A microphone. Verbatim. Air Force Magazine. Cornelia Schneider-Frank/Pixabay
Photo Caption & Credits


Nov. 3, 2022

The Threat from China

China National Space Administration Long March 6 liquid-fueled high speed response rocket. China National Space Administration

It’s serious, and they’re really good. It’s not a good situation. Anybody who thinks ‘it’s fine,’ you’re wrong. It’s not fine. It’s bad. It’s bad in space, it’s bad in cyber, it’s bad in [electronic warfare]. … For the last 20 years, China’s been gaining on us in all these areas…We have to take the gloves off, and we are taking the gloves off. We can’t just deal with this on the margins.…[What the Ukraine experience tells us] is, we can’t just think of this stuff as something that might happen five or 10 years from now. Think about what if something happens next year? Or next month? … [China] can do the kill chain. They’ve figured that out…We have a lot to do.William A. LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and logistics, at a Potomac Officers Club acquisition seminar, Oct. 25, 2022

…. Oops

PLA DF-17 mobile medium-range ballistic missile carrying the DF-ZF Hypersonic Glide Vehicle. CNA

It’s very disturbing, because the bottom line is that technology that can be used for military hypersonics was funded by U.S. taxpayers, through the U.S. government, and ended up in China.

Iain Boyd, Director, Center for National Security Initiatives, University of Colorado at Boulder, commenting on U.S. technology being used to advance China’s military hypersonics program [Washington Post, Oct. 22].

Handle With Care …

When it comes to technology, the politically motivated actions of the Chinese state is an increasingly urgent problem we must acknowledge and address. … That’s because it’s changing the definition of national security into a much broader concept. Technology has become not just an area for opportunity, for competition, and for collaboration, it’s become a battleground for control, for values, and for influence.Jeremy Fleming, director of Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s cyber-intelligence agency, accusing China of trying to “rewrite the rules of international security” [APNews, Oct. 12].

War Stories

You can just turn on any news channel of choice and see the company name Maxar when the broadcaster is giving us an update on Ukraine. And there are several other companies there as well. We are learning from this crisis that commercial companies are in it—they are in the fight. I mean, they are not turning tail. When we first started talking about how commercial could be integrated with the military or defensive operations, you know, the thought was, gosh, will they still be there when the bullets start flying? You bet. You bet they will be because just look around—they are today.Space Force Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno at the AIAA ASCEND Conference
[Oct. 24.].

A little Goes a Long Way

A SpaceX payload of 60 Starlink satellites. SpaceX

How many Starlink satellites have the Russians shot down? … Zero.Derek Tournear, director of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Development Agency, on the advantages of a proliferated network of small satellites over conventional “Battlestar Galactica” satellites, while speaking at AFA’s Mitchell Institute’s first Spacepower Forum, Oct. 25, in Arlington, Va.

Hear, See, Shoot

A part of a control surface of a Shahed-136 Iranian attack UAV shot down in Ukraine. Ukraine Ministry of Defense/Twitter

There was very little time to make a decision. We heard it, we saw it, then we opened fire.Sgt. Oleksandr Kravchuk, Ukrainian police shooting instructor, one of three policemen who used AK-47 rifles to shot down an Iranian-made kamikaze drone in Ukraine [The New York Times, Oct. 23].

Give it All You’ve Got

Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Schiess. Mike Tsukamoto/staff

Some of our satellites are the fat kids in gym class. We need to make sure that we have a resilient force and not so many fat kids—although those are really capable fat kids.Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Schiess, Commander, Combined Force Space Component Command, U.S. Space Command; and Vice Commander, Space Operations Command, comments in a discussion about space operations
[ASC22, Sept. 19].