“Space is now a distinct warfighting domain,” says the U.S. Defense Space Strategy. Last week, corporate media repeated U.S. military propaganda: that Russia had “tested new technologies that could lead to so-called ‘killer satellites’” (ABC); the U.S. and Britain “accused Russia of testing a weapon-like projectile in space that could be used to target satellites in orbit” (BBC); “the US has publicly accused Russia of testing an ‘orbit weapon’” (CNN); “The launch could represent a step towards the militarisation of space”(Sky News); and so on.
The newly-created US Space Force has test-fired a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time as Russia blasted it for “lowering the bar” on using nuclear weapons. The unarmed land-based missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California shortly after midnight on Wednesday. It was the first such development test since the facility became part of the US Space Force, which was established as an independent military branch in late December. The US previously test-fired a missile of this type in October.
WASHINGTON — The military and intelligence community’s space agencies may have to cope with growing instability in outer space if the United States and Russia don’t renew the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) that is set to expire on February 5, 2021, experts warn in a new report. A study released Jan. 15 by the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy notes that abandoning the New START Treaty could not only reignite a nuclear arms race but also destabilize outer space.
Beginning to fill in his declaration of last year about turning space into a war zone and establishing a U.S. Space Force, President Trump was at the Pentagon last week promoting a plan titled “Missile Defense Review.” As The New York Times said in its headline on the scheme:: “Plans Evoke 1983 ‘Star Wars’ Program.” Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, called it “provocative and destabilizing and basically insane.” As Trump stated at the Pentagon on January 17: “We will recognize that space is a new war-fighting domain with the Space Force leading the way. My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer technology.
Dominance in space is vital for the American way of life and the Pentagon must be prepared for deployment and usage of offensive weapons there, in order to protect US interests, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said. The Pentagon is looking at a two-pronged strategy in space, Mattis told an audience at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on Tuesday. In addition to making US assets in orbit more difficult to destroy and easier to replace, offensive capabilities are under consideration, he said. “We are going to have to be prepared to use offensive weapons in space should someone decide to militarize it and go on the offensive,” said the retired Marine who took over the Pentagon in January 2017.
Last week, Vice-President Mike Pence announced the Trump administration’s plan for a new military command, the US Space Force, emphasizing President Donald Trumps’s urging that “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space: we must have American dominance in space.” Pence’s announcement was greeted by Trump, tweeting in response, “Space Force all the way!” Despite a virtual blackout in the mainstream media, Russia and China have been arguing for years in the halls of the United Nations that the world needs a treaty to prevent stationing such weapons in outer space in order to maintain global “strategic stability” among the major powers and enable nuclear disarmament.
Trump’s missile attack on Syria was guided by space-based satellites. I asked award-winning journalist, author, professor and space weapons expert Karl Grossman about the prospects for peace and survival under Trump and his moves toward space weaponization. “With the arming of the heavens, the kind of attack with Tomahawk and other missiles we’ve just seen in the strike on Syria would be succeeded by strikes with space-based weapons – those of the U.S. and other nations – from overhead,” says Grossman. Raytheon is developing anti-satellite weapons, presumably for use against other countries. Under Trump, there’s talk of reviving the nuclear energy sector. What’s your take on these developments?
The Air Force has decided it needs to be much more secretive since a Gazette story last month on the National Space Defense Center in Colorado Springs triggered a public relations "stand down." In an email, the Pentagon confirmed the existence of a memo that bans most Air Force public relations worldwide until airmen are trained on operational security. "In line with the new national defense strategy, the Air Force must hone its culture of engagement to include a heightened focus on sound operational security," says the memo, obtained by The Gazette. A PowerPoint presentation sent out after the memo cited The Gazette's story as one that "inadvertently identified a national center of gravity to adversaries."
By Karl Grossman for Counter Punch - It is highly likely that the Trump administration will move to have the U.S. deploy weapons in space. If this happens, it will be profoundly destabilizing, setting off an arms race and, also likely, leading to war in space. For decades there’s been interest by U.S. administrations—the Reagan administration with its “Star Wars” plan a leading example—in placing weapons in space. But that has alternated with some administrations more-or-less opposed, the Obama administration an example. Still, no matter the administration, since work at the United Nations began in 1985 on a treaty seeking, as its title declares...
This is what it has all come down to.... the US and the corrupt, dictatorial Gulf monarchies meeting at Camp David Thursday and agreeing on a plan to flood the Middle East with 'missile defense' (MD) systems. These Gulf monarchies are the essential allies of the US in the world now (in addition to a few other fascist-leaning nations). Together they are destabilizing and creating chaos in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and beyond. This meeting is evidence of the desperation and the moral decay of the USA. Obama announced that that he would streamline weapon sales and increase joint military exercises with Bahrain (home to US Navy Central Command and the Fifth Fleet), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as part of an “iron-clad commitment” that the United States will help protect them against their neighbor and rival Iran. The Gulf states claim they fear Iran's nuclear weapons even after recent successful negotiations to ensure they don't build any.
Keep Space for Peace Week is a decentralized week of local actions held around the globe to bring the issue of the militarization of space to the public. For the past 13 years the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space has organized the week of actions which include protests at key Space Command bases, space weapons technology production facilities, as well as film showings and public meetings. Space technology now coordinates all US warfare on the planet and increasingly “allied” nations, largely through NATO, are becoming “interoperable” with the US satellite directed war fighting system. This means NATO members buy expensive war fighting technology from the US that is then run through the Pentagon’s space warfare architecture. This gives the US full control of a growing global high-tech military system that ultimately benefits corporate interests. With space technology in place the Pentagon can hear virtually everything on the planet, see everyplace on the planet, and target anyone or anyplace on Earth. The aerospace industry brags that the militarization of space will be the largest industrial program in Earth’s history necessitating major cuts in social spending in order to pay for the project.