WTOV9
February 20, 2011

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military needs to better protect its satellites and strengthen its ability to use them as weapons as the uncharted battlefield of space becomes increasingly crowded and dangerous, Pentagon leaders say.

A new military strategy for space calls for greater cooperation with other nations on space-based programs to improve America’s ability to deter enemies.

“It’s a domain, like air land and sea,” said Gen. Kevin Chilton, who headed U.S. Strategic Command until he retired recently.

The U.S., he said, needs to make sure that it protects and maintains the battlefield capabilities it gets from space-based assets, including global positioning data, missile warning system information, and communications with fighters or unmanned drones.

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As the U.S. and other countries depend more on their satellites for critical data, those assets become greater targets for enemies.

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