Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr., director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the U.S. is facing a “competitive and dangerous period” that now involves the space domain, the University of Alabama in Huntsville said Monday.
Lt. Gen. Ashley, a two-time Wash100 Award recipient, told attendees at UAH’s Distinguished Lecture Series that the U.S. must be wary of the technological advances of its two primary adversaries, Russia and China. He noted that China is a “learning superpower” that takes the lead in hypersonics, space assets and cyber and nuclear warfafe.
"They see outer space as a critical area of competition," said Ashley. "They have made huge investments. They had more space-oriented operations in 2018 than any other country. They continue to make huge investments in hypersonics. They believe supremacy in space is the key to any future conflict," he said.
Russia is also making progress in artificial intelligence and weapons jamming technologies. Previously, the country launched efforts to develop its own GPS system and a railgun. Ashley was appointed to his current role in 2017 after serving as the U.S. Army's deputy chief of staff.