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SCI/TECH: Military eyes space as opponents urge caution

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posted on May, 17 2005 @ 07:42 PM
The U.S. military seems to be working to protect its existing space assets and maintain dominance of outer space. Allegedly the U.S. is currently developing micro sattelites that can target enemy satellites and satellite-jamming systems, and could be operational in 18 months. Many are concerned that further moves by the U.S. to weaponize space would cause further tensions with China and other countries.
Everett Dolman, a professor at the Air Force's School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, said he expected the White House to issue a new space policy next month that would underscore the military's determination to protect its existing space assets and maintain dominance of outer space.

Space was essential to how the U.S. military fights wars, Dolman said, noting that satellites already helped relay communications among troops, provided intelligence and targeting data, and guided bombs to their destinations.

"We've crossed the threshold and we simply cannot step back," Dolman, a proponent of space weapons, told Reuters at a two-day Nuclear Policy Research Institute conference.

Dolman said the critical question was not whether the United States should weaponize space, but whether it could afford to allow other states to get a jump-start in this area.

He said work on several technologies -- including work on microsatellites that could be launched to target enemy satellites and satellite-jamming systems -- was far enough along that it could be declared operational within 18 months.

Anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott organized the conference about 50 miles outside Washington to discuss what she described as dangerous moves that could spark a new arms race in space, as well as jeopardizing weather forecasting, communications satellites and other peaceful uses of space.

She raised concerns about $130 billion that had already been spent on missile defense, backed by strong corporate lobbying efforts, and said the outlays for space weapons could be astronomically higher, while health conditions and social programs on earth continued to suffer

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This would set a very dangerous precident, IMO, if the U.S. does it than China is sure to follow, along with any other country that can get a payload into space. If the current ground-based missle systems are shown inadequate, then space-based weapons are more likely.

Hui Zhang, a Chinese scholar at Harvard University, said China was already very concerned about U.S. plans in space, and was likely to respond by building more warheads

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posted on May, 18 2005 @ 06:34 AM
This is covered in another ATSNN story but I'll add to this as well.

The United States signed the Outer Space Treaty in 1967. The treaty was also signed by Britain, the USSR and China. It expressly prohibits the non-peaceful use of Space.

The United States should be refered to the UN Security Council for sanctions much like the Bush administration wants to do for Irans "suspected" violations of that other treaty, the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

From the U.S Department of State Web site regarding the Outer Space Treaty
First, it contains an undertaking not to place in orbit around the Earth, install on the moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise station in outer space, nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction.

Second, it limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies exclusively to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for establishing military bases, installation, or fortifications; testing weapons of any kind; or conducting military maneuvers.

After the Treaty entered into force, the United States and the Soviet Union collaborated in jointly planned and manned space enterprises.

The United States either adheres to the treaties they sign or they dont criticise other states for breaking treaties. They cant break treaties themselves as well as criticise others for doing the same thing, thats just unacceptable.

With the United States record national debt I think the idea of starting a new arms race in Space is the last thing that should be on the Bush administrations mind. Are there terrorists in Space now?

[edit on 18/5/05 by subz]

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 08:42 AM
We aren't exactlly known for keeping our word when it comes to a treaty, especially when we can use the ever popular, "it's a matter of national security".

There is a UN treaty banning orbiting weapons of mass destruction, but opponents said they believed the United States would not shy from withdrawing from that treaty, if necessary, just as it withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, so that it could begin deploying its initial layered missile defense shield.Source

I completely agree with you, this is a bad idea any way you look at it fiscal, diplomatic or security. But since when has that stopped us?

(edit)subz i believe the other ATSNN story on this came after my submission, guess mine was submitted at a bad time and the later one caught your attention first.(no big deal)

[edit on 18-5-2005 by Rren]

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:02 AM

by Subz
The United States either adheres to the treaties they sign or they dont criticise other states for breaking treaties. They can break treaties themselves as well as criticise others for doing the same thing, thats just unacceptable.

I agree, this is a bad idea. How can we expect others to adhere to any treaties if we don't. We should lead by example, but this seems to only apply when it is convenient. This would be just the beginning of extending our insanity beyond our planet.

So that's why they can't find Bin Ladin.

[edit on 5/18/2005 by Hal9000]

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 11:41 AM
The real problem is the Bush administration... Why don't we protest and make peacefull manifestations?

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 11:46 AM
Are you guys kidding? You think a new space race would be a drain on the economy? Don't make me pull out my NASA spinoff link...

FYI All outerspace treaties are not worth the paper they are written on. Space is the Final Frontier, it's rather naive of us to think it wouldn't get Militarized & Colonized eventually ... too bad it has to be this way though.

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 12:01 PM
You know what else was pretty much inevitable? Nazism, slavery and racism. Should we of lied down and accepted those too? I find the attitude of it being inevitable rather lax and discouraging. I dont think this is inevitable and we should do everything we can to stop aggression spreading into Space.

[edit on 18/5/05 by subz]

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:19 PM
And I'll say it again, that's a Naive attitude. USA, Russia, EU, China, Brazil and a few more that I cannot remember right now are forging headlong in space development, some more then others.

In a perfect world we would solve all our problems by talking them through. Militarization of space is gonna happen sooner or later, only way it will not happen is if Humanity starts colonizing under one flag and one country(eg NWO)

And you know how much people can be paranoid about that sort of thing
Assets up in orbit a growing at a fast rate. Pretty soon countries will have to start protecting them, and how do they do that? Bigger and Better guns and explosives
It's our collective human stupidity that makes it a sure thing.

Human's can be so smart Individually but Collectively we are not that far removed from some pack preditor(eg Pack Mentality) that preys on the weak.

[edit on 18-5-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 03:12 PM
*sigh* the systems being discussed are *not* "WMD"s in orbit. Killsats and other devices, (usually kinetic weapons wtih no explosive) are what's being developed.

The ABM treaty was first broken by the Soviets, in the deployment of massive radar tracking and intercept facilities. After putting up with this for over a decade, the US decided "why not?" and went back into developement of SDI.

Note: developement or discussion of such weapons *does not* break the treaty. only deployment. And no such weapons are deployed.

What is interesting is that "smart pebbles", killsats and KE antisattelite weapons cannot do anything to ground (or even air) assets. They are by nature too fragile to threaten anything down the gravity well. This makes them barely effective enough to be used as a *defensive* system.

For China to claim it now feels the need to build more warheads, means they are feeling the need to break through the shielding. It can be easily argued that builing a nuclear stockpile makes non-aggressive sense to counter a new offensive weapon, but claiming this need for a rather ineffective defensive-only system, shows the truth of the matter-preparing to be aggressive.

That's the same logic used against America whenever we try to increase or modify our nuclear arsenal. So it should be applied to the Chinese as well.

I'll bet there's plenty of desire and research in China right now to do exactly what they're complaining about the US doing. These complaints now will help bolster their "case" when they launch their own orbital weapons and claim it's because "America did it first".

I won't even get into the reasons why America is consistently the only nation with even the *ability* to do all these things first, often by decades.

posted on May, 18 2005 @ 05:42 PM
Get rid of Dohlman and anybody else like him and stick to the treaty.

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