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General News    H3'ed 6/23/09

Militarization Of Space: Threat Of Nuclear War On Earth

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Contrariwise, the very same day two US congressmen, Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) and Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA), introduced a NATO First Act in the Congress that calls for among other demands that a proposed arms reduction treaty with Russia "not reduce or limit U.S. ballistic missile defenses, space, or advanced conventional weapons capabilities." [6]

Six days before that Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, in speaking about the Pentagon's Prompt Global Strike program, said that he "continues to press for development of a new weapon that would allow Washington to take out a fleeting target in a manner of minutes.

"The Marine Corps general said he has concluded conventionally armed bombers are 'too slow and too intrusive' for many 'global strike missions.'

"Cartwright for several years has advocated for a 'prompt global strike' weapon...."

Asserting (or advocating) that "Over the next few years, the U.S. military is likely to become engaged in a number of hot and cold conflicts, each spanning five to 10 years," Cartwright said that "The military might need a 'hypersonic' weapon that would travel in the exoatmosphere to take out a limited number of fleeting targets...." [7]

For exoatmospheric read space.

Earlier in the year, on March 31, 2009 to be exact, top American military officials attended the 25th National Space Symposium at the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama, the same state that hosts the US Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville.

With the head of the American military, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, present, "A new Special Area of Emphasis topic titled Space as a Contested Environment, was introduced by U.S. military officials...."

The Air University's National Space Studies Center's Col. Sean D. McClung underscored the main theme of the meeting in stating "[A]bove all other communities, the military needs to understand implications of space as a contested environment and how to protect America's interests." [8]
Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the commander of the Air Force Space Command, was quoted in an Air Force report entitled "Spherical battlespace is new theater of operation" as saying:

"I think for far too long we have looked at our conception of future battlespace by standing on the ground and looking up - I think that might be the wrong way to look."

The report also says that for the Special Area of Emphasis, Space as a Contested Environment concept although "the connection between space and cyberspace may be unclear to many outside of these career fields, to those within the space community, the connection is clear," and "The realization that space and cyberspace are inextricably linked is evidenced by the planned creation of a cyber-focused numbered air force under Air Force Space Command." [9]

To make clear what the Pentagon means and what it intends, earlier this May the head of the US Strategic Command, Gen. Kevin Chilton, "insisted that all strike options, including nuclear, would remain available to the commander in chief in defending the nation from cyber strikes" and "said he could not rule out the possibility of a military salvo against a nation like China, even though Beijing has nuclear arms." [10]

For the past two years numerous US and NATO officials have conjured up the threat of employing NATO's Article 5 mutual military assistance - that is, war - clause against alleged cyber attacks of the sort experienced in Estonia in the spring of 2007. The unnamed but unquestioned target of such an action is Russia.

That nation released its new National Security Strategy in the middle of last month in which "it warned that missile defense plans and prospects to develop space-based weapons remain a top threat to Russia's security." [11]

A month before Lieutenant General Yevgeny Buzhinsky, deputy head of the Russian Defence Ministry's chief department for international military cooperation, said that "The United States has already launched the process of militarization of outer space."

Referring to the Bush administration's U.S. National Space Policy of August 31, 2006, a follow up to that of Clinton's 1996 version, Buzhinsky said, "The new doctrine adds a tougher and more unilateral nature to these actions.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at:
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