Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has said conflicts on Earth can reach space in the future and the U.S. is preparing to address that possibility.
James took part in a breakout session at the Center for a New American Security’s annual conference in Washington to discuss U.S. views and strategies on the space enterprise, the U.S. Air Force said June 20.
James told discussion moderator Elridge Colby that space has become “contested” and “congested” due to an increase in commercial enterprises and countries that engage in space missions.
“From the standpoint of the United States, we are particularly concerned because we see that there are some countries around the world that are investing and testing in ways that are worrisome to us,” said James, a 2016 Wash100 recipient.
“There’s been a lot of momentum that has occurred just in the short two and a half years that I’ve been a direct observer on the scene in terms of strategy and budget and getting our heads around the fact that a future conflict on earth one day could extend to space.”
James further noted potential space attacks can be addressed with military, economic and diplomatic responses which the president will determine after possible consultation with international allies.