USA to militarise space

The United States Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, has announced that his country is to implement the White House’s policy to militarise space. A four-star general will be named for a new Pentagon post, which is to cover space programmes. While the nature of the programmes is unspecified, civilian space technology is handled by NASA and the Pentagon is responsible for the USA’s military strategy, therefore it is logical to assume that the USA has decided to militarise space, let there be no doubt, despite the softly-softly words of Rumsfeld. The wording of an extract from a document on National Space Policy of 1996/09/19, states very clearly that: “The United States will develop, operate and maintain space control capabilities to ensure freedom of action in space, and if directed, deny such freedom of action to adversaries”. Another extract, quoted by Mr. Rumsfeld in a Pentagon meeting on the Space Programme, was “The US is committed to the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humanity. Peaceful purposes allow defence and intelligence-related activities in pursuit of national security and other goals. The US rejects any claims to sovereignty by any nation over outer space”. “We are going to promote our interests in space”, said Donald Rumsfeld at a Pentagon press conference yesterday, admitting that the US Armed Forces are going to head the Defence Department’s space programme. Until recently, there were two Directive Authorities, one for Aerospace Security and another called Space Air Force. The new department will consist of a unit to which the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Organisation and the combined Space Air Force and Aerospace Security will report. As Star Wars thus launches itself into operation, the USA takes new strides towards its misguided conception of itself as the world policeman. Spending billions of dollars to protect the country against a supposed missile strike by North Korea, Iraq or Iran, countries antagonised by the USA’s policies of intrusion over the years, would seem pointless, given that first, such an attack is not going to happen and second, the system is fallible. President Clinton soon saw that from the evidence presented to him, Star Wars was highly fallible, about as accurate as NATO bombing campaigns. Also, it would not be difficult for a terrorist group with funds to provide themselves with enough bacteriological material from a rogue scientist (anthrax, botulism, smallpox even), enter the USA, travel to a large population centre and create a serious incident. Where would Star Wars be in this event? Bush, obviously, does not read his briefs. This was clear recently when he demonstrated a total lack of knowledge regarding Greenhouse Effect Gases (he stated that they did not create global warming, one of the more ridiculous things this gentleman has said to date, an ignorance which labelled him the Toxic Texan). However, it is a good chance to pay back the US companies which pushed Bush into office through the Florida courts in January. This proves that the US economy is based on military contracts going to a select group of companies in the civilian sector, this technology passing from the civilian to the military sectors and back again. The whole issue is not about an Iraqi missile attack on New York or Washington, DC, it is about economic pay-backs to the “boys”. Taking advantage of these pay-backs, the USA is unilaterally equipping itself with the capacity to act in defence of its own satellites in space, and who knows, to attack those of others? Rumsfeld claims that regarding satellite-killing lasers and particle-beam accelerators, “these proposals have nothing to do with that” but the fact is that the option is there. However laudable the United States’ many achievements in the area of science may be, and there have been many, we must remember that this is a country which makes and breaks agreements at the drop of a hat, this is the country which has fomented murderous campaigns abroad to enhance its own economic interests and this is the country which set fire to fields of cereals in Iraq after the end of the Gulf War, so as to deprive Iraq’s starving citizens of food to eat.


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