Washington: General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned of a space war as he said, ‘Space is a very critical and sensitive domain. The countries waging war against the US might try to seek a first move or advantage, for example, to blind the United States. Many have drawn attention to the likely scenario where the next Pearl Harbour could happen in space.’ A few days ago, the former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper raised the alarm against China and Russia, transforming space, a once peaceful arena, into a warfighting domain.
China and Russia both have taken aggressive strides to dominate space in the past few years. China had launched the Long March-5B rocket for its space station. Before that, China was revealed to have developed an anti-satellite missile. Further, China has stepped-up preparations for its missions to send astronauts to the moon and mars. The country is also taking steps to set up a base in space. On the other hand, Russia caused a sensation by secretly testing an anti-satellite missile in July. Considering the developments, the US Army chief’s warning on the next Pearl Harbour possibly occurring in space, is significant.
General Mark Milley has cautioned that ‘If our satellites are attacked and taken away, US communications, its systems, our command and systems associated with other critical infrastructure may become completely paralysed. Its consequences could be devastating. Nations, aware of the fact, may launch an attack in space or wage electronic warfare and cause an electronic Pearl Harbour.’ The US military recognises the threats and is moving at a rapid pace, Gen. Milley said.
In the past two years, US President Donald Trump has taken the initiative to enhance the country’s preparedness for space. The Space Force has been established as the sixth military branch of US armed forces, with over $70 billion in defence spending allocated to it. Moreover, hypersonic weapons, directed-energy systems and automated technology are also being developed for the Space Force.