Space warfare with Russia and China? Pentagon urged to prepare for it.
Picture this: A Chinese fighter jet accidentally crashes into a Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane while attempting to buzz it over the South China Sea, killing all on board both aircraft. Fearing U.S. retaliation, China goes a relatively unexpected route: It uses surface-to-air missiles to shoot numerous U.S. satellites out of the heavens in quick succession.
Very quickly, the Navy is forced to navigate the Pacific with little use of GPS and degraded communications, causing chaos and uncertainty. The Chinese strikes also have knocked out some of the Pentagon’s ability to control its arsenal of precision-guided weapons.
None of this has happened. But the hypothetical scenario points out the reliance the Pentagon has on space and the military technology it keeps in it. Satellites have soared over the earth’s atmosphere for decades, providing the United States with a huge advantage militarily, even at a time when the conventional weapons U.S. rivals have are formidable.