Tuesday, December 17, 2019

General Kwast in Outer Space


thedrive |  Recently retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Steven L. Kwast gave a lecture last month that seems to further signal that the next major battlefield will be outer space. While military leadership rattling the space sabers is nothing new, Kwast’s lecture included comments that heavily hint at the possibility that the United States military and its industry partners may have already developed next-generation technologies that have the potential to drastically change the aerospace field, and human civilization, forever. Is this mere posturing or could we actually be on the verge of making science fiction a reality?

As we’ve reported previously, there have been hints of radical new technologies under development by the military and, just as in Kwast’s speech, Chinese advances have been cited as the reason why these technologies are needed. China has been rapidly expanding its presence in space in recent years, placing a lander on the far side of the moon in late 2018 in what some say was a push to scout natural resources with which to develop a permanent lunar manufacturing center. China has also been developing “mothership” aircraft from which to rapidly and unpredictably launch spaceplanes and other payloads into space. The country has also launched several eyebrow-raising satellites in recent years which some analysts claim could be used in anti-satellite warfare. Beyond all this, they have been investing heavily in a traditional space program that includes many facets of manned and unmanned space technologies that rivals, and in some ways, exceeds our own. 

 Around the 12:00 mark in the speech, Kwast makes the somewhat bizarre claim that the U.S. currently possesses revolutionary technologies that could render current aerospace capabilities obsolete:
"The technology is on the engineering benches today. But most Americans and most members of Congress have not had time to really look deeply at what is going on here. But I’ve had the benefit of 33 years of studying and becoming friends with these scientists. This technology can be built today with technology that is not developmental to deliver any human being from any place on planet Earth to any other place in less than an hour."
Kwast’s comment is only one of several curious comments made by military leadership lately and they do seem to claim that we could be on the precipice of a great leap in transportation technology.