US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten’s statement that Russia and China will soon pose a threat to American spacecraft resembles nothing so much as an attempt to justify the militarization of space by the Pentagon, Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov told RIA Novosti.
The US continues to take steps toward the militarization of space, Konstantin Sivkov, Russian military expert and First Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues in Moscow, told RIA Novosti commenting on US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten’s recent remarks.
Speaking at Stanford University’s Center for Security and Cooperation, the commander of US Strategic Command highlighted the importance of “deterrence in space.”
“That’s where we do our special communications, from national command-and-control communications [to]… our nuclear business,” Gen. Hyten said as quoted by DoD News.
“We have to deter bad behavior in space and we have to deter conflict in space,” the general emphasized, referring to China and Russia as potential trouble-makers.
Gen. Hyten claimed that “in the not-so-distant future” Moscow and Beijing will be able to threaten every spacecraft the US has in space.
“We have to prevent that,” Hyten said, “and the best way to prevent war is to be prepared for war. So the United States is going to do that, and we’re going to make sure that everybody knows we’re prepared for war.”
While Hyten’s claims about the threat posed by China and Russia to American spacecraft bear no relation to reality, it becomes clear that the Pentagon is pushing ahead with a new round of an arms race, Sivkov believes.
“The United States is seeking justification for a new round of the arms race. Every day we hear that the United States must be prepared for war and that’s what this general [Hyten] has repeated. He merely pumps up the war hysteria, that’s all,” the Russian expert pointed out.
According to Sivkov, the Pentagon is trying to justify the need for new research and production of more sophisticated systems of anti-satellite weapons.
“In fact this is the way to justify the beginning of a large-scale militarization of space by the United States, under the pretext of the Russian and Chinese threat,” Sivkov explained.
The Russian military expert has called attention to the fact that while Russia is only exploring means to tackle the threat posed by its potential adversary’s satellites, the United States has already tested systems aimed at destroying spacecraft.
“This is the sea-based missile defense system combined with command and control Aegis combat system equipped with the [RIM-161] Standard Missile 3. The Americans have repeatedly tested the system shooting down low-altitude satellites,” Sivkov pointed out, stressing that this system has already been placed on alert.
He assumed that Russia and China are apparently taking efforts to narrow the gap with the Pentagon in this field.
Sivkov recalled that the Soviet Union had developed a system to control satellites. However, the system had not been put into service.
“Now [this research] could be resumed,” the military expert suggested, “It is also possible to create a laser gun to combat satellites. The US is developing such programs actively.”
Back in October, 2016 Russian military expert and observer Viktor Baranets expressed concerns over the US developing space weapons in his interview with Radio Sputnik.
“The current situation in space is that no satellites are protected, no matter at what orbits they are. The reason is that alongside the development of space systems, the US is running on all cylinders developing space weapons,” Baranets said.