"If you do this right, you never fight."

Let Them Fight

The United States' cold war in space is continuing along swimmingly as indicated by recent statements from the US Space Force about its current posturing toward China and Russia.

"We’re under threat in the space domain," declared John Shaw, the deputy commander of the US Space Force, during a symposium held earlier this week as quoted by SpaceNews. "If I were on the General Staff of Russia, or if I was serving in the [China’s People’s Liberation Army] I would be advising the leadership to go after the space capabilities of the United States."

As warmongering as the whole thing sounds, Shaw did have a point when noting at the event that the American satellites which "project power across the planet" are "not all that well defended."

Competitive Spirit

During the event, Chance Saltzman, the Space Force's chief of space operations, said that in order to address the threats posed by China and Russia, the US needs to be in "perpetual competition" with those countries and forge allyships to deter them.

After lauding China's "remarkable capabilities" in space, Saltzman admitted that the American "concept for domain control in space cannot rely on overwhelming destructive force."

Somewhat reassuringly, the military official said that winning won't be defined in traditional warfaring terms.

"If you do this right," Saltzman said, "you never fight."

As grandstanding as these officials' commentary sounds, they nevertheless do seem to accurately be portraying the fine line between hard and soft power when it comes to spacefaring and the global competition currently underway between the US, China, and Russia, the latter two of which are undoubtedly also drawing up similar deterrence plans.

"We have to completely rethink how we do our space architectures," Shaw said during his talk at the conference. "We’re probably gonna have to be more nimble."

More on the space arms race: European Space Agency Halts Plans to Send Astronauts to Chinese Space Station

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