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Robert Ashley Talks Emerging Nat’l Security Risks, Space Investments

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Robert Ashley
Robert Ashley

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in an interview with The Washington Post that it’s “absolutely critical” to secure U.S. weapons systems after cyber was established as a warfighting domain.

Ashley, a 2019 Wash100 winner, cited next-generation technologies like hypersonics as “real capabilities” that have undergone rigorous testing over the past 10 years and could be fielded as actual capabilities in the coming decade. He noted that U.S. sales of weapons such as ballistic missiles to other countries “creates complexity” in the nation's understanding of global assets and threats.

When asked about potential threats from Russia and China in the near future, Ashley said he seeks to focus on space capabilities.

“We’ve seen significant investments in space because both the Russians and Chinese realize how we leverage space and how integral it has been to the wars we’ve fought,” he said. “So they understand that to be successful in any major conflict they have to be a player in space.”