Tuesday, December 24, 2019

US Making Outer Space the Next Battle Zone – Karl Grossman

Source: Strategic Culture

By Finian Cunningham | December 23, 2019


In the following interview for Strategic Culture Foundation, American Professor Karl Grossman warns that the Trump administration is recklessly pushing ahead with long-held US plans to militarize outer space. This is in spite of a UN treaty banning such a development.

Grossman says the weaponization of space is essential to US imperialist ambitions for "full spectrum dominance" over the entire planet. He also contends that the US enterprise will unleash a new arms race with Russia and China, thereby gravely undermining global security and greatly increasing the risk of a nuclear war.

Much of the US space weaponization program, he says, can be traced back to the post-Second World War years when former Nazi rocket scientists were employed by Washington to continue the Third Reich’s military programs.

Grossman debunks oft-repeated claims made by US politicians that Russia and China are advancing their own space weaponry. Indeed, he points out, both Moscow and Beijing are on the record over many years calling for the US to desist from violating the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The Space Force plan being rolled out by the Trump administration is largely being done without the US public's knowledge or consent.

Karl Grossman's biography includes being a full Professor of Journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury. He is also a film-maker, author and renowned international expert on space weaponization, having addressed UN conferences and other forums on the subject. He is a founding director (in 1992) of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. Grossman is author of the ground-breaking book, 'Weapons in Space'.

INTERVIEW

Question: The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) currently going through the US Congress this month makes provision for the establishment of a Space Force as an entirely separate branch of the armed forces. Is the Trump administration moving ahead with plans to weaponize outer space in ways that far exceed similar plans seen under previous administrations, such as Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and his "Star Wars" initiative?

Karl Grossman: It is along the lines of US military space strategy that has been developing for decades. It is important, I believe, to note that much of this started with the arrival of former Nazi scientists – many of whom worked on the V2 rocket program, such as Werner von Braun – to the US after World War Two. At the Army arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, they produced a modified V2 renamed the Redstone, the first US missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

Former General Walter Dornberger, who supervised work on the V2, was hired as a consultant to the US Air Force in 1947 and, notes the book 'Arming the Heavens' by State University of New York Professor Jack Manno, Dornberger "wrote a planning paper for his new employers. He projected a system of hundreds of nuclear-armed satellites all orbiting at different altitudes and angles, each capable of reentering the atmosphere on command from Earth to proceed to its target. The Air Force began early work on Dornberger's idea under the acronym NABS (Nuclear Armed Bombardment Satellites)." Manno also writes: "Before a congressional hearing in 1958, Dornberger insisted that America's top space priority ought to be to 'conquer, occupy, keep and utilize space between the Earth and the moon.'"

The "Star Wars" scheme of President Ronald Reagan represented a full-blown plan by the US for the weaponization of space – despite, importantly, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which declares space a global commons to be used for peaceful purposes.

In my book, 'Weapons in Space', I quote from various US military documents, such as the US Space Command’s 'Vision for 2020', its multi-colored cover depicting a laser weapon shooting a laser beam down from space zapping a target below. This report, issued in 1996, proclaims the US Space Command's mission of "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict."

So important, too, 'Vision for 2020' compares the US effort to control space and the Earth below to how centuries ago "nations built navies to protect their commercial interests," how the great empires of Europe ruled the waves and thus the world.

As General Joseph Ashy, then commander in chief of the US Space Command, put it in 1996 in the trade magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology: "It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen. Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but – absolutely – we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space."

As to Trump, the preposterous US president now, as National Public Radio reported this August, the Space Force notion "started as a joke." Reported NPR correspondent Claudia Grisales in a report titled, 'With Congressional Blessing, Space Force Is Closer to Launch' – "Early last year President Trump riffed on an idea he called 'Space Force' before a crowd of Marines in San Diego. It drew laughs, but the moment was a breakthrough for a plan that had languished for nearly 20 years."

She continued: "'I said maybe we need a new force, we'll call it the 'Space Force,' Trump said at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in March 2018. 'And I [Trump] was not really serious. Then I said, 'What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that.'"

The space program currently of Trump and the US military will ultimately, I'd project, resemble the "Star Wars" architecture – orbiting battle platforms with on-board nuclear reactors providing the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons. ("Without reactors in orbit," as former "Star Wars" commander General James Abrahamson, put it at a Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion, there would need to be "a long, long light [extension] cord that goes down to the surface of the Earth" to power space weaponry.

Question: Presumably, the Space Force sought by President Trump is an irrevocable move. Once it is established, it will be a permanent branch of the US armed services, which will not be disestablished by future presidents?

Karl Grossman: Once established, it could theoretically be disestablished – but with government, as conservatives like to complain, correctly, once an office is set up, once a department is created, a vested interested is established. An entity is formed which seeks to perpetuate itself. Further, places where components of the Space Force would be based would lobby to retain them. Moreover, because of the partnership in the US of the military and powerful aerospace contractors, these corporations with their huge clout – and government contracts – would also lobby (and utilize campaign contributions to politicians) to keep a Space Force and its components permanent.

Question: The whole dynamic of weaponizing outer space by successive US governments appears to violate the 1967 UN-ratified Outer Space Treaty. From a legal point of view, is what the Trump administration and Congress doing – setting up a Space Force – blatantly illegal?

Karl Grossman: What is being done might not now be a violation of the Outer Space Treaty – but it certainly is a violation of the intent of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. As Craig Eisendrath, who had been a US State Department officer involved in the treaty's creation, notes in my TV documentary 'Star Wars Returns', after the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, Sputnik, in 1957, "we sought to de-weaponize space before it got weaponized…to keep war out of space." Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, it entered into force in 1967. Put together by the US, the then Soviet Union and Britain, it has been ratified or signed by 123 countries. It provides that nations “undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in space in any other manner."

Please go to Strategic Culture to read the entire article.
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Related:

Space Weaponization

The Secret Space Program: Roy Cohn, Donald Trump, Robert Swan Mueller & the VERY Deep State

This Species Is Heading to the Moon Where Trillion$ In Resources Are Waiting to be Mined


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