Brussels: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the identification of space as ‘Operational Domain’ saying that “Laser systems capable of destroying advanced missiles, air defence systems as also satellites of adversary nations such as Russia and China, are now operational.” Stoltenberg made the statement at Foreign Ministers meeting of the NATO member nations held in Brussels on Wednesday.
In the last few years, the world’s leading powers such as the United States, Russia, China and France were observed to be making intense preparations for a potential conflict in space. However, the NATO military alliance was found to have been lagging as the leading powers of the world prepared. In July, the leading UK think tank, the ‘Royal Institute of International Affairs’ (Chatham House) even published a report on the matter.
The report claimed that many NATO member countries had released military satellites into the earth’s orbit and thus if even a single satellite were targeted with a cyberattack, it would prove dangerous for NATO’s entire system. Moreover, it underscored a critical fact that NATO had no direct control over the satellites. Severe reactions had emanated from the NATO member countries over the report.
After that, NATO had called for a meeting of the member nations and approved an independent space policy. The policy strategised keeping track of the growing arms race in space and thus stressing on NATO security. Also, France, which is a member nation, had announced its own independent ‘Space Force’, indicating that its space policies would be different. Cornered by France’s announcement, NATO adopted a firm stand finally recognising space as a domain for future wars and announced an independent command for it.
‘The NATO member countries will not be immediately deploying missiles and other systems in space. Nevertheless, the decision has been made to remain fully prepared for the eventuality’, Stoltenberg announced. At the time, Russia and China’s development of advanced missiles also found a mention. Previously, both the nations were revealed to have made extensive preparations for space wars.
US President Donald Trump had approved the Space Force as also the Space Command in the last year announcing that it would function as the military’s unified combatant command.