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Stalkers in Space: Defeating the Threat
Introduction, Research Question, and Hypothesis:
Space stalkers are satellites designed to shadow other nation’s space assets with the moment’s notice ability to attack, disable, or neutralize these assets. Space stalkers physically appear no different than commercial satellites making it nearly impossible to identify these potentially malicious satellites once in orbit. Further complicating the situation, international space law remains too ambiguous as to its definition of a space weapon and fails to articulate acceptable defensive measures against emerging space threats. Destruction of U.S. satellites would greatly compromise national security.
Research Question: What will serve as the best strategy to defend U.S. space assets while simultaneously deterring foreign nation’s employment of space stalkers?
Hypothesis: The United States should reexamine its apprehension toward preemptive strike and work to develop international space law that articulates a contiguous zone surrounding space assets.
Review of the Literature:
This article focuses on the threat that China’s emerging space technologies pose to the United States. The article looks at the nation’s current space security strategy and identifies key flaws within the five strategic elements. The author argues that neither diplomatic efforts, international partnerships, nor a posture of resiliency can sufficiently protect or prevent against modern threats. This argument is backed by an analysis of international space treaties and the underlying intent of current proposals. Finally the article endeavors to outline preventative measures and policy proposals to strengthen U.S. vulnerabilities.
Methodology and Research Strategy:
The author analyses past and current international space treaties. He uses historical context to demonstrate how outdated space law insufficiently addresses modern threats. Further, he identifies how specific clauses and semantics within proposed treaties specifically facilitate foreign nation’s ulterior agendas. He describes what vulnerabilities exist and speculates how the international community might react to various courses of action.
Findings and Analysis:
The author finds that by taking an apparent posture of peace, supporting collaborative space projects, and proposing a space weapons ban, China gains the ability to continue its development of malicious space stalker technology under the guise of peace. Simultaneously, U.S. vulnerability increases.
The author concludes that conventional measures such as reconstitution, post-attack retaliation, and resiliency are ineffective measures against the threat posed by dual-use and masked threat technologies. The author believes that the U.S. must work to identify and neutralize space stalkers before they cause catastrophic damage to the United States defensive capability.