OMNI NEWSLETTER #1 ON STAR WARS
January 24, 2008, Compiled by Dick Bennett for a CULTURE OF PEACE
MILITARIZATION OF SPACE; USA AND CANADA
SENATOR BLANCHE LINCOLN (202) 224-4843
Senator Mark Pryor: (202) 224-2353
Why IT’S THE WAR DEPARTMENT (join me in replacing the “Defense” Dept. with the WAR DEPARTMENT)
A publication of the Program on International Policy Attitudes
Large Majorities of Americans and Russians Oppose All Space Weapons
Strong Bipartisan Support for Unilateral Restraint
Large Majorities Favor Treaty Against Attacking or Developing the Capability to Attack Satellites
Most Americans and Russians agree that their governments should work together to prevent an arms race in space. Large majorities in both countries favor unilateral restraint and a treaty that would keep space free of weapons.
Americans and Russians also support treaties that would prohibit countries from attacking or interfering with each others’ satellites and from testing or deploying weapons designed to attack satellites.
These are among the key findings of a WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 1,247 Americans and 1,601 Russians developed in conjunction with the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM). Knowledge Networks in the United States and the Levada Center in Russia conducted the interviews.
Karl Grossman. His books include The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet (Common Courage) and his video documentaries include Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens (EnviroVideo). His new video documentary, Star Wars Returns, is available from EnviroVideo (1-800-ECO-TV46 or http://www.envirovideo.com) and new book, Weapons In Space, soon to be published by Seven Stories Press (http://firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-226-8760).
A 1999 ANALYSIS
Reasons why Star Wars is irrational, unfeasible, and dangerous.
I. Among the many programs on which the FY2000 Budget proposes to spend more money, the National Missile Defense (there’s that Newspeak word again) program provides the clearest, most powerful illustration of HUGE SUMS OF MONEY BEING WASTED to address a highly unlikely threat. The least likely threat is from nuclear missile attack. Only Russia and China possess intercontinental range ballistic missiles and nether nation has any reason to launch an attack. Russian is dependent upon U.S. assistance, and China enjoys a massive trade surplus with the U.S. The future capability of the so-called “rogue” nations (another Newspeak word, for what nation has invaded and bombed other nations the most: N. Korea, Cuba, Algeria, or the US?) to deploy ICBMs is highly exaggerated. These countries lack the resources for missile attacks with nuclear weapons. And why go to the expense, when a small nuclear device can be brought into the country through our borders and ports at a fraction of the cost and risk? Furthermore, balistic missiles cary a return address and thus guarantee devastating retaliation. Why not use chemical or biological agents by clandestine means and avoid retaliation?
II. Star Wars program seeks to shoot a bullet with a bullet. To date, in attempting to defend the US against missile attack, the US has spent $55 billion and still has not developed technology that will work. The last five attempts to intercept a missile all failed. Even if the bullet bullet problem is solved, even one interceptor must be integrated into an as yet unimaginably complex computer system required to function in a few seconds.. And if 20 missiles are coming in, there will be no certainty that this system will function reliable the first time it is needed in the real world.
III. The National Missile Defense WAR program clearly VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with the Soviet Union. Unless Russia agrees to modify the terms of the Treaty to accommodate US arms expansion, there is an implied threat that the US will unilaterally abrogate it, placing the US and Russia in a new conflict. The ABM Treaty has effectively limited competition in nuclear arms, and it helped produce the Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT) and Strategic Arms Reduction (START) Treaties which braked and reversed the runaway US-SU nuclear arms race of the 70s and 80s. The National Missile War Program would probably block START II and keep deployed strategic weapons at the 6,000 level rather than drop to 3,500 on each side. Another danger of abrogating the ABM Treaty is that it would strengthen the ultra-nationals faction in Russia, which is already angry over NATO expansions. They certainly would cite this as another reason to cling to their ful nuclear arsenal.
IV. Canceling the National Missile DEFENSE WAR plans will facilitate the reduction of strategic arsenals of both nations. It would result in a savings of at least $12 billion in the next six years, money which could be applied through the Nunn-Lugar program to assist the Russians in dismantling nuclear weapons and stockpiles of fissile materials. It would send a clear signal to the Russians and the world that we are determined to proceed with nuclear disarmament as we pledged to do under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Source: The Defense Monitor 28.1 (1999), pub. by Center for Defense Information (former Senator Bumpers, former Director). Condensed by Dick Bennett, email@example.com
SENATOR BLANCHE LINCOLN (202) 224-4843
U.S. MILITARY MOVES TO "CONTROL SPACE" AND BE "ENFORCEMENT ARM FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY"
Presentation at Technology and Globalization Teach-In
New York City
February 24, 2001
Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, has specialized in investigative reporting for more than 30 years. His books include The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet (Common Courage Press) and his video documentaries include Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens (EnviroVideo). His new video documentary, Star Wars Returns, is forthcoming [now available] from EnviroVideo (1-800-ECO-TV46 or http://www.envirovideo.com) and new book, Weapons In Space, soon to be published by Seven Stories Press (http://firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-226-8760).
Grossman is a charter member of the Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace of the International Association of University Presidents and the United Nations.
Grossman's E-mail address is: email@example.com .
The United States is seeking to "control space" and from space "dominate" the Earth below - and "control" and "dominate" are words used repeatedly in U.S. military documents. The U.S. military, further, would like to base weapons in space.
The new Bush administration is gung-ho for U.S. projection of space military power. As last month's report of the "Space Commission" chaired by incoming Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld puts it: "In the coming period, the U.S. will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the Earth and in space."
Star Wars is back. But there's a difference since Star Wars first emerged under Ronald Reagan in 1983. Then it was purportedly needed to fend off what Reagan called the "evil empire," the Soviet Union. There is no Soviet Union any longer. And a key rationale for Star Wars now, U.S. military documents acknowledge, is the global economy - of which the U.S. is the engine. The U.S. would, from the "ultimate high ground" of space, "dominate" the planet below in part to keep the global economy on track.
Says the U.S. Space Command's "Vision for 2020" report , its cover depicting a laser weapon shooting a beam down from space zapping a target below: "The globalization of the world economy will also continue - with a widening between haves and have-nots. From space, the U.S. would keep those have-nots in line.
The U.S. Space Command, set up by the Pentagon in 1985, describes itself in "Vision for 2020" this way: "US Space Command - dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict."
"Vision for 2020" compares the U.S. effort to "control space" and Earth below to how centuries ago "nations built navies to protect and enhance their commercial interests," referring to the great empires of Europe that ruled the waves and thus the Earth to maintain their imperial economies.
Consider the "Long Range Plan" of the U.S. Space Command. "The United States will remain a global power and exert global leadership," it says. "The United States won't always be able to forward base its forces. Widespread communications will highlight disparities in resources and quality of life - contributing to unrest in developing countries. The global economy will continue to become more interdependent. Economic alliances, as well as the growth and influence of multi-national corporations, will blur security agreements. The gap between have and have-not nations will widen - creating regional unrest. One of the long acknowledged and commonly understood advantages of space-based platforms is no restriction or country clearances to overfly a nation from space."
The U.S. Space Command seeks to become "the enforcement arm for the global economy," as Bill Sulzman, director of Citizens for Peace In Space put it at the international conference last year of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power In Space.
U.S. citizens are not aware of the broad military plans of the U.S. for space because of the PR spin of the new Star Wars pitch (it's about protecting against a "Space Pearl Harbor," as the Rumsfeld Commission puts it, "just" about "missile defense") and due to communications media that are lazy and worse.
But other nations of the world do understand. That's why, at the United Nations last November 20, a resolution was introduced - on which 163 nations voted yes - for "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space." It reaffirmed the basic international law on space, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, and specifically its provision that space be set aside for "peaceful purposes." The United States abstained.
A country leading in the international effort to stop the U.S. plans by strengthening the Outer Space Treaty and barring all weapons from space is Canada - no potential rival.
As Marc Vidricaire, representing Canada, said at the UN last year: "It has been suggested that our proposal is not relevant because the assessment on which it rests is either premature or alarmist. In our view, it is neither. One need only look at what is happening right now."
Moreover, stressed the Canadian statement, "There is no question that the technology can be developed to place weapons in outer space. There is also no question that no state can expect to maintain a monopoly on such knowledge -- or such capabilities -- for all time. If one state actively pursues the weaponization of space, we can be sure others will follow."
But the rogue state called the United States is blocking the Canadian initiative. For the U.S. thinks it can be - as the motto of the Air Force Space Command terms it - "Master of Space."
"Master of Space." It appears as a Space Command uniform patch and is in three-foot high letters over the entrance of the Air Force's 50th Space Wing. It pretty well sums up the attitude toward space of the U.S. power structure.
Working closely with the U.S. military in achieving this goal are major aerospace corporations. Indeed, the "Long Range Plan starts out by explaining how it has been U.S. Space Command's "#1 priority - investing nearly 20 man-years to make it a reality" and: "The development and production process, by design, involved hundreds of people including about 75 corporations."
The "Long Range Plan" goes on to list those 75 corporations - beginning with Aerojet and going through Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Sparta Corp. to TRW and Vista Technologies. President Dwight Eisenhower warned in his "farewell address" in 1961 of the influence of a "military-industrial complex." Now, the U.S. military boasts about how giant corporations are helping set U.S. military doctrine.
Star Wars, with its powerful backers, never, in fact, went away. Funding at $6 billion-a-year plus monies in the "black" or secret for U.S. space military activities continued through the Clinton administration. Last December, Clinton's Department of Defense cleared the way for development of the "Space Based Laser Readiness Demonstrator" - a project of Lockheed Martin, Boeing and TRW - with a "lifecycle budget" of $20 to $30 billion. A second space-based laser weapon on which development continued through the Clinton years is the "Alpha High-Energy Laser," now test-fired more than 20 times.
It was Clinton's Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force for Space Keith Hall who said: "With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it, and we're going to keep it."
And things are far worse now with Bush and Cheney, their administration intimately linked to the aerospace companies - Cheney himself a former member of the TRW board, his wife Lynn a member of the Lockheed Martin board - and tied to the ultra right-wing "think tanks" that, with the U.S. military, have been promoting Star Wars.
The new administration is pushing hard and fast to make space a new arena of war. Last month's report by the Rumsfeld "Space Commission" calls for U.S. "power projection in, from and through space." It seeks U.S. "superior space capabilities." It says the U.S. president should "have the option to deploy weapons in space." It emphasizes that it is "possible to project power through and from space in response to events anywhere in the world. Unlike weapons from aircraft, land forces or ships, space missions initiated from earth or space could be carried out with little transit, information or weather delay. Having this capability would give the U.S. a much stronger deterrent and, in a conflict, an extraordinary military advantage." It proposes the U.S. Space Command become the nucleus of a U.S. Space Corps, to be like the Marine Corps and possibly "transition" to a fully separate Space Force or "Space Department" - on par with the Army, Navy and Air Force - several years hence.
As the man whose legislation got the Rumsfeld "Space Commission" established, Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire, said in an interview just taped with him to be part of my forthcoming "Star Wars Returns" video documentary, involved is the new "manifest destiny" of the U.S. "It is our manifest destiny," said Senator Smith. "You know we went from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States of America settling the continent and they call that manifest destiny and the next continent if you will, the next frontier, is space and it goes on forever." Now it's U.S. cosmic "manifest destiny."
The book, The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the 2lst Century, by think-tankers George and Meredith Friedman, concludes: "Just as by the year 1500 it was apparent that the European experience of power would be its domination of the global seas, it does not take much to see that the American experience of power will rest on the domination of space...Just as Europe expanded war and its power to the global oceans, the United States is expanding war and its power into space. Just as Europe shaped the world for half a millennium, so too the United States will shape the world for at least that length of time. For better or worse, America has seized hold of the future of war, and with it - for a time - the future of humanity."
The rest of the world will not sit back and accept U.S. "world dominance" from space. If the U.S. moves ahead on its program of astro-imperialism, deploys weapons in space, other nations - China and Russia right off - will meet the U.S. in kind. There will be an arms race and inevitably war in space.
As First Secretary of China's UN delegation, Wang Xiaoyu, has declared: "Outer space is the common heritage of human beings. It should be used entirely for peaceful purposes and for the economic, scientific, and cultural development of all countries as well as the well-being of mankind. It must not be weaponized and become another arena of the arms race."
"Space domination," he stated, "is a hegemonic concept. Its essence is monopoly of space and denial of others access to it." If the U.S. pushes ahead, "other countries would in response launch their own" space military programs, China vowed. However, China is, for now, holding off and, paralleling Canada's initiative, also seeking an international ban on weapons in space. But the U.S. has rebuffed the Chinese initiative, too.
Incidentally, the weapons the U.S. military wants to deploy in space - especially lasers - will need large amounts of power. And nuclear energy is seen by the U.S. military as the "natural" power source for them.
As New World Vistas: Air And Space Power For The 2lst Century, a U.S. Air Force board report, states: "In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict. These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills." But "power limitations impose restrictions" on such-based weapons systems making them "relatively unfeasible." "A natural technology to enable high power," it goes on, "is nuclear power in space." "Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space," asserts "New World Vistas."
The Outer Space Treaty is a visionary document. It is a pact to keep war out of space. The U.S., incidentally, was a leader in getting it enacted. It is signed now by most nations of the world. Based on the Antarctic Treaty, it calls for the "exploration and use of outer space [to] the benefit and in the interests of all countries" and prohibits the "placement in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction." For nearly four decades, it has kept space war-free.
What a legacy to be left for our children and their children at the dawn of this new century, this new millenium, if the U.S. succeeds in trashing the Outer Space Treaty and makes space a new place for war. No one will profit but Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and TRW, and so on.
We have a narrow window to keep space for peace, to strengthen the Outer Space Treaty and ban all weapons in space. We must join with peoples from around the world and stop this move by the United States to turn the heavens into a war zone. Getting and spreading the information about what is going on is critical. And then: action, action, action. I urge you to join with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power In Space and move against what is happening. We must challenge the anti-environmental, anti-democratic global economy and we must challenge its would-be ìenforcement arm" - the new U.S. space military establishment.
To order a copy of “STAR WARS RETURNS” call 718-318-8045 or click here.
Senator Mark Pryor: (202) 224-2353
CANADA AND USA
RADARSAT-2 Launch, Dec. 14, 2007:
Canada Reaches New Heights in Hypocrisy and the Militarization of Space
When Canada's RADARSAT-2 satellite is blasted into orbit on December 14, 2007, Canada will have reached dizzying new heights in the militarization of space.
This launch also represents a new pinnacle in Canadian government hypocrisy and denial. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) proudly lists the applications of RADARSAT-2 as follows:
"Ice; Marine Surveillance; Disaster Management; Hydrology; Mapping; Geology; Agriculture; Forestry."
< http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/satellites/radarsat2/applications.asp >
What this public relations puff piece from the CSA neglects to mention is that RADARSAT is also a billion dollar Christmas present from Canadian taxpayers to the U.S. military. In fact, RADARSAT is likely the Canadian government's single-most important technological contribution to U.S. institutions dedicated to gathering intelligence and waging war. However, the importance of RADARSAT-2 in future U.S. wars will likely be glossed over, if not completely ignored, when news agencies launch their glowing reports in the following weeks.
Not only has RADARSAT-2 already helped put Canada on the map as a major global player in space militarization, its predecessor — RADARSAT-1 — generously mapped the entire world for U.S. military and intelligence agencies. These U.S. government departments are in fact among the biggest and most appreciative beneficiaries of this publicly-funded, but now privately-controlled Canadian space technology.
When describing RADARSAT, the CSA, Canadian politicians and the corporations involved have always loudly extolled the benefits this satellite program to humanity and the planet as a whole. They proudly explain that since its launch in 1995, RADARSAT-1's Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors have been using microwaves to produce images of the earth, even when the planet is obscured by the cover of darkness, by clouds, dust storms or the most adverse weather conditions.
And, when RADARSAT-2 is launched this Christmas season, we will no doubt be subjected to many of the same kinds of stories about how useful this device will be for monitoring environmental disasters caused by global warming. We can only hope that journalists will do a better job of uncovering the truth about RADARSAT-2's equally important role in helping the U.S. to fight wars than they did about RADARSAT-1's military applications. Although the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army and various American spy agencies have been among the top users of RADARSAT-1 data, the government and its friends in the mainstream corporate media have always downplayed this side of Canada's premiere satellite. (See: "U.S. Warfighters get their Hands on RADARSAT Data." Read more here.)
The article below is a modified version of an article from April 2006. It summarizes a 30,000-word document, containing more than 350 references, which was published as issue #58 of Press for Conversion!, the magazine of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT). Its full text is available online. (Access it here.)
Canada: A World Leader in the Militarisation of Space
By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!
Although RADARSAT-1 is widely recognized as the world's most advanced "synthetic aperture radar" (SAR) satellite system, most Canadians know very little, if anything, about it. (See "RADARSAT: From Spin to Secrecy" and "Meet 'the RADARSAT Family of Satellites.'" Read more here.)
Perhaps journalists will have by now learned that they should not necessarily believe government denials about the military applications of Canada's space program. When the Conservative government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announced the RADARSAT-1 project two decades ago, then-Science Minister Frank Oberle said "This technology is of no particular use to the military." Then, in 1995, when the satellite was launched under the tutelage of Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, CSA officials repeated the same refrain, saying that RADARSAT would not be used for military purposes. One CSA spokesperson, Mac Evans, tried to have it both ways saying: "We are fostering the use of space for peaceful purposes... That does not exclude military use." (See "Secret Military Eye in the Sky." Read more here.)
However, for 12 years now, in exchange for NASA's launch of RADARSAT-1, the U.S. government has controlled of 15% of this Canadian satellite's observation time. U.S. government agencies also have free access to all RADARSAT data over 6 months old. Despite their considerable control of, and access to RADARSAT and its data, U.S. military and intelligence agencies have also purchased many millions of dollars worth of additional RADARSAT time.
Most significantly, the U.S. military a "family" of at least five portable ground stations, called "Eagle Vision," was specifically designed to control the operations of RADARSAT-1 and -2. Eagle Vision is "a cornerstone of the [U.S.] military's commercial imagery exploitation" (SIGNAL Magazine, March 2001). It allows the U.S. military to directly control these Canadian satellites and directly downlink their data to deployed soldiers that are engaged in battle. ( See: "Meet Eagle Vision: U.S. Military Bridgehead to RADARSAT." Read more here.)
U.S. warfighters have understandably been grateful for this use of RADARSAT-1 data during Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations in such wars as those waged in Yugoslavia (1999) and Afghanistan (2001-present). And then there's the lraq war. One of the Eagle Vision ground stations—that controls RADARSAT-1 operations and downloads its data—was deployed to the Persian Gulf in early 2003 for use throughout the war against Iraq. A Pentagon source told Space News: "It's doing great things... It's working like gangbusters" ( March 31, 2003).
Many Canadian taxpayers might be surprised if not dismayed to learn that they have, in effect, been subsidising various U.S. wars by providing the American government with this advanced satellite technology. The design and production of RADARSAT-1 and -2 have cost Canadian governments about one BILLION dollars. About 90% of RADARSAT-1's $620-million price tag was publicly funded, while about 83% of RADARSAT-2's $525-million cost was paid for by Canadian taxpayers. ( Read more: "The Growing Costs of RADARSAT-1 and -2.")
From the start, the joint government/corporate idea was to privatise RADARSAT and the Liberal government was quick to begin this process. It handed over control of the data marketing and sales of RADARSAT to MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) of Vancouver. MDA was, at that time, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orbital Sciences, a U.S. company that is one of the world's top manufacturers of military rockets, and a top supplier for "missile-defense" weapons systems. The privatisation of RADARSAT-2 has been even more complete, with MDA taking over the ownership and control of this second, more-advanced Canadian satellite. ( Read more: "Selling Off the Rights to RADARSAT and its Data.")
MDA sold the license to market and sell RADARSAT-1 and -2 data outside Canada, to a U.S. company called Orbimage. During the privatisation process, Orbimage and MDA were both owned by Orbital Sciences. In 1998, when Orbimage began selling RADARSAT data to U.S. government clients, it started hiring a coterie of retired U.S. military and intelligence officers, including several who had spent their high-level Air Force careers championing the cause of "missile defense" weapons development. ( Read more: "Meet the Staff at ORBIMAGE.")
In 2000, when MDA was still controlled by Orbimage's parent company, Orbital Sciences, David Emerson was on the Canadian subsidiary's Board of Directors. Emerson had been a high-ranking Social Credit bureaucrat under BC Premier Bill Vanderzalm. Emerson eventually became Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin's pro-"missile defense" Minister of Industry and then went on to greater scandals by becoming the Conservative government's Minister of International Trade. ( Read more: "Meet David Emerson.")
Despite concerted efforts by the NDP and BQ, the contractual agreements between the government of Canada and MDA—which formalised the privatisation of RADARSAT-1 and -2—have not even been made available for cursory examination by MPs. In fact, Liberal and Conservative MPs voted as a block to prevent Parliamentarians from even asking to look at these privatisation contracts which had served to hand over Canada's publicly-funded satellites to MDA. (Read more: "The Contracts that Privatised RADARSAT are Secret.")
Secrecy also shrouds an annex to a Canada-U.S. treaty that was signed in 2000 by then-Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Michael Byers, a UBC Professor who teaches Global Politics and International Law testified to Parliament's Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee that this secret annex "could enable the U.S. to demand RADARSAT-2 be used to take images in preparation for a military intervention to which Canada was opposed....[and] in preparation for a war that was illegal under international law" ( February 22, 2005).
Even so, the Canadian government still refused to make the text of this annex available for viewing by MPs. None-the-less, Canadian lawmakers were asked to pass this legislation, even though they were not permitted to read the obligations contained in the treaty's secret annex. Thanks to a combined Liberal-Conservative effort, Bill C-25 (the so-called "The RADARSAT Bill") was eventually passed into law. ( Read more: "Canada-U.S. Treaties: RADARSAT and Military Exports" and "The RADARSAT Law’s Secret Annex.")
RADARSAT-2: A New Canadian Gift to U.S. Warfighters
U.S. and NATO warfighters, warplanners and weapons technicians are looking forward to taking advantage of RADARSAT-2 data after its long-awaited launch in December of 2007. The most coveted military application of this space-based radar system is known as its Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI) capability. RADARSAT-2 will be the first satellite ever launched that has this cutting-edge capacity to track and target moving, ground targets.
According to the DRDC's annual report (1988-99), RADARSAT-2 "data exploitation" was developed by Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC), an agency of Canada's Department of National Defence, "under co-operation with BMDO's Joint National Test Facility." (The BMDO was the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence Organization. Now called the Missile Defense Agency, the BMDO oversaw America's entire "missile defense" weapons program between 1994 and 2002.)
RADARSAT-2's GMTI is being groomed for use in gathering target data for first-strike U.S. and NATO attacks during future "Theatre Missile Defense" (TMD) engagements. TMD is the most important aspect of "missile defense." Its stated purpose is to protect troops, warships and their weapons systems during deployment in faraway battle zones in wars of the not-too-distant future. ( Read more: "RADARSAT, Missile Defense and the Holy Grail" and "GMTI and Theater Missile Defense.")
NATO, and particularly U.S., warfighters have been preparing themselves—during various military exercises, war games and computer simulations over the past eight years or more—to use RADARSAT-2, and particularly its GMTI capabilities. Beginning in 1999, Canada joined a NATO-led effort called the Coalition Aerial Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CAESAR) project. CAESAR's focus was to ensure the deep integration of air-based SAR/GMTI assets of three leading military states (the U.S., UK and France), with Canada's space-based SAR/GMTI satellite, RADARSAT-2. Canada was the only country that rendered a space-based SAR/GMTI sensor unto CAESAR, because no other country was putting this revolutionary military technology into space.
Although CAESAR has expired, its successor is an expanded and even more ambitious NATO-led pact called the Multi-sensor Aerospace-Ground Joint ISR Interoperability Coalition (MAJIIC). Its goal is to integrate several new Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensor systems, besides SAR and GMTI, into the warfighters' toolkit. Canada's contribution to MAJIIC has grown beyond being the only nation to provide a space-based radar platform (RADARSAT) and now includes the provision of a Tactical Uninhabitated Aerial Vehicle. And, in addition, a NATO technical report said Canada would likely play host to a MAJIIC "live-fly" exercise in Alberta in June 2006. This probably refered to the "Maple Flag" war game that Canada has been hosting annually for 40 years at the Cold Lake Air Force Base. In 2006, this "war game" began on May 14 (Mothers' Day) and continued until June 23. ( Read more: "From CAESAR to MAJIIC: How RADARSAT plugs Canada in to future NATO-led wars.")
One of the main functions of both CAESAR and MAJIIC has been to enhance the ability of the world's best-equipped warfighters to work together as one integrated team, using their nation's respective SAR/GMTI technologies. These preparations have included huge "live-fly" war games with incorporated computer simulations, practised warfighting scenarios with major "theatre missile defense" components. ( Read more: "Clean Hunter 2001: RADARSAT in a TMD War Game" and "TMD: Coming to a Theatre of War Near You?")
RADARSAT-1 and -2 have ensured Canada's leadership in the race to further militarise space. To ensure that Canada will maintain this leading role, a follow-on project is now in the works. RADARSAT-3, to be launched within the next few years, will be even more beneficial to domestic and foreign military/intelligence agencies than were either RADARSAT-1 or -2. It has been touted as "the most advanced space-borne land information and mapping mission ever conceived" by both MDA and the Canadian Space Agency.
Considering the many rapid advances being made in the development of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaisance (ISR) sensors and weapons technologies, it has become even more crucial for those concerned about war, militarisation, state terrorism and increasing human rights abuses—such as unwarranted government surveillance of their own populations—to ask the age-old question: "Who will watch the watchers?" ( Read more: "Learning from Two Commandments of War: Know the Enemy and Take the High Ground.")
The information and analysis presented here should raise many doubts about the widely-held myth that Canada is a strong force for peace and justice on the global stage. For example, Canadian government departments, agencies and crown corporations have worked hand-in-glove with military-related corporations in the creation, development and deployment of a wide variety of "missile defense" weapons systems. This long-standing complicity did not end when the Canadian government uttered its much-heralded "NO" to joining the "missile defense" weapons program.
Canada's hypocritical "no-means-yes" policy on participation in "missile defense" is also reflected in the Canadian government's supposed non-involvement in the Iraq war. Canada has, in fact, been deeply engaged in that war from the beginning as then-U.S. Ambassador was happy to point out when he said: "Ironically, the Canadians indirectly provide more support for us in Iraq than most of those 46 countries that are fully supporting us." ( Read more: "The War in Iraq: Another Canadian “No-Means-Yes” Policy in Action.")
The article above summarizes some of the main facts presented in issue #58 of Press for Conversion!, the magazine of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT). Entitled "Canada's Role in the Militarisation of Space: RADARSAT, The Warfighters' Eye in the Sky and its links to Missile Defense," this 30,000-word publication, with more than 350 references, is available online. (Read more)
This was the fourth issue of Press for Conversion! to examine "missile defense"-related subjects. The three issues (#56, #57, #58) were released following the Canadian government's February 2005 statement pretending non-involvement in "missile defense." These issues reveal detailed evidence proving that there is longstanding and ongoing Canadian government, corporate and military support for this controversial, U.S.-led weapons development program. (Read more)
Permission is granted to quote from the above article or publish it in its entirety, as long as acknowledgement is given to the author and the source. Please feel free to use any of the author's other articles in Press for Conversion! on RADARSAT, BMD and the militarization of space.
Three previous issues of COAT's magazine, Press for Conversion! focused on BMD:
#57 (October 2005) "Canada’s Role in so called “Missile Defense”
Part II: Sea-based, Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense
#56 (June 2005) "Canada’s Role in so called “Missile Defense”
Part I: NORAD, Government Largesse and the ABC’s of Corporate Complicity
#55 (Dec. 2004) "Missile Defense: Trojan Horse for the Weaponization of Space"
For more information, email Richard Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada's RADARSAT satellite company sold to "weapons & space" giant, ATK
By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!
The news today (January 9, 2008) is that a Canadian company, called MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), will sell off its space divisions to the US war industry giant, called Alliant Techsystems (ATK).
Just a few weeks ago (December 14, 2007), the world's most advanced "synthetic aperture radar" satellite, a Canadian invention called RADARSAT-2, was finally blasted into space.
There is a major connection between these two stories.
MDA has been the proud owner and controller of RADARSAT-2, since the Government of Canada generously handed this publicly-funded satellite over to them. RADARSAT-2 was almost entirely paid for by Canadian citizens and it got into the private hands of MDA thanks the Liberal government's obeisance to the god of privatization. Now, RADARSAT-2 and the ground stations in 35 countries that download its data, are being sold to a large US war industry, ATK.
Most Canadian taxpayers probably don't even know that they paid over a Billion dollars for the RADARSAT system (including $500 million for the development of RADARSAT-2 alone). And, most don't know that the Liberals gave it all away to their friends in a private company, called MDA. ( David Emerson was on MDA's Board back when he was a Liberal and MDA was owned by a US "missile defence" rocket maker called, Orbital Sciences (OS). The former manager of OS, Carl Marchetto, is going to run ATK Space Systems.)
ATK, the new owner of "Canada's" satellite, touts itself as "an advanced weapon and space system company." Good combo that, "weapons" and "space." It's the way of the future, they say. (Not that Canada would ever have anything to do with such things, ha ha.) ATK has its fingers in everything from "missile defense" rocket motors to ammo for small arms. So if you need a diversified war industry to park your cash in and watch it grow, you know where to stick it. ATK tells us they are "the nations largest producer of commercial and military ammunition and a leading provider of gun systems," and now they're set to own and control RADARSAT-2, which is probably Canada's single greatest technological contribution to the US war machine.
Check out ATK's website, where the lead banner shows a flashy image of RADARSAT-2. It sure makes one proud to be a peace-loving Canadian!
MDA got a whopping $1.325 billion (in cash) for the sale to ATK. Not bad, considering RADARSAT-2 was mostly paid for by you and me, the lowly taxpayer who had no say in the matter. And, why should we expect to have any say in this? Hey, we didn't even know anything about it in the first place. It was all under the radar, so to speak.
MDA selling Canadarm business to U.S. firm
Unfortunately, Canadians aren't even allowed to know how much MDA paid to take the burden of RADARSAT-2 off our hands. Was it a dollar? We can't know for sure, but maybe the Liberals (and their collaborators in the Conservative party) gave it away for a song, perhaps it was the "Star Spangled Banner."
We lowly taxpayers can't know the details of this scam because the contract between the government of Canada and MDA is still secret. And, get this, the Liberal and Conservative MPs on a Parliamentary Committee teamed up in March 2005 to vote against an NDP-Bloc motion to have that contract made available for a quick viewing by MPs on the committee. It would be bad for business, said the Liberal government of the day, and--of course--the Conservatives agreed.
The Contract is Secret
What's more, the Liberal's C-25 Space Treaty, that's the one called the RADARSAT Bill, has an Annex in it that is Top Secret. Even the MPs who had to vote on turning this RADARSAT Bill into law, were not allowed to read this secret annex! Hmmmm... Passing laws that they aren't even allowed to read? Now that's fine print!
Secret Annex to RADARSAT Law
But this only scratches the surface of some of the many scams surrounding RADARSAT-2 that you will not read about in the corporate media. (I'll give you a theory on that at the end of this article.). But you can read much more about why RADARSAT is the best example of Canada's role in the militarisation of space by clicking here:
RADARSAT - The Warfighters Eye in the Sky
NATO and US warplanners are even planning for RADARSAT-2 to have a major role in pre-emptive first strikes that are to be part of so-called "missile defense." (It's brilliantly called "missile defense" because it's designed to defend our missiles when we are using them in offensive wars.) RADARSAT-2's GMTI technology will come in real handy if and when the US ever manages to fabricate a suitable pretext for launching air strikes against Iran. Read how GMTI works here:
RADARSAT, Missile Defense and the Holy Grail
So, now that Canada's new and improved military "eye in the sky" is up there watching down over us all, do you feel more secure? (Even though it's being turned over to a "weapons" and "space'" company?) Some cognitive dissonance may be in store for those who have been absorbing all the media hype about RADARSAT-2 being a hot new tool for monitoring rapidly-melting ice caps and expanding deserts caused by global warming.
But what we haven't heard much if anything about from the corporate mainstream media is that RADARSAT-2 is going to be useful for fighting the very hot wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and all future scorched-earth policies, that may arise if WWIII with Iran ever comes to pass). These wars will now be made all that much easier, for US!
MAJIIC: Pulling a War out of your Hat
RADARSAT-2's role in current and future wars, hinges on something that is cleverly called MAJIIC. It's a well-known fact that warplanners and warfighters love acronyms. MAJIIC is a good example.
It stands for this mouthful: "Multi-sensor Aerospace-ground Joint ISR Interoperability Coalition."
As you can see, this acronym has another acronym within it, ISR. For those uninitiated into the sacred rites of war, ISR stands for "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance."
You can't win a war without using ISR. Never could, never will. ISR is as essential to war as the weapons, the war budget, a good enemy, a taxpaying public duped into footing the bill, and a media that promotes and then covers up the whole fraudulent operation. With the right shills, a willing mark and crafty fast-talking conmen to pull off the scam, it's a grifter's dream come true! Hello money!
But back to the sleight of hand trick they call MAJIIC. On January 3, 2008, Aviation Week ran an article that starts:
"A nine-nation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) project sponsored by NATO is yielding 'powerful new technologies that soon could be deployed to Afghanistan,' the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) says."
'Majiic' Brings NATO ISR Data Together
What's this got to do with Canada you ask? The article explains:
"Countries involved in Majiic are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States."
So, what's this all about?
"Majiic is about developing standards and technologies that will allow NATO commanders to instantly tap into real-time data from a number of NATO and national systems.
'With Majiic we will be able to deploy a wide array of air, ground and space surveillance assets, from different countries, and have them provide commanders with a single, coherent and detailed picture of whats happening on the ground,' says Joe Ross, technical manager at NC3A." (emphasis added)
Sounds important, eh? It is. Deadly important.
RADARSAT-2 is Canada's state-of-the-art-of-war satellite system and it is the top jewel in the MAJIIC crown. Through MAAJIC (and the earlier project from which it evolved, namely CAESAR*), NATO has been preparing for the day when its warfighters can download RADARSAT-2 data from space for speedy, real-time use in live wars.
I'm here to tell you that that day has now finally arrived!
For my analysis of the government and military industry documents detailing NATO's preparations for the use of real RADARSAT-2 data, see these articles:
Use of RADARSAT-1 and -2 data in NATO "wargames"
For many years, the boys over at NATO have been practising for this day using "simulated RADARSAT-2 data." They've done this in various "war games" that have involved thousands of real troops and billions worth of real weapons systems. Now these machines of war, and their operators, are all hooked up to the real thing, RADARSAT-2. So, now that the boys have their new toy, they are raring to have a go with it under the real conditions of war. No more playing around, they want the real thing.
Shhh! Don't tell anyone... Canada is a Warmonger
Will anyone notice? I mean any of us in Canada. As for the victims on the ground who at are the receiving end of the weapons systems that are targeted using RADARSAT-2 data, we can be sure that--during their final moments--they'll perhaps notice something, though we can be sure they won't know that they have Canada to thank for whatever hit them. Neither, presumably, will their friends, family and neighbours know that Canadians paid for the targeting system.
As Major-General Andrew Leslie, Canada's military commander in Afghanistan, once said: "Every time you kill an angry young man overseas, you're creating 15 more who will come after you."
By that logic, it's better if they don't know it was us who killed them.
So perhaps that's how we Canadians want it. Perhaps we want the world--and even ourselves--to remain blissfully ignorant of Canada's role in the militarization of space and the many ways in our country is deeply complicity in the global business of war. That way if any terrorists are ever looking for revenge because neighbourhoods in their country were leveled during a US-led war, they won't know enough to look over here to Canada for potential targets.
So, can we continue--for example--to keep Canada's role in the Iraq war and the militarization of space a big secret?
And, by trying to bust the myth of Canada the great peacekeeper, are we aiding and abetting the enemy?
Since the announcement was made last night, there have about 163 news stories on the upcoming sale of MDA to ATK. At least that's what Google News finds as of 11am January 9.
Google search: MDA ATK
However, among those 163 stories, only two distinct articles even mention RADARSAT.
Google search: MDA ATK RADARSAT
And, of course, the military uses of RADARSAT are not mentioned in those two articles.
So, perhaps our secret is still good. Canada is still seen as a great promoter of world peace! And, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, it's a grave matter of national security!
* CAESAR, the Coalition Aerial Surveillance and Reconnaissance, was the aptly named NATO program through which Canada rendered up its RADARSAT capabilities to warfighting for the empire, i.e., "Give unto CAESAR that which is CAESAR's" and all that.
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
Senator Mark Pryor: (202) 224-2353
SENATOR BLANCHE LINCOLN (202) 224-4843
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