SecDef Carter Worried About Russian Space Activities

SecDef Carter Worried About Russian Space Activities

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told a defense forum yesterday (Saturday) that he is concerned about Russian activities in space as well as on the sea, in the air, and in cyberspace.  He also alluded to technology investments the United States is making in response to Russia’s “provocations,” including new systems for space.

Carter spoke at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA after returning from a trip to Asia.   While he also discussed challenges presented by China, his focus was on Russia.  

He worries that Russia has become intent on “flouting” the principles that underlie the “principled international order” that has “served the United States, our many friends and allies — and yes — if you think about it, Russia, China, and many other countries, well for decades.”

“At sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace, Russian actors have engaged in challenging activities,” and its “nuclear saber-rattling” suggests it is not committed to strategic stability.   “We do not seek a cold, much less a hot war with Russia,” but the United States will defend its own interests as well as “our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”

Among the actions the United States is taking is investing in new technologies, Carter said, including “innovation in technologies like electromagnetic railgun, lasers, and new systems for electronic warfare, space and cyberspace, including a few surprising ones that I really can’t describe here.”

No further details were provided.

Presumably coincidentally, the Navy conducted a test of a submarine-launched unarmed Trident II missile off the California coast last night that lit up the sky as far away as Phoenix, according to Alan Boyle at GeekWire.  The display would have been visible to any participants in the Reagan forum who remained during the evening.  The forum’s website says it brings together leaders and key stakeholders in the defense community including Members of Congress, civilian officials and military leaders from DOD and industry.

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