Trojan Horse for War in Space

July 9th 2001

By Bruce Gagnon


The planned July 14 test of missile defense systems from Vandenberg AFB, California will cost over $100 million and dramatically help to destabilize global disarmament efforts. Testing of the National Missile Defense (NMD) program is just the beginning of aerospace corporation, U.S. government and Pentagon efforts to move the arms race into space.

The recent "Rumsfeld Commission" report states that, "In the coming period the U.S. will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the earth and in space."

"George W. Bush and his aerospace corporation allies know that they cannot go to the American people and ask for hundreds of billions of dollars for offensive space weapons that will allow the U.S. to control and dominate space," says Regina Hagen, a German board member of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. "So instead they dress up their new Star Wars plan in sheep clothing and call it a defensive shield to protect the U.S., and now its allies, from purportedly 'rogue' states. In Germany, we can see through this fašade."

"While the merits of NMD are debated, the Bush administration is moving to deploy Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems in the Middle East. It will also eventually surround China, and will force a chain reaction of nuclear weapons proliferation as Iran, China, India, and Pakistan all move to respond to U.S. destabilizing deployments. First comes NMD, then TMD, then space-based lasers. In the end the world becomes more unstable, the weapons corporations get rich, and the American taxpayer gets hung out to dry," claimed Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network.

Coming on the heels of Bush's enormous tax cut, an expansion of the arms race into space will also force Congress to abandon any real effort to provide health care for those Americans who do not presently have it, and will require dramatic cuts in other needed social programs. Despite claims otherwise Congress cannot provide both guns and butter.

The farewell warning to the American people by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1961 to "beware of the power of the military industrial complex" seems all the more relevant today as the aerospace industry now has "unwarranted" access and influence in Congress and the White House. Democracy is in danger when such decisions are made to spend the national treasury on plans that will only lead to a more unstable world.

The Global Network is organizing an International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space on October 13. Local actions will be held at military bases and aerospace corporations facilities around the world.

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