Sobering Assessment

China has the anti-satellite capabilities today to wreak havoc with US on-orbit assets in a manner of only a few days, a senior intelligence official told the House Armed Services Committee on Feb. 13. “Having demonstrated the capability … given our dependence on that overhead architecture, it would not be that difficult to inflict significant serious damage to our capabilities over the couple of days period you specified,” Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence analysis for the Director of National Intelligence, said in response to a question by ranking member Duncan Hunter (R-Calif). Hunter asked, if the Chinese, who successfully demonstrated a direct-ascent ASAT missile in January 2007, could disrupt US space capabilities “fairly easily within a day or two.” Fingar appeared before the panel along with other senior intelligence officials to discuss global threats to the United States.