While speaking at the United States Institute for Peace Tuesday evening, Secretary of Defense James Mattis explained the United States is going to have to be prepared to go on the offense when it comes to space interactions.
“We have to defend what we have in outer space that is used for navigation, communication, peaceful purposes, commerce, banking — all these kind of things,” Mattis stated. “And military intelligence, surveillance satellites we’re going to have to put satellites up that can be defended or can be resilient against attack, resistant to attack or can be replaced swiftly — that sort of thing. So we’re going to have to defend what we have.”
He pointed to how some countries already break agreements on planet Earth, so we can expect for some of them to act in a similar fashion in the atmosphere and beyond.
“But also, we’re going to have to be prepared to use offensive weapons in space, should someone decide to militarize it and go on the offensive,” Mattis continued. “You cannot simply play defense. No, no sport in the world, competitive sport in the world can just play defense and win.”
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“Then we’re going to have to recognize if nations are not willing to live by those rules since as we’ve seen on this planet down here below, we’re going to have to have the ability to defend and the ability to do offense,” he added.
“In that regard, the president has been very clear that he wants to organize accordingly So what we will do is put together a command that can compete in space on whatever level an adversary wants to compete, chooses to compete,” Mattis further stated.
President Donald Trump officially announced his administration’s intention of creating the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States military by 2020 in June of this year.