NZ embeds itself in US Space Force, which is talking up Chinese threat

New Zealand has embedded itself in the US Space Force, which is strongly talking up the threat of China under the hashtag the “#FightIsOn” and slogan “the threat is real”.

US documents show Aotearoa is increasingly aligning itself with America’s big push to bring allies into its defensive and offensive space plans.

Official US planning for a war in space began in 2019 and has ramped up rapidly since, with a prime goal of bringing Five Eyes and other allies on board.

New Zealand is active on at least three fronts and has been invited to do more.

US Space Force documents mentioning New Zealand.

The NZ Defence Force recently set up a space monitoring hub in Auckland at the invite of the US, mostly using US money.

The hub tracks launches, unusual moves and debris.

The system it uses is also a testbed for emerging technologies such as electro-magnetic interference and jamming, but the Defence Force says the hub is “not involved with any of these emerging missions”.

New Zealand has joined the International Affairs Office of the US Space Force along 14 other countries. The office covers a host of joint operations to “outpace and outmatch the threat” of a war in space.

In addition, New Zealand observers have analysed missions at the chief space command base in Los Angeles, along with other allies. It was the first time allies had such input into what is called “the combatant command”.

US Space Force documents mentioning New Zealand.

New Zealand is currently considering joining Operation Olympic Defender, a US-led plan on how to protect and defend US and allied satellites in a war.

The Americans have been open about their space push and its defensive and offensive nature.

A tagline reads: “Building a More Lethal & Capable Force to Compete, Deter, & Win.”

In April, Defence and Space Minister Judith Collins travelled to Colorado to meet US space officials.

Those included the commander of US Space Command, General Stephen Whiting, who has spoken of the “risk” China and Russia pose to US and allied space capabilities.

“(Russia and China) know our Joint Force relies on space to fight the way we want – precisely, lethally, effectively, and efficiently,” he told a Senate committee in February.

In March, Collins and US defence secretary Lloyd Austin agreed the two countries’ defence strategies were aligned.

Collins told the US that New Zealand backed a Pentagon push to harness commercial space companies, and also that New Zealand was on board for space launches in the face of an emergency or war.

The US is looking for new launch sites, and this month Reuters quoted Collins emphasising New Zealand’s prime launch location. She told the news outlet a latitude deep in the Southern Hemisphere made it easier to place satellites in specific orbits.

“You cannot underestimate our location in the world and how that is an enormous advantage,” she said.

New Zealand has been outspoken on China in recent months, accusing it of foreign interference and cyber attacks.

However, on space, Collins has been less outspoken.

Asked by RNZ if she was fully comfortable with New Zealand’s close alignment with the US and its aggressive strategy on space and positioning on China, she said: “The US Space Force’s strategy is its own to implement.

“This was not discussed in my meetings with US defence leaders in April.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button