Elon to the rescue!
As soon as he's sorted out Twitter. And Tesla. And Zuckerberg.
The US Space Force is apparently anything but, according to a think tank report that concludes the newest American military branch is woefully unprepared to defend space operations from Chinese or Russian aggression. Instead of being primed to counter threats to US space operations, the USSF is a sitting duck, while both China …
Not that useful if your opponent discovers you've got an insecure connection somewhere along the line - IDK, someone with gambling debts and insecure accounts on his HomePC, or suchlike - the Russians did something like that with the Austro-Hungarians before WW I. And uses it to alter targeting to "more useful" targets, such as your nice big Brand New Base in the middle of somewhere-or-other ...
Blue-on-Blue aka Friendly Fire's not something to aim for, but if you insist on universal connection and insecure ie human connectors, and stationing orbiting weapons, it may well be what you get. While Artificial Intelligence might be even more frightening than Natural Stupidity ...
Isn't this a retread of The Third Ronnie, appropriately surnamed Raygun, and his Evil Empire rants of the early 80s? With its very own Budgetary Defense Initiative, nicknamed "Star Wars"?
Overall, I'd say that the US situation in Earth Orbit is very well set up, with more satellites in orbit than any other power, and alliances to "borrow" satellites from in need. And most likely the ability to "borrow" information more quickly and easily than most other space powers, from commercial operations.
This reads more like a proverbial scam spam in my inbox, telling me that I can add an extra foot to my proverbial if I take this-or-that, or gain extra tonnage in my bank balance if I spend this-or-that, or the like.
I think this particular Think Tank has sprung a leak, and to compensate, they've thrown in a few dead horses from The Third Ronnie's era.
"Isn't this a retread of The Third Ronnie, appropriately surnamed Raygun, and his Evil Empire rants of the early 80s? With its very own Budgetary Defense Initiative, nicknamed "Star Wars"?"
Not exactly? I had drifted away from the ABM world by the time of Reagan. But IIIRC, Reagan had been convinced by Edward Teller that Xray lasers could be used to shoot down ballistic missiles and orbiting nuclear weapons. Thus Star Wars. Turns out that Teller et. al. couldn't build the lasers. AFAIK we still can't build weaponizable Xray lasers although I'm not sure the military would tell us if they had them and were deploying them. And there were a lot of other problems including convincing arguments that Star Wars was strategically a huge money sink that would cost more money than it was worth even (or maybe especially) if it worked.
I'm not sure that the Space Force, a Trump initiative, is even as well thought out as Star Wars. I kind of wonder if its only product isn't press conferences.
FWIW, I'm pretty sure that the US Navy used their Aegis system a few decades ago to destroy a satellite that was going to burn up in a few days. And the US Army has something called THAADS that can purportedly intercept some ICBMs on good days. And the Patriot Air Defense system can be used against some incoming missiles although I remember some some plausible arguments that the most likely result of an attempted Patriot intercept is that you end up with two or more large, heavy objects falling on you instead of just one.
Someone around here probably knows a lot more about all this than I do.
As far as I can make out, the only use the Pentagon and associated types have ever got out of the Budgetary Defense Initiative has been Theatre Missile Defense. Ie, not strategic ballistic missiles, but tactical ballistic missiles. Stuff I read during those days, pointed out that decoys could waste a lot of the orbital BMD resources. Someone pointed out that a pair of secateurs in the right place could take out ground control - but I knew that from seeing Silo 15 at high school in Canberra about 78 or 79.
Though the Israelis have been touting their Iron Dome's success in shooting down the rudimentary rockets from the Gaza Strip. Much as the Pentagon has touted the success of the Patriot theatre defense system.
I'm opposed to anything that would be world-wide. Orbiting weapons "rods of god", X-ray lasers, particularly if they require a nuclear explosive to trigger them, as was reported by the popular literature about "Star Wars" during the 80s - live-testing one in orbit over the Atlantic Ocean might cause fatal EMP on civil airliners not hardened to military standards. While the Kessler Syndrome acts as a fence against widespread deployment of orbital ASATs, it won't do much to stop the paranoid narcissists who tend to gravitate to dictatorships, men like the Duke of Dorkshit himself, Donald J. Trump ...
While something that could shoot down missile launches on sight, but had an insecure command/communications structure, might be persuaded by others that Cape Canaveral is a USSR ICBM site, and bye-bye Miss American Pie ...
"the Space Force, a Trump initiative,"
Is it? I thought the subject had been kicked around for years, and creating a whole new branch of the military isn't something done lightly or quickly. Did Trump actually initiate it or just sign off on something that had been in the planning for years? Right place, right time, grab the credit?
Very much this. No way to get seriously into space without a separate branch to handle the matter.
Having said that, it seems to me to have been premature by most measures. Two strong possible justifications come to mind, however. 1) It may have been an attempt to shake up the perfumed palace enough to get something useful going. 2) It was part of the (long overdue) efforts to deal with the realities of an aggressive and abusive China.
Re : Isn't this a retread of The Third Ronnie, appropriately surnamed Raygun, and his Evil Empire rants of the early 80s? With its very own Budgetary Defense Initiative, nicknamed "Star Wars"?
If they are using 40 Year old hardware, I’d argue it isn’t a retread. This is the old system.
Actually, I think, "star wars" was a success. It didn't need to work but diverted a lot of Russian capital to counter it. It was an economic strategy. .... swm
There's a lot of Western capital causing increased domestic national debt and heavy interest laden deficit spending being invested in continuing the destruction of a penniless bankrupt Ukrainian economy depleting a Military Industrial Complex of an old armoury allowing for the singular enrichment of warmongers and political carpetbaggers alike at the expense of everything and everyone else.
That is a strategic failure with dire unintended consequences to be expected and paid for/suffered. It is only natural sweet justice and karma, is it not?
And does not reflect well on that and those you allow to lead and decide what is in store for you as the future unfolds its IT and AI canvasses before you, for painting.
President Reagan's strategy can be boiled down into two parts: 1) gain morale superiority, 2) exploit economic superiority.
So, for 1), he dubbed the USSR the "Evil Empire". He proclaimed that they would be "consigned to the ash-heap of history". He also confronted the useful idiots internally, which, as you can see, are still smarting from our victory. 2) More-or-less boiled down to stepping up the tempo of the arms race. SDI was actually a twofer, in that the mere idea had a significant effect on the morale of both sides, as well as forced the USSR to spend its way into oblivion.
As Senator Diirksen apparently didn't say:
"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money"
But he did take the credit for it, which comes to pretty much the same thing.
> the only thing that will solve this is spending loads more billions of dollars
That's the marketing pitch indeed.
If you think of it, it's actually the base of any marketing pitch: "You absolutely need to give us money, lots of it, else [doom & gloom]. Fortunately we were able to warn you before the final [doom & gloom] strikes, so grab that purse already!"
(Just don't mix up the variables: "You need to deploy our space weapons else your friends will unfriend you on Facebook" would sounds even more strange than "You need to buy our acne cream else the eeevil Russians and Chinese will invade you"...)
Let's see. "Independent" thinktank produces a report by an ex-USAF, ex-USSF officer, one of their leading lights that says his mate back at the USSF need more people an money and if they don't get it, the USA might be wiped out by China and/or Russia. Yeah, ok. That sounds like an "independent" report to me.</sarc>
That the true nature of future competitive, and bellicose, belligerent conflict is to be completely different from anything encountered in the past or the present and is an AI giant and virtual beast to assuage or try to slay, is easily denied but impossible to dismiss or deflect, and El Reg is not behind in bringing you the good news of Pioneering High Fliers and AIMaster Pilots with Home Bases in both Foreign Lands and Alien Spaces alike.
Read 'em and weep, them barbed words of future confession, but do refrain from testing its earnest resolve to make a massively great, disruptively creative difference, for what you give is what you get back in spades, and then some.
Don't be that dork that pork barrels buy and sell down the river to keep themselves and their ilk out of the firing line, and in the diminishing clover of deep and dank cover whenever the alternative delivers everlasting bright light with opportunities and rewards you never even dreamed before were possible and readily available.
One imagine such to be AI’s first prime directive task whenever informed of bastards bombing fields with folk in them, werdsmith.
And being found either guilty or responsible for the entertaining and permitting of that crime, has one pleading for life and mercy from a deaf, dumb and blind machine that knows exactly who and what you are .... and what is best to be done with you, which is always invariably a future best servered without you, for the greater good. But hey, that was your choice and that is the cost and price to be paid. Own it.
Better luck next time around, maybe. Sayonara, sucker and parasite, and thanks for all of the phishes.
Deaf, dumb, and blind in no way infers and dictates there be an absence of super intelligence, which is something to remember to never ever forget to remember and recognise for there be A.N.Others easily able to realise it true and present the evidence of their actions to you to prove it with IT and AI too.
I Kid U Not.
produced by USSF Lieutenant General B Chance Saltzman's "uncle" Harry highlighted the issue, decades ago
"...is working for the government of an unnamed Asian power, implied to be the People's Republic of China, to provoke war between the superpowers."
Honestly, the idea of just "tossing a satellite out of orbit" is completely silly. It doesn't work that way. It's not like yanking your kid brother's model airplane off the piece of fishing line that suspends it from the ceiling of his room. No mechanical arm on a satellite is going to be able to "toss" another satellite with the kilometers per second of delta-V necessary to de-orbit it in any realistic amount of time. It would be like trying to derail an oncoming freight train by tying a piece of string across the railway line.