FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Space Cowboy

by BRUCE K. GAGNON

The White House has just released the new U.S. National Space Policy from the Bush administration. The new document makes several policy departures from past space doctrines. They include:

* Calling for the deployment of offensive weapons systems in space to “deter” and “deny” others the “use of space.” This is a very provocative notion and will give the Pentagon the green light to put anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons in space that would be able to destroy other countries satellites.

* Saying the U.S. will “oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access to or use of space.” This means that the U.S. is now on record as being totally opposed to the development of an international treaty at the United Nations that would ban all weapons in space. The treaty, annually promoted by Russia, China and Canada, seeks to close the door to the barn before the horse gets out. The U.S. and Israel have been blocking such a treaty since during the Clinton years.

* The Bush administration military doctrine today calls for “preemptive” attack and “unilateral actions” around the world to protect corporate interests like oil and other diminishing resources. Thus we saw the 2003 “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq and now hear talk that a similar attack on Iran might be pending. The administration now says that it will no longer be bound by international treaties which would “inhibit” Bush’s ability to strike at any time and any place on the Earth. Space technology, says the military, becomes crucial to U.S. ability to create “full spectrum dominance.”

One of the first things the Bush administration did once in office was to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia that limited the development and deployment of weapons in space. It is thus no surprise that George W. Bush now comes forward with this new national space doctrine that tells the Pentagon to move ahead with Star Wars.

A key reason for America’s desire to kill the U.N.’s space weapons ban treaty negotiations is that the military-industrial complex views space as a new market. The weapons corporations have been saying for decades that Star Wars will be the largest industrial project in the history of the planet Earth. Both Democrats and Republicans get the message and understand that their corporate sponsors want them to leave the door open to a new costly and destabilizing arms race in space.

One other key element of the new Bush space policy is the expanded use of nuclear power systems to “enable or significantly enhance space exploration or operational capabilities.” What this means is that the aerospace industry wants to establish mining colonies on the Moon, Mars and other planetary bodies and they want to power these bases with nuclear reactors. The military has also long been saying they need nuclear reactors in space to provide power for space weapons systems. So the nuclear industry also plans to utilize space as a new market for increasing corporate profits.

Just weeks ago, from Oct. 1-8, peace groups around the world took part in our annual Keep Space for Peace Week of local actions. Protests, teach-ins, video showings and other activities were organized in order to help expand the consciousness of the people of the world about the need to move now to protect space from a new arms race. Not only will putting weapons in space be expensive, but it will also be incredibly destabilizing for the world. Already we see the tragic growth in the nuclear arms race on Earth. Will arming the heavens with weapons make us safer? Absolutely not.

The time has come for the American people to call on Congress to cut funding for the research and development of Star Wars technology. Let’s use our hard-earned tax dollars to fund health care, education and environmental clean-up here on our home planet. Let’s work now to prevent another maddening arms race from happening before it is too late.

BRUCE K. GAGNON is Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He can be reached at: globalnet@mindspring.com

 

 

 

Bruce K. Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space based in Brunswick, Maine.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail