CNBC presents a fascinating though startling interview with U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Steve Kwast.
Surveying the relative progress of U.S. and Chinese military capabilities, he states that China is moving faster.
“In my best military judgement China is on a 10-year journey to operationalize space. We’re on a 50-year journey,” Kwast told CNBC.
Plus, China’s efforts are broad in scope and not limited to satellites and other support systems.
“China is working on building a ‘navy in space'” that would work even beyond earth’s gravity well, Kwast said.
Kwast cautions that at this time North Korea presents a more pressing threat, given that a North Korean electromagentic pulse weapon could “take out our eyes in space.”
According to Kwast, we could have a “space force” in 3-5 year — but there is no generally accepted concept of what its functional requirements would even be at this time.
While cautioning that the military should not rely too much on private companies, Kwast says public-private partnerships can play a big part in America’s space efforts. Regarding corporations, he said:
“Corporations have a vicious, clear-eyed view of the bottom line, which is a very healthy thing,” Kwast said, before adding: “Companies that fail should fail.”
image courtesy of cnbc.com