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Star Wars Reboot: US Sets Stage for Space-Based Arms Race With Russia, China

CC0 / / An artist's concept of a ground / space-based hybrid laser weapon, 1984
An artist's concept of a ground / space-based hybrid laser weapon, 1984 - Sputnik International
Russia and China will be able to incapacitate any American satellite in orbit by 2025, which is why Washington should use force to protect its orbital assets, according to US Air Force General Nina Armagno.

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The US Department of Defense quoted Air Force Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno as saying that Russia and China will be able to threaten any American satellites in any orbit by 2025, which is why it's necessary for Washington to be able to use force to uphold its related interests.

Her remarks came after a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) design and construction program relinquished ownership and operation of a Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) to the US Air Force Space Command.

"Russia and China, by the year 2025, will be able to hold at risk every one of our satellites in any orbit. So if the United States and our allies are to deter adversaries from taking action against our interests, we must do it from a position of strength," she said.

Armagno did not rule out the possibility of a war in "the space domain" which she said should prompt the US "to see aggressive behavior when it unfolds [and] be prepared to act decisively to defend our own assets."

In this regard, she underscored that the SST will add significantly to "an in-depth understanding of what's going on in space, what objects are there, what they are doing, what their intentions are and what they will do next."

In May 2016, the Washington Post quoted Pentagon officials as saying that Russia and China have been developing the ability to attack the United States in space.

According to the newspaper, "the Pentagon spends 22 billion dollars on space programs and is investing an additional five billion dollars in space efforts this year, including $2 billion for what is known as 'space control,' which includes its highly classified offensive programs."

Earlier in May, it was reported that the US military believe that Moscow and Beijing are allegedly creating weapons to destroy the orbiting satellites.In particular, Washington expressed concern over missile tests in China, which the White House claimed were aimed at obliterating the Earth's artificial satellites.

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Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, said at the time that Washington's statements about the "Russian threat" in space shouldn't be taken seriously.

He added that Washington uses trumped-up pretexts to block the outer space disarmament proposals of Moscow and Beijing, and that it is diplomatic action that should be used to resolve the relevant contentious issues.

Ulyanov recalled that back in February 2008, China and Russia initiated the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects.

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