Forbes Presses for Disclosure on Chinese Anti-Satellite Activities

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower and projection forces panel, believes the Pentagon needs to be more forthcoming as to what it knows about China’s anti-satellite programs. “We want to put questions on the table,” said Forbes during a June 4 meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C. “What are they doing? What is their intent? . . . We’ve been concerned about this for a number of years,” he said. Forbes sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday outlining his concerns. Last month, the Pentagon confirmed that China had carried out a rocket launch nearly to geosynchronous orbit. While China claimed the launch was for peaceful scientific research, US officials claimed it appeared to be a test of anti-satellite technology. Forbes wants to know if the Defense Department thinks the launch represented a new or existing capability.