STAR (of David) WARS Israel Hooking Itself To US Star (Wars)

NEWS FROM WITHIN, Vol. XVII no. 2 - March 2001
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by Karl Grossman

On November 1, 2000, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted on reaffirming the Outer Space Treaty, the fundamental international law setting aside space for "peaceful purposes." The resolution recognized "the common interest of all mankind in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes reaffirming the will of all states that the exploration and use of outer space shall be for peaceful purposes and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries." It also recognized "that prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security." Almost every nation in the UN - some 163 - voted for the resolution, entitled "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space." Three nations did not. The United States, Israel and Micronesia abstained.

The year before, on the same resolution, the vote was 162 with two abstentions -- the US and Israel. (In picking up the vote of Micronesia, a collection of islands in the Pacific, the US got support from a country 100% dependent on US aid.) The reason the US refused to reaffirm the Outer Space Treaty is clear: the United States is developing a program for space warfare -- and it's not just "missile defense."

There are many publicly available US military documents spelling out the plans, including "Vision for 2020" of the US Space Command. (The US Space Command, set up by the Pentagon in 1985, "coordinates the use of Army, Naval and Air Force space forces.") The multi-colored cover of "Vision for 2020" depicts a laser weapon in space zapping a target on Earth below. The report opens with words that crawl down the page in the style of the Star Wars movies: "US Space Command --dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict."

Just as "nations built navies to protect and enhance their commercial interests" by ruling the seas in previous centuries, the pamphlet continues, the US must "control space" and from it "dominate" the Earth below. A key reason: "The globalization of the world economy will continue, with a widening between 'haves' and 'have-nots'" --thus the need for the US, the engine of the global economy, to keep everyone in check.

"Now is the time," says the US Space Command's brochure "Long Range Plan," to "begin developing space capabilities, innovative concepts of operations for warfighting, and organizations that can meet the challenges of the 2lst Century...Space power in the 2lst Century looks similar to previous military revolutions, such as aircraft-carrier warfare and Blitzkrieg."

"The United States won't always be able to forward base its forces...Widespread communications will highlight disparities in resources and quality of life-contributing to unrest in developing countries...The global economy will continue to become more interdependent. Economic alliances, as well as the growth and influence of multi-national corporations, will blur security agreements...The gap between 'have' and 'have-not' nations will widen-creating regional unrest," says the "Long Range Plan." "One of the long acknowledged and commonly understood advantages of space-based platforms is no restriction or country clearances to overfly a nation from space. We expect this advantage to endure...Achieving space superiority during conflicts will be critical to the US success on the battlefield."

The "Long Range Plan" then continues on for more than 100 pages detailing US plans for "Control of Space," "Full Spectrum Dominance," "Full Force Integration," and "Global Engagement."

A US Air Force Space Command publication, "Guardians of the High Frontier," declares: "Space is the ultimate 'high ground,'" and says the Air Force Space Command is committed to "the control and exploitation of space." Proudly displayed in "Guardians of the High Frontier" is a Space Command uniform patch and motto: "Master of Space."

Beyond military documents, there is the recently issued report of the so-called "Space Commission" chaired by now-US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It is the blueprint for the space military program of the new Bush administration. "In the coming period," states the report, "the US will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the earth and in space." The report of the Rumsfeld "Space Commission," or in its formal name: The Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization, urges the US president to "have the option to deploy weapons in space." It stresses the desirability "to project power through and from space in response to events anywhere in the world."

The report cites a need for a "missile defense," indeed it warns several times of a "Space Pearl Harbor." But it, and the military reports, reflects a far wider US space military program: "national missile defense" to protect the US "homeland," "Theatre Missile Defense" (TMD) to be utilized in and in proximity to areas of conflict, and space-based weaponry. Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Florida-based Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, describes the "missile defense" component as "the foot in the door." Who can be against "defense?" So missile defense has been the spin "to get a deployment OK," says Gagnon, "then to be followed up by the real Reagan Star Wars program that includes space-based weapons."

As retired US Navy Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr., Vice President of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C., says: "You look at the Rumsfeld report and his [Rumsfeld's] statements and the other [military] reports and you have to realize that they are thinking in terms of militarizing space, of space warfare."

And it's not just rhetoric. The US Defense Department gave the go-ahead in December for development of the Space-Based Laser, a joint project of TRW, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The US Army's Redstone Arsenal describes it as having a "lifecycle budget" of $20 to $30 billion. A second space-based laser project underway and in testing is the "Alpha High-Energy Laser." Built by TRW, it conducted its twenty-second successful test firing last year. Unless there is a stop put to it, "We are going into space with lasers," warns Admiral Carroll. "Space is seen as a new place to wage war," says Carroll. "Already, we are underwater, over-water, on-the-land, in-the-air-and now we want to go to another dimension: space."

Moreover, nuclear power may be an important element in the US space military plans. According to "New World Vistas: Air And Space Power For The 2lst Century," a US Air Force board report: "In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict. These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills." But "power limitations impose restrictions" on such-based weapons systems making them "relatively unfeasible...A natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space...Setting the emotional issue of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space." Thus the stage would be set for orbiting Chernobyls in the sky-nuclear- powered battle platforms over our heads.

US military leaders are as blunt as the US documents about what the country is up to. "Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but -- absolutely -- we're going to fight in space," said General Joseph W. Ashy, former Commander-in-Chief of the US Space Command. "That's why the US has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday -- ships, airplanes, land targets - from space. We will engage targets in space, from space."

Israel's reasons for not voting to reaffirm the Outer Space Treaty - which Israel has ratified -- involve its long security relationship with the US. As a protector of Israel militarily for decades, the US sees Israel as owing it -- and thus, in part, Israel's vote in support of the US position at the UN. Also, the US has sought to have Israeli companies benefit from Star Wars technology. One joint US-Israeli program has been the Arrow project, the development of a missile with the ability to intercept incoming Scuds and similar missiles. The first pair of Arrow batteries are slated to be deployed in Israel this year. Says Lt. Gen. Lester Lyles, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, regarding the US-Israeli Arrow Program: "Once the Foreign Military Sales case is concluded for Israel to purchase a JTIDS 2H terminal...Israel will have the full capability for Arrow to "interoperate" with US TAMD systems. We are continuing our efforts that use both the Israeli Test Bed (ITB) and the Israeli Systems Architecture and Integration (ISA&I) analysis capabilities to assist with the deployment of the Arrow Weapon System. In addition, we are working with Israel in the ITB and ISA&I to refine procedures for combined operations between USEUCOM and the Israeli Air Force, and to examine future missile defense architectures that consider evolving regional threats. Recent contingency operations with Israel have benefited greatly from the work conducted bilaterally in the ITB and ISA&I.

"We continue to reap benefits from our cooperative missile defense programs with Israel. In one specific case, the Arrow seeker technology flown by Israel is the same seeker planned to be flown aboard THAAD. Similarly, the lethality mechanism used in Arrow will greatly assist us as we develop the Navy Area system that also employs a fragmentation warhead. Additionally, the experience gained with the cooperative Arrow flight tests will provide many benefits as we begin a very robust flight test program for our TAMD systems this year."

In January, however, Boeing froze discussions with Israel Aircraft Industries on co-production of Arrow missiles that would be sold to other countries "until technology transfer issues are resolved." Boeing reportedly wants to wait and see how open the Bush administration will be toward transfer of technology to other countries.

Israel clearly has a great interest in the "missile defense" and "theatre defense" components of the US Star Wars program. Gagnon, however, is concerned that "the deployment of theatre missile defense in the Middle East will likely force Arab nations to counter Israel by seeking new systems which will lead to a widening of the arms race. Sad to say, I think the overall plan of the US is to do just that, considering that weapons are the #1 industrial export of the US. The more instability in the region the more money to be made by the weapons industry.

In his first visit to US President Bush at the White House on March 20, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Bush "found a `convergence of interest' in missile defense," reported the New York Times. Further, "The United States was 'very much interested' in furthering the capacity of Israel's theatre missile defense, the official said."

However, the American space military program is far more than that - and Israel, as demonstrated by its support of the US space military program at the UN, is tying itself into something far from defensive. It is an offensive program that stands to destroy a highly successful initiative that has kept space war-free for 35 years: the Outer Space Treaty.

The US was deeply involved in initiating the Outer Space Treaty, according to Craig Eisendrath, a former US State Department Foreign Service officer instrumental in its creation. The Soviet Union had launched its Sputnik satellite in 1957 and "we sought to de-weaponize space before it got weaponized," he explains. A model the State Department used for its draft of the Outer Space Treaty, says Eisendrath, was the Antarctic Treaty which bars military deployments on that continent. The Soviet Union and the United Kingdom joined the US in presenting the treaty which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966. It entered into force in October 1967.

The Outer Space Treaty has now been ratified by 96 nations and signed by 27 others. The intent of the treaty is "to keep war out of space," said Eisendrath, co-author of the forthcoming book, The Phantom Defense: America's Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion. Eisendrath views as "a violation" of the Outer Space Treaty the deployment in space of weapons such as the lasers that the US military has been and is pursuing. The final wording of the treaty provides for a ban on "nuclear weapons or other kinds of weapons of mass destruction." Endeavoring to clear up any confusion and specifically prohibit all weapons in space in recent years have been both Canada and China. But the US has successfully fought back those efforts. Russia also --indeed most of the nations of the world -- support the effort to prohibit all weapons in space. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his first speech at the UN, last September for the "Millenium Summit," focused on the "militarization of space."

The US is making a tragic miscalculation if it thinks it can "control space" and from it "dominate" the world below. For if the US moves ahead with this scheme, other nations will respond in kind -- China and Russia right off -- and there will be an arms race and inevitably war in space. Kofi Annan, in opening the Third United Nations Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 1999, declared: "Above all, we must guard against the misuse of outer space. We recognized early on that a legal regime was needed to prevent it from being another arena of military confrontation. The international community has acted jointly, through the United Nations, to ensure that outer space will be developed peacefully.But there is much more to be done. We must not allow this century, so plagued with war and suffering, to pass on its legacy, when the technology at our disposal will be even more awesome. We cannot view the expanse of space as another battleground for our earthly conflicts."

Says Gagnon: "If the US is allowed to move the arms race into space, there will be no return. We have this one chance, this one moment in history, to stop the weaponization of space from happening." We have a narrow window to keep space for peace, to strengthen the Outer Space Treaty and ban all weapons in space. Israel should join with peoples from around the world and stop this move by the United States to turn the heavens into a war zone.

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