Retired U.S. Air Force General Steven L. Kwast warned of rising Chinese competition in space and said the next global war will likely be fought in outer space during a speech last week at Hillsdale College titled "The Urgent Need for a U.S. Space Force."
He warned that China is already developing a "Space Navy" complete with the space-based equivalents of "battleships and destroyers" which are "able to maneuver and kill and communicate with dominance" in space.
"Space is the Navy for the 21st-century economy, a networked economy that will dominate any linear terrestrial economy in the four engines of growth and dominance that change world power: transportation, information, energy, and manufacturing. [...] Whoever gets to the new market sets the values for that market. And we could either have the market with the values of our Constitution [...] or we could have the values we see manifest in China," Kwast said.
"As a historian, reflecting on the fact that throughout the history of mankind… technology has always changed world power. But the story of rejecting the new and holding and clinging to the paradigms of the past is why no civilization has ever lasted forever, and values are trumped by other values when another civilization figures out a way of finding a competitive advantage. The nature of power, you either have it and your values rule or you do not have it and you must submit. We see that play out again and again in history and it’s playing out now," he said.
"Whoever gets to the new market sets the values of that market," said Kwast. "Once you get the high ground, that strategic high ground, it’s curtains for anybody trying to get to that high ground behind them."
"The technology is on the engineering benches today. But most Americans and most members of Congress have not had time to really look deeply at what is going on here. But I’ve had the benefit of 33 years of studying and becoming friends with these scientists. This technology can be built today with technology that is not developmental to deliver any human being from any place on planet Earth to any other place in less than an hour," he said.