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General News    H3'ed 6/23/09

Militarization Of Space: Threat Of Nuclear War On Earth

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Remarking on the fact that in the United Nations General Assembly 166 nations had voted for the Russian and Chinese proposal to ban the militarization of space a week earlier, Russian analyst Alexei Arbatov was quoted as saying last winter that "Washington does plan to deploy its ABM system elements in near-Earth orbits, and it is only Russia that can counter such plans." [34]

Late last November Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, again urged "UN member-states to join the moratorium on the deployment of weapons in outer space" and "mentioned that it is on Russia's initiative that the UN General Assembly has been adopting resolutions, for many years now, aimed at the prevention of the arms race in space. The only one who objected to the adoption of this resolution was the United States...." [35]
A commentary on the US's lone opposition to the resolution reminded readers that "This year it was only the US delegate who voted against a resolution to that end as the US ABM defence programme is known to provide, among other things, for deploying ABM system elements in outer space.

"This actually means that Washington sees space as a potential operations theatre...."

The same source provided this editorial recommendation:

"The United States action can only be described as unilateral and undermining international and strategic stability, actions that could eventually result in another stage of the arms race.

"Before it is too late, one should seriously consider ways to prevent the arms race from being extended to outer space." [36]
Last December Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, stated that the United States "is seriously considering space as a potential sphere of armed struggle and hence is not giving up plans of deploying strike means in space."
He is paraphrased as adding "that the US assumes first strike capabilities and that any attack would wipe out retaliation." [37]

That is, the militarization of space can result in a nuclear conflagration on earth not only by accident or the law of unintended consequences but fully by design.

If the US plan is, by a combination of ground, sea and air delivery systems, to destroy any ability to retaliate after a devastating first blow, the Russian general warned of what in fact would ensue:

"The Americans will never manage to implement this scenario because Russian strategic nuclear forces, including the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, will be capable of delivering a retaliatory strike given any course of developments.

"After receiving authorization from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces it will not take our strategic missile force more than two-three minutes to carry out the task of launching missiles." [38]

What Solovtsov has described is the nightmare humanity has dreaded since the advent of the nuclear age: An exchange of nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles. One that might result from an attack launched at least partially from space and in one manner or other in relation to space-based military assets.
An analogous warning was issued last year by the then commander of Russia's Space Forces, General Vladimir Popovkin, who said, "Space is one of the few places around not yet separated by borders, and any kind of military deployments there would upset the existing balance of forces on our planet."- [39]

This past March American space researcher Matt Hoey stated that an arms race in space would be "increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear war while shortening the time for sanity and diplomacy to come into play to halt crises."

"If these systems are deployed in space we will be tipping the nuclear balance between nations that has ensured the peace for decades.

"The military space race will serve the defense industry much like the cold war and this is already being witnessed in relation to missile defense systems." [40] 

Regarding the interconnection between missile defense and spaced-based first strike capabilities, the following indicates what the ultimate Pentagon plan envisions:

"If [the missile defense system] is fully deployed (as three echelons of ground-, sea-, and air/space-based), the United States will regain the capability (for the first time since the 1940s-1950s) of launching a destructive first strike at Russia without fear of retaliation.

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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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