Skip to main content

The disclosure of a classified national security threat by the House Intelligence Committee raised concern across the US yesterday. Though details will likely remain scant until the subject is declassified, sources suggest it is related to the weaponization of space by Russia. Some reports have claimed the potential Russian space weapon will violate 20th century treaties by utilizing nuclear capabilities, but this seems impractical for anti-satellite operations.

While it is difficult to ascertain how urgent the threat is, Moscow has spent years testing and gradually improving its ability to neutralize satellites with the use of missiles and in-orbit systems. Russia may be rushing to advance its anti-satellite capabilities in an effort to neutralize constellations of Pentagon-backed missile tracking and communications satellites that will aid the US in combatting Russia’s highly-touted hypersonic systems. While the effectiveness of these projectiles have been disputed, two variants have now been used successfully in Ukraine.

Related ETFs: Related ETFs & Stocks: SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR), Procure Space ETF (UFO)

A February 14 tweet from the US House Intelligence Committee, including a quote from committee Chairman Representative Mike Turner (R-OH), requested that President Biden declassify a “serious national security threat” so that it could be discussed openly and properly addressed. In a letter to lawmakers inviting them to view the intelligence in the committee’s classified spaces, Turner said that it related to a “destabilizing foreign military capability”. This sent off a firestorm of speculation, but media sources soon ascertained that the issue pertains to Russia and likely involves space-based technologies. Further, some have speculated it could even be tied to nuclear weapons.

Two officials confirmed to PBS that Russia had recently launched new anti-satellite capabilities – a threat that has loomed over US communications infrastructure for a long time. The news came five days after Russia launched a Soyuz-2-1v rocket with a classified military payload. Though this payload could be related to whatever weapon Russia is developing, NBC News sources claim the subject of the classified intelligence is not yet operational. Despite the hasty nature of the language used by the House Intelligence Committee in their public announcement, as well as the convening of an emergency meeting in the House basement, CNN notes that reactions from lawmakers were mixed. As of now, the system in question is not considered an urgent threat.

The more pressing issue at hand is likely a looming House of Representatives vote on $95 billion in supplemental funding (scaled back from $118 billion previously) that contains critical funds to support Ukraine’s war effort, as well as defense aid for Israel and US allies in the Pacific. The legislation has…

To read the complete Intelligence Briefing, current All-Access clients, SIGN IN

All-Access clients receive the full-spectrum of MRP’s research, including daily investment insights and unlimited use of our online research archive. For a free trial of MRP’s All-Access membership, or to save 50% on your first year by signing up now, CLICK HERE