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United States on Alert: Russia’s New Anti-Satellite Weapon Raises Concerns

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The White House confirmed on Thursday that the United States possesses intelligence indicating Russia’s development of capabilities to target satellites in space. 

This revelation follows a cryptic warning from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee about a significant national security threat.

During the daily press briefing, John Kirby, a national security spokesman, addressed the issue, stating, “It is related to an anti-satellite capability that Russia is developing.” 

Kirby emphasized that while this capability is troubling, it has not been deployed, posing no immediate threat to safety. He clarified that the threat is space-based and not aimed at causing physical harm on Earth.

Although the United States has been aware of Russia’s pursuit of this capability for some time, recent intelligence assessments have provided a clearer understanding of Russia’s ongoing efforts. 

However, Kirby refrained from divulging specifics regarding whether the capability involves a nuclear-powered or nuclear-capable weapon.

According to US officials, Russia’s development includes a nuclear-capable weapon designed to disable United States satellites, potentially disrupting communication and navigation systems. Despite these developments, there is no evidence of any deployed weapons.

United States’ Stance on Anti-Satellite Capability

united-states-on-alert-russia's-new-anti-satellite-weapon-raises-concerns
The White House confirmed on Thursday that the United States possesses intelligence indicating Russia’s development of capabilities to target satellites in space.

Kirby stressed the significance of any anti-satellite capability, given the global reliance on satellites for communication, weather forecasting, navigation, and other critical functions. He highlighted the potential impact on services worldwide and the risk posed to astronauts in low orbit.

Russia’s previous actions, notably the destruction of a Soviet-era satellite in 2021, have drawn international condemnation. This test generated significant orbital debris, necessitating precautionary measures for crewmembers on the International Space Station.

Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, urged President Biden to declassify information regarding the unspecified threat to facilitate discussions among the United States and its allies. 

National security adviser Jake Sullivan briefed House leaders on the matter, indicating the administration’s serious approach to addressing the threat. While some have criticized Turner for causing unnecessary panic, others maintain that the issue warrants attention, albeit not immediate alarm. 

Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut emphasized the need for addressing the issue in the medium-to-long term, while Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee questioned Turner’s motives, suggesting ulterior motives behind his statements.

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