Russian Satellites Spying on US Spy Satellite, Space Force Chief Says

Gen. Raymond says Russian technology could harm US systems

The US military now has a Space Force. To justify the tens of billions of dollars to be spent on it annually, however, commanders are fully aware that a Space Force needs space enemies to fight, or at least talk about fighting.

To that end, Gen. John Raymond, the commander of Space Force, has accused Russian satellites of coming very close to a US spy satellite, and showing “unusual and disturbing behavior.” He further accused Russia of having the technology to harm US systems in space.

To be clear, the Russian satellites were called “inspector satellites,” and were put in orbits near the US satellite. There is no direct sign that the Russian inspectors are planning an attack, however.

Rather, the Russian moves are almost certainly an effort to gauge the US reaction, having established their satellites as at most a potential threat, and then watching the predictable US statement and what will likely be a more revelatory US military response within space.

If nothing else, the Pentagon is likely going to try to make the most of this they possibly can. They have badly needed a raison d’etre for the Space Force, and claims of enemies have so far felt made up and empty. Russia, at the very least, exists and has a real space program, making them the closest the US will likely be able to find to a rival in the costly new war-fighting region.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.