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Space weaponization – shocking results of CSIS Space Threat Assessment 2024

“It’s something probably we shouldn’t have missed.”

visual of space weapons destroying earth

Imagine gazing at the night, but just instead of stars and planets, there are weapons of mass destruction floating around the earth. Sounds like a dystopian sci-fi novel, right? But it’s a reality we are inching closer to.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (a.k.a. CSIS) just realeased their 7th Annual Space Threat Assesment Report, I recommend you to check out this report, it’s a whole pdf of 64 pages talking on the weaponization of space —has whole separate chapters on countries like China, Russia, India, Iran, North Korea —has mentions of kinetic, non-kinetic and electronic weapons. In this report, it’s fully clear that there’s a steady increase in the militarization of the cosmos. Nations are developing technologies to disrupt, disable, or destroy satellites. And it’s not just about national defense anymore. The economy, communications, even daily life, hinge on these orbiting tools.

But there’s a silver lining, CSIS also highlighted efforts to establish space rules and guidelines to prevent an arms race. It’s a delicate balance between security and the peaceful use of space. So the next time you look up at the night sky, remember there’s a lot more going up there than meets the eye.

Not only 2024, CSIS officially says “For the last six years, it has used open-source information to produce an annual assessment of threats to U.S. national security space systems posed by foreign government capabilities.” For the prior reviews of Space Threat Assessments (editions 2018–2023), have a look at Aerospace Secu­rity Project’s Timeline.

Q.What has changed since the first report?

A. A lot of things looks the same. But really what’s changed a lot is, we use space so much more today. There have been so much space launches in the last year than at any point in history. There are more satellites in orbits today than there ever have been. And a lot of those are operated by Commercial Companies. One thing that we haven’t really seen this year is Destructive Anti-Satellite Tests. We haven’t seen one for the last three years.

Q.Now what new has happened in the last year that’s impacted the report?

A. When we think of efforts to disrupt space, we think of efforts to disrupt our use of space. Over the last year, we’ve just seen that skyrocket. We’ve seen so much GPS, Jamming, and Spoofing that you can look around the world and it’s happening on a daily basis. I just think about about my phone, and all the apps on my phone that use GPS for navigation. Not only an inconvenience to us, but it’s also a public safety issue when this affect the civilian airliners and maritime traffic.

Clayton Swope answers these questions in a CSIS youtube short, he’s the deputy director of the Aerospace Security Project and a senior fellow in the International Security Program at the CSIS.