Defense Intelligence Agency Report Aims to Educate on Space Security

Defense Intelligence Agency Report Aims to Educate on Space Security

The Defense Intelligence Agency has released a new report detailing the security challenges the United States face in outer space.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has released a report with the intention of educating the public on the national security challenges the United States face in space. The report, titled "Challenges to Security in Space," explains why other countries might attempt to disrupt the US' position in space.

The two major challengers discussed in the report are China and Russia. It also mentions Iran and North Korea as countries with emerging space capabilities. The report also includes a section on orbital debris as a significant concern and potential disruptor to future space operations.

The advantage that the United States holds in space — and our perceived dependence on it — will continue to drive actors to improve their abilities to operate in and through space,” the report says. “Space-based capabilities provide integral support to military, commercial and civilian applications …. Longstanding technological and cost barriers to space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in satellite construction, space launch, space exploration and human spaceflight.”

These advancements are creating new opportunities and risks to space-enabled services, says the DIA. “Having seen the benefits of space-enabled operations, some foreign governments are developing capabilities that threaten others’ ability to use space. China and Russia, in particular have taken steps to challenge the United States.”

The Chinese and Russian developed military doctrines based on the idea that space is essential to modern warfare and counterspace capabilities are key to countering U.S. and allied military advantages, the report says. “Both countries have developed robust and capable space services” including space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, space launch vehicles and satellite navigation constellations.

These capabilities provide the Chinese and Russian militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide with “enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track and target U.S. and allied forces,” the report says. “Chinese and Russian space surveillance networks are capable of searching, tracking and characterizing satellites in all earth orbits.” Further, both states are developing jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities and ground-based anti-satellite missiles that can achieve reversible to non-reversible effects on U.S. space systems.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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