China and India must pressure Vladimir Putin against the possible deployment of a new space-based nuclear weapon which would also put Beijing and New Delhi's satellites out of action, leaving the world "disconnected".

Although US intelligence agencies are divided over the imminence of the threat, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has raised the possibility of such a move with his Chinese and Indian counterparts and called on them to act .

The message, launched on the sidelines of the Munich security conference , was "clear" according to the New York Times: any nuclear detonation in space would destroy not only American satellites but also those of Beijing and New Delhi and global communications systems would collapse, causing everything from emergency services to cell phones to the regulation of generators and petrol pumps to go haywire. Debris from the explosion would scatter throughout low-Earth orbit and make navigation difficult if not impossible for everything from Starlink satellites used for Internet communications to spy satellites.

Since Putin has made clear his contempt for the United States, Blinken reportedly said, it is up to the leaders of China and India, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to dissuade him from what could turn into a disaster.

In a statement, the State Department said that in its meetings Blinken had "emphasized that the pursuit of this operation should be a cause for concern" and that he would "continue to raise this issue in further meetings at the Munich Security Conference."

In its reconstruction, the NYT writes that when Moscow conducted a series of secret launches of military satellites around the time of the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, American intelligence leaders began to delve into what exactly the Russians were doing . Later, spy agencies discovered that Moscow was working on a new type of space weapon that could threaten the thousands of satellites that keep the world connected .

In recent weeks, a new US 007 warning has been circulating: another launch could be in the works , and the question is whether Russia intends to use it to put a real nuclear weapon into orbit in space, violating a half-century-old treaty.

Intelligence agencies are divided on the likelihood of Putin going that far , but information about this scenario is of urgent concern to the Biden administration. Even if Russia put a nuclear weapon into orbit, American leaders agree that it would not be detonated. But it would hide like a time bomb in low orbit, a reminder that Putin - if pressed too hard with sanctions or military opposition to his ambitions in Ukraine or elsewhere - could destroy economies without targeting humans on the Earth.


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