Nicolas Chaillan, who served as the first chief software officer for both the Air Force and Space Force, said China and Russia are ahead of the U.S. in the “most critical war-fighting capabilities that will make it or break it in the next wars to come.” At the same time, he said the U.S. has failed to grasp the urgency of recognizing space as a “critical domain.”
“Russia is clearly seeing the importance of space, and its ability of striking down satellites could be devastating and have cascading effects for the U.S. government, American people, and allies of the U.S.,” he said.
What is even more alarming to Chaillan is the fact that China has conducted over 200 hypersonic tests while the U.S. has carried out a mere nine and isn’t close to testing anything approaching a fully functioning missile.
“What’s lacking is urgency and realizing that this is even bigger than we thought,” he said. “The next wave of innovation is going to touch the Air Force and Space Force.”
Brandon Weichert, space expert and author of “Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower,” said these most recent space incidents should have served as a wake-up call to the threats that U.S. adversaries pose in space.
He believes that Space Force is the “best way” to compete in the new “space race” playing out in the skies.
But he said the branch isn’t living up to its expectations because its current leadership — and the politics of the Biden administration — are not allowing the department to act boldly enough.
Weichert points out that Space Force is following the advice of consultants who are committed to the de-weaponization of space, and people who believe space “should be a sanctuary from weapons” and don’t believe that space is for anything other than “taking pretty pictures of stars.”
“They don’t believe in using space as a strategic asset,” he said. “There is no strategic vision for dominating space.”
Instead of going big and making the investments necessary to compete with China and Russia, Weichert said the branch has quickly become a bureaucracy that does “everything but actual space dominance.”
“Space Force doesn’t want to do space,” he said.
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