Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations for the US Space Force, accused Russia and China of weaponizing space during a virtual event on Thursday.
The general insisted that the US has no desire to weaponize space but said “unfortunately” China and Russia plan to, so the US must create a military deterrence. “Our goals are to deter conflict from beginning or extending into space,” Raymond said.
Raymond also stressed the importance of working with allies in space. “I’m going to really work hard on cultivating partnerships,” he said, citing cooperation with Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, France, New Zealand, and Germany.
“We’re really turning these partnerships into partnerships where we operate together; we train together; we exercise together; we war-game together; we develop capabilities together, and it’s proven to pay significant advantages and there’s future growth opportunities ahead,” he said.
According to the general, the US and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding this week for a program that will allow US payloads to be put on Japanese satellites.
Now that the US has a military branch dedicated to space, the US needs to hype the threat of adversary activity in space, something Raymond has been busy doing. In November, the general said the US is facing growing threats in space, again citing China and Russia.
“I think there’s a realization amongst nations that access to space is no longer a given. We’ve got to make sure that we stay ahead of this growing threat,” he said.