2006 October 07 Saturday
China Attacks US Satellites With Laser Tests

The next Cold War is starting up in little spurts.

China has fired high-power lasers at U.S. spy satellites flying over its territory in what experts see as a test of Chinese ability to blind the spacecraft, according to sources. It remains unclear how many times the ground-based laser was tested against U.S. spacecraft or whether it was successful.

But the combination of China’s efforts and advances in Russian satellite jamming capabilities illustrate vulnerabilities to the U.S. space network are at the core of U.S. Air Force plans to develop new space architectures and highly classified systems, according to sources.


According to top officials, however, China not only has the capability, but has exercised it. It is not clear when China first used lasers to attack American satellites. Sources would only say that there have been several tests over the past several years.

“The Chinese are very strategically minded and are extremely active in this arena,” said one senior former Pentagon official. “They really believe all the stuff written in the 1980s about the high frontier and are looking at symmetrical and asymmetrical means to offset American dominance in space.”

They are not inclined to show us more respect than this?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 October 07 02:14 PM  China

Stephen said at October 7, 2006 10:17 PM:

I don't think its fair to characterise that as an attack - what's wrong with shining a light on a peeping tom?

John S Bolton said at October 8, 2006 12:45 AM:

China is quite hostile; they would like to steal or sabotage almost any of our military capabilities.
Google appears to be viciously subservient to the Chinese dictatorship, which has the blood of many tens of millions on its hands.
Look along the southern sections of China's border with Burma on google earth, you will be given poor resolution and obviously dated images, visibly so, as adjoining small areas appear to be in different seasonal wet and dry conditions at the same time.
These come from satellites, which could offer detailed and up-to-date images at the same resolution as for other countries,
and reveal the magnitude of China's buildup towards a possible major drive towards the Indian Ocean.
Google is too craven, toadying and under the boot of China, like a piece of abject Tibet in California, to show us what's going on there.

lexcen said at October 8, 2006 2:13 AM:

Sounds like the scenario of Star Wars that Ronald Reagan used to warn about.

Stephen said at October 9, 2006 12:04 AM:

John, why is it Google's responsibility? They're just a company, and companies do what companies do.

There are plenty of other imaging providers - including the US government, at least one EU government, Russia, Japan, Israel etc who have independent satellite imaging capability. Yet you don't appear to have an expectation that they should release their photos, instead you want a public company to hurt the interests of its shareholders. Again, I ask why?

John S Bolton said at October 9, 2006 1:45 AM:

Because of the deception involved and the bad effects of appeasing the demands of dictatorship.
If they're not afraid to reveal the insides of sensitive military landholdings
in good countries, yet kowtow to the demands of China, how can that be honorable?

Stephen said at October 9, 2006 5:14 AM:

Google also kowtows to 'good' countries and airbrushes out their private parts...

Evil Swedish intelligence service.

The Evil house of a certain vice prez of a 'good' country

The list goes on I'm sure.

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