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What’s New: Well, perhaps not new, but certainly an important reminder that:

  • China is not our friend. They were the world’s leading civilization for 5,000 years, then defeated and exploited by the west for 175 years. They want back on top and see pay-back as part of that process.
  • China is always looking for an advantage over us.
  • Even if they don’t use the advantage, they want to have it as leverage and “just in case.” 
  • Of course, the same is true for the U.S. wanting advantages over and leverage with China.

Why It’s Important: In a PNT context, China already has a huge advantage and leverage over us and our critical infrastructure and services.

  • China has multiple ways to get PNT and is fairly well insulated from disruption of space-based signals.
  • The U.S. grossly over-depends on GPS for PNT so that, in the words of a National Security Council Director, it is “a single point of failure.”
  • One comprehensive and fairly easy way for China to mess with our infrastructure is to interfere with GPS signals and services in some way locally, regionally, or nationally.

What Else to Know:

  • The below article says the cited activity is in prep for a potential U.S.-China conflict in the Pacific. See our article about PNT and defending Taiwan, maybe even deterring a conflict.
  • We also need to reinforce our PNT architecture at home to make us much less vulnerable to disruption of GPS so China can’t “…sow panic and chaos or snarl logistics” by just interfering with weak and easily spoofed GPS signals.
  • The National Guard’s NITRO, the only project the U.S. had underway to mitigate threats to critical infrastructure from interference with GPS, seems to have been terminated.

A utility in Hawaii, a West Coast port and a pipeline are among the victims in the past year, officials say