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U.S. builds alliances in 'wild wild west' of space

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By Joey Roulette

The new U.S. Space Command is working with allies in the “wild, wild west” of space and will harden future satellite networks against attacks, the unit’s top general said, as the Trump administration reorganizes its military space bureaucracy.

General John Raymond, head of the Space Force created in August, said Washington would work with the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, composed of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"We’re working really hard with our Five Eyes partners and with France, Germany and Japan," he said, adding the United States has agreements to share data and services "with many, many more countries."

In a speech to an annual conference of the Air Force Association in Maryland late on Tuesday, his first public address since taking on his post, Raymond said he also plans to help secure hundreds of small broadband satellites now in development from interception, part of an effort to counter Russian and Chinese space technologies. He did not give details about the classified project.

“The Outer Space Treaty says you can’t have nuclear weapons. That’s about what it says. The rest is the wild, wild west,” Raymond said, referring to an international agreement signed decades ago by the United States, China and Russia. The treaty doesn't mention anti-satellite weapons and communication-jamming technologies.

“You have to have a satellite that is defendable. U.S. Space Command will put a sharp focus on that,” Raymond said.

He later told reporters he has met with several companies, including Wlon Musk’s SpaceX satellite project, Starlink, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, whose modified Boeing 747 is being offered as a platform to launch satellites into space within 24 hours, should an enemy knock one out of orbit.

SpaceX has won hundreds of millions of dollars in Pentagon launch contracts, using its huge Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is building a heavy-lift New Glenn rocket that it pitched to the Air Force's next multibillion dollar national security launch program.

The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guiding munitions with space-based lasers and satellites as well as using such assets to monitor for missile launches and track its forces.

Raymond said Space Command and the Space Force, planned as a new branch of the military, will work in harmony to “dominate” what the Pentagon considers the latest military domain in order to fend off an outbreak of war in space.

The United States hopes that forging closer ties to its allies in space and talking openly about the steps it is taking to prepare for conflict in space will deter adversaries from attacking U.S. satellites, said Brian Weeden, a space policy director the Secure World Foundation, a group that advocates sustainable and peaceful uses of outer space.

“However, I’m not sure if that will be enough,” he said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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Before Trump, the international accepted goal was to make space a neutral area, like we did with Antarctica.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Before Trump, the international accepted goal was to make space a neutral area, like we did with Antarctica.

Seriously? When was such an "international goal" ever formalized? And what exactly did bad orange man do to change that? And since when is space an "area"? Please enlighten us.

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The 1967 "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space" binds the parties to use outer space only for peaceful purposes. Like the denuclearization treaty with Iran, Trump has unilaterally decided to ignore this space treaty, that every other American administration has adhered to.

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More wars to come. The US is not satisfied in the havoc it has caused on Earth, it now wants to dominate space. Does anybody think this will not start a race to militarize space? Another arms race thanks to Trump.

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The 1967 "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space" binds the parties to use outer space only for peaceful purposes. Like the denuclearization treaty with Iran, Trump has unilaterally decided to ignore this space treaty, that every other American administration has adhered to.

It's not about what previous American presidents have done, it's about what the other guy is doing and if you think that other countries aren't already working on the same thing, you are being willfully ignorant. Not everything is Trump's fault.

Does anybody think this will not start a race to militarize space?

The funny thing is that you think it hasn't already started decades ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The US is not satisfied in the havoc it has caused on Earth....."

Please do not equate what Putin's Puppet has done with what America has done overall, and what it will do once he is out of office.

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This 'Space Patrol Department' jive is an egotistical joke for Putin's puppet, who recently proclaimed himself as the 'chosen one' (messiah). You can't govern space and treaties tell us we shouldn't even try to think we can. Donny Traitor is NO deity!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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