23 December 2000
By Karl Grossman

U.S. preparations to wage war in and from space will be getting a huge boost with the assumption of power of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

They represent a confluence of corporate and hard-right wing political power pushing for expanded space military activities joining with a U.S. military eager to turn space into a new arena of war.

"I wrote the Republican Party's foreign policy platform," declared Bruce Jackson, vice president of corporate strategy and development of Lockheed Martin, now the world's largest weapons manufacturer and a corporation deeply involved as a contractor in U.S. space military work, in an interview last week. Jackson said that he was selected to be "the overall chairman of the Foreign Policy Platform Committee" at the Republican National Convention, at which he was a delegate.

Although noting his close relations with the Bush campaign, Jackson claimed he has not led the advocacy for "full development of missile defense.That would be an implicit conflict of interest with my day job," he said.

Instead, he said, this has been done by Stephen J. Hadley. Hadley, an assistant secetary for defense for international security policy in the administration of Bush's father, is a member, said Jackson, of "the Vulcans." This is the name given in the Bush campaign to an eight-member group, including Colin Power, now the designee for Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice, just named as National Security Council director, which has advised Bush on foreign policy. (The name was inspired by the Roman god of fire and metalworking and familiar to Rice due to a statute honoring Vulcan in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama representing the city's heritage of steelmaking.)

Hadley is also a partner in the Washington law firm of Shea & Gardner which represents Lockheed Martin. Hadley, according to last week's Washington Post, is "mentioned as a possible" deputy director of the National Security Council.

Jackson and Hadley have worked closely together on the Committee to Expand NATO. Jackson is president of this entity, based in the Washington offices of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute; Hadley is its secretary. Hadley was also a member of the National Security Council staff during the earlier Bush administration.

"Space is going to be important. It has a great feature in the military," Hadley, introduced as "an advisor to Governor George W. Bush," told the Air Force Association Convention in a speech September 11th in Washington. He stated that Bush's "concern has been that the [Clinton] administration's proposal does not do the job right and it doesn't reflect a real commitment to missile defense.This is an administration that has delayed on that issue and is mot moving as fast as he thinks we could."

As the new Bush administration takes form, missile defense has emerged as a central goal. It is "an essential part of our strategic system," said Powell immediately after his being named by Bush as secretary of state. The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff vowed that "we are going to move forward" with it.

"This so-called election is a major victory for those who intend to put weapons into space at an enormous cost to the U.S. taxpayer and to world stability," declares Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power In Space, based in Gainesville, Florida. He noted statements by Bush during the campaign that the U.S. should design and deploy "quantum leap weapons" and that Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories would play a major role in the development of "weapons that will allow America to define how wars are fought." Both have been deeply involved in work on space-based lasers.

Space-based lasers were an integral part of Star Wars as originally advanced in the Reagan administration. Development on them has continued. Under Clinton, a multi-million dollar contract was signed in 1998 for a "Space-Based Laser Readiness Demonstrator." Lockheed Martin, TRW and Boeing are the contractors. In November, the Department of Energy requested public comment on an Environmental Assessment for full development of this space-based laser, estimated as in $30 billion project.

Last April 26th, TRW announced the twenty-second successful firing of a space-based laser it has been working separately on with the government the Alpha High-Energy Laser. "The data gathered during this test of laser performance and beam uniformity is a critical part of the process we're using to design and validate next generation laser design," said Dan Wildt, a TRW program manager.

(Cheney's wife, Lynn, is a member of the board of Lockheed Martin. Cheney has been a member of the board of TRW.)

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power In Space will in March hold a National Space Organizing Conference and Protest at the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, proposed as a "test site" for the full laser development plan. That will be followed by an International Conference To Keep Space For Peace to be held in Leeds, United Kingdom in May. Leeds is near the Menwith Hill and Flyingdales radar facilities, part of the command and control system for U.S. space military activities.

Even before the ascendancy of the Bush-Cheney administration, nations around the world-including the U.S.'s next-door neighbor, Canada-have become increasingly anxious about U.S. preparations for space warfare and joined in opposition.

On November 20 in the General Assembly at the United Nations, a resolution was advanced titled "Prevention Of An Arms Race In Outer Space." The resolution reaffirmed the Outer Space Treaty, the 1967 international law setting aside space for peaceful uses. The resolution, "recognizing the common interest of all mankind in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes," specifically "reaffirming" provisions in the Outer Space Treaty stating that "activities" in space shall be "in the interest of maintaining international peace" and banning weapons in space, and "recognizing that prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international security," it called upon "all states, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space and of the preention of an arms race in outer space and to refrain from actions contrary to that objective."

The vote in favor was 160, virtually all the member nations of the United Nations. Three countries abstained: the United States along with Israel and Micronesia.

Canada, meanwhile, is seeking to strengthen the Outer Space Treaty with a provision that would forbid all weapons in space. The treaty now bans "nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction."

In a speech at the UN on October 19, Marc Vidricaire, a representative of Canada, stated: "It has been suggested that our proposal is not relevant because the assessment on which it rests is either premature or alarmist. In our view, it is neither. One need only look at what is happening right now to realize that it is not premature.We have heard often before that there is no arms race in outer space. We agree. We would like to keep it that way for the sake of our own national security and for international peace and security as whole.There is no question that the technology can be developed to place weapons in outer space. There is also no question that no state can expect to maintain a monopoly on such knowledge -- or such capabilities -- for all time. If one state actively pursues the weaponization of space, we can be sure others will follow."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his first address at the UN, at the "Millenium Summit" a month earlier, stressed his nation's concern about "the weaponization of space." And in Canada on December 20, Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretier issued a joint statement announcing that "Canada and the Russian Federation will continue close cooperation in preventing an arms race in outer space, including interaction in the preparation and holding in Moscow in the spring of 2001 of an international conference on the non-weaponization of outer space." The statement said "a round-table of experts of the two countries will be held in January 2001."

Meanwhile, the U.S. military's would-be space warriors are bullish. The Air Force Space Command has just issued "Almanac 2000," a slick report which on its cover identifies the Space Command as "defending America through the control and exploitation of space."

The report opens with a quote from the Commander of the Command, General Ed Eberhart: "Set our sights high, on that high frontier, and be the space warfighters our nation needs today - and will need even more so in the future."

"Through the years," the report opens, "military commanders have recognized the advantage of 'owning' the high ground in battle. In World War II, the high ground was controlled by those persons who could fly over the battlefield in airplanes." Now, it says, the "high ground" space. And, the report concludes: "The future of the Air Force is space-a fully integrated, inseparable part of operations." The Air Force in the 2lst Century needs to be "Globally dominant -- Tomorrow's Air Force will likely dominate the air and space around the world.Selectively lethal -- The Air Force may fight intense, decisive wars with great precision hitting hard while avoiding collateral damage in both 'real' space and in computer cyberspace. Virtually present - Space forces compliment [sic] the physical presence of terrestrial forces. Although they are not visible from the ground, space forces provide virtual presence through their ability to supply global mobility, control the high ground, support versatile combat capability, ensure information dominance and sustain deterrence. The future Air Force will be better able to monitor and shape world events."

Global Network