The United States may soon lose its status as a truly global superpower, both on Earth and in the heavens of low orbit.
“The threats are really growing and expanding every single day,” Space Force Vice Chief of Operations Gen. David Thompson warned in an interview with the Washington Post published Tuesday.
As the Chinese and Russians continue to enhance their capabilities beyond Earth-bound gravity, the United States finds itself in the midst of a new 21st-century space race, competing with world powers developing new weapons to target satellites.
“We’re really at a point now where there’s a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened,” Thompson said, adding U.S. satellites already face attacks “every single day” whether it be by laser, cyber, or frequency jammers.
China is building its own version of satellite-based global positioning systems, said Thompson. That’s in addition to the ‘couple of hundred’ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance satellites China has now deployed to watch over any part of the globe. China is also putting satellites into space at twice the rate of the United States, meaning that if nothing changes on our end, China will surpass the United States in capability in space in a few years, he estimated.
‘We are still the best in the world, clearly in terms of capability. They’re catching up quickly,’ he said. ‘We should be concerned by the end of this decade if we don’t adapt.’
The nation’s stated 10-year goals in space, however, aren’t focused on countering global threats with enhancements in low-orbit technology.
On Nov. 4., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its 10-year survey outlining priorities with funding recommendations over the next 10 years in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. Among them include probing Earth-like planets beyond our solar system, studying the nature of black holes, and seeking to “revolutionize understanding” of galaxy evolution. The report, commissioned by NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Air Force, also makes racially divisive efforts at “diversity” and “inclusion” a centerpiece of its instruction, even tying grant money to compliance.
“This survey was strongly influenced by the urgent need to advance diversity, equality, and inclusion in all aspects of society,” the authors wrote, highlighting the proliferation of the Black Lives Matter movement. “There is momentum to effect change, and the time is overdue to actively focus on these activities. Changing the defaults under which astronomy is practiced will only happen with energetic engagement and a diversity-, equity-, and inclusion-focused lens.”
While China quickly weaponizes space, testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in October that can remain in orbit, the woke industrial complex distracts U.S. priorities. The goal to “develop and diversify the scientific workforce” is listed as a “foundational activity” with commitments to “equity.” Equity is mentioned 94 times in the more than 600-page report.
“The ugly realization of continued discrimination in the form of racism, bias, and harassment hampers progress towards building a fully diverse and inclusive workforce,” the authors wrote, justifying recommendations to ramp up data collection efforts to study racism in science. “At the core of a diversity-, equity-, and inclusivity-focused approach is the need for data to evaluate equitable outcomes of proposal competitions.”
The report specifically demands NASA, the Department of Energy, and the National Sciences Foundation (NSF) to consider diversity “in the evaluation of funding awards to individual investigators, project and mission teams, and third-party organizations that manage facilities.”
While not a military agency, the congressionally chartered nonprofit seeks to “inform policy” as an intellectual backbone on major issues, steering agency priorities in the process. The group’s report, commissioned by the federal government, illustrates a misplaced focus on skin color as opposed to a strategy exclusively centered on technology and innovation.
Meanwhile, the Chinese are set to race ahead in space and global warfare capabilities.