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General News    H3'ed 6/23/09

Militarization Of Space: Threat Of Nuclear War On Earth

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"Russian military experts see in this doctrine a disguised bid by the US for the weaponization of outer space. Anti-satellite weapons make an integral part of the U.S. missile defence system." [12]

The U.S. National Space Policy of 2006 states that "In this new century, those who effectively utilize space will enjoy added prosperity and security and will hold a substantial advantage over those who do not. Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power. In order to increase knowledge, discovery, economic prosperity, and to enhance the national security, the United States must have robust, effective, and efficient space capabilities."

It further identifies goals of the policy to include the intention to:

>Strengthen the nation's space leadership and ensure that space capabilities are available in time to further U.S. national security, homeland security, and foreign policy objectives

>Enable unhindered U.S. operations in and through space to defend our interests there

>Develop and deploy space capabilities that sustain U.S. advantage and support defense and intelligence transformation
 
>Provide, as launch agent for both the defense and intelligence sectors, reliable, affordable, and timely space access for national security purposes

>Support military planning and satisfy operational requirements as a major intelligence mission [13]
 
The same Russian general quoted above cited as an example of Washington's space war plans the Pentagon's downing of an American spy satellite in February of 2008, allegedly because it had become disabled. General Buzhinsky said, "Despite the statements of some U.S. officials that the satellite's destruction had to be performed once only to minimize risks for life and the health of people, many analysts are of another opinion. They believe that the U.S. tested a new type of weapons capable of destroying spacecraft." [14]

A year later, February of 2009, an American and Russian satellite were reported to have collided over northeastern Russia. Shortly afterward retired Russian general and former head of the nation's military space intelligence Leonid Shershnev asserted that the collision "may have been a test of new U.S. technology to intercept and destroy satellites rather than an accident."

Shershnev's contentions were characterized in a Russian media report of early March as suggesting "the U.S. satellite involved in the collision was used by the U.S. military as part of the 'dual-purpose' Orbital Express research project, which began in 2007.

"Orbital Express was a space mission managed by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a team led by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

"The February collision could be an indication that the U.S. has successfully developed such technology and is capable of manipulating 'hostile satellites,' including their destruction, with a single command from a ground control center." [15]

An Associated Press report published shortly after the above said that:

"The Kremlin has criticized U.S. plans for space-based weapons, saying they could trigger a new arms race. Russia and China have pushed for an international agreement banning space weapons, but their proposals have been rejected by the United States.

"As part of missile defense plans developed by the previous U.S. administration, the Pentagon worked on missiles, ground lasers and other technology to shoot down satellites." [16]

Two days later Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at a disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland and warned that "an arms race in outer space is inadmissible," adding that "Prevention of an arms race in space will contribute to ensuring the predictability of the strategic situation" and "We plan, jointly with China, to submit to your consideration soon a document generalizing the results of discussions that have taken place at the conference." [17]

Lavrov had made a similar appeal at the annual Munich Security Conference in February when in addition to first voicing Russia's call for a banning of all nuclear weapons being stationed outside the borders of their owners he said that a new START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty] accord also "must ban the militarization of space." [18]
 

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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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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