US Response to China's ASAT Test: An International Security Space Alliance for the Future   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Nearly three years have passed since China's successful antisatellite (ASAT) test ushered in a new era of space competition. If US civilian and military leaders are any closer to gleaning China's overall strategic intent vis-à-vis the acquisition of space weaponry, it is not readily apparent. Somewhere in the Pentagon finance office sits an impressive stack of international travel vouchers, evidence of the numerous trips US Defense Department representatives have made to Beijing in search of answers. One bears the name of US defense secretary Robert M. Gates, who broached the antisatellite issue with China defense minister Cao Gangchuan during his first official visit to the People's Republic of China (PRC). But Cao was unwilling to even entertain the subject. According to Gates, 'With respect to the anti-satellite test, I raised our concerns about it, and there was no further discussion.'1 Ultimately, Gates fared no better at gaining answers than the military commanders who went before him. Since its first successful ASAT test on 11 January 2007, China still offers no answers to one of the most troubling strategic space questions of the twenty-first century. Why is China building space weapons?"

Report Number:
Drew Paper No. 8
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Air University Press: http://aupress.au.af.mil/
Media Type:
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