Lehren aus dem Ukraine-Krieg: Der Weltraum als Teil moderner Kriegsführung

June 14 2023 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. | Lecture Hall VII, Main Building University of Bonn

Seventh event of the lecture series „Nach den Sternen greifen. Der Weltraum als Wirtschafts-, Lebens- und Wettbewerbsraum im 21. Jahrhundert“ (Summer semester 2023) with Juliana Suess.

Space has been enabling specific elements of warfare for several decades now. Already in the Second Gulf War of 1991, for example, American troops were positioned for the first time with the help of the GPS navigation system. Since then, technology has advanced further and space now provides satellite communications and navigation aids through to surveillance and reconnaissance. What was already known in defense circles is now clear to the rest of the world, at least since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when high-resolution satellite imagery revealed the Russian army's giant jam at the gates of Kiev to the world: space is part of the modern battlefield. It is abundantly clear that the military capabilities enabled by this particular domain have become indispensable to modern warfare.

Through satellite imagery, the entire world was able to follow where and how Russian troops invaded Ukraine, among other things. Satellite images with their time stamps also became important evidence of war crimes in Butscha. Of overriding strategic importance, moreover, is that Elon Musks' company STARLINK enables Ukrainian troops to maintain vital lines of communication, stay in touch with families and friends, and keep the rest of the world informed about what is happening in Ukraine.

Because of the extensive use of private provider capabilities, the war in Ukraine has already been called the first commercial space war. Although the integration of commercial space capabilities is nothing new, as Americans have already relied on some private companies during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a new scale can undoubtedly be seen in Ukraine. What conclusions can be drawn from this development for future conflicts? What lessons can other countries, such as Taiwan, learn from this war?



Opening remarks:

Dr. Enrico Fels
Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies, University of Bonn


Juliana Suess
Research Analyst & Policy Lead on Space Security, Royal United Service Institute (RUSI) and podcaster „War in Space


Dr. Frank Weyers
Head of the North Rhine-Westphalia Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

In close cooperation of: 

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