Implications of the Chinese Anti-Satellite Test for the United States Navy Surface Forces
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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On January 11, 2007, China successfully tested an anti-satellite ASAT weapon. This thesis seeks to view the tests implications with regards to the prospect of China holding a false impression of offense dominance by using its ASAT weapon to temporarily create a shift in the strategic balance between it and the United States. Although China announced to the world that its test was not directed at any one country, its military strategic observers have assumed to identify the strategic weakness of the United States military as its reliance on space assets. The United States Navy surface force is the largest customer of space-based assets, and U.S. naval surface forces could be expected to deploy to the Taiwan Straits if tensions between Taipei and Beijing elevate. China may be tempted to use to use its newly tested capabilities in a potential contest concerning the future of Taiwan, and this could potentially expose U.S. naval forces to an environment of degraded space assets. This thesis seeks to examine Chinas perception of these weapons in offense-defense terms and shows that Chinas leadership may over estimate the expected advantage of an ASAT weapon attack.
- Antisatellite Defense Systems