Дата публикации

USA runs into military space

On 17 June, the Pentagon unveiled the space defence strategy — the main document governing the organisation of military activities in outer space.

It should be noted that the United States, being the only country that openly demonstrates the relevant plans, is purposefully moving along the path of militarising outer space. Back in March 2018, Donald Trump announced the need to create space forces and in June instructed the Department of Defence to begin the formation of the separate sixth branch of the US Armed Forces.

Initially, it was assumed that it will take five years and at the initial stage will require $ 2 billion. Of course, such amounts are in the past. In the draft defence budget for the 2021 fiscal year, it was suggested to allocate even $ 15.4 billion to the US space forces.

In August 2019, the Space Command (SPACECOM) was created in the United States, consisting of 87 units and subunits, which are responsible for warning about missile threats, satellite operations, space flight control and support of operations in space.

The document stating the creation of the USSF was signed by the US President on 20 December  2019. “The creation of the US Space Force is a historic event and a strategic imperative for our country,” Defence Secretary Mark Esper said at the time. In his turn, the US President was more straightforward: “Space forces will be a very important component of our defence and, frankly, our offensive forces, and it will be very important for our country”.

The defence space strategy was the next step in securing the supremacy and protection of the interests of the United States in space, determined the achievement of their desired conditions in outer space over the next 10 years, and, in fact, fixed the American view of space as an area of warfare.

It is assumed that the implementation of the strategy will be carried out in four main areas:

  • the creation of a comprehensive military advantage for the United States in space;
  • integration of military space forces into national joint and combined operations;
  • the formation of a strategic environment;
  • working with allies, partners, industry, and other US government departments and agencies.

Noteworthy is the statement that the document was adopted against the background of growing efforts in space on the part of Russia and China. “China and Russia have armed outer space and turned it into an area of war,” said Stephen Kitay, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Space Policy. China has successfully tested an anti-satellite surface-to-air missile, according to the Pentagon.

Между тем Россия, хотя также имеет противоспутниковое оружие, еще в 2004 году в одностороннем порядке взяла на себя обязательство первой не размещать оружие в космосе, неоднократно предостерегала США от превращения космического пространства в милитаризованную зону и театр военных действий.

Meanwhile, Russia, although it also has anti-satellite weapons, back in 2004 unilaterally pledged to be the first not to place weapons in space, and repeatedly warned the United States against turning outer space into a militarized zone and a theatre of military operations. As a reminder, in December 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted by a majority vote three resolutions on disarmament in outer space proposed by the Russian Federation: “No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space”, “Further Practical Measures for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” and “Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures in Outer Space Activities”.

It is very important that the Republic of Belarus has been taking a principled stance for many years: it expresses serious concern over a possible arms race in outer space, advocates the adoption of a comprehensive treaty on the prevention of the deployment of weapons in outer space, the use of force or the threat of force against space objects.