Gen. Jay Raymond (R), Chief of Space Operations, and CMSgt Roger Towberman (L), with Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett the official flag of the United States Space Force at the White House on May 15, 2020. Pool Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo
June 19 (UPI) -- The Pentagon's strategy for defense in space treats the environment as a warfighting domain, a Defense Department report says.
The Defense Space Strategy calls for maintenance of space superiority, support to national, joint and combined operations on earth,and assurance of space stability, the Pentagon said this week.
The report identified what officials call four priority lines of effort: building a comprehensive military advantage in space; integration of power in space into the military; shaping the strategic environment; and cooperation with allies, partners, and other U.S. government departments and agencies.
The 18-page unclassified section of the report was released on Wednesday.
"China and Russia have weaponized space and turned it into a war-fighting domain," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Stephen Kitay told reporters on Wednesday. "Their actions pose the greatest strategic threat with ongoing development, testing and deployment of counter-space systems and the associated military doctrine designed to hold allied and U.S.space systems at risk."
"The U.S. space enterprise was not built for the current strategic environment," Kitay added, noting that space has historically been regarded as a supporting domain for satellites to support other efforts, but not as a battleground.
The U.S. Space Force, established as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces in 2019, is specifically designated as the country's space warfare service branch.
It has previously noted Russia's direct ascent weapons and potential weapons to destroy satellites, as well as threats including electronic warfare, cyberattacks and ground-based lasers capable of blinding satellites.