The 1997 U.S. Space Command “Vision for 2020” document talked about the importance of the U.S. having “control and domination of space.” Since that time the Pentagon, with full funding by Congress, has continued to expand the number of space weapons “platforms” now under development.
In the Air Force Space Command “Strategic Master Plan: FY06 and Beyond” the space “warriors” boldly state, “Air Force doctrine views air, space, and information as key ingredients for dominating the battlespace and ensuring superiority.”
“While our ultimate goals are truly to ‘exploit’ space, we cannot fully ‘exploit’ that medium until we first ‘control’ it.”
The “Master Plan” concludes with, “The ability to gain space superiority (the ability to exploit space while selectively disallowing it to adversaries) is critically important and maintaining space superiority is an essential prerequisite for success in modern warfare.” [You can view the full document by checking the home page of the Global Network at www.space4peace.org ]
The last point, that all warfare today on Earth is directed by space technology, is key to understanding the plans for the future. When Bush’s illegal and immoral “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq was launched in 2003, space satellites were vital. In the initial attack 70% of the weapons used were directed to their targets by space technology. Thus, whoever controls space wins all the wars on the Earth below.
Last October during the Global Network’s annual Keep Space for Peace Week, Bush announced his new National Space Policy that gave the Pentagon the green light to move forward with the development of offensive space weapons to give the U.S. the ability to destroy another nation’s space satellites. China very quickly responded by firing a rudimentary anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon and blew up one of its own old satellites as a way of making the statement to Bush that “you will not be the Master of Space.”
Not missing a beat, or an opportunity to use the Chinese warning as further justification for U.S. space weapons developments, Lt. Gen. Kevin Campbell, head of the Army’s Space & Missile Defense Command, told an audience of aerospace contractors meeting in Alabama in August, “I’m not free to talk about specifics, but the bottom line is we’re thinking about and taking steps to ensure we have a capability… that shows we have freedom of action in space.”
One of the first things the Bush administration did upon taking office was withdraw the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia. This treaty banned the testing and deployment of so-called “missile defense” systems. Since that U.S. withdrawal, Bush has aggressively moved to fund, test, and deploy the technologies that could eventually give the U.S. first-strike capability over any other nuclear power. As we witnessed with the U.S. attack on Iraq, first-strike is now the official military doctrine of the U.S.
The Pentagon now sees Russia and China as key obstacles to U.S. Empire. Both those nations recently held joint military exercises to make clear that they will not stand idly by as the U.S. tries to become the Ubermeister of the planet.
All one has to do is track base construction and weapons deployments since 9-11 to see a clear pattern emerging. The Pentagon now has six new permanent bases along China’s inland border in Afghanistan. On China’s coastal region U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers, outfitted with “missile defense” interceptors, are being deployed in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and possibly even Taiwan.
Russia is alarmed at U.S. moves to put a Star Wars radar facility in the Czech Republic and “missile defense” interceptors in nearby Poland. Again since 9-11, the U.S. has established military bases in Romania and Bulgaria. NATO, clearly under U.S. direction, has been expanding into Eastern Europe as well with bases in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and is now attempting to create more bases in the Ukraine and Georgia. This is something that could never have happened during the Cold War.
The U.S. is now forming space technology “partnerships” with countries like Canada, Italy, Japan, Australia, England, Israel and others in order to help draw their aerospace industries into this very expensive program to move the arms race into space.
U.S. military doctrine now advocates moving away from international treaties because they would restrict the ability of the military to carry out first-strike attacks on other nations. In 2004, then Naval War College instructor Thomas Barnett told a large audience of military officers that, “Adolph Hitler never had to ask permission to invade another country and neither will we!” I was stunned by the comment as I watched Barnett on C-SPAN, he was introduced as Donald Rumsfeld’s “strategy guy,” laying out what has essentially become the key U.S. plan for endless war.
Barnett talked about part of the world being the “non-integrating gap” that is not submitting to the dictates of corporate globalization. Barnett said that under corporate globalization every country would have a different role. Some countries like China would make products because of their cheap labor. The U.S., Barnett told the assembled military brass, would become “leviathan” with our huge military to help bring those “non-integrating” countries under our control.
One key U.S. base in this whole scheme is Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska. This base is the Headquarters of the U.S. Strategic Command (StratCom). StratCom has become probably the most important, and most dangerous, U.S. based in the empire. It is now in charge of “full-spectrum global strike” (staging offensive, preemptive attacks); combating weapons of mass destruction; space and computer warfare; ballistic missile defense; and surveillance and reconnaissance (the “warrant-less wiretaps” conducted by the National Security Agency). The Global Network will hold its annual space organizing conference and protest in Omaha on April 11-13, 2008 and activists will come from around the world to join with us.
Many people, even within the peace movement, still do not understand the magnitude of plans for warfare in and from space. Ultimately we must call for the conversion of the military industrial complex. Until we do our nation is set on a course of endless war on Earth and in the heavens.
Bruce K Gagnon
Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He lives in Maine, USA. www.space4peace.org