The United States federal government should pursue a defensive space control strategy that emphasizes satellite hardening, replacement, redundancy, stealth and situational awareness.
1AC - Advantage One – Crisis Miscalculation – 1AC
Space vulnerability and instability are increasing, raising the risk of conflict. Defensive space measure can increase deterrence while avoiding a destabilizing arms race. MacDonald 09, former assistant director for national security at the White House [Bruce W., “Testimony of Bruce W. MacDonald”, Council of Foreign Affairs, Before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee and House Armed Services Committee, March 18, http://www.cfr.org/china/space-security/p18862, Accessed July 12 2011]
Our space assets are exposed and fragile. They can’t run, they can’t hide, and today they can’t defend themselves. One small object traveling at orbital speeds can destroy them. Unless we take proactive measures, all these threats will grow, and we must bear in mind that the U.S. depends more on space than our potential adversaries. If we are not careful, the way we are currently thinking, planning, and investing, our space capabilities may only be available in peacetime, or against non-peer adversaries. We could lose them just when we need them most. At a minimum, we need far greater space situational awareness and space intelligence (SSA/SI) capabilities than today. Responsible officials have been saying this for years, but SSA/SI has never received the priority it deserves. If this fails to change, we can expect more frequent space collisions and growing instability in space. Current U.S. Space Policy Raises but Does Not Answer Key Space Stability Issues In 2006, the Bush Administration issued a revised space policy that declared for the first time that U.S. space assets are a “vital national interest,” in recognition of the extraordinary and growing U.S. military and economic dependence on them. The phrase “vital national interest” carries much heavier national security implications than has ever been attributed to space. This policy also reserves the right to deny adversaries “the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests.” But attacking others’ space capabilities invites attacks on our own, which our policy calls a “vital national interest,” and on which we depend far more than anyone else. Evolving technology guarantees both that: 1) we will depend even more on these assets in the future; and 2) these vital assets will likely face greater threats than today. This dimension of U.S. space policy is contradictory: why would we want to threaten actions that would invite retaliation against “vital national interests,” and where we have more at stake than our adversaries? This contradiction was never explained. Such a policy contradiction could make sense if: • the governing U.S. space force doctrine is deterrence -- that we would have offensive capability strictly to deter attacks on our assets, and we would not initiate them – but there is no indication that this is the case; or • the U.S. could maintain space dominance, which the policy tacitly implies, but such a posture would not be sustainable; or • such attacks were limited and localized, i.e., tactical, not strategic, though there would be serious risks of escalation. There is an inherent risk of strategic instability when relatively modest defense efforts create disproportionate danger to an adversary, as with space offense. And there is a serious risk of crisis instability in space when “going first” pays off – destroying an adversary’s satellites before he destroys yours. We don’t know what would happen in a crisis, but the potential for space instability seems high and likely to grow. But our policy is silent on this. I believe the United States can and should remain pre-eminent in space, but that we are currently being incautious in some dimensions of our military space policy due to the absence of both a clearly thought-out space doctrine and a coherent national security space strategy. Many issues are begging to be addressed, including: • How does deterrence function in space? Could limited counterspace attacks remain limited, or would they inevitably escalate into all-out space conflict? • How can countries with less to lose in space than we be deterred? Are there asymmetric means available to us for deterrence? • Is space deterrence possible without offensive space capabilities? If so, how? If not, what kinds of capabilities are most stabilizing? 4 • What U.S. space strategy, and resulting acquisition strategy, in that order, would promote U.S. security interests and reduce space instability over the longer term? • How do China, Russia and others see space stability? How will this shape China’s space doctrine, acquisition, strategies, and diplomacy? We don’t know the answers to these questions, and we are doing far too little to answer them. The United States needs a stabilizing space protection strategy that would: • Focus on stability, deterrence, escalation control and transparency • Incentivize nations to avoid destabilizing, irreversible actions in space • Provide a U.S. military space architecture with “defense in depth” and terrestrial, airborne, and other backups to assure availability of key space services in the event fo space outages from whatever causes, benign or hostile • Reduce adversary incentives and ability to target U.S. space capabilities • Maintain “strategic ambiguity” over our responses to adversary actions • Encourage agreements that constrain the most destabilizing dimensions of space competition and provide ground rules for normal space operations; and • Expand dialogue among U.S., China, and others to promote better understanding and reduce chances for misunderstanding and miscalculation, always dangerous in a crisis Creating a stable space domain requires the United States to respond to space threats in a responsible manner, one that ideally does not provoke other nations to greater counter space efforts than they would otherwise pursue. The United States must be careful to avoid creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and should refrain from activities and public communications (such as an Air Force advertisement describing space as a future battleground) that invite the buildup of other nations’ counterspace capabilities. The United States should proceed cautiously with offensive counterspace initiatives. We must recognize that other nations depend less on space than we and, therefore, the destruction of their space capabilities is of lesser relative value to us as long as this is true.
Chinese tests have sparked a global arms race. Our satellites are vulnerable to other countries ASATs or cyber terrorists, which invites a preemptive strike Denmark 2010 - Fellow with the Center for a New American Security [By Abraham M. and Dr. James Mulvenon CNAS, Jan, Contested Commons: The Future of American Power in a Multipolar World http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/CNAS%20Contested %20Commons%20Capstone_0.pdf Accessed Jun 21]
In an environment where all the stray bullets, mortars and bombs do not simply fall to Earth, but continue to fly around the world for decades, rendering much of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable. Similarly, orbits littered with debris from a kinetic anti-satellite campaign would be useless for the satellites upon which the global economy depends. This fragility represents an Achilles’ heel for the space commons and the U.S. military. The relative dependence of the U.S. on space makes its space systems potentially attractive targets. Many foreign nations and non-state entities are pursuing space-related activities. … An attack on elements of U.S. space systems during a crisis or conflict should not be considered an improbable act. If the U.S. is to avoid a “Space Pearl Harbor” it needs to take seriously the possibility of an attack on U.S. space systems. Burgeoning ASAT Capabilities: A growing number of states have recognized American reliance on space, have access to space, and are developing capabilities to exploit U.S. vulnerabilities. 77 Recent developments demonstrate that access to, and use of, space is becoming increasingly contested. These developments threaten the American way of war, given the U.S. military’s use of space for everything from logistics to Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C3ISR). These developments also threaten the space commons in general: China successfully tested a direct-ascent anti-satelite missile in January 2007, which created over 35,000 pieces of debris larger than 1 centimeter. 78 China also reportedly used lasers to temporarily blind an American satellite in 2006. Russia provided Iraq with GPS jammers in 2003, • which were somewhat successful in countering American precision-strike weapons. 80 Several states and non-state actors have used radio and cyber capabilities to disrupt or degrade an adversary’s space capabilities. Indonesia jammed a Chinese-owned satellite. Iran and Turkey have jammed satellite broadcasts of national dissidents. 81 In 2003, Iran jammed satellite broadcasts of Voice of America, and in March of that year, Iran jammed GPS signals. In 1999, hackers attacked a British satellite via cyberspace. In 2008, Brazilian hackers were arrested for using homemade communications dishes to “hijack” transponders on a U.S. Navy satellite. 82 More recently, the Iranian government reportedly jammed U.S. satellite and radio broadcasts during the protests surrounding its 2009 presidential election. The threshold to access space is lowering, allowing several countries to develop indigenous abilities to access and operate in space. While these efforts are primarily commercial and civilian in focus, many new space programs have military components. In May 2008, Japan’s legislature passed a law ending a ban on the use of its space program for defense. France’s new defense white paper calls for doubling investment in space assets, including spy satellites. In late June, India announced that it would “optimize space applications for military purposes,” and one of its most senior military officers candidly stated: “With time we will get sucked into a military race to protect our space assets, and inevitably there will be a military contest in space. ” 83 Space may, in the coming decades, be more accessible to non-state actors. The high costs associated with developing, putting into orbit, and maintaining assets in space have, to date, kept space a domain for states, but costs are falling. Private companies have been attempting to develop relatively cost-effective space platforms for commercial launch purposes. The companies Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic have developed a craft, White Knight Two, which they hope will carry a manned space capsule into orbit. In future years, it is possible (if not likely) that advanced high-altitude flight capabilities demonstrated by the White Knight Two will proliferate, making low orbit accessible for actors that do not have the resources to develop a full-fledged space program. The implications of new actors operating within the space commons are potentially significant. Long the domain of the United States and the Soviet Union, space in the coming decades will become more crowded, with inexperienced actors who may not have responsible mentorship of the space commons in mind. Indeed, some may use space to strike at the United States and the international system, a kind of terrorism in zero gravity.
Our Space Assets are increasingly vulnerable – ASAT tests, debris, congestion and the arms race Clapper and Gates, 2011 – Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Defense [U.S. National Security Space Strategy—Unclassified Summary,’’ January ,http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0111_nsss/docs/NationalSecuritySpaceStrategyUnclassifiedSummary_Jan2011.pd
Space is vital to U.S. national security and our ability to understand emerging threats, project power globally, conduct operations, support diplomatic efforts, and enable global economic viability. As more nations and non-state actors recognize these benefits and seek their own space or counterspace capabilities, we are faced with new opportunities and new challenges in the space domain. The current and future strategic environment is driven by three trends – space is becoming increasingly congested, contested, and competitive. Space is increasingly congested. Growing global space activity and testing of China’s destructive anti-satellite (ASAT) system have increased congestion in important areas in space. DoD tracks approximately 22,000 man-made objects in orbit, of which 1,100 are active satellites (see Figure 1). There may be as many as hundreds of thousands of additional pieces of debris that are too small to track with current sensors. Yet these smaller pieces of debris can damage satellites in orbit. Today’s space environment contrasts with earlier days of the space age in which only a handful of nations needed to be concerned with congestion. Now there are approximately 60 nations and government consortia that own and operate satellites, in addition to numerous commercial and academic satellite operators (see Figure 2). This congestion – along with the effects of operational use, structural failures, accidents involving space systems, and irresponsible testing or employment of debris-producing destructive ASATs – is complicating space operations for all those that seek to benefit from space. Increased congestion was highlighted by the 2009 collision between a Russian government Cosmos satellite and a U.S. commercial Iridium satellite. The collision created approximately 1,500 new pieces of trackable space debris, adding to the more than 3,000 pieces of debris created by the 2007 Chinese ASAT test. These two events greatly increased the cataloged population of orbital debris. Another area of increasing congestion is the radiofrequency spectrum. Demand for radiofrequency spectrum to support worldwide satellite services is expected to grow commensurate with the rapid expansion of satellite services and applications. As many as 9,000 satellite communications transponders are expected to be in orbit by 2015. As the demand for bandwidth increases and more transponders are placed in service, the greater the probability of radiofrequency interference and the strain on international processes to minimize that interference. Space is increasingly contested in all orbits. Today space systems and their supporting infrastructure face a range of man-made threats that may deny, degrade, deceive, disrupt, or destroy assets. Potential adversaries are seeking to exploit perceived space vulnerabilities. As more nations and non-state actors develop counterspace capabilities over the next decade, threats to U.S. space systems and challenges to the stability and security of the space environment will increase. Irresponsible acts against space systems could have implications beyond the space domain, disrupting worldwide services upon which the civil and commercial sectors depend.
Space race inevitable - Chinese ASAT tests, weaponization and space debris all undermine crisis stability, threatening US forces MacDonald 8—former assistant director for national security at the White House. [Bruce W. MacDonald, September 2008, “China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security”, Council on Foreign Relations, Council Special Report No. 38, http://www.cfr.org/china/china-space-weapons-us-security/p16707, accessed 7-12-11]
With China’s demonstration of an ASAT weapon, the United States is concerned that China might soon deploy a substantial ASAT arsenal, consisting of either a fleet of the ASATs it tested in 2007, coorbital small satellites (“space mines”), or, later, a more advanced ASAT capability based on technologies such as lasers, microwaves, or cyberweapons. Such a Chinese deployment could substantially reduce the effectiveness of U.S. fighting forces.While more traditional counterspace capabilities like jammers have a long and well-recognized role in electronic warfare, their effects are localized and temporary and thus can be tailored. Offensive counterspace capabilities could permanently damage or destroy costly satellites and leave substantial harmful debris in space if they physically destroy the satellites. Space debris can collide with and destroy satellites and is an important element in thinking about space weapons. Like radioactive fallout from nuclear war, debris from space war can linger for many years. While the word “debris” sounds harmless based on common usage, most orbital debris moves at a speed of more than seventeen thousand miles per hour. Thus, relatively small debris pieces are highly destructive to a satellite in a collision. One only has to imagine what life would be like if thousands of bullets from World War II were still whizzing around to get some feel for the danger that debris growth poses for the future of space. At present, twelve thousand detectable debris pieces that are ten centimeters or larger orbit the earth, as well as millions of 6 China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security smaller pieces. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) estimates China’s 2007 ASAT test alone increased orbital debris by 10 percent, and its fallout will take more than one hundred years to reenter the atmosphere. Despite important international efforts to reduce it, the total quantity of space debris grew by 20 percent in 2007. All nations have a compelling common interest in avoiding the massive increase in space debris that substantial ASAT conflict would create. Many nations, including China, Russia, and the United States, have agreed to nonbinding guidelines to minimize space debris, including by deliberate destruction. Perhaps technology will allow removal of space debris in the future, but nothing is now on the horizon, and space clean-up would likely be very costly in any event. The implications of these new counterspace developments for peacetime and crisis stability, as well as the conduct of warfare, are profound. The sudden major loss of satellite function would quickly throw U.S. military capabilities back twenty years or more and substantially damage the U.S. and world economies. While backup systems could partially compensate for this loss, U.S. military forces would be significantly weakened. In addition to shoring up its defenses, the United States also needs to better understand China’s evolving and ambiguous space doctrine.
Chinese capabilities and intentions prove they pursue asymmetric warfare -– this is based on readings of Chinese doctrine and law. China exploits international law for their advantage. Bellflower 2010, instructor at the Advanced Space Operations School [Air Force Judge Advocate General School. The Air Force Law Review. The influence of law on command of space name: major john w. Bellflower Lexis Accessed June 21, 2011]
The lack of transparency in China's military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation. This situation will naturally and understandably lead to hedging against the unknown. 149 Potential adversaries, such as China, may also employ strategic lawfare to limit U.S. command of space. Recognizing its current technological inferiority in space as compared to the United States, China has focused its military efforts on "developing capabilities that target potential vulnerabilities of the United States." 150 This is particularly the case with American dependence on space assets, something China views as America's "soft ribs and strategic weakness." 151 Aware that military options are not a viable choice at this time given the financial, military, and technological gap between it and America, China is beginning to use international law as a means of countering American space power, in part to buy itself time to develop capabilities to take advantage of America's space vulnerabilities. 152 To justify its future military actions in space, China is continually developing doctrine and legal justifications to garner support within the international community. 153 It has, in essence, taken Machiavelli's advice 154 and not only sought to achieve its military objectives through resort to law,but also to legitimize its military actions in case resort to military means become necessary. A. Chinese Lawfare The Chinese view space as an essential arena for future warfare. 155 Rather than attempt to achieve parity and directly compete with U.S. space capabilities, China appears focused on an asymmetric strategy "to deny its opponent use of [space] as much as possible." 156 Thus, China is pursuing means to inhibit American freedom of action in [*134] space through the development of capabilities to destroy, damage, and interfere with American satellite systems in an effort to blind and deafen the U.S. military in the event of conflict. 157 Complementing its increase in military capabilities, China has embraced asymmetric warfare at a level previously unimagined. 158 Chinese doctrine views warfare as not only "a military struggle, but also a comprehensive contest on fronts of politics, economy, diplomacy, and law." 159 Thus, China appears to eschew the tactical use of lawfare in favor of its strategic use as an "active defense" to be employed in advance of actual conflict and across the spectrum of human activity. 160 The Chinese formulation of full-spectrum warfare is contained in the concept of "Three Warfares" that combines and incorporates psychological, media, and legal components into a coordinated strategy. 161 The legal component describes "the use of international and domestic laws to gain international support and manage possible political repercussions of China's military actions" 162 and advocates seizing "the earliest opportunity to set up regulations." 163 Further, Chinese military doctrine closely intertwines public opinion warfare--media and psychological warfare--and lawfare. Media warfare seeks to manipulate the news media to achieve a propaganda victory and break an enemy's will to fight. 164 Psychological warfare employs the use of "selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals . . . to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to [China]." 165 Thus, China blends lawfare and public opinion warfare in order to achieve international legitimacy for its actions. 166 This strategy [*135] finds current expression in China's actions regarding the sea--a use of lawfare that has enormous implications for its projected activities in the space domain.
Space militarization undermines crisis stability – it invites preemption during a crisis because it undermines deterrence. An arms race is inherently unstable because it favors asymmetry MacDonald 8—former assistant director for national security at the White House. [Bruce W. MacDonald, September 2008, “China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security”, Council on Foreign Relations, Council Special Report No. 38, http://www.cfr.org/china/china-space-weapons-us-security/p16707, accessed 7-12-11]
Attacking others’ satellites would invite retaliation, putting at risk a “vital national interest” where the United States has much more to lose than the attacker. In the nuclear arena, keeping the option open to retaliate with nuclear weapons if U.S. vital interests are attacked is firmly anchored in a doctrine of deterrence, not war fighting. The absence of discussion on deterrence in U.S. space policy beyond a brief mention is disturbing and requires clarification. Threatening to attack the space assets of competitors who also possess offensive counterspace capability could only be in the security interests of the United States if: – the United States can successfully defend its space assets; or – the right to attack others is implied in terms of deterrence rather than war fighting; or – the effects of attacks on satellites are fully reversible; or – attacks are limited and localized (i.e., tactical in nature, not strategic). Even the latter two cases would involve significant risk of escalation. The administration has stated that “the current preferred approach to protect U.S. terrestrial forces from space threats is through the use of temporary and reversible effects,” though this has not been 14 China, Space Weapons, and U.S. Security confirmed as official policy.14 China’s ASAT test, however, led to a major U.S. reaction, and a potential action-reaction cycle appears likely. If China deployed direct ascent ASATs (ground-launched missiles that fly directly at their space targets, such as the ones China tested in 2007), these would become high-priority targets for the United States in a crisis or actual conflict due to the threat they would pose. General James E. Cartwright told Congress that the United States is prepared to strike land-based Chinese ASAT launchers if China shoots down U.S. satellites. Such a statement may help dissuade China from attacking U.S. satellites in a crisis, but, if actually carried out, it would inflict many casualties and risk serious escalation. This highlights the disparity between deterrence and war-fighting strategies. At a minimum, such statements would give China an incentive to make their ASAT systems mobile. The administration has not adequately addressed the political and military risks associated with an unconstrained offensive counterspace competition.There is an inherent potential for instability when a relatively modest investment of military resources can produce a disproportionate effect on an adversary’s military capabilities, as with space assets. In the context of an escalating crisis, such potential instability could be magnified to critical proportions. While the United States currently enjoys substantial space superiority, should China—or others— assert comparable rights and buttress these assertions with counterspace weapons programs, the potential for future space- and earthbound instability would be substantial and worrisome. In the near to mid term, threatening to attack Chinese satellites, which China depends on far less than the United States does its military satellites, appears counterproductive and could easily provide a Chinese rationale for a response in kind that could seriously damage U.S. military capability. In response to the security message of the Chinese ASAT test, press reports indicate that the Bush administration has been developing countering strategies in the Departments of Defense and State and drafting a funding plan to procure technologies. The president is reported to have issued a classified memo calling for agencies to improveU.S. space situational awareness (SSA), avoid future foreign ASAT launches, and address defensive and offensive measures.15 Miscalculation would lead to retaliatory strikes and extinction within half an hour
The American Prospect, 2/26/01 The bitter disputes over national missile defense (NMD) have obscured arelated but dramatically more urgent issue of national security: the 4,800 nuclear warheads -- weapons with a combined destructive power nearly 100,000 times greater than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima -- currently on "hair-trigger" alert. Hair-trigger alert means this: The missiles carrying those warheads are armed and fueled at all times. Two thousand or so of these warheads are on the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) targeted by Russia at the United States; 1,800 are on the ICBMs targeted by the United States at Russia; andapproximately 1,000 are on the submarine-based missiles targeted by the two nations at each other. These missiles would launch on receipt of three computer-delivered messages. Launch crews -- on duty every second of every day -- are under orders to send the messages on receipt of a single computer-delivered command. In no more than two minutes, if all went according to plan, Russia or the United States could launch missiles at predetermined targets: Washington or New York; Moscow or St. Petersburg. The early-warning systems on which the launch crews rely would detect the other side's missiles within tens of seconds, causing the intended -- or accidental -- enemy to mount retaliatory strikes. "Within a half-hour, there could be a nuclear war that would extinguish all of us," explains Bruce Blair. "It would be, basically, a nuclear war by checklist, by rote."
Space Situational awareness is critical to preventing miscalculations – it identifies unintentional incidents like debris
Cartwright 2011 - vice Chair Joint Chiefs of Staff [General James, center for strategic and international studies (csis) the national security space strategy: implications for the department of defense FEBRUARY 16, 2011http://csis.org/files/attachments/110216_spacestrategy_transcript.pdf Accessed July 12]
GEN. CARTWRIGHT: The concept of commons really was heavily debated in the development of these strategies, because there are legal implications to using the term that have developed over the years. But suffice it to say, the attributes of an area in which multiple nations expect to do commerce, expect to do military activities, et cetera, is in some terms a commons area. And the thought process right now is, we have put structure to the commons that we call the sea. We have put structure to the commons we call air. That structure gives us confidence that we can do commerce, that we can do military activities in a way that sets a pattern and an expectation of behavior. And the question is, should we be doing the same in space? And the numbers clearly drive you in that direction. Even if a large part of it is debris, just the management of traffic and avoidance of collisions which take away the – or increase the cost of commerce, the price of doing business, drives you to some sort of pattern. It’s true on the national security side also. To the extent that you can have a standard behavior such that an anomaly can be detected when somebody’s not behaving in a standard way, helps you identify who is causing the problem. It may be willful, it may be a malfunction. You really don’t know until you can assess it. So again, I take you back to space situational awareness. It’s got to get down to a level of fidelity that things like attribution, things that are not necessarily willful, can be detected for what they are, acted on in a timely fashion, because every minute that somebody’s not broadcasting a satellite image for television or whatever is revenue to somebody. And it changes the cost factors out there. That’s the same on the national security side. Every minute that somebody is doing something out there that they shouldn’t is a problem. The sooner that you’re going to be detected, the more difficult it is to hide your actions. And so there is an element of deterrence in this structure that has to be a part of what we do. What we have today, again, is not as robust as we want. We are putting new systems in, new processors. But quite frankly, this is back to partnering. We couldn’t afford to put all the terrestrial sensors up there that we need to do this in minutes and seconds rather than in days and weeks. And so we’ve got to rely on partners. One of the concepts we’re discussing with partners is, would you like to be part of the Combined Space Operations Center? If so, bring your sensors, because we’ve got to find a way to get a global awareness. And there is a terrestrial element to that. You’ve got to be on the land or in an area with things like transfer orbits to geosynchronous. You have to be in the right place to detect these activities. We don’t necessarily own those places, and they’re not necessarily in the commons. And so we have to have partners to start doing this, but the more that anomalous behavior can be detected, the more the cost of operating a space goes down and the more the security issues are better managed.
Increasing satellite defense is necessary to prevent surprise attacks and escalation – the US isn’t doing enough now Schendzielos 08 - major United States Air Force, Command and General Staff College [ Kurt M. Schendzielos, 30-04-2008, Protection in Space: A Self-Defense Acquisition Priority for U.S. Satellites, http://www.stormingmedia.us/35/3555/A355584.html access date: July 13, 2011]
America is highly reliant upon space exploitation and utilization for a wide array of national needs, ranging from national security, economic development, and even recreation. The U.S. derives a healthy amount of both hard and soft power from its dominance in space. It enables expeditionary force projection and global market integration, not to mention worldwide cultural interaction. That dominance is being challenged today by nations that currently have an adversarial relationship with the U.S. Several countries are pursuing space anti-access technologies. A few key space-faring nations have looked toward a seemingly inevitable expansion of war into space and have decided to directly challenge America’s presence in space. Ground based laser and direct ascent destructive ASATs are being developed by a handful of countries. Directed energy weapons are showing great promise. China has taken the most recent provocative moves against U.S. space assets in the past decade. Currently, the U.S. does not have a robust satellite self-defense capability that is responsive enough to defend against a minimum to no warning attack against orbital platforms.That opens the U.S. up to a first strike scenario where an adversary can quickly neutralize America’s space advantage and that could quickly make the opposing forces much more on par with each other. It would take months to years for the U.S. to regain the strategic advantage enjoyed during pre-hostilities. In many ways, the unprotected satellites are open to the same sort of first strike threat that America could leverage during the late 1940s when it solely possessed nuclear weapons. The U.S. would not be able to respond in kind to a “space Pearl Harbor” and would be dangerously hobbled for a seemingly interminable time. While there are defensive counterspace measures available today, they are not adequate to defend against the Pearl Harbor scenario. Several emerging technologies are promising candidates for immediate or short term fielding.These defenses range from bodyguard microsats to passive protective coatings to active responsive shielding. Most of these are currently in a relatively low effort pace of development. An increase in resources and money could accelerate one or more of these programs to completion in a time frame that would be conducive to protecting the satellites against destructive attack in the near future. Once these technologies were employed, additional research and development can continue at a pace that is amenable to the budget and resource realities of the U.S. in the future and that is responsive to the changing security environment. There are arguments both for and against chasing satellite self-defense technologies for immediate fielding. On balance the pros outweigh the cons and the development of the technologies could reap great benefits. Waiting longer would make forming an adequate defense after the fact or later down the road more costly. It may be too little too late if actions are not taken now. Increased research and development should be undertaken to evaluate all the emerging technologies available that could be used for protection against destructive ASATs. This survey should be conducted as soon as possible and should be limited to only about six months. Upon completion of that survey, emergency funding should be shifted to improve the efforts of that given technology and future budget requests and resource allocations should follow the development of the program through fielding with a goal of initial operating capability within the next five years. Additional funding and resources should be allocated to longer term technologies that could be fielded within the next decade ensuring that America’s space capabilities will remain viable for the foreseeable future. Not taking these recommendations to heart only increases the likelihood of suffering a devastating blow to American space exploitation and commensurate with that, a devastating blow to the American way of life.
Hardening, stealth and redundancy all reduce satellite vulnerability Frey 2008, graduate of Squadron Officer School, [former defender of the Airforce in lawsuits as the chief of labor law and served as a chief of claims, legal assistance, and civil law at Patrick AFB, Florida, Defense of US Space Assets: A Legal Perspective. Air And Space Power Journal, Vol. 22, Iss. 4; pg. 75-86. Winter 2008, Proquest ]
Second, several possibilities for reducing satellite vulnerabilities present themselves. These include using antijamming measures; hardening the satellites to protect against electromagnetic pulses, radiation, or explosions; adding maneuverability to actively avoid attacks; or including stealth features.56 Making satellites more difficult to locate and disable also eliminates the problem of space debris. Moreover, as a passive methodology, hedging ensures that the United States' use of space remains peaceful. Admittedly, implementation of hedging mechanisms on currendy orbiting satellites is problematic. However, the United States can reduce vulnerabilities by upgrading its newer replacement satellites. Although these features could make a payload more expensive, the benefit to the fragile satellite network would clearly outweigh the cost. Third, the United States should prepare redundancies or backups to protect its satellite network in case of an attack. The results of losing a satellite in 1998, mentioned previously, suggest that a major attack on its space systems-or even one critical satellite-could shatter US interests. Options for compensating for the network's weaknesses include redundant satellites, ready-to-launch replacements, or secondary alternatives to satellite functions. Strategic planners also should plan for scenarios in which the benefits of satellite technology are suddenly unavailable to war fighters.
[ ] Improving satellite defenses deters attacks – it denies the benefits of pre-emption Sheldon 08, - Fellow at the Marshall Institute [John Sheldon - was program director for Space Security at the Centre for De-fence and International Security Studies, Washington Roundtable on Science & Public Policy, “Deterrence in Space”, Nov. 13, http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/622.pdf, Accessed July 14 2011]
There are more concrete measures for deterring attacks on U.S. satellite systems. I have five possible measures that we could perhaps use or at least put in place that might help support a deterrence strategy to deter attacks on U.S. satellite systems. These are not exhaustive; they are just suggestions as a springboard for further discussion. Try and pursue a strategy of deterrence by denial. Deny the adversary the benefits of attacking your satellite systems by installing, whenever possible, passive defenses on satellites, such as hardening against electromagnetic pulse attacks, measures to make jamming more difficult, and ablative shielding to help satellites both withstand actual physical attacks and survive space debris impacts. Eventually, as individual threats become more defined, active defenses should also be seriously considered, although this will be much further in the future. In tandem with passive defenses, develop and accelerate programs for rapid launch of satellites to reconstitute lost systems and to bolster constellations in times of crisis. Also needed are spare satellites in storage here on earth that can be launched at short notice. While the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program is seeking to address these issues with the use of small satellites, efforts should also be made to speed up the time it takes to place larger satellites and more traditional systems that are being used in orbit.