Preparing for a Russian ‘Space Pearl Harbor’

Preparing for a Russian ‘Space Pearl Harbor’

Abstract

Today, the United States is susceptible to a “Space Pearl Harbor” more than at any other time. The United States depends on satellites more than any other country in the world for its most basic functions. Everything from military communications, to early missile warning systems, to civilian banking transactions is conducted, in part, through satellite constellations. The American way of war depends on instantaneous communication and coordination that satellite constellations provide. Take away these advantages and the United States military is made deaf, dumb, and blind. For a militarily weaker foe, like Russia, with grand geopolitical ambitions and a rapidly closing window of opportunity to accomplish its geostrategic ambitions, debilitating U.S. forces charged with defending Eastern Europe is essential. This essay assesses the threat that Russian co-orbital satellites—better known as Space Stalkers—pose to vital U.S. military satellite constellations in geosynchronous orbit, such as the Wideband Global Satcom constellation.

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