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There are over 18,000 man made objects orbiting the Earth and some say the destruction of a satellite by the chinese earlier this year is a sign of the star wars to come. This comes despite a 40 year old international treaty against such actions.

People with access to intelligence (including Rumsfeld) have come out and warned us about foreign competition. The fact that the U.S. may be less prone to attack from tanks and planes on Earth and more prone to losing strategic technology in space may concern leaders.

Clearly our communications systems are reliant on satallite systems but to what extent? GPS satellites, reconnaissance satellites, and the like were probably not designed with robustness or defensive measures.

"Despite that 1967 treaty, however, U.S. military leaders have been thinking about the possibility of weapons in space for a long time. And based on Space Foundation figures, budgets for warfare preparations and spying in space quietly add up to almost three times that of NASA. According to Caldicott and Eisendrath, the United States accounts for 95 percent of the world's spending on militarization of space and owns more than half of all military satellites.

The most basic space weaponry problem is the vulnerability of orbiting spacecraft. Satellites and other space objects not only have nowhere to hide; they move in fully predictable ways, making them vulnerable to attack at an adversary's convenience. And satellites do more than provide crucial military intelligence - they also form the basis of communications systems that keep modern military forces in touch with remote commanders and civilian leaders."

Here are a couple of news reels (from CNN and Fox) on China's blowing up their own satellite:

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