Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lost in Space

Ministry of Defence issued the first of its kind in the U.S. national security strategy space (NSSS), on February 4. Document "that seeks to preserve and enhance the benefits of national security" in the United States is derived from the activities and capabilities in space. This week, said Gregory Schulte, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy space, and a new policy in an article for Foreign Policy. Schulte described the benefits they receive from the United States a wide range of surveillance, communications, navigation and satellite. He also pointed to increased competition among a growing number of players who are looking for their positions would be useful in orbit. Schulte pointed out some clever diplomacy and soft power strategies that U.S. officials hope will protect the interests of the country's space, along with some of the fences in the case of soft-power strategies fail. However, the growing of these fences to get very heavy costs for the Pentagon.

One of the greatest concern to the Pentagon is the weakness of its own satellites to attack. In 2007, China shot down one of its own aging satellites with a missile, weather direct ascent, which shows the ability to threaten space-based systems that support U.S. military forces. In addition to the rocket attack, many commercial satellites and the Defense Department are also vulnerable to attack-oriented (laser) energy and electronic jamming. Opponents of the United States may view the attacks on U.S. satellites strategy high-payoff/low-risk. By attack U.S. satellites, could impede the enemy's military forces without the usual indicators of the war, at least in public perception. For example, without any images of explosions, burning buildings, or wounded civilians, U.S. policy makers may find it difficult to generate political and diplomatic support for a military response.
As explained Schulte, U.S. officials hope to use diplomacy and soft power tools to deter attacks on satellite networks. The first of these hoped-for line of deterrence is to develop a code of conduct and international standards to combat attacks on the infrastructure space. The second is the strategy for the United States to share some of the defense-related space platforms with other countries. In this case, will have an enemy with designs on U.S. space assets for an attack on a common platform, and thus attack a coalition of countries, not just the United States. U.S. officials hope that such complications would deter such an attack in the first place.
Such soft power tactics will not be effective against opponents who had already decided to be isolated from the international system and thus be a little more to lose from the violation of international standards or alliances. And a hedge against the failure of NSSS approach to soft power. The proposed fence, including hardening of the satellites against attack kinetic, electronic and satellite save redundant Standing by in the position of launching quickly to replace those destroyed. Another precaution is to increase the large number of reconnaissance aircraft and ground communications systems as alternatives to space-based. Finally, the Air Force - operator of the Global Positioning System navigation satellite, and therefore the service of most familiar with the weaknesses of the system - is seeking in its technology roadmap for the development of a new system of navigation minute that will not rely on satellites. And a hedge against the loss of space systems will not be cheap.
The Pentagon retains the right, if the soft-power strategies and hedge redundant fail, as Schulte said at a Pentagon briefing "to respond in self-defense to attacks on space. The response may not be in space as well." With much more to lose in space than any other enemy, and the escalation of war in space is the last thing the Ministry of Defence would like to see. And thus a threat to the transformation of the mode in response to the opponent and the terrain may value most.
Although the Government of the United States diplomacy and soft power tactics to defend its interests in space are smart, they may not be enough against a rogue state or non-state actors with a few of their own assets at risk. In this case, the Pentagon needs to hardening and diversification of space assets, or business development throughout the earth to avoid weak points in space. Such expensive solutions do not come at a worse time from the masters of the budget of the Ministry of Defence.
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