(I offer the following without comment, as I’m not sure that I have another gasket to blow, at least without self-injury. Although thought crimes are a whole ‘nother matter…)
‘Weaponizing Space Is the New Bad Idea Coming From Washington D.C.’, Federico Pieraccini, July 29, 2019, strategic-culture.org
“When considering the possibility of great-power conflict in the near future, it is difficult to bypass space as one of the main areas of strategic focus for the major powers. The United States, Russia and China all have cutting-edge programs for the militarization of space, though with a big difference.
Donald Trump’s announcement of a “Space Force” is by no means a new idea. During the Reagan presidency, a similar idea was proposed in the form of the famous “Star Wars“ program, formally known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. It aimed to do away with the concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD) by positioning anti-ballistic-missile (ABM) interceptors in low-Earth orbit in order for them to be able to easily intercept ballistic missiles during their entry into orbit and before their re-entry phase. The costs and technology at the time proved prohibitive for the program, but military planners retained the dream of negating the concept of MAD in Washington’s favor, especially with the dawning of the unipolar era following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The decisions taken in the years since, such as the US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002 during Bush’s presidency and from the INF Treaty during Trump’s, follows Reagan in trying to invalidate MAD, a balance of terror that has served to maintain a strategic stability.
This hope of doing away with MAD so that the unthinkable may become thinkable has guided the missile developments of Russia and China, which through the development of hypersonic missiles aim to nullify the US’s ABM systems and thereby make the thought of an unreciprocated nuclear first strike MAD again. With Russia’s recent successes in testing hypersonic technologies, and the fast-tracking of other new strategic weapons announced by Putin less than 12 months ago, strategic stability seems to have been restored through Russia’s strengthened deterrence posture.” [snip]
Neither China nor Russia has been sitting idly by waiting to be struck undefended. Russia’s development of its S-500 system has been quite timely. The S-500 system is often considered an upgrade to the better-known S-400 system, but these are in reality different systems with different aims and objectives. The main task of the S-500 is to engage long-distance targets in low-Earth orbit. We are therefore talking about the ability to take out military or any future ABM satellites as those originally conceived with Reagan’s “Star Wars” program.
Unlike Washington, Moscow and Beijing do not appear to be developing space-based weaponry; they are certainly not going to increase their military budgets to create a space force. On the contrary, both countries have been working for more than a decade on a proposed Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty that seeks to ban the weaponization of space.”
The rest, including the summary of the PAROS treaty, is here.)
‘Preparing for great-power war, France creates space command’, Will Morrow, 31 July 2019, wsws.org
“French President Emmanuel Macron’s administration announced this month the creation of a military space command and detailed plans to place anti-satellite weapons systems in orbit. The announcement is the latest step in a military build-up by France and the EU imperialist powers, and part of preparations to wage “great power” wars, including between nuclear-armed states.
The new military branch, whose creation was signaled by Macron on July 13, will be merged into the Air Force, which will henceforth be called the Air and Space Force. Defense Minister Florence Parly outlined the details of the new division in a speech to over 100 air force military brass at the Air Base 942 in Lyon on July 25.
“Space is a new front to defend, and we must be ready,” Parly declared. “Seeking to one day become a space general will no longer be a fantasy, it will be a credible ambition.” [snip]
“This first stage of the command’s operations will involve the deployment of a new generation of Syracuse satellites equipped with visual cameras to identify other nearby satellites. In the second stage, so-called nano-satellites that are more difficult to shoot down, and satellites equipped with submachine guns and lasers capable of destroying or incapacitating rival satellites, will be deployed.
The obvious implication of these announcements, ignored and covered up by the media, is that the ruling class is preparing to wage wars not only against impoverished and former colonial countries in the Middle East and Africa, targeted under the fraudulent banner of the “War on Terror”—which have no capacity to launch attacks using satellite technology or destroy French satellites—but against militarily-advanced nuclear-armed powers, like Russia, China and the United States, which rely heavily on satellite technology for their operations.” [snip]
“The development of a French space force is part of Macron’s bid to take the leadership of a European army being spearheaded by Paris and Berlin. Their aim is to transform the European Union into a military power capable of waging war, including independently of and in opposition to the United States. Germany, in addition to having no nuclear weapons, does not have an active space program of its own, while the exit of Britain from the EU leaves France as the only EU nuclear power, in addition to possessing—for now—Europe’s largest blue-water navy.
The EU’s “Strategic Agenda for 2019–2024,” adopted at its Brussels summit last month, asserts that Europe must “reinforce its global influence,” “influence the course of world events,” and “move forward towards a genuine European Defence Union.” [snip]
“In June 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the creation of a new “Space Force,” to oversee and expand the more than 20,000 personnel already under the direction of the Air Force’s Space Command. Last March, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a blood-curdling address to the nation to announce that India had become the third nation after the US and China to shoot down a satellite, and proclaim that “We are now a space power.” China and Russia, the two principal targets of US military aggression to offset its relative economic decline through military force, are building up their own anti-satellite missile systems as well.” [see ‘with a difference’ above]
‘US to ring China with missiles in nuclear arms race’, Andre Damon, 5 August 2019, wsws.org
“Within hours of the official withdrawal by the United States on Friday from the world’s most important nuclear treaty, the Pentagon made clear that it intends to ring China with missiles amid a rapidly accelerating nuclear arms race.
“Speaking to reporters during a trip to Australia, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon would deploy missiles prohibited under the treaty “sooner rather than later.”
“I would prefer months,” Esper said.
The deployment of medium-range missiles in the Pacific would turn the Chinese coast and the Pacific islands surrounding it into a nuclear battlefront, putting the lives of billions of people in China, the Koreas, Japan, Taiwan and the broader region at risk.
The INF treaty, which was signed between then President Ronald Reagan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, banned the US and Russia from developing missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,000 kilometers, meaning that most of Europe and much of the Pacific were off limits to the stationing of nuclear missiles.” [snip]
“With the potential deployment of US nuclear missiles just minutes in flight-time from the Chinese mainland, tensions will be on a hair trigger, with the huge population of the region living under the specter of nuclear annihilation.
Responding to the US withdrawal from the INF treaty, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that “the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war.” [snip]
“In defending his decision to station missiles in a densely populated area thousands of miles away from America, Esper accused China of “weaponizing the global commons using predatory economics.”
In other words, China, by carrying out peaceful economic activities, is threatening the United States, and that should therefore be countered with the threat of military annihilation.” [snip]
“In subsequent comments, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is accompanying Esper on his trip to Australia, declared that the United States had been “asleep at the switch” with regard to the “danger” posed by China.
He then reemphasized Esper’s declaration that China’s peaceful economic growth constituted a military threat to the United States.
“I’ll hear folks talk about trade and economic issues as separate from national security,” Pompeo said. “Let’s make no mistake about it, China’s capacity, the People’s Liberation Army’s capacity to do exactly what they’re doing is a direct result of trade relationships that they built.”
“They grew their country on the backs of a set of unfair trade rules. So they were able to grow their economy at a high rate of speed,” Pompeo said.” [snip]
“In other words, there is no dividing line between peaceful coexistence, and military conflict. Economic growth and trade are themselves seen by Washington as military threats to be countered by anything from trade conflict to military saber-rattling and full-scale war.
Pompeo’s words are in keeping with the doctrine of great-power rivalry against Russia and China embraced by the Pentagon last year, which declared that “Great power competition—not terrorism—is now the primary focus of US national security.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)