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Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Warns of Foreign Space Threats to US Satellites

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Robert Ashley
Robert Ashley

Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a 2019 Wash100 Award winner, mentioned at a conference the development of foreign space and counter-space capabilities that could target U.S. satellites and ground control platforms in future conflicts, SpaceNews reported Thursday.

He said Wednesday at the CyberSat 2019 conference that Russia and China have been advancing the development of those capabilities, including lasers, surface-to-air missiles, malware, co-orbital maneuvering satellites and electronic jammers.

Ashley also cited an unclassified DIA report on foreign counter-space threats issued in February. “Part of the reason we wanted to put that out at the unclassified level is so we can start the dialogue,” he said.

He added that the move seeks to help lawmakers better inform the public of why the Pentagon needs to invest in space programs.