Unic Press UK: The United States Department of State has voiced worries and deep concern over what it describes as abnormal behavior of a space object of the Russian military in outer space.
Speaking at a conference in Switzerland on August 14, 2018, the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Conference on Disarmament, Yleem D.S. Poblete, called into question the motives behind the recent Russian space activities, saying:
“Mr. President, in October of last year the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed a space object they claimed was a “space apparatus inspector.” But its behavior on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities. We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior by a declared “space apparatus inspector.” We don’t know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it. But Russian intentions with respect to this satellite are unclear and are obviously a very troubling development – particularly, when considered in concert with statements by Russia’s Space Force Commander who highlighted that “assimilate[ing] new prototypes of weapons [into] Space Forces’ military units” is a “main task facing the Aerospace Forces Space Troops.”
Poblete further reiterated earlier concerns that the Russian military had repeatedly and publicly confirmed that it is developing anti-satellite weapons; and called for concrete steps to “strengthen the safety, stability, and sustainability of space”.
Under the Trump administration, the U.S. sees and concludes that outer space as a possible battlefield. In a statement recently, the Defense Secretary James Mattis said: “We need to address space as a developing war fighting domain and a combatant command is certainly one thing that we can establish. This is a process we’re in. We are in complete alignment with the president’s concern about protecting our assets in space to contribute to our security to our economy and we’re going to have to address it as other countries show a capability to attack those assets.”
At the moment, the U.S. has commenced the process towards establishing a sixth branch in the United States armed forces, Space Force, to take charge of protecting American interests in outer space. At a meeting of the National Space Council On June 18, 2018, President Trump had tasked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, with creating another branch of the U.S. armed forces, saying: “General Dunford, if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored.”