June 6 2000

Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

"We are at the end of mankind's bloodiest century. Through enormous sacrifice, America has preserved her own freedom and freed millions around the world. As leaders, we must seek an Apollo-like commitment from the American people. We must ask them to again reach into space with gusto -- for its science, for its mystery, and for the security it can offer us. Control of space is more than a new mission area -- it is our moral legacy, our next Manifest Destiny, our chance to create security for centuries to come."

Those words are by Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (see The Future of Space in the Military). He is also the leader of the effort to create a separate "Space Force" within the military that would be fully charged with achieving U.S. "domination" of the heavens.

Sen. Smith believes that the elementary technologies of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system are just a beginning. In a recent speech to aerospace corporation leaders he reminded them that he would continue to push for expansion of weapons programs for space like the military space plane, anti-satellite weapons (ASAT's), and space-based lasers.

According to Sen. Smith, "With the technology that we have already developed and demonstrated, we have the opportunity today to move forward to the comprehensive missile defense architecture that President Reagan envisioned almost 20 years ago, more than the marginal defense this Administration has been struggling with for the past few months. We need to incorporate forward-deployed capabilities like the Navy Theater Wide program and the Air Force Airborne Laser and space-based missile-defense programs to ensure we can stop missiles in their boost phase, dropping the debris fallout over our adversary's homes, not ours. We also need to incorporate space sensors and integrate everything together with our theater defense systems to form a comprehensive architecture to defend this nation and our deployed troops."

The idea of Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) is designed to deploy weapons into regions like the Middle East or near China. Claiming that TMD would be put in place in order to checkmate North Korea, in fact, the system would be intended to force China to up-grade its existing nuclear capability of 20 long-range missiles or else be held hostage to a U.S. first-strike capability. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman recently stated that, "The U.S. is a huge superpower and you're afraid of little North Korea? Is it convincing? What is more plausible is that American strategic thinkers have China in mind. So this TMD could be even more dangerous for Russia and China than the National Missile Defense (NMD)."

China, with its newly awarded pass into the global "free trade club," is still very much an independent actor. The global economic and military elite still must find a way to rope China into the corral like they have successfully done with Russia whose economic troubles keeps it in check and whose territory is now virtually surrounded by NATO. For the U.S. the worst possible scenario is for China to become a global economic power and also be outside the control of the American empire. No chances can be taken with such a potentially large threat to U.S. global rule. Thus, the need for an expansion of U.S. space control and domination at this historic moment.

If the Korean and Vietnamese wars taught the Pentagon anything it is that long, drawn out ground battles in Asia will not fly with the American people. A new strategy must be put in place. Similarly, with China developing a small but capable nuclear deterrent of its own, the U.S. can hardly use the nuclear blackmail card effectively with the Chinese. That leaves just one thing - space. As Sen. Smith says, "Space is absolutely critical to future war fighting! This increasing importance was demonstrated in the Gulf War and in the Balkans. I firmly believe that whoever controls space will win the next war." And if the next conflict needs to be over China because they are not complying with U.S. corporate dictates, then a healthy space control system will need to be in place. A system that will force China to knuckle under to U.S. corporate demands is what Sen. Smith is talking about.

In the U.S. Space Command's planning document called Vision for 2020, they state that because of corporate "globalization of the world economy there will be a widening gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots'..thus requiring that space superiority emerge as an essential element of battlefield success." It is increasingly clear that as millions of people worldwide become "superfluous populations" because of mechanization, robotics, and computerization, the ruling corporate elite does not intend to make concessions to them when they create "regional" instability - as the Space Command calls it. They will either go along with the program or pay the price. And if that means conflict with China or Russia, so be it.

Sen. Smith is called "Spaceman Smith" because of his strong support for the weaponization of space. He is a good friend to the aerospace industry and fights hard to get what the Pentagon needs to make space control and domination a reality. To make "Manifest Destiny" work in the coming century Smith knows that a new military strategy must be developed and space will be the centerpiece of that plan. For corporate globilization to work there must be a global military instrument in place.

Public debate, pressure on the White House and Congress, and visible protest activity in the streets around the world will be an antedote to the new "Manifest Destiny." The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is now planning protest actions before the next BMD test that is set for the first week of July. Demonstrations are being planned for Vandenberg AFB in California (from where the BMD test will occur), Cape Canaveral, Peterson AFB in Colorado (HQ of the Space Command), Ft. Meade in Maryland (HQ of the NSA), and at U.S. satellite spy bases at Menwith Hill and Fylingdales in England.

On October 7 the Global Network is calling for an International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space. Actions will take place from California to Florida, from France to Nepal, from England to Australia. As we hear calls from President Clinton to share plans for "missile defense" with the world's "civilized" nations it is crucial that we build an international movement to stop the insanity of the arms race from moving into the heavens.

Instead of more global corporate domination the world needs more economic and political democracy.

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.

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