “The US Political-Military leadership sees space as a theater of operation” according to Mr Putin. Our view is that the US, China and Russia have seen space as a theater of operation for the past 20 years, longer for Russia/the Soviets. And Mr Putin went on to say that he is concerned about NATO and the view of expanding military options in space. This conversation took place while meetings in London to celebrate 70 years of NATO continued.
The US, Russia, China and the Europeans see domains of battles in air, sea, land, cyber and now space – calling space the fifth domain. Note that there are currently 2,000 satellites orbiting earth and about half are owned by EU countries. And this is not the first time that Space has been looked at by the military. In 1983, then President Ronald Reagan funded SDI or the Strategic Defense Initiative or Star Wars to fight what was left of the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Funding for SDI collapsed in 1991 when the Soviet Union faded out – there was no need for space wars, the enemy was much less a threat according to the US government. However, recently, we have seen the rise of China and the launching of satellites that have military use. Even the Russians now have what is thought to be “killer satellites” that hunt down and destroy other satellites. The new space race has began !!