American edition: deterrence in space requires more than just a Silent Barker satellite constellation
Recently, with the launch of the critical Silent Barker satellite constellation into orbit by the National Reconnaissance Office and the US Space Force, the head of the US Air Force Space Systems Command, Lt. General J. Michael Getlein (Getlein), said that this system will “deter aggression”, showing that The USA has eyes in space.
However, despite the importance of Silent Barker for improving strategic communications, it is not a deterrent to aggression in space, notes the American publication Defense News.
Achieving a deterrent effect requires three main components: threat credibility, capabilities (i.e. weapon) combined with the determination to use them and an expression of desire to use these capabilities to prevent an attack on critical space infrastructure, the publication writes. According to Defense News, it is important to understand that genuine deterrence against aggression against US interests in space requires both physical and psychological readiness.
When the United States, or any other country for that matter, issues a deterrent threat to an adversary, the threat must be perceived as credible by the adversary, the paper writes. More important to deterring rivals is the will of states to confront their opponents. If a state is willing to retaliate or actively deter an adversary's actions regardless of the level of escalation, then it is likely that the status quo can be maintained through deterrence. However, if a state is unwilling to follow through on its threats and continues to do so over time, then the credibility of the threat will decline to the point of ineffectiveness, according to the authors of Defense News.
In their opinion, the presence of a space-based indication and warning system such as Silent Barker is a very important step in preventing surprise potential attacks on American critical space infrastructure. However, the United States has not demonstrated that it has the authority, capability, or determination to use these weapons as a credible deterrent.
- emphasizes senior researcher for space deterrence at the National Institute for Research Christopher Stone.
In June of this year, it became known that the United States is preparing to deploy the Silent Barker satellite constellation, the purpose of which is to “timely detect threats” in outer space.
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