Global Network Space Newsletter 18
The White House, in early October, released the updated U.S. National Space Policy from the Bush administration. The new document makes several policy departures from past space doctrines. They include:
The Bush administration military doctrine today calls for "preemptive" attack and "unilateral actions" around the world to protect corporate interests like oil and other diminishing resources. Thus we saw the 2003 "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq and now hear talk that a similar attack on Iran might be pending. The administration now says that it will no longer be bound by international treaties which would "inhibit" Bushıs ability to strike at any time and any place on the Earth. Space technology, says the military, becomes crucial to U.S. ability to create "full spectrum dominance."
One of the first things the Bush administration did once in office was to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia that limited the development and deployment of weapons in space. It is thus no surprise that George W. Bush now comes forward with this new national space doctrine that tells the Pentagon to move ahead with Star Wars.
A key reason for America's desire to kill the U.N.'s space weapons ban treaty negotiations is that the military industrial complex views space as a new market. The weapons corporations have been saying for decades that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of planet Earth. Both Democrats and Republicans get the message and understand that their corporate sponsors want them to leave the door open to a new costly and destabilizing arms race in space.
Another key element of the new Bush space policy is the expanded use of nuclear power systems to "enable or significantly enhance space exploration or operational capabilities." What this means is that the aerospace industry wants to establish mining colonies on the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies and it wants to power these bases with nuclear reactors. The military has also long been saying it needs nuclear reactors in space to provide power for space weapons systems. So the nuclear industry also plans to utilize space as a new market for increasing corporate profits.
Just weeks ago, from October 1-8, peace groups around the world took part in our annual Keep Space for Peace Week of local actions. Protests, teach-ins, video showings and other activities were organized in order to help expand the consciousness of the people of the world about the need to move now to protect space from a new arms race. Not only will putting weapons in space be expensive, but it will also be incredibly destabilizing for the world. Already we see the tragic growth in the nuclear arms race on Earth. Will arming the heavens with weapons make us safer? Absolutely not.
The time has come for the American people to call on Congress to cut funding for the research and development of Star Wars technology. Let's use our hard earned tax dollars to fund health
care, education, and environmental clean-up here on our home planet. Let's work now to prevent another maddening arms race from happening before it is too late.
Long-time peace activists donıt have to be told that Democrat majorities rarely make a huge impact on the trajectory of the military budget, or on endless wars. From Vietnam to Kosovo, Democrats have demonstrated themselves adept at making small tactical shuffles to pay lip service to peace, without fundamentally changing the way the military machine operates on a day-to-day basis.
The realm where activists expect the most change in 2007, ground deployment of U.S. and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the area where fewest changes can be anticipated. The one possibility that may lead to a broad-based troop pullout is not a pleasant scenario for the Iraqi people. The growing ethnic and civil nature of cyclical retribution in Sadr City, Basra, and Fallujah in late 2006 was horrific enough to make both Democrats and Republicans reticent to commit more troops to a nation rapidly spiraling into a confessional civil war. But if a partial cap can be placed on ethnic violence in 2007, then it is likely that the plans of Democratic leaders like Hilary Clinton and James Webb will call for more U.S. troops, not fewer. In short, many Democrats are no more anti-war than their Republican counterparts. There will be a greater willingness to face facts in the 110th Congress, but not necessarily any greater push by Democrats to bring U.S. troops home.
There is one area in governance where an immediate change can be enacted, one that should not be minimized. On Nov. 22, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the incoming chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, indicated that he would initiate a "cleanup agenda" in which all intelligence policies of the Bush administration would be up for analysis and oversight. This would include obvious contentious areas like National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless surveillance and CIA "rendition" prisons in Europe, but also some lesser-noticed big-budget items tied to intelligence, including the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite, the T-Sat Transformational Satellite, the alleged "Misty" stealth satellite, and the space-based radar. Keep in mind, few in Washington would have known about Misty if Sen. Rockefeller hadnıt inserted into the Congressional Record in 2005 his objection to ridiculous expenditures on a classified program. This man means business.
Even if few programs are changed or cancelled, oversight and hearings make a difference. In a recent study for Foreign Affairs magazine, Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann said that the 109th Congress conducted almost no oversight on any defense or social-spending program in any field they simply allowed the Bush White House to set the agenda with no contrarian point of view. Ornstein and Mann called the 109th the laziest Congress in almost a century, with regular sessions of Congress held only Tuesday through Thursday of every week (presumably so that members could spend Monday and Friday with lobbyists and campaign fundraisers).
The Bush administration is terrified that the 110th Congress will restore the basic concept of oversight. In a speech Nov. 18 to Air Force Academy cadets, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that the new Congress should simply accept the administration's position on NSA surveillance and foreign prisoner treatment in its current form, because initiating oversight on NSA programs would be "unpatriotic" this from the highest ranking law-enforcement officer in the nation!
It is all well and good that Sen. Rockefeller wants to increase oversight, but what will that mean for a true change in space programs like missile defense? The answer is more nuanced. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who is likely to serve as Senate Armed Services Chairman, said that a freeze should be placed on acquisition of any more ground-based BMD missiles like those in Alaska and California. Levin is not calling for a "stand-down" of the new interceptor missiles at Fort Greely and Vandenberg Air Force Base, but he is suggesting that no more be placed in silos until "we ... monitor missile testing and implementation of the legislative requirement for plans to test, evaluate, and report to Congress on the operational capability of each block of the BMD system."
This may mean other programs like Airborne Laser are pushed out, to allow for more test and evaluation. But the Washington think-tank Center for Defense Information warns not to expect miracles. In a study released the day after the election, CDI said it expects, based on Congressional Budget Office analysis, the annual expenditures for Missile Defense Agency to rise to $18 billion by 2016 even assuming Democrats retain control of Congress. Phil Coyle of CDI, who formerly served as the Defense Department's director of operational test, said that the budget office might have underestimated the numbers, and that the pork-barrel elements of emerging theater missile-defense and airborne laser programs may create a juggernaut for higher missile-defense costs that is hard to stop.
Nevertheless, conservative pundits are raising alarms about the heads of various House committees that sound as shrill as the comparisons of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the Wicked Witch of the West. The Washington Times used harsh language in mid-November to warn that Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) was coming back to Energy and Commerce and that Rep. David Obey (D-WI) would be overseeing Appropriations. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) will be chairing the House Intelligence Committee. (He comes from El Paso, Texas and is known as a solid supporter of the military, as Fort Bliss is in his district a place that runs "missile defense" tests.) Peace activists know most of these names, however, and might be forgiven for thinking, "What's the big deal? Dingell and Obey and Reyes have never been paragons of progressivism in the past."
But that's the point. Republicans are not used to the idea of a Congress that actually carries out independent functions from the White House. Peace activists will have to continue to
fight hard for analysis of every item in the space and military budgets, but at least the Democrats coming to Washington believe in managing a Congress that actually holds hearings and has
an independent voice.
3) AEGIS DESTROYER OUTFITTED WITH "MISSILE DEFENSE"
The testing program for these TMD systems (also called Standard Missile-3) has been going fairly well for the Navy, as it is much easier to hit missiles soon after lift-off. They are easy to spot as the flames shoot out of the rocket, they are relatively slow as they rise from the ground, and the Aegis warships would be right along the coastline, able to be much closer to the missiles.
The military's other "missile defense" program is called "National Missile Defense" which would wait until a nuke got way up into deep space before it would try to have a bullet hit a bullet at 15,000 m.p.h. This is the program with the glaring test failures; it could also be easily overwhelmed with decoys and multiple warhead missiles.
The Aegis destroyers used by the Navy for the TMD program are made in Bath, Maine and in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Republican and Democratic Party politicians are slaves to the weapons corporations that build the ships. Each ship costs taxpayers over $1 billion.
We are told that the Aegis ships are being outfitted with TMD systems to protect Japan from a nuclear attack by North Korea. Not true! The reality is that the U.S. is using the Aegis to surround the coastal region of China, and intends to negate China's current nuclear weapons force of 20 missiles that are capable of hitting the continental U.S. By making this move the U.S. will force China to build more nuclear weapons or face losing its existing nuclear deterrent force in a first-strike attack. For the past few years the U.S. has been war-gaming a first-strike attack on China, set in the year 2016. After seeing what Bush has done in Iraq, and knowing that the U.S. is now doubling its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, China can't afford to take any chances. Thus off we go to a new arms race in the region. The weapons industry will benefit for sure.
On May 26, 2000 the Washington Post ran a story entitled, "For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront." The article made the case for the U.S. to "manage" China by militarily controlling the region and being able to prevail in a war with China. Here is some of the language from the article:
The Joint Chiefs' wrestling with how to think about Chinaand how open to be about that effort - captures in a nutshell the U.S. militaryıs quiet shift away from its traditional focus on Europe. Cautiously but steadily, the Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition.
The new U.S. military interest in Asia also reverses a Cold War trend under which the Pentagon once planned by the year 2000 to have just "a minimal military presence" in Japan, recalls retired Army Gen. Robert W. RisCassi, a former U.S. commander in South Korea.
The U.S. military's favorite way of testing its assumptions and ideas is to run a war game. Increasingly, the major games played by the Pentagon - except for the Army - take place in Asia, on an arc from Tehran to Tokyo. The games are used to ask how the U.S. military might respond to some of the biggest questions it faces: Will Iran go nuclear - or become more aggressive with an array of hard-to-stop cruise missiles? Will Pakistan and India engage in nuclear war - or, perhaps even worse, will Pakistan break up, with its nuclear weapons falling into the hands of Afghan mujaheddin? Will Indonesia fall apart? Will North Korea collapse peacefully? And, what may be the biggest question of all: Will the United States and China avoid military confrontation? All in all, estimates one Pentagon official, about two-thirds of the forward-looking games staged by the Pentagon over the last eight years have taken place partly or wholly in Asia.
The Japanese peace movement clearly understands what is at stake here with these upgrades to the Aegis system. It fears that growing instability in the region will ultimately lead to a war. It regularly protests the Aegis warships at Yokosuka Naval base. It seeks the support of the peace movement in the U.S.
The ultimate solution is to begin to call for conversion of places like BIW. We must show the public, who are primarily concerned about jobs, that by converting shipyards like BIW we will be able to create many times more jobs with the money now going down the military rat hole. By creating a constituency for conversion we also begin to reduce support for the dangerous and aggressive U.S. military schemes in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the University of Queensland, the Department of Physics is being funded by the US Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to do research on scramjet engines capable of achieving velocities of Mach 10, or about 11,000 kilometers an hour.
This is part of the Australian Hypersonics Initiative which involves the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales and the Defense Force Academy, Canberra.
The University of Queensland News Online states that Sydney-London flights would only take two hours using scramjet propulsion but what is not stated are the military applications of this research.
DARPA is developing a hypersonic edge-of-space bomber (FALCON) which can take off from any airfield and carry over 25,000 kilograms of nuclear or conventional weapons anywhere in the world in a couple of hours. The bombs would hit Earth targets at hypersonic velocity and be able to penetrate to great depth before exploding; just the thing, they say, for Afghanistan and Iraq.
The US ambition is to have "Full Spectrum Dominance" through which Earth will be controlled in the interests of the US. Military or commercial space competitors will be "denied" space access if they do not conform to US dictates.
President Bush in his January 2004 "Moon, Mars and Beyond" speech made clear that US military and commercial dominance of space is an absolute national priority.
America's civilian and military space programs are converging, with the extra funding which Bush proposed in order to reach Mars likely to accelerate this convergence.
NASA has already become an integral part of the US Air Force's Space Command which has merged with the bomber wing of the Strategic Air Command. Former NASA director, Sean O'Keefe, said NASA was looking forward to providing agency resources for the "war on terror" and that from now on all space missions had to be considered "dual purpose", i.e. military and civilian. This is exemplified by his comments that NASA and the US Department of Defense are collaborating in Project Prometheus (nuclear propulsion research).
If these Masters of Space, as they like to call themselves, have their way, nuclearized space will soon be commonplace. Orbiting Chernobyls, no doubt fuelled by Australian uranium, will supply the huge power requirements of space-based laser weapons.
The prospect of these exploding on lift-off, like Challenger, or exploding on the launch pad like Apollo 1, does not seem to deter these nuclear narcoleptics.
Australia is heavily involved in the militarization of space even though this clashes with our ratification of the 1967 UN Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the 1979 Moon Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
The Howard Government has signed on to an enormous financial commitment (unspecified) to participate in the National Missile Defense (aka the Son of Star Wars) project which is actually an aggressive first strike system having very little to do with protecting civilians.
A recent opinion poll shows a majority of Australians feel Australia subordinates its foreign policy and strategic objectives to those of the US. They want Australia to focus on what is good for this country. We are already mired in the Iraq debacle thanks to the Howard Government's blind acceptance of badly-flawed US intelligence, and now we are complicit in arming the heavens.
Contrary to widespread popular mythology, "Ballistic Missile Defense" is still very much alive and well in Canada. In fact, for many years Canada's contribution to BMD has greatly surpassed efforts by other nations that have, at least, been honest enough to admit their participation.
So, although Canada has not joined the "Coalition of the Willing to Admit Involvement in BMD," it has long been complicit in creating, designing, researching, developing, testing, maintaining and operating numerous crucial BMD systems. Billions of tax dollars have been spent aiding and abetting domestic war industries, government scientists and military personnel that are deeply embedded in U.S., NORAD and NATO-led BMD efforts.
In February 2005, Canada's government made a hollow and meaningless proclamation to the effect that it would not participate in BMD. This has been repeated ad nauseum by an
unquestioning and thoroughly compliant media. Unfortunately, many in the peace movement fell for the hype and also accepted the government's pronouncement without bothering to see whether it
As it turned out, the Canadian government never actually did a single thing to prevent Canadaıs further entrenchment in the biggest weapons-development program in world history. Neither have any steps been taken to slow down, let alone halt, Canadaıs ongoing complicity in BMD.
Canadian peace activists who think that the Liberal and Conservative Party have strikingly different positions on BMD used to express great concern, especially before the last federal election, that - if elected - a Conservative government might "reopen the question" of BMD.
Such concerns demonstrated that these activists missed the point. They mistakenly believe that the question of Canadian participation in BMD was closed when the Liberal government gave its phony "no" to joining BMD. The unfortunate truth is that Canada had already joined BMD many years before that.
Since being elected in February 2006, Canada's Conservative government has not expressed any interest in opening up this can of worms. Why? For one thing, it knows full well that BMD is very unpopular. They also know that Canada is already very deeply involved and going full speed ahead to help this US-led weapons program. In fact, when the Liberal government first announced its supposed "no" to BMD, the Conservative Party's "defense critic", former General and war-industry lobbyist, Gordon OıConnor responded in Parliament by saying: "The Prime Minister's use of the word "no" is like Bill Clintonıs use of the word it.ı Regardless of what the Prime Minister now claims, we are irrevocably part of missile defense."
O'Connor is now the Conservative government's Minister of Defense. He and his fellow cabinet ministers know that the public is blissfully ignorant of Canada's deep
integration and complicity in BMD. So, why would the Conservatives even consider rocking the boat by drawing any public attention to Canada's participation? The Conservatives are quite
happy with the status quo.
At a 2004 war industry conference/arms bazaar in Alberta, IC's "senior investment officer [for] defense (sic) industries" ranked BMD as first among five "strategic business opportunities," and gave industry delegates the name and email of IC's "BMD officer".
In 2000, he was a director of MacDonald Dettwiler & Assoc. (MDA), then owned by major BMD rocket firm, America's Orbital Sciences. When Canada's billion-dollar RADARSAT
program was privatized to MDA, its data was sold to
Eager to claim victory, the NDP and some influential peace activists immediately welcomed the government's "no" without bothering to verify whether it had any substance. Since then, they have continued to spread the false, but feel-good, news that Canada rejected BMD. This trusting naiveté has all but destroyed the opposition to BMD in Canada.
To resuscitate Canada's movement, we must face the government's lie and stop living in denial.
Until the myth of Canada's supposed rejection of BMD is thoroughly debunked, Canadians have no chance of slowing down, let alone halting, Canada's deep complicity in the offensive BMD weapons program.
Some COAT Resources:
Slideshows (View them now by clicking on titles):
"No Means Yes:
Some recent articles:
"Canadian Military Components used in Israel's War Against Lebanon"
The August Euler airfield at Griesheim, just a few miles west of Darmstadt, has a long military
history. As long ago as 1850 it was used to train Hessen troops and was a prisoner of war camp during World War 1. It began being used by the German Air Force in 1936 and, after the Second
World War, the US Army established an Ordnance Depot in 1945 and then set up its Stars and Stripes newspaper there in 1949. In December 2003, construction started for a new base to
accommodate the 105th Military Intelligence Battalion, which was being moved from Bad Aibling Station (BAS), south of Munich. BAS became
In 1994, BAS management was transferred from the NSA to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) and it became part of the U.S. global network of signals intelligence (SIGINT) bases for military electronic eavesdropping and surveillance. However, in 2001, a European Union investigation into the computer-based Echelon search system suggested that, since the end of the Cold War, commercial espionage was being carried out there and at similar US bases, such as Menwith Hill in England, and could be costing European companies billions of dollars in contracts lost to the US. In fact, some eight years earlier, infra-red photography taken during a balloon flight over Bad Aibling had revealed that the satellite receiving dishes inside the bases' "golf-balls" were not directed towards Eastern Europe, as the US claimed, but instead to the west, in the direction of its allies. A further consequence of this investigation was the announcement that Bad Aibling would be closed in September 2002 and many of the personnel transferred to the Menwith Hill base in the UK. However, following 9/11, in the name of the "War Against Terror", Bad Aibling received a reprieve, and didnıt actually close until 2004 when some 169 soldiers and 12 Department of Army civilians were transferred to Griesheim.
While the exact details of what goes on at Griesheim are top secret, the importance of the monitoring and collection of SIGINT during times of "international tension" is obvious. The similar, but much larger base at Menwith Hill received an award for its support to US naval operations in the Persian Gulf from 1987 to 1988 and a further award in 1991 for its work during the Iraqi war operations, Desert Storm and Desert Shield. The close linkage between space-based intelligence collection and military operations was also clearly spelt out in congressional testimony in 2002 by the then Director of the US National Reconnaissance Office:
"In the future, US forces will rely upon space systems for global awareness of threats, swift orchestration of military operations, and precision use of smart weapons. ... Our goal is to detect, track and target anything of significance worldwide and to get the right information to the right people at the right time."
The ultimate objective therefore is to enable the US military to deliver "precise military firepower anywhere in the world, day or night, in all weather" and, to help achieve this, the US military is keen to involve as many European allies as possible. Of course, the UK is heavily involved in these plans via the intelligence gathering at Menwith Hill and also the US missile defense early warning, tracking and targeting radar at Fylingdales in North Yorkshire. In addition, bases like Menwith Hill and Griesheim are also intimately involved in the ongoing scandal involving the Bush Administration's illegal spying on US citizens and the UN.
At a time when the US military's plans for global dominance are suffering some setbacks in Iraq and through the ballot box, it is timely and crucial that members of the
Global Network should meet in Darmstadt to draw attention to the activities of the US base and widen our support in Europe in a determined effort to keep space free from nukes and weapons as
part of our ongoing strategy for obtaining true peace and security.
7) GN'S 2007 SPACE CONFERENCE IN GERMANY
Darmstadt, located close to Frankfurt am Main, hosts a US and two major European space facilities: the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC), which plans and conducts satellite operations for the European Space Agency; the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), which delivers weather and climate-related satellite data and images; and, on the outskirts of the town, a US spy station, which is part of the global Echelon surveillance system.
European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, Darmstadt
Two days of discussion, strategizing, planning, and protest will inform us all about the increasing role of space in the European Security and Defense Policy, about NATO and European missile defense plans, how these are related to US plans to dominate space in order to control the Earth, and what we can do about it.
8) THE #1 U.S. INDUSTRAIL EXPORT
Adding to the current boom is that Iraq is now able to purchase its weapons directly from the U.S. Now that Iraq is added to the list of "sovereign governments" for weapons purchases, it budgets $1 billion a year for that purpose. These sales abroad help keep U.S. production lines singing, the dollars flowing, and the industry executives/stockholders happy.
Another reason for the record sales is that the Pentagon frantically rushed a significant number of sales notifications through Congress for approval this fall so nothing could delay arms sales abroad after the elections.
Included in these proposed sales are a Patriot "missile defense" system for South Korea and a sale to Japan of the sea-based theater missile defense interceptor system (for use on Aegis destroyers), and a Patriot system to use against North Korea and China.
The Boston Globe in November reported on the Congressional Research Service analysis of these U.S. weapons sales around the world. Last year the U.S. provided nearly half the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world; was the major arms seller to the most unstable regions; sold to many nations already engaged in conflict; and grew sales to their highest level in eight years. The U.S. maintained its number one position by supplying $8.1 billion worth of weapons to developing countries 46% of the total. Russia came in second with 15%, and Britain third at 13% of the total sales.
Arms control specialists point out that arming the world and supporting conflict and instability negatively impacts long-term U.S. interests. A partial list of recipients of attack helicopters, missiles, and other armaments totaling $6.2 billion includes the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. This does not include the $44 billion in new contracts for future weapons deliveries.
Meanwhile, in June of 2005, Frida Berrigan and William Hartung of the World Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center reviewed U.S. military aid and arms transfers since
9/11/ 01. The stark reality was no surprise: the U.S. sells arms to both sides in simmering conflicts, which increases tensions and enhances the 'firepower' that threatens both sides. Prior
to 9/11, numerous countries were banned from purchasing U.S.-made military equipment when there were concerns about nuclear testing, human rights abuses, or the "harboring of terrorists".
Since 9/11, bans on weapons sales to many of
A most striking example: last year the U.S. agreed to sell Pakistan F-16s, with advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles. India is now considering a U.S. offer to sell them the same planes.
Just last summer, the aerospace industry was boasting that General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman were the top three benefactors of the 55 percent growth
(adjusted for inflation) in U.S. military spending since President Bush took office. This trio ranked in the top three spots among aerospace companies in a performance analysis. In 2005,
Thirty-four weapons corporations CEOs received record salaries in recent years. Since 9/11, the top profiteers were the CEOs of United Technologies ($200 million), General Dynamics ($65 million), Lockheed Martin ($50 million), and Halliburton ($49 million). The average army private makes $25,000 a year. The average defense CEO makes $7.7 million.
The weapons industry is not concerned about the fact that a U.S. congress controlled by Democrats will have a negative impact on the bottom line. It fully expects that the
Democrats will control their impulse to cut military spending to accommodate increases in health care, education and other social programs. The Democrats won't want to look "weak on defense."
The U.S. arms industry is the second most heavily subsidized unit of the economy after agriculture. Arms exporters know they can rely on American taxpayers for billions of dollars annually to market and finance sales of their products. After all, taxpayers foot the bill for the weapons research and development work in the first place.
What a scam! We'll never end the wars around the world unless we get people to see the reality of this war profiteering, and to demand the conversion of the war industry to
one that creates rail systems, windmills, solar systems and other sustainable technologies to shape a world that prepares our planet to welcome the seventh generation.
Lt. Gen. Henry "Trey" Obering III, is director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The U.S. withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in June 2002. Referring to the treaty, under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed not to defend their countries against missile attack, Gen. Obering says, "Coming out of the treaty has allowed us to take full advantage of this integration between assets".
What's next? "In my mind, space-based interceptors [are] very attractive," he says. To those who say that would mean the "weaponization" of space, the general has a ready answer. "We already do intercepts in space, because that's where the missiles fly . . . What we're talking about is having space-based interceptors that would engage from space." Congress has authorized funding for some space experiments starting next year.
He also favors putting more sophisticated sensors in space. "If someone had told me 15 or 20 years ago that we'd be fighting in
Afghanistan, I wouldn't have believed them. We don't know where we're going to be fighting in the next 20 years . . . and so instead of populating radars around the world to try to guess
where those threats are going to be coming from, it makes a lot of sense to go to space . . . We have sensors in space, but they are not
Does he object to the term "Star Wars", the mocking nickname given to what was then known as the Strategic Defense Initiative
during the Reagan years? A big smile crosses his face. "Personally, I donıt. . . .When you look at
- Parts reprinted from Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal)
10) GN STAFF TIURS INDIA DURING SPACE WEEK
During their four days stay in Nagpur they were successful in attracting the attention of the intellectuals, peace activists,
women activists, academicians, students and youth to the danger of weaponization of space.
On the first day, October 8th, just a couple of hours after their arrival from Raipur by train, the tour started with paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the statue in the heart of the city, where the Deputy Mayor of Nagpur was present in addition to a huge gathering. This is the same statue that appears in the poster that was printed for Keep Space for Peace Week this year. Following that event, they addressed a large gathering of peace activists in a meeting organized by the All India Peace & Solidarity Organization (AIPSO). The subject in this meeting was the danger of weaponization of space. In the afternoon, Mary Beth was the keynote speaker as they addressed women activists in a meeting organized jointly by the Nagpur Mahila Club and the National Association of Indian Women for Peace & Development. The subject in this meeting was the impact of global terrorism on women and children.
On October 9th they addressed the students and the faculty members of the Department of Business Management of G. S. College of Commerce. Bruce spoke on Globalization and Economics of Peace. In the afternoon they addressed the students of Nagpur University Department of Economics. The subject was the economic impacts of US foreign policy. At night they spoke to the Nagpur North Rotarian Club.
On the third day, October 10th, a visit was made to Sewagram, at the nearby town in Wardha, where Mahatma Gandhi spent eight years in an Ashram during the Indian freedom struggle. After visiting the Ashram, Bruce addressed the students of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences. After listening to him, some young women students became so emotional and tense and asked Bruce what they can do against the madness of weaponization of space. He advised them to join the international peace movement and to organize their fellow students. Next a meeting was organized with the local member of Indian Parliament, Mr. Dattaji Meghe. Bruce and Mary Beth also visited the Medical College that is being run by the organization, which is being headed by Mr. Meghe, and also the 750-bed hospital attached to the Medical College. Both of them were surprised to find that almost all the patients were rural poor from the nearby villages.
On the last day, three meetings were addressed in various colleges. The first was in the B.P. National Institute of Social Work. In this Mary Beth inaugurated the College Chapter of Indian Youth for Peace and Development. The next meeting was at Mahila Mahavidyalaya and in both these institutions Bruce and Mary Beth planted saplings. Volleys of questions were fired by the students in these colleges, which were patiently answered by both Bruce and Mary Beth.
Bruce was at his best in his presentation and was ably supported by Mary Beth. Indians do not know much technical detail about the
weaponization of space. They know that there was once something called the Star Wars
Despite huge demonstrations which were held in US cities by American people against the war in Iraq, there is a misconception in India that US people in general do not oppose the policies of the US government and there is no peace movement as such there. The speeches of Bruce and Mary Beth dispelled this myth, and the Indians now realize that the peace movement in US is as strong as in any other country in the world.
Bruce dealt with a wide range of topics, which included the danger of weponization of space, the diabolical and unjust war in Iraq, corporate globalization, militarization of the US economy, and the Middle East situation.
On the weaponization of space, Bruce outlined that by putting weapons in space the US wants to dominate space for military purposes. He said that it is fraught with serious consequences since it will usher in a new arms race. This will also result in spending hundreds of billions of dollars, affecting the welfare of the people. The US is trying to recruit other countries for funding this programme and also currently pressuring India to create a space command.
The adventurist war and occupation of Iraq, despite worldwide public opinion against it, shows that President Bush is mad about controlling the oil resources of the Middle East. There are many US military bases in the Middle East and in the Central Asian countries of the former USSR. At present more that $8 billion a month is being spent in Iraq for the military.
Bruce said that the US economy is militarized with 50 % of the budget being spent for defense. After assuming the presidency, Bush increased military spending by 48 %. The number one export from US is weapons, mostly sold to the developing countries.
He said that a few multi-national corporations are controlling the political process in US. There is no real democracy as such. Everything is being done to suit the economic interests of the multi-national corporations. US rulers need a permanent enemy to sustain the war industry. Earlier it was the USSR and communism and now it global terrorism.
Appreciating the participation of hundreds of students and youth in various meetings Bruce appealed to them to join the international peace movement and work to stop the nuclear arms race and weaponization of space. He disapproved of India opting for nuclear weapons and appealed to the Indian peace movement to work against India and Pakistanıs nuclear weapons. While answering a question from the students, Bruce lamented that the children in the US are getting attracted to violence because of TV and video games and many of them do not look at the reality and do not have a sense of responsibility.
He concluded by saying that George W. Bush is a great threat to humankind and India should be very careful in entering into any nuclear deal with the US. India should instead work for nuclear disarmament and it should work to strengthen its previous position as a leader in the worldıs non-alignment movement.
J. Narayana Rao
This is the third year that Womenıs International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), a participant in the Global Network since its early days, has co-sponsored Keep Space for Peace Week. WILPF works at local, national and international levels to put an end to war and to extend human rights. This article explores work we can do in cooperation with the United Nations to ensure the peaceful uses of outer space.
Those of us working in Global Network believe space militarization must end. WILPF looks in part to international law as a way to curb militarization and to Prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS).
The US, under President Eisenhower, negotiated the Outer Space Treaty with Russia and other powers. This treaty, like
the Treaty of Antarctica, was a "non-armament" rather than a disarmament treaty. It sought to prevent wars of colonization in space by preventing an arms race there before it began. It came
into force in 1967, and 98 states have now ratified the
In the words of the Outer Space Treaty:
Current U.S. Administration policies of "full spectrum dominance", including control of space, its weaponization and its utilization in war fighting, are entirely inconsistent with that treaty and with the good of all humankind. There are also those in the Pentagon and in corporate America who actually speak of putting nuclear-powered weapons in space, or of planting national colonies or military bases on the moon or Mars, all of which are illegal under the treaty.
So how do nations of the world adhere to the Outer Space Treaty and draw the United States back into compliance? How do they resist pressures to get involved with "missile defense" and the military uses of space? How can ordinary citizens and NGOs help prevent a massive global arms race and future wars in, from and through space? How can Global Network promote a new or vastly strengthened treaty on Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space?
Many of us in Global Network are already involved at one level or another in NGO work on space issues at the UN. Regina Hagen of INESAP, Alice Slater of ABOLITION 2000, those of us in WILPF and others in the GN have conducted seminars on space issues for delegates and other NGOs at the Prepcoms and Review Conferences of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We have pointed out the dangers of missile defense and space weaponization in making nuclear first strike more feasible and hence more likely.
Global Network NGOs have not been as present, however, at similar international meetings on the Outer Space Treaty. Hans Blix and the WMD Commission have called for a Review Conference on that treaty in the spring of 2007, the 40th anniversary of its coming into force. WILPF staff tried to find nations to carry forward this proposal during the General Assembly First Committee debates on disarmament, held last October. None agreed doubtless in part because of the short lead-time, but also because of the complexity of the process in trying to bring the United States back into the entire disarmament process.
WILPF staff and UN representatives do monitor sessions of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. NGOs can observe the sessions, hold seminars, make statements, and also meet informally with delegates to present creative new ideas.
This is the body that actually negotiates disarmament treaties. It has been stymied since 1996, largely by U.S. intransigence. However, PAROS continues as a major focus of the CD, with the majority of nations pressing for strengthening of the Outer Space Treaty and negotiation of a new and stronger version that will prevent continuing space militarization. In recent years the General Assembly has registered overwhelming support for a new and expanded treaty, with only the US and Israel (both party to the Treaty) voting no.
Progress on PAROS (or lack of it!) in both the General Assembly First Committee and in the CD can be tracked on
WILPFıs Reaching Critical Will at
www.reachingcriticalwill.org. The complete rundown on PAROS can be found at
This year we plan to take one additional step as follow-up to Keep Space for Peace Week. The United Nations also sponsors a World Space Week every year from October 4-10. It is meant to promote the peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit of all humankind, as per the Outer Space Treaty, which it celebrates. The administration of the week, however, has been turned over to an NGO, Spaceweek International Association (SIA), which itself is sponsored primarily by aerospace corporations like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and ATK Thiokol. SIA promotes a special curriculum for schools during that week, and with the UN, publishes a glossy report each year of student and other activities around the globe.
There are positive aspects to the program, of course, but the curriculum emphasizes, among other aspects, excitement about being a sci-fi type space hero, fighting "aliens" in space and designing colonies on Mars. Unfortunately children inspired to enter a space career by the curriculum will currently find most jobs available are in the military sector with corporations like those sponsoring the week.
This year, we will also submit reports of Keep Space for Peace Week events to SIA and the UN Agencies overseeing the Outer Space Treaty. We believe participants in the Global Network are genuinely working for peaceful uses of outer space, and against dangerous programs of space militarization.
In the future we hope participants in Global Network can work cooperatively to bring our various nations into
conformity with ever-stronger international law, ensuring the peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit of all humankind.
13) NEBRASKA'S STRATCOM AND WORLD DOMINATION
Cold War policies like the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD) reinforced this doomsday view. America's nuclear deterrent, it was popularly understood, was strictly defensive in intent, meant to keep the Communists at bay with the threat of total annihilation. If nuclear weapons ever were to be used, it would only be as a last resort, in an end-of-the-world scenario where Americans would "rather be dead than red".
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, StratCom's utility and value quickly depreciated. It was a warrior without a foe, and talk accordingly arose about whether this Cold War icon should be dismantled outright. One of its former commanders, General George Lee Butler, even briefly became a pronounced disarmament advocate.
But 9/11, as the Bush/Cheney Administration never tires of reminding us, changed everything. It certainly changed StratCom.
Starting in October 2002, Strategic Command began undergoing a major mission overhaul. Without taking away any of StratCom's nuclear-related responsibilities, the Bush/Cheney White House
started padding the command's
Having foregone all semblance of its purportedly 'defensive' role, StratCom today serves as the command center for offensively
waging the administrationıs international 'War on Terror' with conventional as well as nuclear weapons. As the industry sponsor for the recent "Strategic Space and
And the next war the White House gets the U.S. into - be it with rogue states like Iran and North Korea or geo-political rivals like China - will be planned, launched and coordinated from Omaha, Nebraska.
Under the Bush/Cheney "doctrine of preemption", StratCom has been empowered to launch a first-strike attack against any perceived
threat to America's national security anywhere on the planet within two hours. Following the same drill used in the preemptive attack on Iraq over its alleged stockpiles of WMD, this new
White House/StratCom policy is a high-tech version of 'shoot first and ask questions later' - and neither a dithering Congress nor international rule of law will be permitted to stand
But the mission of this newly-retooled StratCom extends far beyond this vigilante role. In its titanic struggle with the forces of international terrorism, the Bush/Cheney Administration has seen fit to equip StratCom with powers worthy of Orwell's 'Big Brother'. The "warrantless wiretaps" on American citizens that the National Security Agency is still regularly conducting are, it turns out, a StratCom brainchild. As part of its C-4ISR mission, the NSA was made a "Component Command" of StratCom, and the decision to begin this domestic spying operation was made by General Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA and now current director of the CIA.
More spying on civilians of every nation takes place under the aegis of StratCom's Space Command bases in Colorado Springs, Colorado. With its international network of 'listening stations', the Space Command's satellite surveillance system keeps a close worldwide eye on anything deemed suspicious and shady. This StratCom-generated information is of course fed right back into StratCom for processing and analysis to determine whether some preemptive military action, to be executed by StratCom, is in turn warranted. It's a closed circle that leaves precious little room for oversight by democratic institutions, and itıs creepy to the core.
Ordinarily, given StratCom's historic mission, it's hard to imagine anything more sinister than being the agent of nuclear holocaust. But impossible as it sounds, the threat StratCom now poses to the planet is graver than ever before.
It not only continues to hold the fate of the earth in its hands. It's now regularly traversing the globe on 'search and destroy' missions to 'protect' America's interests. It's spying into the private lives (and violating the civil rights) of anyone on the face of the planet. And, itıs assiduously pursuing a strategy for the total domination of space ... Because, as Global Network supporters well know, whoever controls space controls the earth.
StratCom's long-range plans call for securing space exclusively for the U.S. and its approved allies. This strategic goal of planetary dominance is already fixed, and will go on regardless of which party controls Congress or whether a Democrat or a Republican occupies the Oval Office. StratCom is fast becoming a law unto itself. And one of our chief missions in the Global Network is to make sure the rest of the world fully understands the political, military and economic implications of whatıs now going on.
"Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025" is a research paper written by a seven-person team of military
officers and was presented in 1996 as part of a larger study dubbed Air Force 2025. In 2025, the report summarized, U.S. aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing on
"Assuming that in 2025 our national security strategy includes
"Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible. It provides opportunities to impact operations across the full spectrum of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures," the report concluded.
Bills were introduced in the 109th U.S. Congress to establish "The Weather Modification Operations and Research Board". Rep. Mark
Udall (D-CO) introduced the bill in the House and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) promoted a similar bill in the Senate. Neither bill has yet been approved by Congress.
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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.