Should Americans be prepared for a international space war? According to CNN’s chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, many military experts believe so. “These are threats that exist right now, today, not in some futuristic scenario,” Sciutto told TVNewser. “I doubt many Americans realize that.”
Sciutto hosts a one-hour documentary War in Space: The Next Battlefield, focusing on the arms race in outer space. It’s set to air tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.
He hosted a CNN special last year which focused on the U.S. intelligence agencies that rely a great deal on surveillance satellites. The interviewees kept talking about the vulnerability of the U.S. space assets. Following up with a special focused on the international space arms race seemed necessary.
Sciutto interviewed more than 10 national security, defense and high-ranking military personnel for the program, including the entire chain of command for space warfare – Robert Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense; General John Hyten, then-commander of Air Force Space Command and current commander of U.S. Strategic Command; Admiral Cecil Haney (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Strategic Command; Lieutenant General David Buck, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space; and the first interview with Defensive Duty Officer, 1st Lieutenant Andrew Engle, a newly created position to monitor threats in space.
“What surprised me is that all of the conversations about war in space take place in the present tense,” said Sciutto.
When asked about what he hopes the audience takes away from the special, he mentioned that while this danger seems to be clear and present, there are airmen and women taking steps to address it.
“Our civilian lives depend on space far more than we realize,” said Sciutto. “It’s not just satellite navigation, communications and broadcasting – though those are all big. Our networked lives depend on timing from GPS satellites as well: ATM transactions, stock market trades, even stop lights. And our military is even more dependent. As many commanders told me, life without space gets “ugly” very fast.”