Global Network Space Newsletter 17
Winter 2006

1) U.S. MOVES TO MANAGE CHINA

The U.S. is now attempting to “manage” China’s inevitable rise to great power status. The U.S. strategy is to first exaggerate the level of China’s present military buildup, to encircle China through the acquisition of military bases in the Asian-Pacific region, to establish anti-Chinese alliances, and to deploy Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems near China as a way to negate their existing force of 20 nuclear missiles.

New Pentagon strategy documents reveal the U.S. “proactive” approach to warfare is part of a larger agenda for global military domination. The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2005 that “At its heart, [one secret Pentagon] document is driven by the belief that the U.S. is engaged in a continuous global struggle that extends far beyond specific battlegrounds, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The vision is for the military to be far more proactive, focused on changing the world.”

Much of this military strategy is defined by controlling global resources – particularly oil and water. The U.S. and China are now involved in an international competition to control the world’s oil supplies.

According to Michael Klare, a Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, China is now the world’s “number-two” consumer of oil, just behind the U.S. By the year 2020, Klare says, “Chinese oil consumption is projected to reach 12 million barrels per day”…while the U.S. will need to import “as much as 16 million barrels per day” by the same year.

A leading group in the effort to hype the Chinese military threat is the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which includes neocons like Lynne Cheney, Michael Novak, Irving Kristol, Ben Wattenberg, Frank Gaffney, and Michael Ledeen. The AEI is closely aligned with the Project for a New American Century, the group that successfully lobbied for “regime change” in Iraq and argues that it is a strategic necessity for the U.S. to control the world’s oil supplies.

The media are filled these days with warnings of massive Chinese military upgrading. Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld has told Congress that within a decade the Chinese navy could surpass the U.S. navy, and that China was “increasingly moving their navy further from shore.” Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe was recently quoted as saying that China’s navy had surpassed the U.S. navy. (Sen. Snowe is trying to ensure that production of the Navy’s Aegis destroyer continues in her state.)

Even supposedly “liberal” analysts like Michael O’Hanlon, from the Democratic-party linked Brookings Institute says, “Whether through defense transformation or changing force posture in Asia, the reshaping of U.S. armed forces should not ignore the wide range of possible and quite demanding scenarios in Asia capable of threatening U.S. security.”

The fear-mongering even extends to groups like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where senior associate Ashley Tellis stated in a recent report that the U.S. would be called upon to “maintain or even increase” its role as regional security guarantor for a number of Asian states. “This will require the U.S. to preserve its current military dominance, protect its existing alliances, and develop new ties to major states that are not allied or opposed to Washington.”

China’s military budget is less than one tenth that of the U.S. (The Rand Corporation estimates China’s military expenditures to be between $31-38 billion a year.) In spite of Rumsfeld’s dire warnings, the Chinese navy is designed for defending its territorial waters, not projecting force elsewhere. Roughly 80% of China’s energy imports pass through the waters adjacent to Taiwan. Securing those sea lanes by way of naval access to Taiwan is a high priority for China – especially at a time when the U.S. is helping to significantly arm Taiwan with naval Aegis destroyers and TMD systems.

Early in his first term, George W. Bush warned that the U.S. would to “whatever it took” to defend Taiwan and initiated a campaign of aggressive military surveillance of China which eventually led to the downing of a U.S. Navy EP-3 spy plane on China’s Hainan Island.
The development of an anti-Chinese coalition has been a key effort of Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. An October 11-13, 2005 tour of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan by Rice was motivated by the competition for oil between Beijing and Washington. China’s National Petroleum Corporation had recently signed an agreement with its neighbor, Kazakhstan, to build a $3 billion pipeline connecting their oil fields with China. The 3,000 kilometer pipeline would move 20 million tons of oil annually to China when it is completed by the end of 2005. Rice’s trip was timed to strengthen U.S. influence – largely by expanding U.S. military presence in the region. (The U.S.’s largest base in Central Asia is the Ganci Air Base in Kyrgyzstan.) It was also reported in early 2005 that the U.S. would be building nine new bases in Afghanistan.

In February 2005 U.S. senators John McCain (R-AZ), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Russ Feingold (D-WI) went to Afghanistan to discuss U.S. bases. After the talks, Sen. McCain, told the media the Afghan bases would be “permanent.”

Former Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service chief, Leonid Shebarshin, has suggested that U.S. attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan were invasions under the guise of counter-terrorism and served Washington’s “hegemony strategy” as well as the scramble against China for energy in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The U.S. is also now using Thailand’s Vietnam war-era base of Utapao as an airlift hub strengthening U.S. military logistical abilities in the region and Singapore now hosts a permanent site for U.S. navy ships to dock. The U.S. is also making an effort to woo India into the American orbit by offering them help with nuclear weapons and Star Wars technologies.

Also in early 2005 the U.S. military held its third “Space War Game” that pitted the U.S. (Blue team) against China (Red team). The war game, set in the year 2020, was a week-long exercise held at Nellis AFB in Nevada. Military forces from Australia, Canada, and Great Britain participated in the event as U.S. allies. Brigadier Gen. Daniel Darnell, from the Space Warfare Center at Schriever AFB in Colorado directed the war game and stated, “This is not warfare in space. Our focus is how to best use our space-based assets to coordinate the joint terrestrial fight.”

America has relied on China for a cheap supply of consumer goods that justified closing down a large share of its domestic manufacturing base. At the same time the U.S. has moved funds away from a civilian manufacturing economy into a permanent military manufacturing economy. The new weapons systems, in a sad turn of events, are intended to be used to control China.
 

Bruce K. Gagnon
GN Coordinator
Brunswick, Maine

2) SPACE NUCLEAR POWER COMPLICATIONS MOUNT

In May 2005, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D- GA) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to every member of Congress inviting them to join her in an effort to cut $319 million from NASA’s Project Prometheus space nuclear reactor program. Rep. McKinney’s staff sought the help of the Global Network in drafting her appeal to Congress that read in part, “Such a [nuclear space] vehicle, if put into use would pose a grave risk to the health and well-being of our citizens, should an accident ever occur again as has often happened in the past.” While the effort was unsuccessful in cutting the funds, it did serve as one more indication to NASA that opposition to nukes in space is growing across the nation.

In order to expand their nukes in space program, NASA and the Department of Energy (DoE) have undertaken a plan to consolidate plutonium-238 production and manufacture it into batteries at the Idaho National Laboratory. The batteries would be used to power NASA spacecraft as well as for national security uses. The Snake River Alliance, a nuclear watchdog organization in Idaho, said in response: “Idaho is once again in the bull’s eye for a dangerous nuclear program that will create more nuclear waste and increase the contamination risks for our people, economy, and environment.”

Military analysts say the nuclear powered batteries the DoE wants to produce at the expanded $300 million Idaho facility could eventually wind up in everything from space-based killer satellites to battlefield computers. “The primary driver for us to start production is for national security requirements,” said Tim Frazier, director of the DoE’s nuclear power systems program.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee commented that, “Few could dispute that our military capability depends on space control. We need to be investing in things that will allow us to continue to have that control and improve our capabilities.”
Despite the growing evidence that space nuclear power is for dual use - military and civilian - NASA maintains it is strictly a civilian program.

The next scheduled use of nuclear power in space will be the January 2006 launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida of the New Horizons Pluto mission. Set to be launched on-board an Atlas rocket, the New Horizons probe will get its on-board power from a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) that transforms heat from decaying plutonium-238 into electricity. The last such NASA mission carrying nuclear RTG’s on-board was the controversial 1997 Cassini space mission.

A special NASA study team has identified six other potential space nuclear power missions in coming years. Included on that list is the 2009 nuclear-powered Mars Science Laboratory.

NASA, facing tightening budgets, has been forced to scale back plans for other space nuclear missions including the Jupiter Icy Moon Mission (JIMO) that was to be a centerpiece of the Prometheus nuclear reactor program. NASA officials are now looking at other opportunities to “showcase” a space nuclear reactor system that would be less demanding in terms of overall lifetime and cost. The Prometheus nuclear reactor program is being developed for NASA by the DoE’s Office of Naval reactors in Washington DC.

NASA’s new director, Michael Griffin, has given Prometheus a new assignment: to develop surface-based nuclear power systems for a proposed moon base colony.

Costs remain a serious hurdle for NASA. A 2004 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report questioned NASA’s ability to carry out the program. “In the past NASA had had difficulties developing realistic requirements and cost estimates needed to develop a sound business case,” the GAO concluded.

Even if NASA could successfully pull off the Prometheus nuclear reactor program, not all the scientists agree that it is a good idea. In a recent study issued by a U.S. National Research Council (NRC) panel, scientists claimed that spacecraft powered by nuclear reactors are of limited use to astronomers. The report questioned NASA’s multi-billion-dollar Prometheus program, and stated that the reactors would be virtually useless for - and could even hamper - observations of astrophysical phenomena beyond our solar system.

“Reactors are messy things,” said NRC panel member Gary Bernstein, an astronomer at the University of Pennsylvania. “They generate huge numbers of radiation particles and gamma rays.”

Bernstein claims these reactor by-products could effectively “blind” space telescopes such as Hubble.

Another reason to reject the growing plans for space nuclear power is the health consequences of earthly contamination from production exposure or launch accidents. Even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer say the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

“The NAS panel puts to rest once and for all claims that low doses of radiation aren’t dangerous…nuclear advocates have been making this claim for years,” says Dan Hirsch, a highly respected anti-nuclear activist based in Los Angeles. Hirsch has in the past worked publicly to oppose the launching of nuclear power into space.

In spite of growing evidence that nuclear power in space is problematic, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) science chief is now suggesting that their space agency will have to begin using RTG’s for deep space travel. ESA representatives have suggested that they would favor a policy of buying RTG’s from the U.S. Acknowledging that nuclear power is a controversial subject in Europe, ESA’s science director David Southwood has said, “It is an issue we will have to treat delicately, but we’ve got to put it on our agenda. It’s an issue ESA absolutely must address.”

3) THE U.S. RECRUITS JAPAN TO HELP SURROUND CHINA

Japan is now embarking on a historic and potentially dangerous journey into space. Urged on by the U.S., who wants Japan to become a more heavily armed and militarily active partner in the Asian-Pacific, the Japanese people must quickly move to become engaged in the space issue before it is too late.

It is helpful to think back to the 15th century when Christopher Columbus sailed on behalf of Spain looking for the “new world.” Upon his return with news that he had accidentally found the Americas, Queen Isabella of Spain initiated the 100-year process building the Spanish Armada in order to project power and control the shipping lanes to the new discovered lands. This essentially created the global war system that we experience today, as soon all the European powers were building navies and contesting each other’s claims to the resources and lands in the new world.

This is where we are today when we look at space. Space technology is being developed for two primary reasons. One is to give nations the ability to see the Earth and to better coordinate warfare on the planet – using space to project power for military benefit.


Japanese peace activists protest U.S. deployment of Aegis destroyers (outfitted with Theatre Missile Defense systems) the last Sunday of every month. The U.S. is now in the process of deploying 10 Aegis destroyers (built at Bath Iron Works in Maine) at the large Yokosuka navy base. The ships will be used to surround and provoke China

The second reason is that many nations and corporations view space as the “new world.” Gold on asteroids, water and helium-3 on the moon, magnesium, cobalt, and uranium are believed to be on Mars. Corporations intend to venture to these planetary bodies and secure massive profits in the years ahead. But first new space technologies have to be created that make it possible, and cost effective, to “mine the skies.”

If citizens can be convinced that their nation must use space technologies to “protect them” from enemies, real or imagined, then this investment in space technology can also be used to create the infrastructure that will allow these same aerospace industries to lead the way in mining the heavens. Thus space technology becomes “dual use.” With the development for military use also comes the development for corporate use. The question is, who benefits? Who pays the freight and who reaps the profits?

Japan is working on both military and civilian space technologies. Japan is developing so-called “missile defense” systems, new generations of military spy satellites, and plans for manned bases on the moon. All of these programs will come at a tremendous cost to Japanese taxpayers and will set the course for a more aggressive foreign policy in the coming years. Most importantly of all, Japanese military space developments dramatically link Japan and the U.S. military together in a dangerous course of confrontation in the region as the U.S. moves to counter China’s development as a global economic competitor.

In an article written in 2000 entitled For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront, the Washington Post reported that “The Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition.” The article goes on to state the U.S. will double its military presence in the region. For example, on Guam today the U.S. has lengthened and widened runways to handle the B-1 and B-2 bombers. Cruise missiles, nuclear attack subs, and Global Hawk high altitude spy drones have been positioned on Guam. New fighter squadrons are planned to make it a “power projection hub.” New, small “lily pad” bases are being developed throughout the Asian-Pacific by the Pentagon for rapid interventionary capability.

Theatre Missile Defense (TMD), also called boost-phase defense, is a key program in the U.S. arsenal to surround China. Based on ships and sold to the public as a “missile defense” system to protect allies like Japan and South Korea, new interceptor missiles are planned that will be deployed on Navy Aegis destroyers in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Taiwan. Ground-based (PAC-3) interceptor missiles would be deployed in Japan. Converted Boeing 747 aircraft, called the Airborne Laser (ABL), are in development that are envisioned to fly round-the-clock giving the U.S. complete air coverage of China’s coast. The ABL would have a laser beam on the airplane’s nose and would fire at any missile launched by China or North Korea. The ABL, though, is having huge technological development problems and is enormously over budget. The U.S. is trying to sign Japan up as a partner on this program to help cover the rising costs.

All of this is being done to give the U.S. the ability to surround and neutralize China. China, of course, is furious over these developments which they view as offensive in nature. In recent years Japan has sought to avoid angering China but Tokyo’s shift in policy, as a U.S. proxy in the region, is signaling to China that it intends to play a more aggressive role in the region.

More and more of the war games played by the Pentagon take place in Asia and feature China, or the “red team,” as the enemy. U.S. missile defense strategy has been largely created as a way to neutralize China’s small nuclear deterrent capability giving the U.S. first-strike advantage. “I think that, however reluctantly, we are beginning to face up to the fact that we are likely over the next few years to be engaged in an ongoing military competition with China,” says Princeton University political scientist Aaron L. Friedberg.

The U.S. fears that its influence in the new Asian community will fade. The plan to regain influence intends to rely heavily on military muscle. A military ally is needed in the region for the U.S., and Japan appears to be the top choice.

The U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee met in Washington DC on February 19, 2005 and a joint statement was issued concluding the one day meeting. The statement identified “new threats” emerging in the Asian-Pacific region and called for the “modernization of military capabilities” in response. U.S. and Japanese ministers “expressed their confidence that ballistic missile defense enhances our ability to defend against and deter ballistic missile attacks.” The joint statement concluded that the “U.S. is reorienting and strengthening its global defense posture to provide it with appropriate, strategy-driven capabilities in an uncertain security environment.”

4) BUSH'S LARGER PLAN FOR SPACE

The U.S. military has introduced a doctrine called Full Spectrum Dominance. This notion is that the U.S. will dominate conflict at every level – control the Earth with conventional military forces; control the seas with the Navy; control the sky with the Air Force; and now control space with new technologies under development today.

Thus the so-called “missile defense” system, the idea of having a bullet-hit-a-bullet in space to protect the continental U.S. or Japan is a Trojan horse. The massively costly and destabilizing military space program underway today is not really about defense. The true purpose of this arms program is to “control and dominate space”. And whoever controls space will control the Earth to the benefit of the multi-national corporations.

In one of their latest planning documents, called Strategic Master Plan FY06 and Beyond, the Air Force Space Command boldly states, “While our ultimate goals are truly to ‘exploit’ space through space force enhancement and space force application missions, as with other mediums, we cannot fully ‘exploit’ that medium until we first ‘control’ it.”

Once you connect this language about space “control and domination” with the idea of mining the sky for precious and valuable resources you begin to see the connection to Columbus, the Spanish Armada, and the U.S. and Japanese rejection of the United Nation’s Moon Treaty in 1979. The moon treaty outlaws any “military bases” on the moon and states that no country, no corporation, nor any individual can make land claims on the Moon’s surface or subsurface. The U.N. rightly was concerned about creating a body of international law in order to preempt any conflict in space as humankind inevitably moved off the planet.

The U.S. Congress published a study in 1989 entitled Military Space Forces: The Next 50 Years that suggested with U.S. bases on the moon and armed space stations on either side of the moon, “Armed forces might lie in wait at that location to hijack rival shipments on return.” The author of the study, John Collins continues, “Military space forces at the bottom of the Earth’s so-called gravity well are poorly positioned to accomplish offensive/defensive/deterrent missions because great energy is needed to overcome gravity during launch. Forces at the top, on a space counterpart of ‘high ground,’ could initiate action and detect, identify, track, intercept, or otherwise respond more rapidly...”

A formerly secret U.S. Army document called U.S. Army Study for the Establishment of a Lunar Outpost was created in 1959. The study stated that, “The lunar outpost is required to develop and protect potential U.S. interests on the moon; to develop techniques in moon-based surveillance of the earth and space, in communications relay, and in operations on the surface of the moon; to serve as a base for exploration of the moon, for further exploration into space and for military operations on the moon if required; and to support scientific investigations on the moon.”

It is quite clear that long-range planning is underway to create the military infrastructure to control the pathways, or shipping lanes, on and off the planet Earth. Thus whoever controls and dominates these pathways in years to come has the ability to determine which countries or corporations can profit from mining the sky. This military control would also determine who militarily controls the planet Earth because we now understand that whoever controls the space medium thusly controls everything.

The aerospace industry has stated that plans for space control, Star Wars, will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet. The profit potential for the space weapons industry is astronomical. But how will it be paid for? Clearly the U.S. cannot afford to fund these programs alone. Thus George W. Bush needs to recruit allies to help cover the expense of this new arms race.
Early in the Bush administration the U.S. walked away from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia. This treaty outlawed all missile defense testing and deployment. Bush knew that international treaties like the ABM constrained his plan to create a new space arms race. The treaty had to go.

Southeast Asian countries were concerned when Washington withdrew from the ABM Treaty. They feared that the decision could lead to a new arms race in the region. In a communiqué, following their 2002 meeting, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers called the ABM Treaty, “one of the main foundations of global security that is essential in maintaining stability and the global strategic balance.”

A profound rearrangement is under way, with China and its growing economy leading the way, and in some cases to the exclusion of the U.S. “The fact is American clout in Asia is decreasing,” says Morton Abramowitz, a former U.S. ambassador to Thailand and Turkey. The U.S. understands this and intends to try to regain its former clout with military power.

What is not clear is why Japan would want to tie itself to the sinking U.S. ship of state. China is now replacing the U.S. as Japan’s top trading partner. Does Japan intend to get in the middle of a provocative military rivalry between the U.S. and China? Does it serve the security interests of the Japanese people to ride with the cowboy posse of George W. Bush, the man who now leads the most unpopular country in the world? Already Tokyo’s participation with Bush’s chaotic war in Iraq has been a source of conflict in Japan.

In an opinion editorial written in 2001, conservative commentators Roger Handberg and Joan Johnson-Freese state that, “Clearly, the U.S. cannot maintain its current power projection profile without Japan as a partner.”

WHAT IS JAPAN DOING?

Spread among six Japanese ministries and agencies involved in space programs, the government has allocated $3.4 billion for fiscal year 2005. Japan will devote nearly one-third of its space spending in fiscal 2005 to developing military reconnaissance and war fighting satellites manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. Nearly as much will go to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for all of its space exploration, manned space and operational programs. Japan’s share for its participation in “missile defense” is expected to cost another $1 billion.

Japan decided in December 2003 to adopt a U.S. developed missile defense system in response to the exaggerated North Korean missile threat. Second, third, and fourth generation spy satellites are planned for launch in 2006, 2009, and 2011. These new smaller and more maneuverable satellites will increase Japanese ability to target and direct war in the region. The estimated lifetime cost for the Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) missile defense program is near $30-50 billion. As of 2002 the JDA had spent over $30 million on missile defense research and development. Can Japan’s economy afford to continue to waste such large amounts of money on this new arms race?

The successful launch of the H-2A rocket is the centerpiece of Japan’s space program. Japan was the fourth country to launch a satellite, in 1972. It now has a space probe on its way to collect and retrieve samples from an asteroid, and a major lunar exploration mission in the works. In a major policy move last year a government panel recommended that Japan begin studying the possibility of establishing its own manned space program.
Militarists in the U.S. and Japan see the present global war on terrorism as a big opportunity to get the Japanese people to agree to a more active role for their military. The current debate over changes to the Self-Defense Forces Law indicates these pressures are at work. Sold to the Japanese people as “international security” what we are really witnessing is an expanded Japanese role in the U.S. military plan to contain and manage China.

5) ARMS RACES NEED ENEMIES

More than anything else, the weapons corporations in the U.S. are looking for new enemies. The war on terrorism is one thing, but it is hard to claim that Star Wars would stop airplanes from hitting tall buildings in New York City. What the U.S. Pentagon really needs are nations that have nuclear weapons to appear as though they are a direct and serious threat to the people of America. Iraq, as it turned out, had no weapons of mass destruction. Iran today has no weapons of mass destruction capable of hitting the continental U.S. Neither does North Korea. But China does. China today has 20 nuclear missiles that could hit Los Angeles or San Francisco. But are 20 Chinese nuclear missiles enough to justify the U.S. spending another $100 billion or more on Star Wars?

If China were to build more nuclear weapons, then the threat might become such that the American people would be willing to turn over social security, health care, and education funding so the military can spend more on “missile defense” to protect from an “aggressive” China. But how does one get China to go along with such a game?

If the U.S. military, with the help of Japan, can successfully surround China, then it is likely China will build more nuclear missiles. Already, with new U.S. bases along China’s inland border in Central Asia, the U.S. is causing China and Russia to fear its intentions beyond the “war on terror” in that region. It is not China, the communist nation, that the U.S. fears. It is China’s embrace of a modified capitalism that is quickly outpacing the U.S. economy, and shows every indication that it will soon dwarf the U.S. economy, that the U.S. desires to contain.

The Chinese find it hard to believe American claims that its missile defense program is intended only to counter threats from small “rogue” states. The U.S. systems under development would destroy China’s ability to deter nuclear attack by neutralizing its relatively small force of nuclear missiles. That would leave China dangerously vulnerable to bullying or attack, a Chinese arms negotiator told the New York Times in 2000. If it appears likely, he added, “We will not sit on our hands.” If the U.S. deploys a theatre missile defense, the CIA believes China will deploy multiple warheads on its missiles to overwhelm the anti-missile shield.

Jonathan Pollack, director of the Strategic Research Department of the U.S. Naval War College, told the New York Times that while China did have the largest standing army in the world and was in the process of modernizing, "I don't see these capabilities as the leading edge of a more comprehensive, long-term plan to either supplement U.S. military power in the Western Pacific or challenge U.S. power on a global scale," adding, "Let's not make them out to be 10 feet tall."

If it is accepted that in order to “sell” Star Wars to the public in America then a new arms race must first be created, then the U.S. military is well on its way to achieving its goal. There is historical evidence for this method of operation. During the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, it is now common knowledge that the U.S. military routinely over-estimated the Soviet military capability as justification for massive U.S. investments and development of new weapons technologies. Such is now the case with China and North Korea. The U.S. exaggerates their threat and in doing so creates the momentum to expand its own, with Japanese help, in the Asian Pacific region. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, referring to North Korea in 2002 called the regime, “The merchant for ballistic missile technology around the world.” Could it not be said that rather, it is the U.S., with its new agreements to sell “missile defense” technologies to Japan, Australia, England, and Italy that is the “merchant for ballistic missile technology” around the world? It is a fact that the number one industrial export product of America today is weapons. The more tensions in the world, the more money American weapons corporations will make.

For the last several years an attempt has been made at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to create a new global ban on weapons in space. (The current U.N. Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is limited by its out of date definitions that prohibit weapons of mass destruction in space.) But each year the U.S. government has blocked the attempts saying that there is no need for such a new treaty because there are no weapons in space today, and thus no problem. But only a nation that has designs on space would make such a comment. Only a nation that has long planned to take “control and domination” of space would obstruct such a noble goal as a new international treaty.

-BG

6) GN ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD IN VANCOUVER WITH WPF


Global Network members assemble for the May 1, 2005
disarmament march in New York City. The day before the GN
 had held its annual space organizing conference in the city.
In 2006 the GN annual meeting will be held in Vancouver
in conjunction with the World Peace Forum

The Global Network invites you to attend the World Peace Forum on June 23 - 28, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia , Canada. The theme "Cities and Communities: Working together to End War and Build a Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World" is intended to draw together civil society, social movements and civic politicians to plan a common future. It will be held in cooperation with the UN's World Urban Forum June 19 - 23, 2006 also in Vancouver. The World Peace Forum 2006 is generally modeled on the very successful World Social Forums.

The Global Network will be holding our annual meeting in conjunction with the Forum. We are planning a special plenary called Weapons in Space: Should We Extend the Arms Race into the Heavens? on Sunday, June 25 from 2-4 pm with confirmed guests Dr. Helen Caldicott (Nuclear Policy Research Institute), Mel Hurtig (noted Canadian author of Rushing to Armageddon: The Shocking Truth about Canada, Missile Defense, and Star Wars) and Rebecca Johnson (Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, UK). Following the plenary we will have our annual business meeting from 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm at a local restaurant (TBA).

Global Network is also serving as the Space Weapons Working Group coordinator for the peace forum and will be scheduling an entire track of workshops on the nuclearization and weaponization of space.

For information on accommodations and registration, visit the forum website: www.worldpeaceforum.ca

Mark your calendars and make your plans to join us in Vancouver next June!


Two past recipients of the Global Network's Peace in Space award
share a moment. Satomi Oba (Japan) unexpectedly passed away in 2005. Lindis Percy (England) is a leader of protests at the U.S. spy satellite
base at Menwith Hill

7) JOIN COLORADO SPACE PROTEST IN APRIL

Each April the aerospace industry entity, Space Foundation, holds its annual international symposium. This past year in Colorado Springs, CO over 6,000 military personnel and aerospace corporation representatives were in attendance. A career fair to recruit young people into the space industry was also held and attracted 800 students from 46 states.

Each year during the annual space foundation event, the Colorado Springs-based peace group called Citizens for Peace In Space (CPIS) holds protests outside the event. In 2006 the Global Network will join with CPIS from April 3-6 to hold protests at the Space Foundation conference. We invite our members from around the U.S. to join us during these days of action. CPIS has offered to find home hospitality for those coming to Colorado Springs. For more info contact CPIS coordinator Bill Sulzman at (719) 389-0644 or the GN at (207) 729-0517.

8) PROTEST AT SPACE NUKES CONFERENCE IN ALBUQUERQUE

On February 12-14, 2006 the Global Network will travel to Albuquerque, N. M. to help organize protests at the 23rd Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion. The Global Network has worked with Bob Anderson, from Albuquerque’s Stop the War Machine, to hold protests at the symposium for the past 13 years.

The annual space nukes symposium is coordinated by the University of New Mexico’s Nuclear Engineering department which is heavily involved in creating the nuclear rocket and other space nuclear power projects. A few years ago, after getting hold of copies of old Defense Department contracts, Bob Anderson was able to prove that UNM’s Nuclear Engineering department was working with the Pentagon on nuclear reactors in space to provide power for the Space-Based Laser.

Home hospitality will be available for those coming to Albuquerque for the Feb 12-14 protest activities. Contact Bob Anderson at (505) 858-0882 for more info or the GN at (207) 729-0517.

9) NEW U.S. SPACE SATELLITE BASE IN KYRGYZSTAN

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced October 11 that a temporary U.S. military base in Kyrgyzstan, called Manas, would become the semi-permanent Ganci Air Base, replacing many of the functions of the K-2 (Karshi-Khanabad) base in Uzbekistan. The U.S. was expelled from Uzbekistan last summer, after making lukewarm complaints about a May massacre where Uzbek troops killed close to a thousand protesters.

The new air base was named for Peter Ganci, the former chief of NYC police who died in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks. In the years following the Afghanistan invasion, the Manas base was used for relief and international police missions, so its contingent of 2,000 troops was divided between U.S. and European forces.

The tents at Manas were replaced last year with permanent buildings, and the new expansion will likely include satellite downlinks to take over many of the space coordination functions formerly handled at K-2 in Uzbekistan. As higher security Air Force and Marine duties are added to Ganci, the U.S. areas of the base may well be segregated from European areas, or European troops may be moved elsewhere. In order to seal the deal, the U.S. had to reach an understanding with new Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. He came to power in the so-called Tulip Revolution in March, and was annoyed that the U.S. had provided funds to his authoritarian predecessor. Now, some of those funds will be re-allocated to the new Kyrgyz government.

Meanwhile, the old U.S. K-2 base in Uzbekistan may well be used by China or Russia. On July 5, a new organization called Shanghai Cooperation Organization, made up of China, Russia, Uzbekistan, and the more oppressive Central Asian states, announced an alliance and demanded a U.S. withdrawal from Central Asian bases. While their call for an end to the U.S. presence is legitimate, China in particular is taking advantage of the fact that it has no problems working with the more dictatorial leaders of nations like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Russia, meanwhile, just wants to end the trend of a new “base encirclement” of its country that began with the invasion of Afghanistan.

Manas/Ganci may not be as big as the sprawling U.S. space bases in the Middle East, such as al-Udeid in Qatar or Combined Air Operations Center at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, but its new permanent status shows the degree to which the U.S. has moved into the region for good. At last count, at least ten of the more than 100 U.S. bases currently in Iraq are being re-designed for semi-permanent occupation of a decade or longer.

- Loring Wirbel
Colorado Springs, CO

10) KEEPING SPACE FOR PEACE IN THE UK

“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” – an International Conference on Space Security, Leeds, October 1st.

Keep Space for Peace week was marked by the Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in the UK by bringing together activists and experts from both sides of the Atlantic to this conference in Leeds on 1st October. The plenary and workshop sessions enabled friends from the US (Bruce Gagnon, Stacey Fritz and Dennis Apel) to bring us in the UK up to date on the latest developments in the US. Stacey told us of the wonderfully imaginative campaigning activities of No Nukes North – the description of the ABM simulation by a spud gun demonstration and the failure to ‘hit a speeding potato with another speeding potato’) will probably set off a spud gun arms race as we were inspired to develop our own ABM ‘demonstration test spud’ facility. Stacey’s description of the devastation of the wonderful and precious natural Alaskan environment by military and oil interests was particularly moving and is something that few of us in the UK are aware of.

Dennis gave us an interesting and informative insight into the activities at Vandenberg Air Force which was also extremely valuable as again, most of us in the UK are ignorant of the extent of the military operations and of the dedication of the active campaigners whose activities, because of the increase in homeland security measures, are increasingly hampered by fears of groundless provocation and arrest. And of course Bruce gave his usual brilliant summary of the US Space Command’s activities, present and future, and the world wide protest that is building against these plans for global domination.

From the UK we had Kate Hudson (chair of CND), Jean Lambert (Green Party MEP), Lindis Percy (CAAB), Helen John and Anne Lee (Menwith Hill Women’s Campaign), Dave Knight (CND and Global Network) and Dave Webb (Yorkshire CND and Global Network) to add to this all star lineup. Dave W, Lindis, Helen and Anne were able to bring people up to date on national and local campaigning activities through their different workshops and Dave Knight gave his experienced and expert view on the possibilities of making progress on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) at the UN meetings of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). The US continues to hold up progress but others (including Russia and China) persist and will not let the matter rest.

Unfortunately, the US public is now experiencing first hand the costs of war and the development of Star Wars projects. People are questioning why the richest country in the world failed to help its poorer citizens avert the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. How can the US government justify diverting funds for flood defence systems on the Gulf Coast to military spending and then ask the rest of the world to help reconstruct New Orleans? The $130 billion and more already spent on Star Wars research and development and a military related space budget expected to grow to more than $25 billion a year by 2010, is perhaps beginning to hit home. One recent development of particular interest to local campaigners is the news that the upgrading of the missile defence radar at Fylingdales could be delayed by budget shortages. It seems that the Missile Defence Agency is due to heavily overspend on the $59m allocated for early warning systems between 2006 and 2011 and millions of dollars for the work currently being carried out now at the base on the North Yorkshire Moors is not being released. The current system is apparently dependent on commercial equipment which, if replaced by parts that operate nanoseconds faster or slower, could cause the radar to fail or possibly generate alarms.

The conference also heard from Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, who spoke about recent developments with the European equivalent to GPS – Galileo, the first satellites of which are due to be launched towards the end of this year. The US was very unhappy about the existence of an independent Global Positioning System that they could not control, believing that the military of other countries (China and Russia have interests in Galileo) would make military use of the encrypted channel. A recent deal with the European Space Agency (ESA) enables the US to jam this coded band of frequencies whenever they feel it necessary. In exchange, the European and GPS technologies are to be merged together into one so that the Europeans are more likely to sell the Galileo system in a dual package to those already used to GPS. So, not only is it clear that the ESA is becoming militarized in the same way as NASA by the development of dual use (military and civilian) projects but once again the US uses economic gain as a bait to ensure its ultimate ability for global control.

At the end of a very successful and informative conference, the organizer, Yorkshire CND’s new fulltime worker Sarah Cartin, said, “Now we must ensure our campaign moves forward to challenge the development of the Star Wars programme especially at Menwith Hill and Fylingdales, and increase public and political awareness of our work.”

During the rest of “Keep Space for Peace Week” Bruce and Dave Knight embarked on a UK wide tour of speaking engagements. The week of events ended with a visit to the CAAB demonstration at Menwith Hill on Saturday 8 October and on the following day a tree planting ceremony at the Fylingdales weekend peace camp in remembrance of our dear friend Race Newton, an American jazz pianist and goat farmer, who lived nearby and campaigned against the base for many years supporting peace camps and demonstrations before his untimely death just a year or so ago.

New Nukes for old?

Unfortunately the time when Prime Minister Tony Blair was a member of CND and the Labour Party had a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament has long gone. It is now clear that Mr Blair will soon be ordering a new generation of nuclear weapons to replace the existing Trident fleet at a cost of billions of pounds. Defence Secretary John Reid recently announced that the UK's nuclear bomb factory at Aldermaston has been awarded a £2bn budget for the next three years. Although the whole issue of whether there should be an upgrade to the Trident system has not been debate in Parliament yet, the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Research Establishment has been significantly expanded over the last few years and its average annual budget of £300m since 2000 is set to escalate to £1.5bn in 2007.

It was revealed in May this year that Mr Blair had decided to go ahead with a replacement for Trident, at a total cost of over £10bn, but that he would delay announcing this until after the next general election. The Prime Minister then announced that he would "listen" to the views of MPs before making a final decision. However, the government has avoided saying that MPs will be given a chance to debate or vote on the nuclear issue in Parliament. It has been suggested that Mr Blair believes that Britain owes it to the US to remain a member of the nuclear club but a move to upgrade the UK’s nuclear capability would certainly weaken any criticism Iran.

This nuclear escalation will not go unchallenged and it is likely to provoke the biggest opposition to Mr Blair from his own party since the Iraq war. Senior military figures too are questioning this policy at a time when cuts are being made to the navy and the air force. However, it is possible that there will b no parliamentary debate - there is a history of ‘upgrading’ the British nuclear arsenal behind closed doors. In the 1970s the Chevaline project, a significant upgrade of the Polaris system, was kept secret by successive Labour and Conservative governments (including those of the two previous Labour Party Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan) until the heavy costs involved could no longer be hidden.

Threat to the right to protest

Other disturbing news from the UK is that we are closely following in the Homeland Security footsteps of the US. Recent legislation under the name of anti-terrorism (making it difficult to challenge in Parliament) has given the police worrying powers of arrest and detention.

An 82 year old Vice President of CND made news headlines in September when he was thrown out of the Labour party conference. Walter Wolfgang, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, was ejected by Labour Party heavies after shouting “nonsense” as Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, defended the government policy on Iraq. When he tried to get back in, he was detained under Section 44 stop and search rules of the Terrorism Act and questioned by police. Such was the extensive level of media attention that Mr Blair and other senior members of the party were forced to publicly apologise. However, it was not widely reported that over 600 people were detained under the Terrorism Act over the 4 day period of the conference and delegates were not allowed to take boiled sweets into the auditorium in case they used them as missiles against the speakers!

So, this week we learned there is much to do but in the many meetings and discussions that took place we also found many new friends who are keen and eager to get on the campaign trail.

11) ODDS AND ENDS

  • The Air Force’s 2004 Transformation Flight Plan, signed by Gen. John Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff, states, “The ability to deny an adversary’s access to space services would be essential if future adversaries choose to exploit space in the same way the U.S. and its allies can.”

  • In the Air Force Space Command’s Strategic Master Plan: FY06 and Beyond, they state, “The ability to gain space superiority (the ability to exploit space while selectively disallowing it to adversaries) is critically important and maintaining space superiority is an essential prerequisite for success in modern warfare…Simply, we must be able to subjugate any space capability any adversary can field while maintaining our own.”
     

  • Why can’t the US convert it’s military into a global “Natural Guard” that could be used for humanitarian relief in the growing number of ecological disasters around the world?


Venture Star - Artist's Impression

  • Idaho is competing with 18 other states to be selected as the spaceport to launch the Venture Star (X-33) space plane. The space plane, set as the replacement for the shuttle, would take off vertically like a rocket but land horizontally like a plane.
     

  • U.S. tourist industry representatives are complaining that the “fortress America” and “hassle factor” are hurting tourism. Ten percent fewer international visitors came to the U.S. last year than came in 2000. Estimates are that foreign spending accounts for $93.5 billion a year in the U.S.
     

  • Senior Israeli government and military officials are calling for the development and deployment of anti-satellite weapons that would give Israel the ability to destroy or disable satellites from enemy nations.
     

  • The Russian Space Agency says that only 39 of the country’s 99 satellites are fully functional at the present time.
     

  • India, a current Star Wars development partner with the U.S., intends to increase her space budget by 24% by 2006.


"Active Denial System"

  • Scientists at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, N.M. have invented a directed energy weapon that can vaporize water in the human skin. A full-blast wave hitting a body would be unbearable and could be used for crowd control. The weapon will be tested in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project is called “Project Sheriff.
     

  • The poverty rate in the U.S. rose to 12.7% last year – there are now well over 37 million people living in poverty. The number of people without health insurance in the U.S. has grown to 46 million.
     

  • The Pentagon’s Southern Command (headquartered at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL) is concerned over the rise of “radical populism” in Latin America. Calling recent left-wing electoral victories, “anti-US, anti-globalization, and anti-free trade demagogues” SouthCom is devising new “theatre command strategies” to deal with the growing “threat” to U.S. control.
     

  • The New York-based World Policy Institute released a report in 2005 finding that a majority of U.S. arms sales in the developing world go to regimes defined as undemocratic by the U.S. State Department. In 2003 the U.S. transferred weaponry to 18 of the 25 countries currently involved in active conflicts.
     

  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), pilot-less planes flown via satellite, are now used in Iraq and Afghanistan to target and fire upon “insurgents.” UAV’s are now also being used along the U.S. southern border with Mexico to search for “potential terrorists” and illegal aliens. Global spending on UAV’s is likely to exceed $13 billion by 2014.


At Taqaddam Airbase, near Fallujah, Iraq, Marine mechanics
work on a Pioneer UAV for its next sortie

  • The military has said that using UAV’s in war would serve as a less expensive alternative to conventional military aircraft. However, recent reports show that UAV’s, like the Predator, have much higher crash rates, and the cost of remote connectivity required by unmanned aircraft offsets the savings devised by taking pilots out of the cockpit.

  • New robot soldiers, now under development by the military, do not get hungry, don’t get afraid, don’t get homesick, follow orders, and don’t talk back. A $127 billion project, called the Future Combat Systems, is the biggest military contract in American history. The program will drive up military spending by 20% between now and 2010.
     

  • Increased fuel costs have led the Pentagon to ask Congress for more money. Since 2001, the Pentagon has received more than $3 billion to cover increased fuel costs.
     

  • The top 1% of Americans, the oligarchy, now holds more income each year than the bottom 100 million Americans added together. (See also: "Rich-poor gap gaining attention")
     

  • The military industrial complex now has their own TV news network – called the Pentagon Channel, available on Dish Network to more than 11 million viewers. A Pentagon spokesman says the network will “help us fulfill our mission of providing timely military news and information.”

  • Recent base realignments and closures in the U.S. continue a trend of moving the military into the southern region of the country. The biggest winners are Virginia and Texas. The biggest losers of Pentagon largess are states in the northeast.
     

  • Global military spending in 2004 broke the $1 trillion mark. The U.S. was tops with 47% of all military expenditures while Britain and France each made up 5% of the total.
     

  • Distinctions between the services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) are dwindling. Because modern warfare is now directed by space technology, all U.S. military forces are increasingly computer connected and working together. The Pentagon calls this “jointness”, “interoperability”, and “connectivity.” This fact has led Secretary of War Donald Rumsfelds’ “strategy guru” (Thomas Barnett) to call for only two services in the future. One he calls Leviathan (whose job would be to do preemptive attack) and the other Systems Administration (whose job would be to do “nation building” after the U.S. had taken over those countries who are resisting corporate globalization.)
     

  • The Global Network’s two latest videos have been featured on Free Speech TV for the past year. Arsenal of Hypocrisy played throughout 2004-2005 and Battle for America’s Soul will run throughout the next year.
     

  • The military space plane, called the Common Aero Vehicle (CAV) would travel at five times the speed of sound and carry 1,000 pounds of munitions. Expected to be ready by 2010, the CAV would have “an incredible capability to provide the war fighter with a global reach capability against high payoff targets,” says Gen. Lance Lord, commander of the Air Force Space Command.


CAV dispensing submunitions

12) ENVISION A WIND FARM AT FORT GREELY, ALASKA

That's right, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) is fighting it tooth and nail but the military is finally giving up on the ground-based interceptor missile idea. They've been putting interceptors (at least 7 so far) in the ground at Fort Greely despite the abysmal failure of the system to show any sign of working.

It would be an exaggeration to say that they are canceling the system: for now the Missile Defense Agency still has to waste billions of dollars building and deploying 40 missiles slated for Greely by 2007. However, they've given up on ever making it work - they will not upgrade it and they will instead focus on all their other stupid star wars plans (multiple mini-interceptors, space-based defenses, etc.)

What seems to be going on is that the military wants to abandon the embarrassing failed interceptors entirely, but Ted Stevens is the chair of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. Need I say more? The defense subcommittee (i.e. Stevens) is directing the Missile Defense Agency to continue the ground-based interceptor program alongside its related radars and control systems until it is in "a final stable configuration." Stevens argues that if they give up, all the money spent on it so far would be wasted and that Delta Junction [host community] will be devastated. The military has so little confidence in the interceptors that they want to separate that part of the system from the other components.

Basically, the Missile Defense Agency realizes they can never deliver a ground-based interceptor system that works but Ted Stevens DOES NOT CARE that the system doesn't work and will try to force them to waste billions continuing it. That's right: PORK AT ITS PUREST. The interceptors are the most expensive part of their budget and the agency wants to abandon them, but Stevens doesn't want the military spending billions on systems that might have a chance, he wants them to waste it on useless missiles since they are in Alaska. Never mind spending that money on actual threats posed by nuclear proliferation, such as inspecting the 6 million cargo containers that arrive by ship every year or securing the weapons usable nuclear material all over the world or fixing the deteriorating Russian early-warning system, etc. etc.

Nope, PORK FOR ALASKA even if it means slashing realistic defensive programs and leaving the nation with the ever-increasing risk of nuclear terrorism. Now we start our right to die campaign: these missiles are a $3.3 billion a year Terry Shaivo. LET IT GO!

- Stacey Fritz
No Nukes North
Fairbanks, Alaska
www.nonukesnorth.net

13) MAKING A KILLING ON CAMPUS

Not enough is said about military recruitment on campuses and even less about the Pentagon’s contracts with some 400 universities nationwide.

Add these to the more than 6,000 bases in the United States, note that our leading industry since World War II remains the manufacture and sale of weapons, consider that there have been more than 200 wars since World War II, and you have clear validation that we live under a permanent war economy.

The war on terror is not about freedom. It is about sustaining a decision made 55 years ago to base our economy on weapons production for a military-first rather than a people-first America, acting on a document known as NSC68. This document launched the Cold War, and the (less wealthy) American people became trapped in a nonconsensual permanent for-corporate-profit war syndrome fueled by our taxes.

This path has unleashed an industry of violence, and our schools are deeply involved. Bright students and faculty conducting defense-related research focus on small details that result in conflict and injustice. Such research has become increasingly immersed in the deadliest industry ever created—nanotechnology, which has no standard for safeguards.

(Learn more at http://www.rachel.org/bulletin/index.cfm?issue_ID=2498)

How deadly? A new study concludes that chemicals considered safe, such as the widely used wine-industry fungicide Vinclozolin (and Methoxychlor, which replaced DDT), when ingested cause severe damage four generations down the line. You may never show symptoms, but bad luck for the grandkids. Another study reveals that these same chemicals, when manufactured using nanotechnology, kill on contact. Such “breakthroughs” in technology have opened up fascinating new battlefield possibilities for our ever-creative Department of Defense, which has successfully fashioned small bombs containing billions of flesh-and-bone eating “nanobots.”

(Learn more at http://www.rachel.org/bulletin/index.cfm?St=3)

In molecular forms less than twenty nanometers in size, chemicals considered remotely toxic by today’s standards become lethal. More than a moral dilemma, this is of concern on campus because nanotech builds things from nothing, from zero on up rather than the traditional top-down method.

Like many institutes of higher learning that have lost state funds to the Pentagon’s permanent appetite for war, University of Oregon begs for scraps of nano-weapons projects. Although its president, Dave Frohnmayer, lacked consensus to petition the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, he has done so, and as a result, our school will have more deadly ties to the dark side of warfighting, adding to the existing nineteen DoD contracts that feed its astronomically wasteful and insidious Future Combat Systems program. Other schools such as University of Southern California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology won entire nanotech research installations right on campus.

The war on terror provides the perfect vehicle for perpetuating our conflict-based society. Trouble is our problematic society continues to create a world of suffering solely for profit.

Plans for this war surfaced in 1992 as President George H.W. Bush pulled out of Iraq. Realizing that the follow-up to the Cold War would thus provide fewer profits than expected, the plans were drawn up under current Vice President Dick Cheney by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and chief of staff for the vice president, Lewis Libby, all of whom, along with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). PNAC is a think tank that has since delivered over 700 policy papers, which today form the heart of the Pentagon’s National Security, Military, and Defense strategies.

To help fit pieces of the puzzle together, it is important to note that Paul Wolfowitz is a disciple of the industrious Paul Nitze, the man who wrote NSC68 and, along with then Secretary of State Dean Acheson, managed to convince President Truman that the Soviets were about to invade the United States—at a time when the US possessed 250 atomic bombs and the USSR had just tested its first, and was digging itself out of the ruins of World War II.
Nations determined to operate on constant conflict do not create exit strategies. Peace and harmony will not prevail on Earth without American popular demand for a change of priorities from weapons for profit to human prosperity.

Even if Bush falls and breaks his crown, the system will remain deadly. With 106 coalition (U.S.) bases in Iraq, $7.4 trillion “missing” from the Pentagon’s budget since 2000, a national media strongly connected to defense industry giants, and a Future Combat Systems program straight out of hell, Americans have much work to do to right their country.

That our schools have become military installations and institutions for hire—that we are learning to kill in the name of research—should alarm and enrage our communities.

Then again, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has completed hundreds of nano-weapons projects, including one that prevents rats and soldiers (and probably us) from feeling pain, remorse, or other inconveniences of conscience. In fact, University of Oregon’s current Brain Biology and Machine Initiative is an offshoot of that project: DARPA’s Brain Machine Interface program.

As a thoughtful, dedicated Oregon Duck, I find this kind of complicity nothing to quack about.

- Brian Bogart is the University of Oregon’s first graduate student in Peace Studies. In October 2005 Brian held daily vigils on his campus to create debate about the militarization of higher education.

14) THE ROLE OF STRATCOM

With the merger of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the U.S. Space Command in 2002, StratCom emerged as the “single focal point to integrate and synchronize” all military means of dealing with WMD.

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, StratCom now has four key missions: (1) Space and Global Strike (2) Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (3) Information Operations (4) Missile Defense.
“Space” has become the glue that now holds these StratCom missions together. Lt. Gen. Thomas Goslin, StratCom’s deputy commander, talking about the importance of space to StratCom, recently said, “The space piece is now very integrated, because it’s so critical to those other mission areas, which are critical to warfighters’ missions.”

Frank Cordaro, from the Des Moines, Iowa Catholic Worker community has been organizing regular protests at StratCom in recent years. On December 28, peace activists will hold a Feast of the Holy Innocents vigil at StratCom gates and each August events are held there to remember the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For more information contact the Des Moines Catholic Worker at (515) 282-4781.

15) ASAT UPDATES

The Pentagon remains committed to the idea of developing anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons that, if used, would allow the U.S. to actively deny other countries access to space. At this moment several ASAT systems are underway.

A new test bed for “counterspace” technology has been established at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. There the Army is working to explore new ASAT technologies like “ground-launched ASAT” systems.

Because of growing concern about space debris, which could be worsened by destroying satellites in orbit, the military is working on “destructive and nondestructive” (hard kill and soft kill) ASAT weapons. One idea for a soft kill ASAT is a weapon that would release a chemical spray that could be used to cover and disable key “enemy” satellites components.

Even some critics of hard kill ASATS are signaling the Pentagon that they would not seriously oppose the soft kill version. In a November 2004 interview in the industry publication, Space News, Theresa Hitchens, Vice President of the Center for Defense Information said, “I think they [soft kill ASATS] are less politically threatening and less of a problem because of the fact that they don’t create space debris. They make more sense from a war-fighting perspective and political perspective.”


NFIRE

Another possible ASAT system is called the Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE). This system has been the subject of some controversy during the past year - the key point being whether it would be outfitted with a “kill vehicle.” The Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended that the Pentagon restore $14 billion to “complete development and mission integration of the deployable NFIRE kill vehicle.”

A third possible ASAT weapon underway is the XSS-11 experimental on–orbit rendezvous spacecraft that would feature the capability to “conduct close-up inspections” of other satellites in orbit. Critics argue that any spacecraft capable of closing in on other orbital objects could be used to destroy “enemy” satellites.

The Airborne Laser (ABL), a converted Boeing 747 with a laser beam on its nose, was originally under development to shoot down “enemy” ballistic missiles right after launch as part of the Theatre Missile Defense program. However, problems arose when policymakers expressed concern that once the laser was fired from the Boeing 747, it could theoretically travel into space and inadvertently blind or disable a satellite. The powerful laser is designed to travel long distances without degrading. In 2006 the laser is set to be placed on a Boeing 747 with flight tests in 2008. The Pentagon is now looking at non-missile defense missions for the ABL. Some speculate that the laser could be used as an ASAT weapon.

16) VANDENBURG AIR FORCE BASE PROTEST REPORT

On October 8 over 100 peace demonstrators met at the main gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base/ 30th Space Wing Command in Santa Barbara county, California to demand compliance with international law. As part of the Keep Space for Peace Week the demonstrators joined other actions around the globe protesting the militarization of space and the deployment of Star Wars missile defense. Special guest speaker from No Nukes North Alaska, Stacey Fritz, explained how the deployment of Star Wars interceptors not only violates international treaties but is against a U.S. law which requires that the system not be deployed until we have the consent of our allies and until it has been successfully tested. These criteria have not been met for interceptors at either Vandenberg or Fort Greely in Alaska. After describing her own realization when watching the launch of a mock-ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force Base a few years ago as, “this is what the beginning of a nuclear war would look like,” Jackie Cabasso from the Western States Legal Foundation talked about Vandenberg’s central role in the U.S. imperial war system. She explained that in addition to being a major test site for Star Wars test missiles and other rockets fired at Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Island, Vandenberg Air Force Base is the headquarters for the Air Force space task force to U.S. Strategic Command, known as the 14th Air Force. The mission of the 14th Air Force is to “control and exploit space for global and theater operations.” She also presented information about how U.S. nuclear testing and military operations have harmed the people of the Marshall Islands and destroyed their environment, reading in part from a statement by Tony DeBrum of the Marshalls, who couldn’t be there.

After the rally and speeches I went onto the base stepping across the heavily guarded “green line”. My purpose was to the ask the base personnel to stop violating international law under the Nuremberg principles established by the War Crimes Tribunal in 1946. I was arrested for trespass but was able to read the first principle: “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.” I also presented relevant international law to the security investigator on the base and gave him a copy of all of the relevant international law contained in Sanderson Beck’s non-violent handbook. (http://www.san.beck.org/NAH4) My arraignment will be 11/17/05 in Santa Barbara federal court. At trial I intend to ask the judge/magistrate to uphold the checks and balances provided in the Constitution and to find me innocent and to hold the executive branch and thus Vandenberg guilty of violations of international law.

For details of the legal proceedings see the Vandenberg Peace Legal Defense Fund at www.vpeaceldf.org/ or email me at mindful@redshift.com or write to PO Box 5789, Salinas CA 93915.

- MacGregor Eddy
GN advisory board member
and representative of WILPF


(More information and reports here)

17) EUROPE WANTS TO RUN WITH THE BIG DOG

In a secret Pentagon report, made public by the Wall Street Journal in early 2005, a key U.S. military strategy was disclosed that would make the process of developing advanced weapons systems “so expensive,” that no other nation in the world will be able to compete or challenge “the [U.S.] Big Dog,” without harming its civilian economy.

Canadian political analyst Michael Chossudovsky maintains that the European Union has made the decision to begin “a massive redirection of State financial resources towards military expenditures.” He predicts that, “Under the European constitution, there will be a unified European foreign policy position which will include a common defense component. It is understood, although never seriously debated in public, that the proposed European Defense force is intended to challenge America’s supremacy in military affairs.”

Chossudovsky continues, “Ironically, this European military project, while encouraging an undeclared U.S.-EU arms race, is not incompatible with continued U.S.-EU cooperation in military affairs. The underlying objective for Europe is that EU corporate interests are protected and that European contractors are able to effectively cash in and ‘share the spoils’ of the U.S. led wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. In other words, by challenging the Big Dog from a position of strength, the EU seeks to retain its role as ‘a partner’ of America in its various military ventures.”

The corporate finance group, Price Waterhouse Coopers, has predicted that U.S. military spending will equal that of the rest of the world by early 2006, thus making it “increasingly pressing” for European military contractors to develop a “closer relationship” with the U.S. so that they do not get left behind the military technological curve and they can share in the gravy of expanding U.S. militarism.

A key avenue for European participation is with the U.S. missile defense system. Already the Netherlands has purchased the U.S. Patriot PAC-3 Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) system. Germany and Italy will partner with the U.S. by securing the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) around 2012. The MEADS system would have a range of 1,000 kilometers, although neither country has any real enemies within that range or beyond. The $3.6 billion cost to Germany will require cuts in social spending, while funneling vast amounts of public money through German weapons corporations, and ultimately sharing it with the American weapons industry.

NATO is pushing to have its member states integrate their various planned TMD systems into NATO military operations. “If a number of NATO countries go on a NATO operation, and several bring their missile defense systems, NATO wants to make sure that those sensors and shooters can work together, and not operate as stand-alone systems,” says Mitch Kugler, director of Strategic Initiatives at Boeing Missile Defense systems in Virginia. This NATO integration will further bind European militaries to U.S. weapons technology development programs.

Growing militarism has a disproportionate influence on science and technology throughout Europe. In Great Britain almost one-third of all public spending on research is funded by the Ministry of Defence – way more than is spent on research by the National Health Service.

British universities are caught up in a new wave of military partnerships, and student researchers have switched to high-tech weapons research and development. Today Britain is the world’s third-largest military spender – and the second-largest spender on military research and development.

“The growth of military spending in Europe is directly related to the U.S. military buildup. The more America spends on defense, the more Europe will want to spend on developing its own European Defense Force,” says Chossudovsky.

“The backlash on employment and social programs is the inevitable byproduct of both the American and European military projects, which channel vast amounts of state financial resources towards the war economy, at the expense of the civilian sectors.”

“The result are plant closures and bankruptcies in the civilian economy and a rising tide of poverty and unemployment throughout the Western World. Moreover, contrary to the 1930’s, the dynamic development of the weapons industry creates very few jobs,” concludes Chossudovsky.

18) THINGS ARE GETTING VERY BAD

Seymour Hersh on the War

On the macro, we’re hopeless. We’re nowhere. The press is nowhere. The congress is nowhere. The military is nowhere. Every four-star general I know is saying, “Who is going to tell them we have no clothes?”

Nobody is going to do it. Everybody is afraid to tell Rumsfeld anything. That’s just the way it is. It’s a system built on fear. It’s not lack of integrity, it’s more profound than that. Because there is individual integrity. It’s a system that’s completely been take over – by cultists.

What’s going to happen, I think, as the casualties mount and these stories get around, and the mothers see the cost and the fathers see the cost, as the kids come home. And the wounded ones come back, and there’s wards that you will never hear about. That’s wards – you know about the terrible catastrophic injuries, but you don’t know about the vegetables. There’s ward after ward of vegetables because the brain injuries are so enormous. As you maybe read last week, there was a new study in one of the medical journals that the number of survivors are greater with catastrophic injuries because of their better medical treatment and the better armor they have. So you get more extreme injuries to extremities. We’re going to learn more and I think you’re going to see, it’s going to –it’s – I’m trying to be optimistic.

We’re going to see a bottom swelling from inside the ranks. You’re beginning to see it. What happened with the soldiers asking those questions, you may see more of that. I’m not suggesting we’re going to have mutinies, but I’m going to suggest you’re going to see more dissatisfaction being expressed. Maybe that will do it.
Another salvation may be the economy. It’s going to go very bad, folks. You know, if you have not sold your stocks and bought property in Italy, you better do it quick.

And the third thing is Europe – Europe is not going to tolerate us much longer. The rage there is enormous. I’m talking about our old-fashioned allies. We could see something there, collective action against us. Certainly, nobody – it’s going to be an awful lot of dancing on our graves as the dollar goes bad and everybody stops buying our bonds, our credit – our – we’re spending $1 billion a day to float the debt, and one of these days, the Japanese and the Russians, everybody is going to start buying oil in Euros instead of dollars.

We’re going to see enormous panic here. But he [George Bush] could get through that. That will be another year, and the damage he’s going to do between then and now is enormous. We’re going to have some very bad months ahead.

Excerpted from a recent speech by Seymour Hersh, renowned reporter with New Yorker magazine.

19) NEW NASA DIRECTOR STRUGGLES WITH BUDGET

George W. Bush’s new NASA director, Michael Griffin, has stepped into a fiscal hornets nest. As the nation’s massive budget crisis grows, there is mounting pressure to cut the NASA space budget.

Griffin was head of the space department at the Applied Physics Laboratory of John Hopkins’s University when Bush appointed him to direct NASA. During the years of Ronald Reagan, Griffin served as deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, founded in 1984 to develop the Star Wars program. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), chair of the House Space and Aeronautics subcommittee, recently said, “Mike Griffin is going to be helpful. He’s worn both hats. He’s been involved with Department of Defense; he’s been involved with the CIA; and he’s been involved with NASA. NASA had had a long association with the military. I don’t think that’s any change.”

At one hearing before Congress Griffin said, “What the U.S. gains from a robust, focused program of human space exploration is the opportunity to carry the principles and values of western philosophy and culture along with the inevitable outward migration of humanity into the solar system.”

One key problem with this vision of conquest and domination is the cost. Bush’s recent announcement of a return to the moon by 2018 to establish bases and venture from there to Mars comes with a cost of well over $104 billion. In addition, NASA recently announced it does not have enough money to finish building the International Space Station (which now has a total cost of over $100 billion.) Consequently NASA is asking for a funding increase in 2006 and beyond.

In an October 21, 2005 speech Rep. Bart Gordon (R-TN) said that he expects fiscally conservative Republicans and some Democrats to push for NASA cuts so that funds can be spent on “problems here on Earth.” Gordon told a breakfast meeting of the Space Transportation Association that Bush’s vision for returning to the moon and going on to Mars is difficult to defend when funding is tight. To counter these problems, Gordon urged aerospace corporations to do a better job of mobilizing lower tier suppliers to lobby Congress on behalf of the space industry.

Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), whose district hosts NASA’s Langley Center, recently expressed alarm about NASA cuts, saying they would be detrimental to U.S. national security. “Every aviation asset in the military’s inventory” was designed with NASA’s help, she said.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) also represents a district that hosts a NASA facility. Rep. Kucinich recently told Congress that NASA-funded research contributes to aviation safety, quieter aircraft, produces breakthroughs beneficial to military and civil aviation, and helps the U.S. aerospace industry compete in the global marketplace. “Yet aeronautics research [at NASA] is being attacked from multiple angles,” Kucinich said. If NASA’s budget was cut “we cede aeronautics superiority to Europe,” Kucinich maintained.

20) STAR WARS COST OVERRUNS GROWING

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a harsh report saying that lax Pentagon management of their Star Wars programs led to cost overruns of more than $400 million last year. The GAO investigation claimed the “DOD does not have performance measures and an evaluation” plan to determine progress on its space programs.

Air Force Space Command chief, Gen. Lance Lord, recently told critics of the broken military space acquisition program to “get over it.”

The GAO report said the Air Force continues to operate the largest share of the military space budget amounting to over $20 billion in fiscal year 2006. The Navy, which operates Aegis destroyers for missile defense among other programs, comes next with $916 million and the Army’s space budget amounts to $413 million. These costs are expected to grow by 40% by 2010.
The Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High satellite constellation is 150% over budget – bringing the total cost to $12 billion.

The Airborne Based Laser, originally estimated to cost $1 billion in 1996, is now costing out at $4 billion. In the fiscal year 2003 alone, the ABL contractor overran its budget by $242 million.
It is no coincidence that Lockheed Martin (a top Star Wars contractor) reported second-quarter net income growth of 56% in 2005. “What a quarter. Way above expectation,” marveled one stock market analyst. Lockheed Martin stock is up 16% since the start of the year. Boeing’s stock shares are up 29%.

It is clear that massive profits from cost overruns and the Iraq War have made the military industrial complex dance all the way to the bank. Knowing that the weapons industry is generous to members of Congress, it is no surprise that the GAO investigation has found Congress abdicating their responsibility to provide strict oversight of spending on weapons programs.

On October 26, in a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, George W. Bush said that there are “programs in Washington that are wasting a lot of money and need to be cut.” Of course he was talking about social programs like the health care program Medicaid. But if Bush really wants to cut “waste, fraud, and abuse” in federal programs, all he has to do is look to the Pentagon.

21) DEAR GN

Dear GN:

I’ve finished reading, word for word, your most recent printing: Space Alert. Believe me I’ve been shaken to my heart. If ever I’d thought myself even slightly sophisticated in thinking/speaking of U.S. military plans present and future, I learned from your publication that I am actually naïve.

Anyway besides writing those sentiments, I am asking for the following: 3 or 4 additional copies of Space Alert #16. I need them to distribute to friends, and especially to one now resident in Britain to inform him of affairs a la Diego Garcia…

In addition I’d like a copy of the GN video “Arsenal of Hypocrisy”.
Finally, I’d like to arrange for membership for myself (just in case I’ve not already done so). At 85 I tend to be forgetful…
Thank you and God bless all you do,

- Jerome Berrigan
Syracuse, NY


Dear GN:

There is one question that no member of our Congress will ever answer and I wish someone would respond honestly.

How can WE in the U.S. so hypocritically tell other countries of our world that THEY must give up all programs of nuclear proliferation and that we will take action against them if they develop weapons of mass destruction when WE ourselves are still developing more sophisticated weaponry and want even to make space our battlefield with missile defense systems? Most importantly – we are the only country who has USED them against our fellow human beings.

Have we completely forgotten Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Have we ever apologized for the suffering those people are still enduring from those nuclear attacks? Are we not more responsible for the violence in our world than those whom we are condemning and soon perhaps attacking in Iran and North Korea?

Thank you for responding.

- Sister Mary Jude Jun, OSU
Frontenac, MN


Newsprint versions of Space Alert! can be ordered from:

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 729-0517
(352) 871-7554 (Cell phone)
globalnet@mindspring.com


The contents herein are Copyright 2000, Global Network/Bruce Gagnon, the article may be reproduced for non-profit purposes as long as the source is recognised, otherwise reproduction can be arranged through the Global Network.