Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations for the United States Space Force has affirmed that the U.S. will continue its military dominance of space, the ultimate high ground, against both Russia and China.
Speaking Tuesday on the second day of the Air Force Association 2020 Virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Gen. Raymond said the Space Force is "purpose built to compete, deter, win and lead globally. And that is exactly what we are doing."
He also said the United States stands "on the cusp of a tectonic shift in warfare" where victory in tomorrow's wars won't be possible without spacepower and the dominance of outer space.
"In order to be ready for this conflict we must be bold," asserted Gen. Raymond. "We must innovate. We must move and think faster. And we must empower and leverage the outstanding talent we have in the Space Force. These imperatives are in the Space Force's DNA. ... I will accept moderate risk in order to innovate and experiment."
The new warfighting architecture demanded by wars in space requires a "new design" because the new threats never before seen in warfare will strike at tremendous speed. Gen. Raymond said among these new threats are direct ascent anti-satellite missiles that can reach low earth orbit in minutes. There are massive electronic attacks and directed energy weapons, or lasers, moving at the speed of light. Enemy on-orbit capabilities such as anti-satellite missiles move at speeds greater than 17,500 mph.
"To plan for warfare at these speeds and distances we must be lean, agile and fast, he said.
Gen. Raymond emphasized the U.S. must be able to meet the threats from both Russia and China.
The U.S. must also "have the ability to punch back. The unified command plan is clear; we must provide independent options in, through and from space to ensure freedom of action in all domains," he said.
He said America's adversaries are moving deliberately and quickly in order to reduce the U.S.' first mover advantage.
"I'm not confident that we can achieve victory, or even compete, in a modern conflict without space power. And I am not willing to lose in order to learn."
He said the vital importance of space and establishing a new model for creating and sustaining the Space Force are central to his decisions and actions since Space Force was born.
Gen. Raymond said one of his most urgent tasks is to publish a space power doctrine explaining the Space Force's "why" and "how." He said this new doctrine will lay the foundation for an intellectual dialogue on space.
He said a new doctrine is important because operating in space and fighting in this deadly environment is vastly different from any other military activity.
"If deterrence fails, a war that begins or extends into space will be fought over great distances at tremendous speeds, both posing great challenges."
In November 2019, China said will reorganize the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) so it can expand its presence into space as part of an ambitious strategic plan to become a world-class force by the 2050s.
The PLAAF will spare no effort to deal with all threats, especially those emanating from the United States and its Space Force, said Senior Colonel Wang Zhonghua, head of the Planning Bureau of the PLAAF's Equipment Department. Col Wang said the PLAAF is undergoing revolutionary changes that will need to generate systems capable of functioning in future warfare scenarios, including a war in space.