The Weaponization of Space: Corporate Driven Military Unleashes Pre-emptive Wars
By Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat
“ We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6% of its population .This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the people of Asia . In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment . our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security . To do so , we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives . We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefactor.”
This was a policy formulation by George Keenan, US State Department senior Planning Officer in 1948 and later US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1950-1964 and author of the US Policy on Containment of the USSR in the Cold War upto 1991.
First a brief examination of the backdrop of the political power relations at play today and their impact on forces that are propelling the inductions of weapons in Space that are likely to lead to an arms race in space akin to a cold war in a hitherto ‘sanctuary of peace’ and consequently to a situation of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ ( MAD ), of the planet.
India’s historical experience has taught us, that superiority in weapon systems, was the cutting edge of the strategy of the imperial powers of fracturing the unity of societies sought to be colonized . Of course we are all too familiar with how and why atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to dominate, intimidate, induce fear and threaten other nations, in the intervening years, until parity was established. People have seen the results of the ruinous cold war and an unmatched arms race. There has been no peace dividend as propaganda would have us believe. In fact the cold war continues with ‘new enemies’ added as the ‘axis of evil’ and an all pervasive war on terror to terrorise the people of the world to maintain the obscene profits of the ‘war corporations’. The present reality is that to maintain the superiority in weapon systems the Pentagon spends not just $ 700 billion , but the United States over 1400 billion dollars on the entire security establishment or three times that of the rest of the countries put together . With this preamble let us go back to the international power play.
With the political capitulation of the Soviet Union, acquiesced by long time agents Mikhail Gorbachev , General Secretary of the CPSU and Boris Yeltsin , President of the Russian Federation , in total disregard of the Referendum held of the constituents of the USSR to continue as a Union of the Soviet Socialists Republic, arrangements were complete to effect a transition to a ‘unipolar’ world with the US as the unchecked ‘Hegemon’ and the formal implementation of policies and doctrines which had been announced after the end of World War II.
The project for the New American Century (PNAC), was finalised by a small financial and political elite , the Bilderberg group , led by Rockefellers and Rotschilds . This had as its sub-texts , a number of doctrines on the pattern of the well-known Monroe doctrine for Latin America , US Presidential Doctrine 59 and the Carter and Clinton doctrines (The Clinton Doctrine amplified “ the US has the right to undertake unilateral use of force to protect key markets and resources” ) , declaring the Middle- East as an area of vital interest to the US , followed successively by the doctrines of Pre-emptive war , Unlimited War , Theatre level delegation of authority to military commanders to use of micro-nukes (upto 20 KT weapons , three times the Hiroshima bomb ) under US doctrine on Nuclear Weapons 2007 , for use on ‘targets that can withstand non-nuclear attacks — tunnels , underground sites , and in retaliation for military , biological, chemical weapons or in the event of SURPRISING MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS (against the US ) of an unspecified nature. George W Bush has called ‘micro-nukes , conventional ordnance’. The ostensible justification for such a doctrine was that –“In the name of Peace , freedom , democracy and civilized values we shall wage wars” (Paul H Nitze in NSC 68 ) . In sum , Imperial doctrines all . The Imperial Doctrine as articulated by Obama, President of the United States in his Nobel Prize for Peace acceptance speech said, “The instruments of war have a role in preserving the peace ….The US RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ACT UNILATERALLY, IF NECESSARY, and to launch wars whose purpose extends beyond self-defense or the defense of one nation against the aggressor ….Peace was no longer peace , but rather a permanent war that extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan to disorderly regions and diffused enemies”. He called this ‘Global Security’.
All this was official US military policy propelled weaponisation , even though at the end of his term as US President Dwight D Eisenhower becoming momentarily sentimental , on the military- industrial complex which posed a grave threat to the people of the United States apart from the targeted of other nations , said in a speech while relinquishing office … “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can , as only one who has seen its brutality , its futility, its stupidity …..every gun that is made , every warship launched , every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed , those who are cold and not clothed .”
The stark reality that is now being seen throughout the world ,with successive wars of aggression and brutal bombing of small and , therefore , vulnerable countries for the seizure of resources and strategic areas, is that the UN Charter and the noble Declaration of Human Rights exists only in name despite the evocative words, “We the people of the United Nations determined to save generations from the scourge of war , believing in the equal rights of men and women and nations , large and small , to establish justice and promote social progress from the obligations from treaties and other sources of International Law.”
The small financial elite , which is the oligarchy of political societies referred to ironically as democracies; the bankers, financial companies, big oil companies, giant GM Agribusinesses, drug and food companies and seed monopolies seeking to control the world’s food and energy , to dominate nations and people across the globe in all continents , have effectively privatized public assets and commons and , therefore , diminished and emasculated democracy with the ulterior intent of depopulating the world . It is the policies of this oligarchy which determine priorities of national budgetary allocations on weapon systems and their expansion into Space to target the planet earth , and for use in the oceans , the seabed , and as earlier stated into Space . However all these areas of our small and vulnerable planet , the earth , the oceans , the atmosphere and space are intertwined and interconnected.
As we see the world order today , the material conditions of the people from one continent to the other , the direct consequences of colonialism , breeding predatory wars for resources and markets , and conflicts within nations and interse between nations , to further consolidate an extremely exploitative , parasitical and colonial regime to crush the ‘untermenschens’ or sub-humans, which is the expression for the ordinary people of the this planet, to condemn millions with a predetermined policy to malnutrition , hunger, disease and death , as never before at any time in world history . In India , Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had described these conditions as the “terror of hunger and unemployment”, thinking they were inherent characteristics of those times in colonial India and would be eradicated when freedom was won !
To encapsulate, the very character of accumulation of surplus under a system of Capitalism , its extreme parasitical characteristic of sucking the blood and fruits of toil of the worker and whole colonies, nurtures policies that create satanic weapon systems to establish hegemony and dominance . Human progress in science and technology , instead of being harnessed for the benefit of civilization is being used to innovate and invent , no matter what the cost to national budgets , weapon systems robotic in their capacity to kill and maim large numbers of people , increasingly the civilian population . This is being witnessed , to give one example with the drone technology with its remote control , in advance of later versions to be deployed in Space. This process is accelerating even as people are losing control over military budgets even as they have no control over their political systems . The nature of this weaponization is intended to destroy the human habitat and environment and has dangerous implications for the genetic future of mankind, in the nature of GM and terminator seeds of the Agribusiness companies.
“Colonialism is a constant , necessary condition for capitalist growth . Without colonies , Capital accumulation would grind to a halt ,” said Rosa Luxemburg , a member of the Social Democratic Party in pre-Nazi Germany. We are now living in the era of Neo-colonialism disguised as Globalisation minus the foreign flag and armies, with the MNCs weaving the web of the Transnational Capitalist Class across our polity and economy.
We must understand the reality of our present lawless world, where corporate driven military might unleashes pre-emptive wars, invasions and occupations and the UN system stands paralyzed , its Charter disregarded , the Treaties and conventions signed and ratified , flouted at every step . It is necessary for us to focus on the stark truth that those treaties and conventions do not protect humanity from the forces that want to dominate and exploit the resources of the world using every weapon system and all mediums –be they land , sea , the seabed or space and if the world system does not create a balance very soon than even from military bases that may be established on the earth’s planetary system. Vladimir Putin, then President and now the Prime Minister of Russia, speaking at the European Security Conference in Munich on 10th February 2007, said:
“The unipolar world refers to a world in which there is one master, one center of authority, one center of force, one centre of decision making. At the end of the day this is pernicious not only for those within the system , but also for the Sovereign himself from within ; what is more important is that the model itself is flawed because as its basis there is and can be no moral foundation for modern civilization ( and even less for democracy ).
We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. We are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations , force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permament conflicts . I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security.”
We have to move heaven and earth , the might of humanity to dismantle that decision making ruling elite in the ‘joint corporate –military board rooms ,’ be they located underground in the Strategic Command in Nebraska or at multi-locations in Wall Street , the City ( London ) or Tel a Viv .
The unlimited quest for establishing monopoly over the planet earth’s resources and markets , has led the world to witness unending wars , sometimes referred to as ‘long wars’ , if that phrase makes it seem less destructive , and the unending pursuit of weapon platforms , for attaining ‘full spectrum dominance’ and the ‘Strategic Defense Initiative’ (SDI ) or the Star Wars initiated by the ‘free market’ of the Reagan administration and Thatcherism , accelerating the death and destruction that we have witnessed , all across the globe be it in Angola , Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan , Iraq , Palestine , Central and Latin America , Yugoslavia , Lebanon , Gaza and earlier in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia among other countries with the UN Security Council in some cases acquiescing and even assisting .
Technologies for war gallop as they are the best funded and are often justified by that omnibus phrase ‘National Security.’ There are the platforms and the war-heads , the former are becoming more and more versatile with land, sea air and space versions . The war-heads have numerous variants – Depleted Uranium , micro-nukes , phosphorous , napalm , cluster , bunker busters , powerful lasers and beam particle rays , the latter specially for space applications .
A ‘Permanent War’ system nurtured by a permanent ‘War Economy’ , fed by the predatory practices of Big banks and the MNCs has led to the establishment of the National Security State which in turn advances the private interest of the financial oligarchy . The three golden rules , therefore , are US / NATO global military presence , global projection of military power and the use of that force in one conflict or the other to threaten the ‘lesser people’ of the world with ‘Full Spectrum dominance’ –including in Space. The Ruling Class is actually an alliance of the ‘Transnational Capitalist Class( TCC) which delivers to itself profit, power and privilege through policy control and weaponisation.
The new strategy making centers are where the ‘Board’ comprises of the CEOs of the biggest corporations and the Theatre Commanders , the targets listed , prioritized and war plans finalized , then translated into National Security Strategy Documents (NSSDs) , Presidential doctrines / declarations , threats and sanctions . For example , it is on record that the Nuclear Weapons Targetting Plan /list was jointly prepared by top business executives and the military top brass at the Offut Air Base of the US Strategic Command in 2002 ( cited by Prof Michel Chossudovsky ). This takes into account; first the ‘Reconstruction’ (or business) plan and then the ‘Destruction plan’, or what is listed to be destroyed so that it may once again be reconstructed through contracts from public treasuries.
The ‘US Space Command’s Vision 2020, is but an expression of this reality. For reasons of serving this charade, of the US /NATO —serving the country , defending the Constitution ( this “goddamned piece of paper” as George W Bush used to say ) and the people ; the military continues to wear the government issued insignia badges on their helmets and uniforms . The agenda is set by the financial oligarchy , the military is co – opted as an implementing partner. In any case ‘private military companies’ ( PMCs ) are in their direct chain of command and have the advantage of free functioning outside the US Military Law Manual . Both have the mandate to support the criminal enterprises of loot and plunder.
Relevant for understanding the first decades of the 21st Century , the rhetoric in the Space Command’s vision reads , “ Based on unequalled US power and influence ( based on fiat dollars and debt financing by China , Japan etc ) that favours human freedom ( eg. Operation Iraqi Freedom ) and extends peace by encouraging free and open societies in every continent ( read free enterprise and free markets ) , make the world safe for democracy , develop capabilities that enable dominance and more aggressive intentions” . The “Grand Strategy” is to ‘remake’ the world on the basis of US ( read Super Capitalism / TCC ) unassailability , eroding international security and human security , across the world . “ The weaponisation of space project is the cutting edge of the process , now in motion . However the success of the alliance of the people against the project , holds the promise not only to sustain the ‘sanctuary of peace’ but also progress towards disarmament and peace here on earth” writes Wade L Huntley .
US Space Command Vision
Encouraged by Donald Rumsfeld’s ‘Space Commision 2000’ which embraced the ‘myth of a Space Pearl Harbour’ and basing itself on the dubious interpretation that there is no blanket prohibition in International law on placing or using weapons in Space , the Space Commision Report also contained the revealing warning that the “US must be cautious of agreements intended for one purpose that when added to a large of treaties or conventions / regulations may have unintended consequences of restricting future activities in space.” The US Space Command’s Vision Document calls for dominating the Space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investments . Vision 2020 is for dominating ( dominanace ) of Earth from Space . Its operational concepts are ;
Control of Space.
Full forces integration via information , surveillance , reconnaissance ( ISR ) .
Global partnerships / alliances.
The US Space Command Vision 2020 document pursues the idea of a Global Area Strike system , of which a key element could be ground based high energy laser capability which bounces off space based mirrors , the placement of Directed Energy Weapons ( DEW ) and Kinetic Energy Weapons (KEW), soft kill jammers. The 4 yearly Quadrennial Defense Reviews, periodical NSSDs and Nuclear Posture Reviews , the latest of April 2010 , are useful reference points for a detailed analysis of clues as to intentions and plans .
Far more important than any description of the types of weapons and weapon platforms planned for induction in Space , is that the Vision Document emphasizes “the role of Space IN MANAGING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY …..The Globalisation ( read neo –imperialism / colonialism ) of the world economy will also continue causing a widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’…. The view is that by controlling Space and Earth below , the US ( meaning the TCC ) will be able to keep the ‘Have-nots’ in line.”
The US Space Command is perceptively seen by Bill Sulzman , Director , Citizens for Peace in Space, who observes —“The Space Command is readying itself to be the ‘Enforcement Arm’ for the Global Economy and Polity.”
The Space Command Vision indicates US and global , financial interests being involved in helping set ‘Space Military Doctrine.’ The Space Command’s ‘Long Range Plan’ begins by stressing that involvement —-spelt out it involves 75 corporations beginning with Aerojet , Boeing , Lockheed –Martin , Rand , Raytheon , Sparta Corp, TRW to Vista technologies , to hundreds of MNCs in Europe and Japan that it will enhance with contracts and protect their control of resources and markets.
The growth and influence of Financial businesses and MNCs will blur Security agreements as well as monitor and shape world events and the overall global security architecture, Asia included .
As early as 1996 , General Joseph Ashy , CinC US Space Command told ‘Aviation Week & Space Technology’ …. “Its politically sensitive …but its going to happen …some people do not want to hear this , but absolutely we are going to fight in Space , we’re getting to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space.”
One analysis rightly concludes “that the US ( TCC ) is gearing up for the unilateral (military ) control of Space which over arches Planet Earth , all occupants and its entire contents — with that vantage position it could overpower every opponent .” In chasing profits they boast of ‘blowing up the world,’ if necessary . However, there is many a slip, as the saying goes, between the cup and the slip . Post 2007 with the gathering financial implosion and indebtedness and loss of manufacturing capacity of the US system gathering visible momentum , the end game may turn out differently!
According to some think tanks , only a few years ago , they declared that …. “Other nations lack the money and / or technology to compete with the US in the developing of space age weapons , Friedman is quoted for instance ,…..that China and Russia were passing blips.” In fact China , and to a lesser extent Russia , are the bankrupt US Treasury’s creditors ….China has been indirectly financing the Corporate wars in Afghanistan and Iraq…the US global military presence and the US Space Command’s growing dreams . But illusions can be dangerous by sparking off an uncontrolled arms Race in Space with its attendant risks and unexpected consequences that may blow up planet earth, notwithstanding the fact that the US economy is in terminal decline while its corporate warriors of the Transnational capitalist class profit and retain their wealth and riches in diverse financial securities , albeit toxic ones like Derivatives , CDOs and CDSs and other commercial paper in a huge ponzi web of deceit. We are indeed as the Chinese say living in interesting times.
As US Space Command’s drives ahead with building Space WMD systems and synergizing with Ballistic Missile Defense , National Missile Defense and Anti-Satellite ( ASAT ) weapon sysytems , China and Russia will enter with defensively oriented systems and if China does , India will follow and Pakistan too . The whole game is counter –productive and result in more ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ ( MAD ) as with nuclear weapons ….but not in the minds of the Transnational capitalist class which loves the Midas touch .
The ‘Outer Space Treaty 1967 , was signed and sealed by the US , Soviet Union , China and India among others . The Outer Space treaty is a legally binding instrument . however it has a caveat ,which by omission permits the ‘passive military use of space .’ The Prime Ministers of Canada and Russia at the Millenium Summit in September 2000 and again in a meeting in December 2000 promised to work in close cooperation to prevent an arms race in Space.
In a well reasoned paper presented to a Conference on Disarmament in Space , held in Moscow in 2001 , Dr Rebecca Johnson , Executive Director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy called for a step by step ‘Ottawa Process’ and referred to a constructive working paper tabled by France at the Conference on Disarmament ( CD ) in Geneva. Dr Rebecca Johnson also suggested that a number of American companies with interests in Telecom , Navigation and Entertainment industries have a stake in keeping Space peaceful . She made another relevant observation that ‘Demilitarisation of Space is linked to ‘Demilitarisation of International Relations.’ Recalling Srilanka’s contribution to a proposed moratorium on testing ASAT weapons and for a discussion on a ‘Rules of the Road’ for Space in an attempt to pre-empt weaponisation of Space; the Srilankan ambassador to the CD , Geneva , Jayantha Dhanapala , as early as 1985, emphasized with rare foresight that “preventing an arms race in outer space is an easier task than attempting to control and decelerate such a race after it has begun… therefore, the urgency, to prohibit through multi-lateral negotiations the stationing of weapons in space designed to damage , destroy or interfere with any country’s space craft.”
It would be ideal if the BMD and NMD projects are also halted , if not on the realization of their practical futility , then simply because the coming ‘Greatest Depression’ must lead to a major review and recall on grounds of financial non-feasibility alone.
An eminent thinker and analyst in the global network for preservation of the space sanctuary has spoken thus : “ It wont do much good to anti-war people to demand an end to the war in Iraq, Afghanistan , nuclear war , weaponisation of Space ….unless they ( we ) mobilize the millions to demand the end of the underlying system , profit is all the human being nothing, that has now produced quasi-permanent war , conflict, violence, tension and sectarian strife (death squads and PMC personnel masquerading as Special Operation Groups with remote control drone bombers outside the control of any democratic institution of the State system / apparatus .)”
We are threatened with the destruction and decimation of peoples and nations the world over , including the destruction of the life-sustaining resources of mother earth .
Earlier Russia and India declared a shared fundamental position on ‘ No Weaponisation of Space’ in their joint statement in New Delhi by the two Prime Ministers on 25th January 2007 ( However under pressure for not lagging behind too much India announced a Joint Space Command in March 2008 ( to consolidate its ISR capability ).
Negotiations on a Treaty to prohibit Weapons and War in Space would have three components as proposed by Dr Rebecca Johnson:
Ban on deployment and use of weapons in space thereby extending and strengthening the 1967 Outer Space Treaty so that directed energy and kinetic energy weapons are also banned along with “NO deployment” for any future offensive innovations with such a potential.
Banning the testing, deployment and use of ASAT weapons , whether earth based or space-based.
Establishing a code of conduct for peace supporting , non-offensive and non-aggressive uses of force ( as also a short term breather and restraint on ASAT).
We are familiar with what science and technology enabled then . Now it has the potential to enable Space Powers to wage war, nay blow up planet earth or coerce and blackmail other countries to melt and allow one single economic and political ideology of the market and private enterprise , despite the financial bankruptcy it imposes on more than one country of the world termed as “Sovereign Debt” !
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has gone on record that such moves on the chessboard “will disturb the existing military balance in the world.” On 6th September 2007, Russia placed a draft Resolution before the UN General assembly for banning the deployment of weapons in Outer Space titled ‘Transparency and Confidence Building Measures in Outer space Activities.’ An earlier proposal by Russia on similar lines was placed in the United Nations in 2002. The proposal also incorporates the convening of a conference to jointly pursue , after looking into various issues and preparing and negotiating a draft treaty text to prohibit weapons in space , in a manner , to enhance the 1967 Treaty with reference to current realities to prevent weaponisation of Space. China has also joined Russia in demanding that the US observe the Treaty and not place any weapons in Space.
Either the Transnational Capitalist Class alliance self-destructs compelled by the conscious mobilisation of the working people, in solidarity across the continents , those who oppose war and stand solidly together in a counterforce on the side of humanity or we go further downhill the slope of lower depths, into an abyss. For every person there are always two choices in life: to accept things as they are or to accept the responsibility to bring about change —from a war economy to a political economy of peace to share, to preserve our environment and to belong to the commons in which every being has an equal stake for our minimum needs.
Global Research, October 17, 2010