tv Washington Journal Todd Harrison CSPAN June 26, 2018 3:36am-4:11am EDT
washington journal continues. host: joining us, taught harrison, the defense budget analysis director for the center for strategic and international studies, to talk about the call by the president for a space force. what does the president envisioned by the space force, and why do you think his call comes now? caller: he is talking -- guest:
he is talking about crating a separate military service to put our space forces into alignment. part of the motivation is that right now if you look across the military, all the different organizations that have responsibilities, authorities, and budget to do space, they are fragmented all over the military and intelligence communities. what he is looking to do by this is to integrate all of those existing space forces into one service that will be dedicated and focused to this task. host: is this separate from space exploration? guest: absolutely. this is only about national security space. space expiration is the job of nasa. they are not part of the military. the civil space programs to do science -- that is not going to be affected in any way. this is not to protect us from aliens or to conquer territory anywhere in space. this has nothing to do with this. that is science fiction.
force -- separate, but equal. todd harrison, what then? if space is what the president wants to deal with, what are the things we have to look out for in that space? guest: i think of it as the four d's. there are more countries using space, more private companies using space, but we see the number of satellites in space growing exponentially. space has also become more disruptive. in particularies are doing things in space that used to be the exclusive domain of superpowers, dormant like the united states. private companies have the ability to create high-resolution imagery of the earth, to listen in on what is being transmitted around the earth. that is a new development.
space is also getting more disordered. there are not a lot of rules in space, what you can do and cannot do. there are not norms of behavior. good example is in 2007, china conducted an anti-satellite test. they blew up one of their own satellites and created thousands of pieces of space debris that are still in orbit today, and are still threatening other military and civilian satellites. finally, the fourth d is, space is becoming more dangerous. we see countries developing not just things that blow up in space, but that can jam communication signals. cyber attacks take control of your satellites. we are not as prepared as we need to be. a lot of our military satellite -- as general -- as the general in control of strategic forces for the united states has said, a lot of our satellites are big, juicy targets for adversaries. we have to change the way we operate. we have to improve our defenses.
we could lose some of these space capabilities in a crisis. think abouto you thprident catching this in terms of american dominance? does this have concerns for you? guest: it is not a choice of words people probably want to hear. there has been a lot of reluctance to do military things in space, to weaponize space, to try to claim territory or claim ownership. some of that is prohibited i the outerspace treaty that we are a signatory to. so are many other countries around the world. you cannot claim territory. there are no borders and space. it does not even make sense to try to claim territory in space, because satellites are always moving over other countries. that is the utility of them, in many cases -- that they can fly over other countries without permission. so it is probably not the best choice of words. but really, it is about protecting our space assets, so that we can protect u.s. interests here on earth.
a lot of people forget that the gps that your phone uses, that little chip in your phone -- that is relying on military satellites. gps is a military satellite constellation. in other countries are developing ways to defeat that, to cause gps to go down and to not work. we need to be better protected against that. union forrding to the concerned scientists, last year about 800 u.s. based satellites currently orbiting the earth. 470 six commercial. 159 military. 150 government. 18 civil. .ou talked about gps what are the capabilities if those satellites are disrupted? guest: wii's satellites for everything from monitoring the weather -- and noaa will tell you one of their biggest honor abilities is cyberattack. there have been documented instances in the past where what we believe our state actors have hacked into the command and control system for some of our noaa satellites, and could have
destroyed those by taking control of them. we use satellites for things like missile mornings. to detect a missile launch coming at the united states so we can respond in time, we rely on space to do that. use satellites for communications of all kinds -- commercial, civil government, and the military as well. communication signals can be jammed from space. we don't have a lot of protections against that right now. our satellite communications that our military uses is not protected. those are all things we need to improve. there are many other missions we use for space as well. imagery, signals intelligence, and gps -- one of the reasons we don't have as many collateral damage victims in conflict today is that we have precision guided weapons. if we do not have gps -- if we do not have all the great imagery from space that we get from our satellites -- we cannot
find and we cannot hit targets precisely, and there would be more collateral damage. it would fundamentally alter and weaken the way we are able to weid not have space. country if host: cap harrison is with the center for strategic and international studies, here to talk about the creation of a space force. on the iowa democrats line, go ahead. caller: good morning, pedro. todd, are you there? guest: yes. caller: ok, my fit -- i see there is something to do with budget analysis director. this is just a big dog and pony .how, another republican ploy they bankrupt the government with tax cuts, and now we are going to grow government? i am not saying it is not necessary to coordinate and use technology to protect these assets, but to militarize in a
way, or to grow government when they have no intention of paying for it, no way to pay for it -- corporations and rich people get away with all the money. my point is made that it is ludicrous. he is crazy. host: made your point, caller. anst: the budget question is important one. simply creating a space forest is not actually add more money for military space capabilities. what you woulde doing is carving out an existing organization and people, resources, infrastructure, budget -- all these organizations that are already working on space issues for the military -- and moving them under a unified single chain of command. you would be adding some overhead, some headquarters staff to that. so there would be some additional expense there, that would be relatively small compared to about the $10 billion a year we currently ourd unclassified on
military space capabilities. it would just be reorganizing where the money is spent within the org chart, not adding a new $10 billion. host: active military, if you want to give your thoughts on this -- north carolina is next, democrats line. richar caller: yes, i wanted to ask the why would someone a -- of tour of the v.a., why someone does not do a , each veteran administration in each state, and why they have such a problem with doctors. host: caller, appreciate the call. not the topic we are discussing right now. cape canaveral, florida, independent line. caller: hello. my question is, you are talking about the space force. my son served in the army for more than 10 years. he was in afghanistan.
he was at the border of north korea. and then he joined the space force one month before president trump took office. the first italian, they were called, spartans. theyn,t space bata were called, spartans. you are talking about a force that already existed. you can go back to ronald reagan . host: got your call. guest: you are absolutely right. there are forces already in our military. -- army, as your son is in the army already has a space and missile defense command. within that, they have space battalions. they're completely separate and independent from the space forces within the air force. the air force, almost all the space forces are in air force space command. the navy has space forces of its own.
the navy builds and launches and operates a fleet of satellites that the other services use as well. mainly, there 's is are in san diego. there is a program executive office for space. it goes on and on. there are all these different space organizations, space forces, scattered around different parts of the military intelligence community. spy satellites are not operated by the air force. they are operated by the national reconnaissance office. all these different space capabilities -- that is one of the problems we have. there has not been a unity of effort. there has been a lot of disjointed mess, a lot of lack of coordination. there are examples of where one service has gone off and a constellation of communication satellites. another service was supposed to build the radios that can communicate with the satellites. they got behind and cut the budget for those radios. so we had satellites in space and could not take full
advantage because we did not use them.adio to that is what happens when you have these disjointed organizations that are not aligned under one single budget, one single chain of command. in "the washington times" and undersecretary for defense under george w. bush, he says "say no to a space force." has beenhe air force spending 30% of its budget to fund and launch a spy and reconnaissance satellites. it also operates several satellite constellations. they have been doing a good job using the launch services. the air force successfully hundred 20 payloads since 2006. he is making the case that other branches are doing these kind of things. absolutely. our military has tremendous space capabilities. we should not disregard that at all.
but the fact remains that we can do better. we need to do better. our ability to use space is being increasingly threatened by the space capabilities other countries are developing, and we are not responding quickly enough. that is what is behind this push to make an independent service. if you have an entire service that is devoted to space, they will jealously guard it. they will advocate for it all the time. right now, when a lot of our space capabilities are in the air force, and some sprinkled in the other services, they have competing priorities in the service. the air force is focused on air power. how do we do better in the air? and space has not been the primary focus of the air force. by creating a separate service, we would create an organization where it's primary focus is space. depending on nasa commercial space companies. do you see a commercial aspect
or should it stay in government and military? guest: the military already leverages commercial space capabilities to an incredible degree. iraqe peak of the wars in and afghanistan, about 80% of our satellite communications our military was using for things like drones flying around the country's -- 90% of that bandwidth came from commercial satellites. we had the least transponders. the military did not have enough capability on its own. we are increasingly dependent on commercial space capabilities. launch today, it is a thriving commercial industry for launch of large payloads. you have companies like spacex that are coming in and disrupting the market, bringing down the cost. but that is not due to anything the air force or dod did. it is in spite of what the air force and dod did. innovated using private capital, and managed to win these government contracts, even though the military was
resistant to it at first. now, it is bringing down the cost of launch for the military. there are a lot of things in the culture that need to change if you need to leverage the innovation happening in the private sector for the military. host: oregon, democrats line. caller: can you hear me? i did not hear the other collar. i meant to hear him to talk about the budget. just talkedat trump about the fact that we need to reorganize government, that we are doing too much spending, and now we cannot spend money. i guess no one realizes he is going to cut basic services like social security, medicare. health insurance. retirement. disability. these tax cuts -- you are foring all this self-defense, and money that is not even needed. there is/funds. it is ridiculous. what about basic services you are going to lose that people need to live? guest: i will put on my budget
had for a second, because i do two different programs, aerospace and budget. you are right that in the trump administration's 2019 budget cutsst, it proposes steep in nondefense spending, with the exception of veterans. .eteran spending is growing it will be up to $193 billion a year, one of the fastest growing areas of the federal budget. we can argue whether it is providing good care to veterans, but it is not for a lack of spending. nondefense side, a lot of steep cuts are being proposed. it is not likely they are going to make it through congress. but things that will make it hard, especially on lower income people in america. you look on the defense side of the budget, and it is growing. in 2019, the total defense budget will be up to $716 billion. that is the highest it has been since back in the early obama administration at the peak of the surges in iraq and
afghanistan. it is higher even when you adjust for inflation -- higher than the peak of the reagan buildup back in the 1980's. it is fair to question where that money is going and whether or not we have the right priorities. but when it comes to a space force, creating an independent service for space is not necessarily going to grow the budget. it does not require a higher budget. you can do it within existing resources. within the defense budget, you can carve out money to keep our space system safe and reliable for the military. new mexico, independent line, for todd harrison. color from new mexico, good morning? from new mexico, good morning? one more time. caller: hello? can you hear me? thank you for giving me a chance to speak. as someone who has always supported nasa's desire to
explore space, from that generation, as a sci-fi kid, i always supported our exploration of space. but i cannot support this government, this current administration's attempt to go beyond our planet with his misogynistic and racist philosophy. i believe in america. i do not believe in not see as him in space. -- in naziism in space. host: how does that philosophy apply specifically to space? caller: excuse me? what is -- i do not want to see that philosophy go into space. --o not want to see us should we meet another life form, i would hate them to be reduced to animal or -- guest: i would address the
saying thencerns by space force has nothing to do with space exploration or nasa, or looking for other lifeforms in the universe. the space force would not affect that. one of the common misperceptions about crating a separate service for space is that we would be putting soldiers or marines in space in order to do something. that is not the case. it is just a reorganization of the things we already do in space. what the military does in space is entirely unmanned. it is all satellites that are operating in space, 24/7, and providing capabilities on earth to protect u.s. interests around the world. that is what the space force would continue to do. it would be reorganizing the existing space forces into one coherent organization. host: you mentioned the strategic command commander. he spoke last week in a hearing you can still see on c-span. he talked about other countries,
technology they are using against u.s. satellites. russia havea and invested enormous amounts of international treasure to build capabilities for the sole purpose of countering the united states advantage in space. they built ground based capability, space-based capabilities, a variety of different technologies i cannot go into in this hearing -- enormous amounts of their treasury going with the sole purpose -- it is not for something going on in the western pacific. tois the sole purpose counter the united states advantage in space. and as the commander responsible for defending the nation in that domain, a have to look at those capabilities as real threats. that means i have to develop counters to those threats. host: todd harrison, expand on that. guest: he is talking about the counterspace capabilities other countries are developing.
there are kinetic outerspace threats like direct descent missile. it strikes a satellite in orbit, rashes it to pieces. there are co-orbital asat threats, where you launch a satellite into orbit and yourver it to collide with target satellite. it creates a lot of pieces of debris. both russia and china have the capability to do that. they have demonstrated that. arend that, there non-kinetic forms of physical attack on satellites. you can use things like high-powered lasers from the ground or from another satellite, to hit a satellite and cause it to overheat. it causes physical destruction. you can use a high-powered microwave weapon that can cause circuits to overload on a satellite. if it is high enough power, you can fry the circuits and permanently destroy the satellite. other countries have demonstrated the ability to
blind imaging satellites. you can use a laser from the airplane, andhe you can totally blind a sensor. no one else will see it. the satellite will become an operation. we recently did a report you can find on the csi website, space threat assessment 2018, where he catalogued all the publicly available information of what other countries are doing to create weapons. one of the things that stood out for me from that project was what russia has done with this plan, and a 60. -- an a60. to put a laser on top of the plane. in case it was not clear what they were using the laser for, they put an insignia on the side of the plane. it shows a falcon holding a lightning bolt. the lightning bolt is going up
into a spy satellite, what looks like a spy satellite. so it is very clear that they intend to use this airplane and the laser on it as a mobile be able toform to blend our imagery satellites. so we have to be ready to defend against this. other countries are making space a domain of modern warfare, and we have to be ready to defend our interests there. host: democrats line, john from wisconsin. how are you doing? this guy on here, todd, you are absolutely right about this space force. i have been working with grandkids and students at different schools. all kind of up with ideas as far as space is concerned. believe it or not, i have got a seven-year-old grandson. he has a plane. he puts it out in the yard. he takes it off, flies it around. it has got a fence so it won't
go too far out of his radio range. once he pushes the button, it comes back, and it lands right where it took off. this is the kind of thing that people need to get into, especially this country. i think we are starting to fall behind on a lot of things. and it is very important that we do get a space force. a lot of things are happening up there that we don't know about. host: thanks. guest: this has been an ongoing debate about how we properly organize the military for space. it dates back at least 20 years. in the late 1990's is when this debate really got going in earnest. and at that time -- a lot of people forget this. in 1999, congress created a special commission to go out and study how we should best organize ourselves and reform the way we do space. that commission was chaired by donald rumsfeld. this is before he became secretary of defense under the bush administration.
there were a bunch of retired generals and admirals. some scientists were there as well. they studied this. they came back in january 2001. they issued their final report. they said that the way the military was organized, and the way it was managing space, is not commence or it with the importance that space had for u.s. interests. and that was back in 2001. think how much more dependent we are on space today. to commission report went on recommend how we reorganize. they said in the middle term that we should create a space corps within the air force, like the marine corps is to the department of the navy. we should have a space corps that still falls under the department of the air force. in the long term, this report said we should have a separate alitary department for space, space force. this was recommended 17 years ago. and it has been hotly debated in defense circles and persons then.
not a lot of that debate has made it out into the public, because it is kind of a nerdy thing. it may seem far-fetched, whimsical, and even silly. i admit when i heard trump say it, it did some kind of silly. he went on to say there is no place like space, and i am thinking about a dr. seuss book i read to my kids. it is a serious issue that has been studied for quite a while. there are big decisions that need to be made. it may be that a space force is not the right place to go. maybe we need an interim step. there are a lot of big decisions. do you carve out abilities from the air force, or from the navy and the army as well? what about the intelligence agencies? and othertner the nro agencies that have space capabilities? the you put all those things in one department, or would that be too disruptive? what is the timeline over which you make this transition? a lot of big questions need to be decided. this is an important debate.
host: senator bill nelson of florida sent out a tweet saying the president told a u.s. general to create a space force as a sixth branch of the military, which generals tell me they do not want. thankfully, the president cannot do it without congress. now is not the time to rip the air force apart. so many important issues at stake. how significant is it that bill nelson said that. guest: it is significant because the senate has opposed this. and he is correct. the air force has the humanly -- ly opposed this idea from the beginning. the air force has not wanted to do this. it would be giving up a decent part of their budget and a lot of responsibility. it fact we are talking about is an implicit indictment of how the air force has handled space. so there has been a lot of opposition. last year, there was a bill in congress as part of the national defense authorization act. the house version of that bill would have created a space corps
within the air force. that passed the full house of representatives. the senate did not include a similar provision. when they went to conference, they were going to take a pause and study the issues some more. right now, dod is mandated to do two different studies. one is near-term reorganizing and doing acquisitions for space better. august toe in congress. the other one is due in december. it explicitly says, you will come back with a roadmap for how to create a separate department for space. that roadmap is due in december. i think that is going to set this up to be hotly debated in congress next year as part of the fiscal year 2020 national defense authorization act. i fully expect that we are going to see the house at least move forward with legislation to create something like a space corps or space force. .he senate is less certain
like senator nelson, there are a number of people in the senate who have come out and openly opposed this. a lot of opposition has been backstopped by the air force telling them, we do not want it. now that the president has ordered the military to get on board with this and start preparing for it -- that is what the statement said. it did not say created. it said "operations. it is going to be difficult for the air force to oppose this, especially the secretary of the air force, who works for the president, at his pleasure. he is not going to be able to get out there and oppose this vigorously, at least not in public. without that opposition from the air force, the senate may actually start to acquiesce to what the house has been proposing. host: joe is from auburn, alabama, republican line. go ahead, please. caller: am i on? i have been sitting here watching. i find it fascinating. i think what you are saying that you can do -- i am an old man.
it seems like just yesterday i could remember them shooting back images from the moon. people's sense of adventure? we have come a long way since then. interesting. i believe you are probably in the district of representative mike rogers, who is the champion within the house and the house armed services committee for creating a space corps. he and his democratic counterpart on the strategic forces subcommittee -- his counterpart is jim cooper from tennessee. they are the ones who have been championing this legislation in congress. has saidative rogers he is thrilled that president trump has gotten behind the idea, but there is still a long way to go. the caller referenced images from the moon. ors would not affect nasa
space exploration. that would not be part of the space force. this would only reorganize what the military is doing in national security space. go, thefore i let you senate debating defense policy goals this week. what do you expect to happen? guest: i don't think there will be anything about this issue in this national defense authorization act. to have to wait until next year. the house and the senate have a number of differences, that there are not a lot of changes were it comes to space this year. are going to get the report back from dod on creating a roadmap for how to transition to the space department in the future. i think we will see a lot of activity next year on it. host: todd harrison, who looks budgets andse aerospace -- you can find