From today's Washington Times: It appears the Bush Administration is finally reacting to China's recent ASAT test, beyond those initial statements of concern.
"U.S. Halts China Space Ventures"
Now, let's do something that will really get Beijing's attention--namely, reviving (and fully funding) our own ASAT program.
"Now, let's do something that will really get Beijing's attention--namely, reviving (and fully funding) our own ASAT program."
The US and Russia have both tested similar weapons a long time ago. If China only tests it once, it doesn't make sense to provoke them in to full development.
If the planners believe we need ASAT weapons in their own right then fund them but don't do it just to be smarmy.
US has the most to lose from an ASAT arms race since our military is the most dependent on satelites for intelligence, navigation, and communication.
Space has already been militarized. If you can shoot down a satellite from the ground ,that is a space weapon , you are just storing it on the ground.
The US will loose the most by not providing any defense of its satellite. Satellites are our force multiplier .China ,Russia and other nations will simply enhance their ability to shoot down satellite and negate any technological advantages of the United States.
Satellites will become the hostages those nations who are the most aggressive . We will only be able to watch as other nations are told what to do . Helpless because our satellites are so vulnerable.
One of the spins of any tech. endeavor is the countermeasures developed in the process of researching the initial project. No project - no countermeasures.
I'm also getting tired of the mantra, that if we do such and such then we'll spur the enemy to out perform our research on the necessary systems for defense. If they are doing it anyway then we're a bunch of fools if we don't do the research. Period!
If they're spurred in advance, then what does what we do matter?
Anon--it's not a matter of provoking. Beijing is already in full-scale development of both ground and space-based ASAT weapons. Now, it's just a matter of deployment.
I will agree with you on one point: we have the most to lose from an ASAT threat. Therefore, we'd better do something to ensure our continued dominance in that domain. ASAT is only part of the solution; we need more satellites, more maneuverable space-based platforms, and further work on BMD, to hold the enemy's missile-based ASAT weapons at risk.
At this point, reviving/funding ASAT isn't a matter of being smarmy, but a matter of national importance.
I'd like to see us develop an ASAT system that would launch into space, match orbits with a satellite, hook onto it, and pull it down from the sky with retrorockets.
Efficient, ruthless, and no debris cluttering the sky.
That would give the Chinese something to think about.
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