Space has been called the final frontier. The United States has been an unrivaled power in this domain, but 50 years after it landed the first man on the moon, America now has strong competition. Earth’s orbit is becoming militarized. A July 1 report released by London-based Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, warns that the U.S. is vulnerable.
From 1990 to 1991, during the first Gulf War, 10 percent of U.S. weapons used space-based guidance systems such as satellite positioning. In the 2001 mission in Afghanistan, 60 percent of U.S. weapons were precision-guided, with many receiving data that allowed them to alter their own course to hit a target. By the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the number of space-reliant U.S. weaponry had risen to 68 percent, Chatham House reported. And over the course of that war, from 2003 to 2011, U.S. reliance on commercial satellites rose 560 percent.
Until recent years, the U.S. had little to fear in space. It continued to operate the world’s most advanced spaceflight system, the space shuttle. Today, the U.S. is still a leader, but it has canceled the space shuttle program altogether and its rivals are rising.
The Chatham House report states, “[V]ulnerabilities in the strategic infrastructure could result in severe consequences for international security. … In the event of crisis escalation, such as in Ukraine, the Middle East or in South Asia, the assumption is that weapons systems will perform as planned. But this should not be taken for granted.”
America’s first rival in space was the Soviet Union. The Soviets achieved several space milestones before the Americans, but the latter won the space race decisively, and the Soviet Union was bankrupted in the process. Russian President Vladimir Putin, believing the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” is reviving Russia’s space program.
Glonass, Russia’s version of America’s gps, began as a 1970s Soviet military communications system experiment. In 1982, the commercial application of Glonass became known with the launch of its first satellite. It was declared fully operational in 1993 and currently operates 24 satellites.
Glonass’s capabilities lag far behind gps, but Russia continues to develop it in order to make the country less reliant on the United States. In the past, the U.S. has cut gps signals in certain locations during Russian military campaigns.
There are concerns that Moscow is using Glonass offensively, intentionally sending out incorrect data. A March 26 report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Advanced Defense Studies noted that Glonass “attacks are emerging as a viable, disruptive strategic threat.” The study found 9,883 suspected instances of Russian “spoofing” since February 2016. The report noted that these occurred across 10 locations, including Russian conflict zones in Crimea, Syria and Ukraine.
There is also evidence that Russia has purposefully interfered with nato satellite signals. During a nato exercise in October 2018, the Finnish government issued a notice to airmen due to widespread interference in gps signals. Russia was believed to be behind the attack.
Reporting on these attacks, the Eurasia Daily Monitor stated, “Beyond state actors, the increasingly low cost, commercial availability and ease of deploying spoofing technology will empower not only national militaries but insurgents, terrorists and criminals in a broad range of destabilizing cyberattacks, with increasingly ominous potential worldwide effects.”
‘The Chinese Are Coming! The Chinese Are Coming! The Chinese Are Coming!’
These were the words of former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Work as he sought to sound the alarm of China’s rise. In particular, he identified China’s focus on exploiting U.S. vulnerabilities by crippling its military’s network and communications. Work described China’s perspective this way: “[W]e do not care how many ships we sink; we do not care how many planes we shoot down. All we care about is if we can pry apart the digital network the U.S. use to apply force, and we will prevent the United States from achieving its campaign objectives.”
One of the means China could use to do this is through its own rival to gps. China announced that its BeiDou navigation system had gone global on Dec. 27, 2018, two years ahead of schedule. It now operates the world’s largest fleet of satellites.
BeiDou enables China’s military to make precision strikes without relying on America’s gps. Alexandra Stickings of the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies said that BeiDou could also be used to “deny or degrade the signal received by other users of the system.”
BeiDou has already shipped over 70 million systems to more than 90 countries. These systems include technology that connects with the Chinese satellite navigation system, but they may also include technology that would allow the Chinese government increased ability to infiltrate and attack computer systems.
On Nov. 7, 2018, Russia and China signed the “Agreement on Peaceful Use of BeiDou and Glonass Between People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation” to facilitate the “large-scale cooperation in the satellite navigation field between the two countries.”
China has also rapidly advanced its space exploration capabilities.
On March 29, the Times wrote that a new space race has begun between the United States and China. “The starting gun was fired in January, when China announced it had landed a spacecraft, Chang’e 4, on the far side of the moon, and deployed a rover to send back images for the first time of the surface that faces away from us,” the Times wrote. “This was a mission nasa had deemed too difficult and costly. In one giant leap, China is on a par with the existing space powers, America and Russia.”
China’s plans for space include developing a moon base within the next 10 years that will be used for both research of the moon and as a launchpad for exploration further into the solar system.
On June 5, China also became the first nation to solely own and operate a floating sea launch when it launched a rocket, similar to a ballistic missile, from a civilian cargo ship in the Yellow Sea. The China National Space Administration wrote: “Launching a rocket from the sea has the advantages of high flexibility, good adaptability for specific tasks, and excellent launch economy.”
Russia and China Not Seeking Parity With U.S.
During a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in April, Steve Kitay, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said that in 2015, Russia and China began taking an offensive posture toward the U.S. in space. He said, “Not only do Chinese and Russian military doctrine indicate they view space [as] important to modern warfare, they view counter-space capabilities as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness.”
Kitay warned that America must be ready to counter these space threats, saying that “we are at a strategic inflection point. The scope and scale of the threats to our space systems is at an all-time high and expanding.”
In January 2007, China used a missile to destroy one of its own satellites that was orbiting 500 miles above the ground, where many satellites operate. Proving its “satellite-killer” capability sparked fears that a space arms race would follow, and we are indeed seeing that develop.
“If you are China or Russia, you don’t need the capabilities the U.S. has,” said Adam Routh, research associate with the Center for a New American Security’s defense program. Instead, they have concentrated on building counter-space weapons. “[It’s] cheaper to develop these types of capabilities than it is to develop satellites with a similar advantage.”
Along with its operational anti-satellite missiles, China is working to produce “a ground-based laser weapon that can counter low-orbit space-based sensors by 2020.” The report noted:
Chinese and Russian military doctrines indicate that they view space as important to modern warfare and view counter-space capabilities as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness. Both reorganized their militaries in 2015, emphasizing the importance of space operations. …
Both states are developing jamming and cyberspace capabilities, directed energy weapons, on-orbit capabilities, and ground-based anti-satellite missiles that can achieve a range of reversible to non-reversible effects.
Though Russia and China still lag behind the U.S. in technical and military parity, the greater threat comes from their ability not to replicate but to destroy U.S. space capabilities.
Europe Looks Inward
Reports on Europe’s advancements in space and cybertechnology are sparse, but do not let this mislead you. European space technology is advancing rapidly.
Europe is developing its own satellite navigation system, Galileo, to prevent European nations from becoming “vassals” to the United States, as former French President Jacques Chirac characterized it in 2001.
Europe has also been taking other steps to increase its presence in space.
The EU currently runs its Copernicus project, with Earth-monitoring satellites able to deliver images of anywhere on Earth within three to six days. While program managers emphasize the fact that it will be used for purposes such as understanding climate change, providing disaster relief, and managing border immigration, such a vast Earth-observation project will never be limited to just this. “[I]t’s already abundantly clear that the new system will also be used for military operations and surveillance purposes, some of which are highly controversial,” said Ben Hayes of the civil liberties group Statewatch. Don’t be deceived by the facade that the EU puts up.
Europe is certainly not the biggest space player, but it is increasing its efforts to become more dominant in this realm.
“We are sounding the alarm that Germany and Europe are falling behind in space vis-à-vis China and the United States,” said Dirk Hoke, defense and space chief at Airbus. “We’re at a critical juncture to ensure we stay in the top league.”
There is already an urgency in Europe to advance more quickly as the U.S. plans to put men on the moon by 2024 and the global rush to develop technology to extract minerals from asteroids. But Europe still has a long way to go.
Walter Ballheimer, ceo of German Orbital Systems, said: “Germany was overtaken a long time ago. But it’s not too late. If they are courageous enough and adopt a clear space policy … then we can still have a piece of the cake that we should have as a leading export nation.”
The Federation of German Industries has recently called for its government to support expansion into space by providing billions of euros. The report revealed the previously hidden militaristic aim of space, writing that independent space advancement is vital for governmental and military “strategic autonomy,” saying that Bundeswehr missions are “inconceivable without space systems.” Germany has long been recognized as the leader in Europe and this report boldly states that by increasing funding of German space industries will ensure Berlin remains the “motor” of European space strategy.
Europe’s space agency remains relatively quiet on its advancements; however, the European Council on Foreign Relations released a policy brief on June 25 titled “Building Europeans’ Capacity to Defend Themselves.” The report calls on Europe to act take “a greater share of the burden of defending Europe” and in so doing “stop outsourcing their strategic thinking to Washington.” Among the many topics covered is the militarization of space and increasing cyberthreats. The EU recognizes the need to ensure its safety in all of these realms without relying on another power, specifically the U.S. This level of autonomy with a focus on security and defense should alarm the world, especially the U.S.
While it has only been in the last few years that Europe has begun to turn on the U.S., Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has been warning its veiled attitude for years. In 2005, he warned that Germany is a bigger cyberthreat than the West gives it credit for. Quoting Joseph de Courcey of Intelligence Digest, he wrote:
[I]n 1992 one of the growing concerns of Western security authorities was a “network of young computer hackers in Germany.” That the computer hackers are from Germany should be worrisome—especially if you understand history and Bible prophecy. …
One of the main reasons the Allies won World War ii was that the British broke the German radio code. … German computer hackers might be inspired by Britain’s radio code-breaking in World War ii. Today they could be working to break America’s military computer codes. Then they could know war plans and even stop them by wrecking the U.S.’s computer-run military!
We cannot ignore Europe’s long history of wanting to dominate and control the world. What bigger target is there than the world’s superpower. The U.S. must not continue to deceive itself into thinking that it has an ally in Europe. Germany has not forgotten its defeat in World War ii. It is rising once again to bring down the U.S.—but this time its weapons are invisible!
Space Supports Small Powers
There is another sign that we have entered a new age of space exploration. Space was once confined to superpowers, but now it has become accessible to smaller powers. This means less-developed powers now pose an exponentially greater threat.
If India is to avoid coming completely under China’s control, it must strive to catch up in space.
On March 27, India shot down one of its low-orbit satellites with a ground-to-space missile, making it the fourth nation with anti-satellite weapon capabilities.
India is also pursuing space exploration. On Monday, India had planned to launch an unmanned mission for a soft landing on the moon’s southern polar region. The launch has been postponed, but it would have been India’s biggest space mission to date. India made its first successful lunar launch in 2008, orbiting the moon 3,200 times and confirming the presence of water molecules on the moon’s surface. In 2014, India successfully sent a probe to orbit Mars. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to send a manned rocket into space by 2022.
Even smaller powers are also heading for the stars.
On July 11, a Japanese spacecraft successfully landed on an asteroid and collected underground samples. Scientists hope this data will provide information on the origin of the solar system. Japan is the first country to obtain underground samples from a place farther away than the moon.
Even Iran is taking its place in the space race. On February 7, the Times of Israel reported that Iran appeared to have attempted a second satellite launch. The U.S. says these efforts are intended to aid Iran’s development of ballistic missiles in violation of a UN resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Iran’s first launch in January “the first stage of an intercontinental missile.” The launch attempt came less than a week after Iran’s state media reported that it had equipped its most advanced and longest-range missiles with precision-guided warheads.
Dangerous and unstable regimes are gaining the ability to bring down U.S. cybertechnology or to use such technology in weapons that could reach the U.S. and its allies.
U.S. Vulnerability Prophesied
The U.S., a descendant of ancient Israel (you can prove this from our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy), received the birthright blessings that brought it to superpower status in this end time. But God warned that if the descendants of Israel failed to obey, He would strip them of power and bring curses upon them. These blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience are recorded in Deuteronomy 28.
In verse 13, God said that He would make Israel “the head, and not the tail” if it would obey—a blessing evident as the U.S. became the leader in space. But in verse 48, Israel was warned that if it disobeyed God’s commands, He would cause it to “serve thy enemies.” Those enemies have risen to threaten the descendants of ancient Israel on land and now in space.
This new battlefield is beyond view of most people, but the exploitation of space will soon affect everyone.
The March 20, 1992, Intelligence Digest said, “[T]he Gulf War showed what a critical role technology now plays in warfare. But the course of a battle would be very different if effective technology-sabotaging measures could be instituted against the superior force. … Computer dependence is the Western world’s Achilles’ heel, and within a few years this weakness could be tested to the full” (emphasis added).
In the context of God punishing the nations of Israel for their sins, Ezekiel 7:14 says, “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle ….”
In his January 1995 Trumpet personal, Mr. Flurry explained this scripture:
The trumpet of war was blown in Israel—mainly America and Britain. It seems everybody was expecting our people to go into battle. But the greatest tragedy imaginable occurred! Nobody went to battle—even though the trumpet was blown! Will it be because of a computer terrorist?
America’s computer reliance is its Achilles’ heel—its most vulnerable point. When the trumpet for war sounds in America, none will go to battle! Powers all around the world are amassing strength to bring down America without firing a shot! This is what the exploitation of space is leading to. The U.S. should be very afraid.
For more information on these events, please read “America’s Achilles’ Heel,” by Mr. Flurry.