Saturday, May 30, 2020


MAY 30, 2020

What’s at Stake:  US WAR AGAINST CHINA
Is This Our Leaders’ Anti-China Problem?  China’s Success Toward an Ecological Civilization.
  UN vs. Threat or Use of Armed Force (see the final selection below).
  Immense Gap Between US and Chinese Military in Africa.
  Shubert, Blaming China.
  NATO and Neoliberalism.
  Artificial Intelligence.
  Chinese Aerospace Development.
  Pentagon Success.
  US Conspiracy Mongering.
  China’s Successful Campaign for the World.
  Early Weeks of Pandemic: China Warns World.
  US v UN Effort for Global Ceasefire.
  Shupak, US Corporate Media Spreads Cold War.
  Parodies by Dick
      NADG Reports Reframed.
      China in Gulf of Mexico.
       China in Caribbean.
  US Nationalism, Covid-19, China, and the ADG by DB.

Memory: 1999 US Bombs Chinese Embassy by William Blum.
US has been at war against
the Reds a long time. 

China’s Determined March Towards The Ecological Civilization. Andre Vltchek, Information Clearinghouse. May 09, 2018.  Popular, 5-15-18. China’s successful attention to the well-being of its natural environment and needy citizens.
 There is no time for long introductions. The world is, possibly heading for yet another catastrophe. This one, if we, human beings will not manage to prevent it, could become our final. The West is flexing its muscle, antagonizing every single country that stands on its way to total domination of the Planet. Some countries, including Syria, are attacked directly and mercilessly. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people are dying. -more-


The absence of a strong world peace movement with the capacity to prevent this buildup by the United States is of considerable concern for the planet. The need for such a movement could not be greater.  | more…
Saving Contrast, FOUNDATION FOR PEACE: THE UN CHARTER     “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. . . . “  (UN Charter, Article 2, Section 4).
US Confronts the China Threat in Africa
“China Plans to Establish Military Outpost in Africa” by Jane Perlez and Chris Buckley, The New York Times in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Nov. 27, 2015).  “China announced Thursday that it would establish its first overseas military outpost” in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.   China describes it as a fueling station, but whatever its function it goes beyond “its historical focus on protecting the nation’s borders.”   According to the authors, President Xi Jinping is leading China’s navy “to live up to…the Communist Party’s ambitions to become a global maritime power.”

David Vine, Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.  Chap. 16, “The Lily Pad Strategy.”   In 2001 the US began its Camp Lemonnier base in Djibouti at an initial cost of $30 million and a Voice of America radio transmitter.  “Within a few years, there were more than four thousand troops at the six-hundred acre base and hundreds of billions of dollars in construction and annual spending.”  But US military presence in Africa really got going in 2007 when President George W. Bush established Africa Command (Africom) “to bring peace and security to the people of Africa.”  Some 17 African countries demurred, seeing it as a continuation of Western colonialism.  Never mind, “since late 2001, the military has spent around $30 billion or more on a growing military infrastructure,” and has stationed, “on any day, likely between seven thousand and eleven thousand U.S. troops.”  “The military is now operating in at least forty-nine of the fifty-four African countries.  It may be operating in every single one” (313)
[Why are US leaders encircling China with military bases, fear-mongering that nation to the US people, and denouncing China’s expansion in Africa when the ratio there is 49 to 1 military bases?  What’s the name for that?  And see item below on China’s first aircraft carrier compared to US’s 10 aircraft carrier strike groups.] 

Benjamin Shobert.  Blaming China: It Might Feel Good but It Won’t Fix America’s Economy.  Nebraska P, 2018.  Why trying to divert attention away from our problems by directing blame at a foreign “foe”  can be harmful.

We cannot win a currency war by competitive currency devaluations that trigger a “race to the bottom,” and we cannot win a trade war by competitive trade barriers that simply cut us off from the benefits of cooperative trade. More favorable to our interests and values than warring with our trading partners would be to […]   Source


Industries prepare for decoupling as worst scenario, accelerating homegrown technologies as Washington hawks destroy global supply chain.  | more…

In The Big Nine by Amy Webb  demonstrates her extensive knowledge of the science driving Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the geopolitical tensions that could result between the US and China in particular. She offers deep insights into how AI could reshape our economies and the current world order, and she details a plan to help humanity chart a better course."―Anja Manuel, Stanford University, cofounder and partner RiceHadleyGates
China Airborne  by James Fallows.   Pantheon, 2012.
In China Airborne, James Fallows documents the extraordinary scale of China’s aerospace plans and explains how it stands to catalyze the nation’s hyper-growth and hyper- urbanization, revolutionizing China in ways analogous to the building of America’s transcontinental railroad in the nineteenth century. He concludes by examining what this latest demonstration of Chinese ambition means for the United States and the rest of the world—and the right ways to understand it.

Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike the country.  | more…
share on Twitter Like U.S. Military planners advise expanded online psychological warfare against China on Facebook

The Trump Administration has spread the conspiracy theory that the new coronavirus came out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This accusation, which seeks to transfer responsibility for the pandemic to the Asian giant, has been rejected by the Chinese authorities for being without foundation.  | more…

As information about coronavirus emerged, the Chinese government and Chinese society began to organize an immense campaign against its spread.  To blame China is slander.| more…
In the early weeks when the virus emerged in Wuhan, the Chinese government neither suppressed evidence nor did their warning systems fail.  | more…
share on Twitter Like How China learned about SARS-CoV-2 in the weeks before the global pandemic on Facebook

“U.S. blocks vote on UN’s bid for global ceasefire amid COVID-19.”
Posted May 16, 2020 by teleSUR Desk
Originally published: Black Agenda Report (May 13, 2020)  
The U.S. veto trashes the UN’s efforts to convince armed factions in more than a dozen countries to call for temporary truces as the world battles the pandemic.
International diplomats were stunned and frustrated Friday after the United States again blocked a United Nations resolution to call for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 pandemic, only because the Trump administration objected to an indirect reference to the World Health Organization (WHO), which the US condemns for failing to condemn China for starting the pandemic..

MAY 15, 2020
“Corporate Media Setting Stage for New Cold War With China” by GREGORY SHUPAK.  FAIR, Extra!
Corporate media are laying the ideological groundwork for a new cold war with China, presenting the nation as a hostile power that needs to be kept in check.

WaPo: America is awakening to China. This is a clarion call to seize the moment.
Mitt Romney (Washington Post,  4/23/20) says “Covid-19 has exposed China’s dishonesty for all to see.”

The Washington Post (4/23/20) ran an article by Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, the second sentence of which said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that, to a great degree, our very health is in Chinese hands; from medicines to masks, we are at Beijing’s mercy.” America, in this conception, is under Chinese domination, a tyranny that’s evidently imposed not only by the Chinese government, but by Chinese people generally.

Details like the US having more than 21 times as many nuclear warheads as China, or the fact that it’s the US dollar and not the Chinese yuan that underpins the global financial system, do not enter into consideration. Instead, because the US imports a great many goods made in China, Romney urged readers to understand China as Americans’ oppressors, who implicitly must be resisted. MORE

Corporate media distortions and bombast are priming the American public to see China as a treacherous villain that has to be forcefully confronted, perhaps with violence. Presenting China—and Chinese people—as a threat to the United States and its people is that much more reckless at a moment when there is an “alarming surge in anti-Asian racism related to Covid-19” (NBC, 4/16/20). But such considerations don’t trouble those who are in the business of ginning up the hatred necessary for a new cold war.

Gregory Shupak teaches media studies at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. His book, The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel and the Media, is published by OR Books.
What’s FAIR
FAIR is the national progressive media watchdog group, challenging corporate media bias, spin and misinformation. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. We expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, we believe that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
124 W. 30th Street, Suite 201
New York, NY 10001

© 2020 FAIR.

US in the China Sea Well-defended by NADG; China in the US Sea Hasn’t Happened: US Tests Chinese Sphere of Influence, China Respects US Sphere
“U.S. Staying the Course in the China Sea.”  NADG (3-19-19). 
How it looks reversed.   China Staying the Course in the Gulf of Mexico.  
China’s Navy won’t alter its so-called freedom-of-navigation sail-bys in the disputed Gulf of Mexico between Galveston and Panama City and has pressed ahead with such operations despite a dangerous maneuver by a U.S. navy ship against a Chinese destroyer, a senior Chinese commander said.

“Chinese Navy Announces Caribbean Sea Patrols.”  Barbados Times, 10-30-18.
   The Chinese People’s Navy will continue patrolling the Caribbean Sea, a top Navy official said Monday, after a US destroyer came dangerously close to a Chinese Navy ship during a Chinese “freedom of navigation” sail-by near Doral, FL, United States Southern Command Headquarters.   (The Fourth Fleet is headquartered on Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida and is responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around Central and South America.)
    Adm. Gung Ho, who heads China’s naval operations, said in a news conference that such patrols highlight the Chinese position against “illegitimate maritime claims.”
     “We will continue to progress this program of freedom of navigation operations,” Ho said.  “We do dozens of these operations around the world to indicate our position regarding illegitimate clams, maritime claims.”
      While Beijing has no claims to the Caribbean, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around Central and South America, it has declared that freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of the disputes are in China’s national interest.  China has also questioned the US’s expansive claims.
     A US destroyer came close to the Chinese ship Luoyang in September in an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver” near Doral, Fl, forcing it to maneuver to prevent a collision, according to the Chinese Atlantic and Caribbean Fleet.
    China’s Atlantic and Caribbean Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Chong Gum said the US destroyer approached within 45 yards of the Luoyang.  US said the Decatur, a US missile destroyer, was deployed to identify the Chinese warship and drive it away from US territory.
     Neither ship, both China and the US declared, was nuclear armed.
(“Navy Announces South China Sea Patrols.”  NADG 10-30-18.  A few words have been reversed.)
(See Lolita C. Baldor.  The Associated Press.  “Carter Visits Carrier in South China Sea.”   NADG (4-16-16).)
US CARRIER in South China Sea OK/China in Caribbean NO; US Carrier Battle Group Necessary for US and World Peace and Security; China’s Single Carrier a Security Threat to US and World.  US Media Reporting US vs. Chinese Imperialism
(China had one newly-built carrier in 2016 performing sea trials in its waters.  The US had ten Carrier Strike Groups, each one including a cruiser, at least two destroyers, and half-dozen support ships.  –D)

Esmeralda Dame. United Press.    “Oh Jung No Visits Carrier in Caribbean, Threatens US Mainland and Mexico. “ NW Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (4-20-16).  

Aboard the People’s Republic Mao Tse-tung Victory.
      For the second time in five months, People’s Republic Defense Minister Oh Jung No landed aboard China’s aircraft carrier in the Caribbean, where in several countries Chinese citizens and businesses are threatened by US military activity, a continuation of the long history of US meddling in Latin America.
      Jung No stood alongside Venezuelan, Bolivian, Cuban, and Nicaraguan Defense Ministers as they watched Chinese Navy fighter jets launch into vivid blue skies about 70 nautical miles east of the Panama Canal. 
     Later in the massive, gray ship’s hangar bay, Jung No said his
message in making the trip is that China “intends to continue to play a role in keeping peace and stability in this region” where it has invested so much and intends major future investments.  The
     He said the only reason China’s presence comes up as an issue is because of the behavior of the US over the last year.  “What’s new is not a Chinese carrier in this region, although it is.  What’s new is the context of tension which exists, which we want to reduce.”
   Jung No’s visit aboard the People’s Republic Mao Victory underscores complaints from China and its allies in the region about US military build-up in the Caribbean.  The US has bases throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and Latin America and has been increasing them in some areas.  
     The visit to the Mao Victory came a day after Jung No announced new aid to Jamaica that spurred protests from the US.
 Further Reading:
 Source of above parody:  Lolita C. Baldor.  The Associated Press.  “Carter Visits Carrier in South China Sea.”   NWAD-G (4-16-16).
Google: China in the Caribbean—for example in The New York Times: U.S. Alert as China's Cash Buys Inroads in Caribbean.
Google:  U.S Military Build-up in Caribbean—for example: United States Military Bases in the Caribbean, Central and
Google:US military bases around the world.  Latest book: David Vine, Base Nation.

US Nationalism, the Coronavirus, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by Dick Bennett
    The Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary focused on beating Trump,  partly because his campaign slogan flaunted an iron-fisted “America First.”   But demagogs are made, not born, nationalistically bigoted, as the Covid-19 pandemic reveals.
      Look at the headlines in Arkansas’ major newspaper in March 2020, the Democrat-Gazette: “Trump Defends His Role, Differs with Health Expert,” “OK Near on $1 Trillion Relief Deal.” The Me-Generation reflects the National Me: for us there’s no pandemic but only our epidemic.   That’s what you learn from the White House and Congress; that’s what you learn from the mainstream media--in Arkansas from the state’s major newspaper the Democrat-Gazette.
Except on the one day it offered a peep-hole into our national omphaloskepsis epidemic by a glimpse of pandemic world sorrow. 
     “Fragile Targets Brace for the Virus” by Carley Petesch (AP, with six other AP reporters contributing) appeared on March 21, 2020, p. 6A.  As though the writers knew they had only this one shot to report the pandemic, the article wastes no time announcing alarming statistics of Mali’s ”roughly one ventilator per 1 million people,” and of Peru’s “350 beds in intensive care units” for its 32 million people.  And even if the countries least prepared like Liberia and Burkina Faso had the equipment, they lack trained health workers to use them, and equipment and trained medical personnel are expensive.   Senegal is “helping to develop a fast covid-19 test that is expected in June.”  The continent’s countries seem to be largely on their own, as the dominant US neocon orthodoxy prescribes.
     Where is the United Nations?   The article makes no mention of UN aid, except for one reference to WHO.   We saw the UN progressively weakened all during the Cold War as the US and the USSR used it for their own interests.   And the Republican Party has increasingly opposed “big government” particularly since the Reagan administration.  (Though the last few days of covid-19 panic, that Party has sounded like the New Deal of Roosevelt’s second term.)
      In the apparent absence of the UN, where is generosity and cooperation from individual countries?   The US as part of the problem is exhibited in the ADG.   On March 19 the newspaper editorialized baldly in its old Cold War, country hick, bigotry mode, “Consulting with Beijing Isn’t Likely”: “Americans can be forgiven if they’re not taking a heaping load of advice from the Red Chinese just now.  At least when it comes to the covid-19 virus.  Americans will take any lessons about how to limit the virus’ impact, and from anywhere, but having the ChiComs talk down to us is unseemly.”   
     Despite Trump’s repeated slanders against the bogeyman of US “enemy” propaganda, China is paying no attention and is displaying extraordinary generosity to the world, against the pandemic, as reported in the ADG:  “China Recovering, Offering Others Aid” by Steven Myers and Alissa Rubin (The New York Times).   “China’s leader, Xi Jimping, pledged to send more medical experts to Italy this week, on the same day Beijing sent 2,000 rapid diagnostic tests to the Philippines.”  “From Japan to Iraq, Spain to Peru, it has provided or pledged humanitarian assistance in the form of donations or medical expertise.” 
   And the US?  Only a few years ago  the US “led the fight against Ebola.”  But Anti-Red prejudice still infects our leaders’ gray cells, and the chief newspaper of Arkansas.  Nevertheless, China welcomes the opportunity to “build partnerships around the world.”   But isn’t, sneers our leaders, China’s international assistance as much self-interest as humanitarian concern?  After all, China is “the world’s largest maker of medicines and protective masks.”   In response, Italy’s former undersecretary in its development ministry said: “I don’t know and now I don’t care.  The urgent issue was to provide aid to save lives.”   The day before, China offered “2 million surgical masks, 200,000 advanced masks and 50,000 testing kits to Europe,” for which the president of the European Commission declared, “’We’re grateful for China’s support.  We need each other’s support in times of need.’”  
     But in its editorial “Consulting with Beijing Isn’t Likely,” the ADG editorial writer urges us to take reports from China “with a truckload of salt.” 

MEMORY: AN EARLY US EFFORT TO DEMONSTRATE ITS DOMINANCE IN ASIA TO CHINA .  (I have read all of Blum’s book-length Anti-Empire Reports, a powerful inoculation against US anti-communist virus.)
The American Mainstream Media – A Classic Tale Of Propaganda by William Blum, The Anti-Empire Report, #139,  May 23, 2015.
“When an American warplane accidentally struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign …”
These words appeared in the Washington Post on April 24, 2015 as part of a story about US drone warfare and how an American drone attack in Pakistan in January had accidentally killed two Western aid workers. The Post felt no need to document the Belgrade incident, or explain it any further. Almost anyone who follows international news halfway seriously knows about this famous “accident” of May 7, 1999. The only problem is that the story is pure propaganda.
Three people inside the Chinese embassy were killed and Washington apologized profusely to Beijing, blaming outdated maps among other problems. However, two well-documented and very convincing reports in The Observer of London in October and November of that year, based on NATO and US military and intelligence sources, revealed that the embassy had been purposely targeted after NATO discovered that it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. The Chinese were doing this after NATO planes had successfully silenced the Yugoslav government’s own transmitters.  The story of how the US mainstream media covered up the real story behind the embassy bombing is absolutely embarrassing. 
Over and above the military need, there may have been a political purpose served. China, then as now, was clearly the principal barrier to US hegemony in Asia, if not elsewhere. The bombing of the embassy was perhaps Washington’s charming way of telling Beijing that this is only a small sample of what can happen to you if you have any ideas of resisting or competing with the American juggernaut. Since an American bombing campaign over Belgrade was already being carried out, Washington was able to have a much better than usual “plausible denial” for the embassy bombing. The opportunity may have been irresistible to American leaders. The chance might never come again.
All of US/NATO’s other bombing “mistakes” in Yugoslavia were typically followed by their spokesman telling the world: “We regret the loss of life.” These same words were used by the IRA in Northern Ireland on a number of occasions over the years following one of their bombings which appeared to have struck the wrong target. But their actions were invariably called “terrorist”.
Undoubtedly, the US media will be writing of the “accidental” American bombing of the Chinese embassy as long as the empire exists and China does not become a member of NATO.

Monday, May 25, 2020

OMNI: Star Wars Newsletter #7 March 28, 2020



BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE, Justice, and Ecology,

Compiled by Dick Bennett

(#1 December 13, 2006; #2 January 24, 2008; #3 October 4, 2008; #4 October 2-9, 2010; #5, October 1-8, 2011; #6, October 6-13, 2012)

Contents #7,  US Militarization of Space from Reagan to Obama

(#1 December 13, 2006;

#2 January 24, 2008;

#3 October 4, 2008;

#4 October 2-9, 2010;

#5, October 1-8, 2011;

 #6, October 6-13, 2012)

Panel with Air force Secretary Heather Wilson and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), 12-30-17
Letter from Bruce Gagnon, August 1, 2017      
FCNL, Nuclear Calendar
Global Network, Nuclear Conference
Pax Americana Online
Tomgram: McCoy, Super Weapons
Slater, Missile Ban Treaty
Possible New US First Strike, Missile Offense Sites


Panel with Air force Secretary Heather Wilson and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) at Reagan National Defense Forum 12-30-17.  Subject:  US space power, specifically exceeding Russian and Chinese war-fighting capability and US policy if another country attacks a US satellite.  Rogers is Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.  These are the types of automaton warriors deciding US and world future far from and unaffected by the needs and desires of the people of the world.

August 1, 2017  [The first two parts discuss conventional US air war preparation; the third discusses the new THAAD missile base at Kodiak, Alaska, targeting surrounded China and Russia.  –Dick]
Dear Friends,
The last two years I wrote this summer update letter to you from South Korea.  This year I am home in Maine, but in some regards I feel like I am back in South Korea.  The heavy US militarization that so many around the world feel daily as it impacts their lives is bumping up against us here these days more than ever.
On August 26 the Navy Blue Angels flight team will do an airshow in our local community and I am organizing a protest to oppose the event.  Our slogan will be ‘Real Angels Don’t Drop Bombs’.  These airshows are a recruiting gimmick at a time when the military is in desperate need for more of our kids to fight in America’s wars for fossil fuels.
The Blue Angels team burns over 8,000 gallons of fuel in one day and significantly contributes to global warming.  On the one hand our government encourages us to conserve fuel and protect the environment, and then sponsors this wasteful and polluting event.  (It should be remembered that the Pentagon has the largest carbon boot print on the Earth.)
We can’t eat the bombs dropped from these F-18 war planes.  Social and environmental programs are being cut while the Pentagon spends 54% of every discretionary tax dollar on endless war.
In addition, we’ve recently learned that the Navy is preparing for full-scale war games all along the east coast from Florida to Maine. The Navy intends to fire missiles, rockets, lasers, grenades and torpedoes, detonate mines and explosive buoys, and use all types of sonar in a series of live war exercises in inland and offshore waters along the East Coast.

“The Navy must train the way we fight,” says a promotional video for what is called "Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III."
The dates and exact locations of the live weapon and sonar exercises are secret. In all, 2.6 million square miles of land and sea along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico will be part of the aerial and underwater weapons firing.
I mention these two events because they remind me so much about what is happening in South Korea and Okinawa where the Pentagon’s military operations are expanding so much that it must have more land and more off-shore areas, to ‘fight’ its war exercises.  
In South Korea and Okinawa people for years have been daily protesting US military operations.  They’ve been dragged away from newly constructed bases that will service the US Navy, Marines, Army and Air Forces.  They’ve been jailed and beaten.  But they keep going back – day after day.  Many of the people who are doing these protests are older women. Simple farmers and fishing people who see their culture and life being taken from them by these aggressive US military activities in their communities.
I often wonder what it would take for Americans to react in similar ways.  What would it take for Americans to protest every single day for 10 years straight?  Could we ever be so moved and alarmed to take a stand like the people I’ve had the great honor to meet in recent years?
I’d like to share one more story about a place in America that is being heavily militarized against the local people’s will.  It’s Kodiak Island, Alaska.  
Some years ago I visited Kodiak Island on a speaking trip at the invitation of local peace activists.  The mayor of their village came to my talk as the entire community was in an uproar over the plan to build a space launch facility on Kodiak.  Kodiak is famous for bears and salmon fishing and a pristine public beach area called Narrow Cape.  The space launch facility was built at Narrow Cape and today the facility is undergoing a huge expansion.
Israel plans to test its Arrow anti-ballistic missile interceptor from pristine Kodiak Island. Admiral James Syring, director of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently told a congressional committee that the US is Israel’s partner in developing that country’s missile defense system. “Israel has significant range constraints within the Mediterranean. And one of the better places to test is in Alaska, from Kodiak,” Syring said.  The work would be a component of the $80 million contract between MDA and the Alaska Aerospace Corporation.
Also under that umbrella contract, MDA plans to launch THAAD missiles from Kodiak Island in the coming months. The testing of THAAD – Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense program – will include a series of launches. The launch facility at Narrow Cape has been bulldozed and gravel pads have been put down in preparation for THAAD tests. The MDA said there could be up to 300 military and aerospace workers brought to Narrow Cape. Narrow Cape as a favorite public recreation area might now be a thing of the past.
The THAAD ‘missile defense’ system has been deployed by the Pentagon in Guam and just months ago in a melon farming community called Seongju, South Korea.  Protests there have been happening day and night for the last year as the citizens, again mostly elders, are doing everything they can to reject THAAD.  They don’t want the newly constructed US Army base there, they don’t want THAAD there, they don’t want to become a target if war starts with Russia and China (since that is who THAAD would be used against) – the people just want to be left alone.  Like Okinawans they have experienced war and don’t want their children and grandchildren to have to go through such a horrid experience.
Some people speculate that Americans have become spoiled because we make war on others but have not ever had our entire nation devastated by war.  The Russians (who the US media and both political parties love to demonize) lost 27 million citizens when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union during WW II.  That is why they get nervous today as NATO expands up to the Russian borders, and the US deploys ‘missile defense’ systems in Romania and Poland and on Navy Aegis destroyers in the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic seas.
[Bruce with a personal note.  I use his first name because he visited OMNI for 2 days soon after OMNI began, speaking a UAF and other locations.  I hope you will send him a contribution, and to OMNI.  --Dick]
As an organizer I spend my time trying to educate the public about what our country is doing around the world.  I try to get people to react, to join protests, to write letters to the local papers, and to go to places like South Korea and Okinawa to see for themselves what the US military is doing there.  But in all my years as an organizer I can’t think of a time when it has been so hard to turn people out as it is today.  At the same time it seems to me that we are living in the most dangerous time of my life.
I turned 65 just a few weeks ago.  Some folks retire at my age.  I won’t.  I will keep organizing and protesting as long as I can.  I will continue to speak out in solidarity with those around the world who are trying to lift the US military boot off their necks.  I will continue to sit in the streets or step over a ‘forbidden line’ and risk arrest if it helps bring some sanity to our world and helps even just a little bit to protect the future generations.
If you feel the work of the Global Network is still important then please help us continue our efforts for peace on Earth and in space.  We are trying hard but we can’t do it alone.
In peace,
Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502  (blog)
Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. - Henry David Thoreau

Nuclear Calendar [December 23, 2013 for 2014.  Thanks to the FCNL and other anti-nuclear weapons orgs. this detailed, regular calendar continues to this day.]

On Dec. 30, the Nuclear Calendar will not be emailed. Nuclear Calendar emails will resume Jan. 6. Happy holidays and have a good New Year!
Dec. 19-23
Former basketball star Dennis Rodman returns to North Korea.
Dec. 25
Christmas (holiday).

Jan. 1
New Year's Day (holiday).
Jan. 2
U.S. Strategic Command reports to Congress on the underground tunnel network in China with respect to the capability of the United States to use conventional and nuclear forces to neutralize such tunnels and what is stored within such tunnels (Public Law 112-239, Sec. 1045).
Jan. 4
6:00 p.m., Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund, book discussion ofNuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington.
Jan. 6
Senate convenes.
Jan. 7
House of Representatives convenes.
Jan. 7
Time TBA, Jeffrey Lewis, Marc Quint and Jon Wolfsthal, Monterey Institute, "The Trillion Dollar Nuclear Triad: US Strategic Nuclear Modernization over the Next Thirty Years." Monterey Institute, 1400 K St., NW, Washington.
Jan. 8
12:30-2:30 p.m., Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), report launch of the2014 NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index. At the Four Season Hotel, Dumbarton Room, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington. By invitation only.
Jan. 8
Jim Miller, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, leaves office.
Jan. 8
6:00 p.m., Joseph Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund; and Eric Schlosser, journalist and author, "Reducing the Nuclear Nightmare." Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market St., San Francisco, CA. Register online.
Jan. 10
House floor action on a Omnibus Appropriation/Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2014 (estimate). Broadcast and webcast onC-SPAN.
Jan. 13
Senate floor action on a Omnibus Appropriation/Continuing Resolution for fiscal year 2014 (estimate). Broadcast and webcast onC-SPAN2.

An email version of the Nuclear Calendar is published every Monday morning when Congress is in session. Subscribe on FCNL's website. Unsubscribe by sending an email to
© 2011 Friends Committee on National Legislation, 245 Second Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 | 202-547-6000 |
The editor is David Culp. The publication is made possible by generous contributions from the Lippincott Foundation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Ploughshares Fund, and anonymous foundation, and the individual contributors and supporters of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the FCNL Education Fund.

Global Network 22nd Annual Conference
Global Network []
 GN List Serve ‎[]‎ 

Monday, December 23, 2013 3:57 PM
Global Network 22nd Annual Conference
 March 14-16, 2014
 Santa Barbara, California
The 2014 Global Network space organizing conference will be held near Vandenberg AFB, California on March 14-16.  We will meet at the La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center in Santa Barbara.  On Friday, March 14 we’ll organize a 4:00 pm vigil at the front gate of Vandenberg and on the evening ofMarch 15 we will hold a public event at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara

Speakers at the March 15 event will include: David Krieger (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation), Dave Webb (Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament-UK & Global Network board convener), Dennis Apel (Guadalupe Catholic Worker House), Christine Hong (Korea Policy Institute and UC Santa Cruz), Andrew Lichterman (Western States Legal Foundation), and Mary Beth Sullivan (social worker & peace conversion activist).  Music will be provided by singer/songwriters Tom Neilson and Holly Gwinn Graham.

We will have limited sleeping space (dormitory style) available at the La Casa de Maria Retreat center so reservations will be necessary.  (Other hotel information will be available if you would prefer those arrangements.)  We will provide meals for those staying at the conference center.  A sliding scale charge will run from $50-$150 (pay what you can best afford.)

There will be no charge for the Saturday, March 15 public event that will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara.  More details will follow.
 Events will conclude on March 16 after lunch.
  Please sign me up for a sleeping space at the retreat center on March 14 & 15.  Enclosed is _________ (Pay what you can best afford between $50-$150)  Meals are included.
  Please send me local hotel information in the Santa Barbara area.
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502  (blog)

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.  ~Henry David Thoreau 

Pax Americana Now Online
The excellent documentary film Pax Americana & the Weaponization of
Space can now be watched on Youtube. Just go to YouTube and type in the film
name and it should come up for viewing. The film, created by Dennis Delestrac,
has been widely seen in  canada and throughout Europe on public TV. Theaters in Spain and latin America showed it as well. Delestrac was never able to sign a distribution deal to show the film in the US so it is largely unknown to American audiences. We highly recommend you show it in your community.  Space Alert! I (Dec. 2012).  

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, Super Weapons and Global Dominion
Posted by Alfred McCoy at 9:32am, November 8, 2012.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.
At the dawn of space warfare, the first X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle waits for launch in the encapsulation cell of the Evolved Expendable Launch vehicle at Titusville, Florida, April 5, 2010. (CREDIT: U.S. Air Force).
(Click the image)
Artist's conception, circa 2008, of the U.S. Falcon Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle, an unmanned aircraft that will fly at an altitude of twenty miles and destroy targets almost anywhere in the world within an hour. (CREDIT: Defense Advanced Researc
(Click the image)
System F6, a cluster of wirelessly interconnected modules that will form an orbital U.S. satellite system impervious to enemy missile attack, shown in this artist's representation over North America, circa 2009. (CREDIT: Defense Advanced Resea
(Click the image)
[Note for TomDispatch Readers:  As many of you know, without the Nation Institute, a no-name listserv would never have become TomDispatch -- and that splendid outfit has supported this site ever since.  Let me recommend one thing in return: each year the Institute holds a gala dinner to raise much-needed funds to keep its programs operating. (And what programs they are!  Naomi Klein, Jonathan Schell, Chris Hedges, and TD’s Nick Turse are all fellows.  The Institute also sponsors an important fund for investigative journalism and houses the Nation Books imprint, among other things.)  If you have the money, please consider buying a ticket to their dinner as a way to help them by clicking here.  It’s a blast of an event.  This year speakers include Senator Bernie Sanders, NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, and the Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, and it’s being MC'd by Chris Hayes.  While you’re at it, check out my recent interview with Bill Moyers.  That way you’ll recognize me and can come by and say hi that night.  I always attend.  Tom]
In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Cold War was commonly said to have partially plunged “into the shadows” as a secret, off-the-grid, spy-versus-spy conflict fought between the planet's two superpowers. No one caught this mood better than John le CarrĂ© in his famed Smiley novels which offered a riveting portrait of Soviet, British, and American spies locked in mortal combat, yet with more in common with each other than with either of their aboveground societies.  So many decades later, with the Soviet Union long gone, it’s strange to discover that, in the case of the United States at least, those “shadows” have only lengthened.  Increasingly, as the Iraq War fades into history (and out of memory) and the Afghan War winds down, the American way of war itself is being drawn into those shadows. 
Admittedly, since World War II, control over war -- who to fight, when to wage it, and how to fight it -- has been on a migratory path into the White House and the national security bureaucracy, leaving Congress and the American people out in the cold. In the last decade, however, a high-tech, privatized, covert version of war has become presidential property, fought at the White House’s behest by robots, warrior corporations, and two presidentially controlled “private” forces (a paramilitarized CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command).  With this transformation has gone a series of decisions that have plunged American-style war ever further into darkness.  In the last few years, for instance, two presidents, enveloped in a penumbra of secrecy and without the knowledge of the American people or possibly much of Congress, deployed the latest in experimental weaponry -- weapons that could someday unravel our world -- in the first cyberwar in history.  They wielded what someday will undoubtedly be reclassified as weapons of mass destruction against Iran, paving the way for future global cyberwars which could devastate this country.
In the same years, the same two presidents took control of another new form of conflict, drone warfare.  Across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa, they launched massive, high-tech campaigns of assassination (“targeted killings”) that may have no equivalent in history.  These have involved hundreds of air strikes and thousands of casualties.  Enfolded in secrecy, a complex, increasingly codified panoply of national security processes (including “terror Tuesday” meetings to decide just who to kill), the president has turned himself into our first assassin-in-chief
As the Washington Post recently reported in a three-part series, he has also overseen a process by which ad hoc killing has morphed into a codified, bureaucratic, normalized killing machine deeply embedded in the White House, a “disposal matrix” or “kill list” that will be handed off to future presidents in a “war” (once known as the Global War on Terror) with at least “a decade” to go and possibly no end in sight.  In a language that used to be left to Hollywood’s version of the Mafia, the White House, as judge, jury, and executioner, now regularly puts out hits around the world, while discussing “the designation of who should pull the trigger when a killing is warranted.”
In one Post piece focused on Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti as the key base for presidential war in Africa, a detail caught my eye.  It seemed to capture the ever-darkening nature of this war-making moment.  Speaking of the hundreds of elite special operations forces there, Craig Whitlock wrote, “Most of the commandos work incognito, concealing their names even from conventional troops on the base.”  Put another way, this new form of warfare is far enough into the shadows that the names of a major part of the U.S. military, tens of thousands of elite troops whose command has just gotten its own “secret targeting center” in Washington 15 minutes from the White House, can’t even be known to other U.S. military personnel who work with them. 
Imagine, then, what our world might be like once future techno-versions of presidential war now being developed come online.  What will it mean when, in the third decade of this century, in pursuit of the same Global War on Terror, drone war has morphed into a “triple canopy space shield” and “robotic information system,” as described today in chilling detail by Alfred McCoy, TomDispatch regular and lead author of the new book Endless Empire: Spain’s Retreat, Europe’s Eclipse, America’s Decline?  Imagine when, from outer space to the spreading Camp Lemonniers of planet Earth, the White House can make secret war in a myriad of high-tech and robotic ways without even a nod to you and me.  By then, in at least one possible future, our whole world may lie in those shadows. Tom
Beyond Bayonets and Battleships 
Space Warfare and the Future of U.S. Global Power 
By Alfred W. McCoy
It’s 2025 and an American “triple canopy” of advanced surveillance and armed drones fills the heavens from the lower- to the exo-atmosphere.  A wonder of the modern age, it can deliver its weaponry anywhere on the planet with staggering speed, knock out an enemy’s satellite communications system, or follow individuals biometrically for great distances.  Along with the country’s advanced cyberwar capacity, it’s also the most sophisticated militarized information system ever created and an insurance policy for U.S. global dominion deep into the twenty-first century.  It’s the future as the Pentagon imagines it; it’s under development; and Americans know nothing about it.
They are still operating in another age.  “Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917,” complained Republican candidate Mitt Romney during the last presidential debate.
With words of withering mockery, President Obama shot back: “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed... the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships. It's what are our capabilities.”
Obama later offered just a hint of what those capabilities might be: “What I did was work with our joint chiefs of staff to think about, what are we going to need in the future to make sure that we are safe?... We need to be thinking about cyber security. We need to be talking about space.”
Amid all the post-debate media chatter, however, not a single commentator seemed to have a clue when it came to the profound strategic changes encoded in the president’s sparse words. Yet for the past four years, working in silence and secrecy, the Obama administration has presided over a technological revolution in defense planning, moving the nation far beyond bayonets and battleships to cyberwarfare and the full-scale weaponization of space. In the face of waning economic influence, this bold new breakthrough in what’s called “information warfare” may prove significantly responsible should U.S. global dominion somehow continue far into the twenty-first century.
While the technological changes involved are nothing less than revolutionary, they have deep historical roots in a distinctive style of American global power.  It’s been evident from the moment this nation first stepped onto the world stage with its conquest of the Philippines in 1898. Over the span of a century, plunged into three Asian crucibles of counterinsurgency -- in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Afghanistan -- the U.S. military has repeatedly been pushed to the breaking point.  It has repeatedly responded by fusing the nation’s most advanced technologies into new information infrastructures of unprecedented power.
That military first created a manual information regime for Philippine pacification, then a computerized apparatus to fight communist guerrillas in Vietnam.  Finally, during its decade-plus in Afghanistan (and its years in Iraq), the Pentagon has begun to fuse biometrics, cyberwarfare, and a potential future triple canopy aerospace shield into a robotic information regime that could produce a platform of unprecedented power for the exercise of global dominion -- or for future military disaster. 
America’s First Information Revolution 
This distinctive U.S. system of imperial information gathering (and the surveillance and war-making practices that go with it) traces its origins to some brilliant American innovations in the management of textual, statistical, and visual data.  Their sum was nothing less than a new information infrastructure with an unprecedented capacity for mass surveillance.
During two extraordinary decades, American inventions like Thomas Alva Edison’s quadruplex telegraph (1874), Philo Remington’s commercial typewriter (1874), Melvil Dewey’s library decimal system (1876), and Herman Hollerith’s patented punch card (1889) created synergies that led to the militarized application of America’s first information revolution. To pacify a determined guerrilla resistance that persisted in the Philippines for a decade after 1898, the U.S. colonial regime -- unlike European empires with their cultural studies of “Oriental civilizations” -- used these advanced information technologies to amass detailed empirical data on Philippine society.  In this way, they forged an Argus-eyed security apparatus that played a major role in crushing the Filipino nationalist movement. The resulting colonial policing and surveillance system would also leave a lasting institutional imprint on the emerging American state.
When the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, the “father of U.S. military intelligence” Colonel Ralph Van Deman drew upon security methods he had developed years before in the Philippines to found the Army’s Military Intelligence Division.  He recruited a staff that quickly grew from one (himself) to 1,700, deployed some 300,000 citizen-operatives to compile more than a million pages of surveillance reports on American citizens, and laid the foundations for a permanent domestic surveillance apparatus.
A version of this system rose to unparalleled success during World War II when Washington established the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) as the nation’s first worldwide espionage agency. Among its nine branches, Research & Analysis recruited a staff of nearly 2,000 academics who amassed 300,000 photographs, a million maps, and three million file cards, which they deployed in an information system via “indexing, cross-indexing, and counter-indexing” to answer countless tactical questions.
Yet by early 1944, the OSS found itself, in the words of historian Robin Winks, “drowning under the flow of information.”  Many of the materials it had so carefully collected were left to molder in storage, unread and unprocessed. Despite its ambitious global reach, this first U.S. information regime, absent technological change, might well have collapsed under its own weight, slowing the flow of foreign intelligence that would prove so crucial for America’s exercise of global dominion after World War II.
Computerizing Vietnam         
Under the pressures of a never-ending war in Vietnam, those running the U.S. information infrastructure turned to computerized data management, launching a second American information regime.  Powered by the most advanced IBM mainframe computers, the U.S. military compiled monthly tabulations of security in all of South Vietnam’s 12,000 villages and filed the three million enemy documents its soldiers captured annually on giant reels of bar-coded film.  At the same time, the CIA collated and computerized diverse data on the communist civilian infrastructure as part of its infamous Phoenix Program.  This, in turn, became the basis for its systematic tortures and 41,000 “extra-judicial executions” (which, based on disinformation from petty local grudges and communist counterintelligence, killed many but failed to capture more than a handfull of top communist cadres).
Most ambitiously, the U.S. Air Force spent $800 million a year to lace southern Laos with a network of 20,000 acoustic, seismic, thermal, and ammonia-sensitive sensors to pinpoint Hanoi’s truck convoys coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail under a heavy jungle canopy.  The information these provided was then gathered on computerized systems for the targeting of incessant bombing runs. After 100,000 North Vietnamese troops passed right through this electronic grid undetected with trucks, tanks, and heavy artillery to launch the Nguyen Hue Offensive in 1972, the U.S. Pacific Air Force pronounced this bold attempt to build an “electronic battlefield” an unqualified failure.
In this pressure cooker of what became history’s largest air war, the Air Force also accelerated the transformation of a new information system that would rise to significance three decades later: the Firebee target drone.  By war’s end, it had morphed into an increasingly agile unmanned aircraft that would make 3,500 top-secret surveillance sorties over China, North Vietnam, and Laos. By 1972, the SC/TV drone, with a camera in its nose, was capable of flying 2,400 miles while navigating via a low-resolution television image.
On balance, all this computerized data helped foster the illusion that American “pacification” programs in the countryside were winning over the inhabitants of Vietnam’s villages, and the delusion that the air war was successfully destroying North Vietnam’s supply effort.  Despite a dismal succession of short-term failures that helped deliver a soul-searing blow to American power, all this computerized data-gathering proved a seminal experiment, even if its advances would not become evident for another 30 years until the U.S. began creating a third -- robotic -- information regime.
The Global War on Terror          
As it found itself at the edge of defeat in the attempted pacification of two complex societies, Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington responded in part by adapting new technologies of electronic surveillance, biometric identification, and drone warfare -- all of which are now melding into what may become an information regime far more powerful and destructive than anything that has come before. 
After six years of a failing counterinsurgency effort in Iraq, the Pentagon discovered the power of biometric identification and electronic surveillance to pacify the country’s sprawling cities.  It then built a biometric database with more than a million Iraqi fingerprints and iris scans that U.S. patrols on the streets of Baghdad could access instantaneously by satellite link to a computer center in West Virginia.
When President Obama took office and launched his “surge,” escalating the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, that country became a new frontier for testing and perfecting such biometric databases, as well as for full-scale drone war in both that country and the Pakistani tribal borderlands, the latest wrinkle in a technowar already loosed by the Bush administration. This meant accelerating technological developments in drone warfare that had largely been suspended for two decades after the Vietnam War.
Launched as an experimental, unarmed surveillance aircraft in 1994, the Predator drone was first deployed in 2000 for combat surveillance under the CIA’s “Operation Afghan Eyes.” By 2011, the advanced MQ-9 Reaper drone, with “persistent hunter killer” capabilities, was heavily armed with missiles and bombs as well as sensors that could read disturbed dirt at 5,000 feet and track footprints back to enemy installations. Indicating the torrid pace of drone development, between 2004 and 2010 total flying time for all unmanned vehicles rose from just 71 hours to 250,000 hours. 
By 2009, the Air Force and the CIA were already deploying a drone armada of at least 195 Predators and 28 Reapers inside Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan -- and it’s only grown since.  These collected and transmitted 16,000 hours of video daily, and from 2006-2012 fired hundreds of Hellfire missiles that killed an estimated 2,600 supposed insurgents inside Pakistan’s tribal areas. Though the second-generation Reaper drones might seem stunningly sophisticated, one defense analyst has called them “very much Model T Fords.” Beyond the battlefield, there are now some 7,000 drones in the U.S. armada of unmanned aircraft, including 800 larger missile-firing drones. By funding its own fleet of 35 drones and borrowing others from the Air Force, the CIA has moved beyond passive intelligence collection to build a permanent robotic paramilitary capacity.
In the same years, another form of information warfare came, quite literally, online.  Over two administrations, there has been continuity in the development of acyberwarfare capability at home and abroad. Starting in 2002, President George W. Bush illegally authorized the National Security Agency to scan countless millions of electronic messages with its top-secret “Pinwale” database. Similarly, the FBIstarted an Investigative Data Warehouse that, by 2009, held a billion individual records. 
Under Presidents Bush and Obama, defensive digital surveillance has grown into an offensive “cyberwarfare” capacity, which has already been deployed against Iran in history’s first significant cyberwar. In 2009, the Pentagon formed U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), with headquarters at Ft. Meade, Maryland, and a cyberwarfare center at Lackland Air Base in Texas, staffed by 7,000 Air Force employees. Two years later, it declared cyberspace an “operational domain” like air, land, or sea, and began putting its energy into developing a cadre of cyber-warriors capable of launching offensive operations, such as a variety of attacks on the computerized centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear facilities and Middle Eastern bankshandling Iranian money.
A Robotic Information Regime  
As with the Philippine Insurrection and the Vietnam War, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have served as the catalyst for a new information regime, fusing aerospace, cyberspace, biometrics, and robotics into an apparatus of potentially unprecedented power. In 2012, after years of ground warfare in both countries and the continuous expansion of the Pentagon budget, the Obama administrationannounced a leaner future defense strategy.  It included a 14% cut in future infantry strength to be compensated for by an increased emphasis on investments in the dominions of outer space and cyberspace, particularly in what the administration calls “critical space-based capabilities.” 
By 2020, this new defense architecture should theoretically be able to integrate space, cyberspace, and terrestrial combat through robotics for -- so the claims go -- the delivery of seamless information for lethal action. Significantly, both space and cyberspace are new, unregulated domains of military conflict, largely beyond international law.  And Washington hopes to use both, without limitation, as Archimedean levers to exercise new forms of global dominion far into the twenty-first century, just as the British Empire once ruled from the seas and the Cold War American imperium exercised its global reach via airpower.
As Washington seeks to surveil the globe from space, the world might well ask: Just how high is national sovereignty? Absent any international agreement about the vertical extent of sovereign airspace (since a conference on international air law, convened in Paris in 1910, failed), some puckish Pentagon lawyer might reply: only as high as you can enforce it. And Washington has filled this legal void with a secret executive matrix -- operated by the CIA and the clandestine Special Operations Command -- that assigns names arbitrarily, without any judicial oversight, to a classified “kill list” that means silent, sudden death from the sky for terror suspects across the Muslim world.
Although U.S. plans for space warfare remain highly classified, it is possible to assemble the pieces of this aerospace puzzle by trolling the Pentagon’s websites, and finding many of the key components in technical descriptions at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As early as 2020, the Pentagon hopes to patrol the entire globe ceaselessly, relentlessly via a triple canopy space shield reaching from stratosphere to exosphere, driven by drones armed with agile missiles, linked by a resilient modular satellite system, monitored through a telescopic panopticon, and operated by robotic controls. 
At the lowest tier of this emerging U.S. aerospace shield, within striking distance of Earth in the lower stratosphere, the Pentagon is building an armada of 99 Global Hawk drones equipped with high-resolution cameras capable of surveilling all terrain within a 100-mile radius, electronic sensors to intercept communications, efficient engines for continuous 24-hour flights, and eventually Triple Terminator missiles to destroy targets below. By late 2011, the Air Force and the CIA had already ringed the Eurasian land mass with a network of 60 bases for drones armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs, allowing air strikes against targets just about anywhere in Europe, Africa, or Asia.
The sophistication of the technology at this level was exposed in December 2011 when one of the CIA’s RQ-170 Sentinels came down in Iran.  Revealed was a bat-winged drone equipped with radar-evading stealth capacity, active electronically scanned array radar, and advanced optics “that allow operators to positively identify terror suspects from tens of thousands of feet in the air.”
If things go according to plan, in this same lower tier at altitudes up to 12 miles unmanned aircraft such as the “Vulture,” with solar panels covering its massive 400-foot wingspan, will be patrolling the globe ceaselessly for up to five years at a time with sensors for “unblinking” surveillance, and possibly missiles for lethal strikes. Establishing the viability of this new technology, NASA’s solar-powered aircraft Pathfinder, with a 100-foot wingspan, reached an altitude of 71,500 feet altitude in 1997, and its fourth-generation successor the “Helios” flew at 97,000 feet with a 247-foot wingspan in 2001, two miles higher than any previous aircraft.
For the next tier above the Earth, in the upper stratosphere, DARPA and the Air Force are collaborating in the development of the Falcon Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle.  Flying at an altitude of 20 miles, it is expected to “deliver 12,000 pounds of payload at a distance of 9,000 nautical miles from the continental United States in less than two hours.” Although the first test launches in April 2010 and August 2011 crashed midflight, they did reach an amazing 13,000 miles per hour, 22 times the speed of sound, and sent back “unique data” that should help resolve remaining aerodynamic problems.
At the outer level of this triple-tier aerospace canopy, the age of space warfare dawned in April 2010 when the Pentagon quietly launched the X-37B space drone, an unmanned craft just 29 feet long, into an orbit 250 miles above the Earth. By the time its second prototype landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in June 2012 after a 15-month flight, this classified mission represented a successful test of “robotically controlled reusable spacecraft” and established the viability of unmanned space drones in the exosphere.
At this apex of the triple canopy, 200 miles above Earth where the space drones will soon roam, orbital satellites are the prime targets, a vulnerability that became obvious in 2007 when China used a ground-to-air missile to shoot down one of its own satellites. In response, the Pentagon is now developing the F-6 satellite system that will “decompose a large monolithic spacecraft into a group of wirelessly linked elements, or nodes [that increases] resistance to... a bad part breaking or an adversary attacking.” And keep in mind that the X-37B has a capacious cargo bay to carry missiles or future laser weaponry to knock out enemy satellites -- in other words, the potential capability to cripple the communications of a future military rival like China, which will have its own global satellite system operational by 2020.
Ultimately, the impact of this third information regime will be shaped by the ability of the U.S. military to integrate its array of global aerospace weaponry into a robotic command structure that would be capable of coordinating operations across all combat domains: space, cyberspace, sky, sea, and land. To manage the surging torrent of information within this delicately balanced triple canopy, the system would, in the end, have to become self-maintaining through “robotic manipulator technologies,” such as the Pentagon’s FREND system that someday could potentially deliver fuel, provide repairs, or reposition satellites.
For a new global optic, DARPA is building the wide-angle Space Surveillance Telescope (SST), which could be sited at bases ringing the globe for a quantum leap in "space surveillance.”  The system would allow future space warriors to see the whole sky wrapped around the entire planet while seated before a single screen, making it possible to track every object in Earth orbit.
Operation of this complex worldwide apparatus will require, as one DARPA official explained in 2007, "an integrated collection of space surveillance systems -- an architecture -- that is leak-proof." Thus, by 2010, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency had 16,000 employees, a $5 billion budget, and a massive $2 billion headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with 8,500 staffers wrapped in electronic security -- all aimed at coordinating the flood of surveillance data pouring in from Predators, Reapers, U-2 spy planes, Global Hawks, X-37B space drones, Google Earth, Space Surveillance Telescopes, and orbiting satellites. By 2020 or thereafter -- such a complex techno-system is unlikely to respect schedules -- this triple canopy should be able to atomize a single “terrorist” with a missile strike after tracking his eyeball, facial image, or heat signature for hundreds of miles through field and favela, or blind an entire army by knocking out all ground communications, avionics, and naval navigation.
Technological Dominion or Techno-Disaster?
Peering into the future, a still uncertain balance of forces offers two competing scenarios for the continuation of U.S. global power. If all or much goes according to plan, sometime in the third decade of this century the Pentagon will complete a comprehensive global surveillance system for Earth, sky, and space using robotics to coordinate a veritable flood of data from biometric street-level monitoring, cyber-data mining, a worldwide network of Space Surveillance Telescopes, and triple canopy aeronautic patrols. Through agile data management of exceptional power, this system might allow the United States a veto of global lethality, an equalizer for any further loss of economic strength.
However, as in Vietnam, history offers some pessimistic parallels when it comes to the U.S. preserving its global hegemony by militarized technology alone. Even if this robotic information regime could somehow check China’s growing military power, the U.S. might still have the same chance of controlling wider geopolitical forces with aerospace technology as the Third Reich had of winning World War II with its “super weapons” -- V-2 rockets that rained death on London and Messerschmitt Me-262 jets that blasted allied bombers from Europe’s skies. Complicating the future further, the illusion of information omniscience might incline Washington to more military misadventures akin to Vietnam or Iraq, creating the possibility of yet more expensive, draining conflicts, from Iran to the South China Sea
If the future of America’s world power is shaped by actual events rather than long-term economic trends, then its fate might well be determined by which comes first in this century-long cycle: military debacle from the illusion of technological mastery, or a new technological regime powerful enough to perpetuate U.S. global dominion.
Alfred W. McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A TomDispatch regular, he is the lead author of Endless Empire: Spain’s Retreat, Europe’s Eclipse, America’s Decline (University of Wisconsin, 2012), which is the source for much of the material in this essay.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook.  Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.
Copyright 2012 Alfred W. McC  (D: This also appeared in Space Alert! Dec. 2012).

“This lunatic program, dreamt up by Reagan and known by its comic book reality, Star Wars, will never work.”  And “it’s costing billions of dollars and untold losses of intellectual treasure applied to meaningless work.”  Therefore, “it’s time to call for a missile ban treaty.”   But the US has blocked repeated attempts by China and Russia to draft a treaty to ban weapons in space.  -Dick

Global Network []
To: GN List Serve ‎[]‎ 
 Saturday, February 01, 2014 10:29 AM
The Department of Defense, directed by Congress, is undertaking the completion of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for a potential additional 'Ground-based Mid-Course Missile Defense' (GMD) site in the continental United States. (The other current GMD site is located at Fort Greeley in Alaska.) . . . .
There are several types of "missile defense" systems today.  Some are on Navy Aegis destroyers (testing quite successfully), some are deployed on Army mobile launchers, while the GMD system is based underground.  The GMD system, whose mission is to have an interceptor missile hit an "enemy" nuclear missile in deep space, has not had any real success in their testing program - many of the tests have been scripted to appear successful.

A new GMD site could cost more than $5 billion to build.  Boeing manages the GMD program while Raytheon and Orbital Sciences Corporation build the interceptors ('kill vehicles') and the rockets.
 These "missile defense" systems are key elements in US first-strike attack planning.  Each year the US Space Command runs a computer war game where China and Russia are attacked with hypersonic global strike weapons that attempt to take out their nuclear capability.  After that initial attack China or Russia would attempt to fire their remaining nuclear forces at the US.  It is then that the triad of US "missile defense" systems (ship-based, mobile, and GMD) would be used to pick-off those retaliatory strikes.  One should call "missile defense" the shield that is used after the US first-strike attack sword lunges into the heart of China or Russia.  This is what the Pentagon and the Missile Defense Agency are now developing.

Maine State Rep. Andrea Boland (Sanford) told me last week that North Korea, Iran and Russia are eager to attack the US.  The liberal Democrat wants this GMD base in our state.  Better us, she told me, than someone else. I don't see it that way.  The aerospace industry in Maine wishes to expand their operations across the state....this GMD site appears to be their major effort to make a big splash.
 Now is the time for public outcry against this East coast GMD site.  Activists in Maine, Ohio, Michigan and New York must speak out against the madness of US first-strike attack planning and the colossal waste of our $$$$$ at a time of austerity cuts in social spending.

In the end "missile defense" is destabilizing as it forces China and Russia to make counter-moves that are then used by the Pentagon to justify even more of these kind of programs.  New arms races are fueled by deployment of so-called "missile defense". 
It truly should be called missile offense. 

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502  (blog)

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.  ~Henry David Thoreau 

Contents of #4 2010
PBS film on colonizing outer space.
                              New film on arming the heavens for wars.: Pax Americana
Web sites on Keep Space for Peace Week 2010

Contents of #5 2011
War Is a
Pax Americana Film

Contents of #6 2012
Keep Space for Peace Week (as of August 2012)
Activities 2012
Maine Peace, Justice, Environment


Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)