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DEFENSE: Green Party pt 1 of 2

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posted on Sep, 17 2004 @ 05:21 AM
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American Green Party Position on:

    ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND DEFENSE CONVERSION

    The conversion of defense-related technologies to a peacetime technology-based economy is a major challenge. We must ask ourselves what we are to make of our nation’s defense-related industrial base in the face of the collapse of the Soviet threat to our vital interests and resultant need for a winding down of “national security” spending.

    1. CONSOLIDATION of the nuclear weapons complex should move toward alternative civilian technologies and non-proliferation work, not toward a new generation of nuclear weapon design and production.

    2. The Green Party, recognizing the need for de-escalating the arms race which continues unabated in spite of the end of the 'Cold War", strongly opposes putting nuclear weapons, lasers and other weapons in space in a new militarization policy that is in clear violation of international law.

    3. We generally support defense TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER efforts, particularly new INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS and developments in the areas of advanced communications, alternative energy, and waste management.

COMMENT:
This nation spends $417 billions during 2004 with a growth towards towards $490 billions in 2009.


”according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), which tracks federal defense spending.

The Pentagon expects to spend nearly $490 billion by fiscal year 2009 as new ships, planes and next-generation fighting tools come off the production lines. That’s 23 percent higher than the average Soviet-inspired U.S. defense budget, CSBA states.



This enormous funding for armament deprives technology for national development of resources and focuses the nation's attention on aggression instead of advancement.

One of America's many strengths is technology. By focusing the nation on infrastructure improvement and development of newer and improving existing technologies America will continue on the path towards an improved society. Military spending to a large degree is a necessity in the real world. We all know that. Military largesse is wasteful and counterproductive.

Bridges, improved roadways, a truly national effort at infrastructure improvement would employ just as many people in projects that have long term benefits instead of short term goals.

A 25% reduction in defense spending would no doubt hurt many industries. However, if those industries refocused on infrastructure research and improvement the resulting benefit to the national strength and wealth could be incalcuable.

Edit: Formatted title.

[edit on 20-9-2004 by ZeddicusZulZorander]




posted on Sep, 17 2004 @ 04:23 PM
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Hmmm, all of the ideas you have put forth in principal would no doubt be first on everybodies mind if we lived in a peacefull world. However, given the realities we currently face, now is not the time to defer defence spending. As we go forth into this century, we need to do so from a position of strength, not one of weakness. The very right to debate the issue, to speak freely, to worship as we please (or not at all) is quaranteed by out constitution. That however, is only a piece of paper if we do not have the means to back them up.

The technology trans. issue is important, but not at the expence of national security. Technology will filter down eventually as it has in the past.

Nuclear weapons are the mainstay of our security. As long as other nations have the ability to destroy our country they remain a nessesary evil. As our weapons get older, we need to make sure that they can remain safe and up to current standards. The politics of MAD while scary served us well in the cold war, and should continue to do so in the future.

If you are addressing this in part 2 I apologise: What is the Green position on the missile shield?



posted on Sep, 18 2004 @ 07:31 AM
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American Green Party Position on:
    ( advanced technology and defense conversion part II)
    4. Let us go forward with government and civilian space programs; RESEARCH INITIATIVES in transportation, advanced products and manufacturing; industrial applications, appropriate technologies and technology transfer; environmental sampling and monitoring; systems testing; laser communications; high speed computers; genetic mapping (with “Genome” project results in the public domain).

    5. Let us devote a larger percentage of our nation’s research and development budget, both private and public, toward civilian use and away from military use. Let us become more competitive in developing consumer products and addressing our chronic trade imbalance in this fashion – not by increasing exports of military weapons and technologies.

    6. Advanced telecommunications technologies (many of which came originally from defense applications) such as fiber optics, broadband infrastructure, the Internet and the World Wide Web hold great promise for education, decentralized economies, and local control of decision-making. We believe we must move toward decentralization in these efforts – carefully protecting our individual rights as we go forward.

      Advanced and high definition TV, digital communications, and wireless communications hold promise and challenge. For example, the public airwaves that will accommodate the new generation of telecommunications technology should not be free giveaways to media giants. An auction and built in requirements that attach to these licenses to act “in the public interest” is needed. Technology provides a tool – we must use these tools appropriately and ethically.

      Myriad opportunities for technical excellence and continued economic achievement, apart from strategic, tactical and defense-related weapons systems, are in front of us. We urge Congress, all of government, and a forward-looking private sector to take up this challenge.

    7. We call for a federal Technology Assessment Office to examine how technology fits in with life on Earth, in our neighborhoods and the quality of our daily lives.
    - - -

    Thank you FredT for your questions. I will attempt to respond to them.

    Firstly, yes “if we lived in a peaceful world” the Green position would be an easy position to salute. As we don't live in a peaceful world and probably never will then the Green position takes boldness to agree with.

    Throughout history mankind has advanced his/her societies only through improvement. While much new technology and technique result from most wars man deludes himself to wait for peace. Progress and betterment are useful and for the capitalist very profitable.

    The American military is at the present time without parity in the world. Perhaps two or three nations joining together could safely withstand the U.S. military but even these could not hope to match the technology.

    On defense the question that must be answered is “how much is enough?”

    Missile defense shield-
    My personal feeling is that this is smoke and mirrors.

    If we learned anything from the Reagan presidency it should be that anything that can be dreamed of can remain an enviable dream. Allow me to explain.

    Reagan did one thing no president since Roosevelt has been able to do, he motivated the nation to a single definable goal. It didn't matter that the goal was 'hocus-pocus' it was perceived as real. Star Wars and the potential threat of unilateral nuclear war drove the Soviet Union past the brink. Through visionary intuition Reagan grasped the solution to a half-century dilemma.

    There presently exist abandoned bases throughout this nation testifying to physical build-up that was created to make it appear that the U.S. would make Star Wars viable. Soviet satellites and American “”weather”” satellites looked down and saw massive amounts of construction, contracts were let, news updates relating to potential break-through technologies inundated the public. They were super-salesman's gimmickry at it's best.

    The postulated missile-defense shield is much the same. As the 9-11 horrors and the following Anthrax letters proved to us, nuclear missiles are not the only means of foreseeable attack we need to be concerned about.

    Satellite and laser technologies could do all the 'shield' could possibly do and would add usable technology that is transferable to the private sector.

    Technology has long term economic benefits.

    -end-

    *end note- I mistakenly titled the thread as pt 1 of 2



posted on Sep, 19 2004 @ 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by PublicGadfly
The American military is at the present time without parity in the world. Perhaps two or three nations joining together could safely withstand the U.S. military but even these could not hope to match the technology.


I agree with you that the United States military is the best int he world at the present time, it can be eclipsed if allowed to stagnate. One only has to look at the state of our military throught the Ford and Carter years. Only by a constant continuous improvement can we hope to remain on top.



Missile defense shield-
My personal feeling is that this is smoke and mirrors.
The postulated missile-defense shield is much the same. As the 9-11 horrors and the following Anthrax letters proved to us, nuclear missiles are not the only means of foreseeable attack we need to be concerned about.
Satellite and laser technologies could do all the 'shield' could possibly do and would add usable technology that is transferable to the private sector.


I agree that the Missile Shield would have done nothing to prevent the 911 or anthrax attack, the treat that it is designed for is real. North Korea will soon have both a nuclear weapon along with the means to deliver it. The shield is activly being constructed with the third missle due to be placed in its silo soon. The missile shield is an interm fix and I agree, directed energy weapons are the future. But with North Korea, we may not have time for the future and we may need to protect the present.



posted on Sep, 20 2004 @ 12:18 AM
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FredT
I agree that the Missile Shield would have done nothing to prevent the 911 or anthrax attack, the treat that it is designed for is real. North Korea will soon have both a nuclear weapon along with the means to deliver it. The shield is activly being constructed with the third missle due to be placed in its silo soon. The missile shield is an interm fix and I agree, directed energy weapons are the future. But with North Korea, we may not have time for the future and we may need to protect the present.


FAS space policy site (not an updated site) shows a fantastic simplistic sytem that should make everyone sleep more soundly BUT:


Stg. York, Star Wars, etc. The list is long and almost endless. How many TRILLION do we pour down the defense boot?



posted on Sep, 30 2004 @ 05:27 PM
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These are all excellent points, but we have to consider the fact that military R&D produces some of our most important technologies. For example, rockets, lasers, nuclear energy, jet engines, computers, the internet. Most of these had a helping hand from the military. In fact I believe Milnet was operational before the internet. Mechanical computers were actually used for submairine calculations in WWII. Not to long ago some sort of super-banage was produced by military R&D. So our military is even involved to an extent in medical science.

The other thing to consider is that what if were're caught by suprise. WWII wasn't something the US planned to get involved in until December 7. And we were disadvantaged for a time because we were technologically behind Germany due to the same peace time belief. Military R&D will always be an important part of our budget.



posted on Oct, 1 2004 @ 08:17 AM
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I agree wholeheartedly. However, how many tanks? How many super-deluxe jets? It is not just wasteful of resources it is wasteful of purpose.

As we (a modern society) know qualitative excellence by far outstrips quantitative possessions. From as far back as the American Revolutionary War certain firearms produced better results than others. History from the Spartans to the present time is replete with examples of quality outperforming quantity.

The missile defense shield as proposed and being implemented is resource wasteful. A line of picket ships acting as a first line warning reminds me of WW I and is just as vulnerable. Nuclear defense is not about controlling or minimizing assault it is about preventing assault. Space based technology exists and could be utilized far more effectively with less manpower costs than a small fleet of naval vessels steaming in the Pacific Ocean. One well placed set of missiles will completely destroy the existing shield.

Much like electronic computing has replaced mechanical computing so too must passe' philosophies of warfare be replaced by their successors. We have in hand the weapons to selectively neutralize small scale threats. What we don't have is infrastructure and philosophy to use what we already have.

New modes and methods. Instead of spending a seemingly endless supply of monies on existing machines and bureaucracies new dimensions in both should be pursued. The resulting improvements will quickly percolate into the market place, as has always occurred. This will improve America's overall posture for the present and the future.

Economic incentives should be used for many defense related items. Everything from smokeless and caseless small arms ammunition, to improved body armor, to electronic surveillance can and should be improved.




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