U.S. preparations to wage war in and from space will be getting a huge
boost with the assumption of power of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney.
They represent a confluence of corporate and right-wing political power
pushing for expanded space military activities joining with a U.S. military
eager to turn space into a new arena of war.
“I wrote the Republican Party’s foreign policy platform,” declared Bruce
Jackson, vice president of corporate strategy and development of Lockheed
Martin, now the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and a corporation
deeply involved as a contractor in U.S. space military work, in an interview
last week. Jackson said that he was selected to be “the overall chairman
[sic] of the Foreign Policy Platform Committee” at the Republican National
Convention, at which he was a delegate.
Although noting his close relations with the Bush campaign, Jackson claimed
he has not led the advocacy for “full development of missile defense…That
would be an implicit conflict of interest with my day job,” he said.
Instead, he said, this has been done by Stephen J. Hadley. Hadley, an assistant
secetary for defense for international security policy in the Administration
of Bush’s father, is a member, said Jackson, of “the Vulcans.” This is
the name given in the Bush campaign to an eight-member group, including
Colin Powell, the designee for Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice,
named as National Security Council director, which has advised Bush on
foreign policy. (The name was inspired by the Roman god of fire and metalworking.)
Hadley is also a partner in the Washington law firm of Shea & Gardner which
represents Lock- heed Martin. Hadley, according to the Washington Post,
was “mentioned as a possible” deputy director of the National Security
Jackson and Hadley have worked closely together on the Committee to Expand
NATO. Jackson is president of this entity, based in the Washington offices
of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute; Hadley is its secretary.
Hadley was also a member of the National Security Council staff during
the earlier Bush administration.
“Space is going to be important. It has a great feature in the military,”
Hadley, introduced as “an advisor to Governor George W. Bush,” told the
Air Force Association Convention in a speech September 11 in Washington.
He stated that Bush’s “concern has been that the [Clinton] administration’s
proposal does not do the job right and it doesn’t reflect a real commitment
to missile defense… This is an administration that has delayed on that
issue and is not moving as fast as he thinks we could.”
As the new Bush administration takes form, missile defense has emerged
as “an essential part of our strategic system,” said Powell immediately
after being named secretary of state. The former chair of the joint chiefs
of staff vowed, “We are going to move forward” with it.
“This so-called election is a major victory for those who intend to put
weapons in space at an enormous cost to the U.S. taxpayer and to world
stability,” declared Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against
Weapons & Nuclear Power In Space, based in Gainesville, Florida. He noted
statements by Bush during the campaign that the U.S. should design and
deploy “quantum leap weapons” and that Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories
would play a major role in the development of “weapons that will allow
America to define how wars are fought.” Both have been deeply involved
in work on space-based lasers.
Space-based lasers were an integral part of Star Wars as originally advanced
in the Reagan administration. Development on them has continued. Under
Clinton, a multi-million dollar contract was signed in 1998 for a “Space-Based
Laser Readiness Demonstrator.” Lockheed Martin, TRW, and Boeing are the
contractors. In November, the Department of Energy requested public comment
on an Environmental Assessment for full development of this space-based
laser, estimated as a $30 billion project.
Last April 26, TRW announced the 22nd successful firing of a space-based
laser it has been working separately on with the government the Alpha High-Energy
Laser. “The data gathered during this test of laser performance and beam
uniformity is a critical part of the process we’re using to design and
validate next generation laser design,” said Dan Wildt, a TRW program manager.
(Lynn Cheney is a member of the board of Lockheed Martin. Dick Cheney has
been a member of the board of TRW.)
Even before the ascendancy of the Bush-Cheney administration, nations around
the world—including Canada—have become increasingly anxious about U.S.
preparations for space warfare and joined in opposition.
On November 20 in the General Assembly at the United Nations, a resolution
was advanced titled Prevention Of An Arms Race In Outer Space. The resolution
reaffirmed the Outer Space Treaty, the 1967 international law setting aside
space for peaceful uses. The resolution, “recognizing the common interest
of all mankind [sic] in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful
purposes,” specifically “reaffirming” provisions in the Outer Space Treaty
stating that “activities” in space shall be “in the interest of maintaining
international peace,” banning weapons in space, and “recognizing that prevention
of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international
security,” it called on “all states, in particular those with major space
capabilities, to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use
of outer space and of the prevention of an arms race in outer space and
to refrain from actions contrary to that objective.”
The vote in favor was 160, virtually all the member nations of the United
Nations. Three countries abstained: the United States, Israel, and Micronesia.
Canada, meanwhile, is seeking to streng- then the Outer Space Treaty with
a provision that would forbid all weapons in space. The treaty now bans
“nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction.”
In a speech at the UN on October 19, Marc Vidricaire, a representative
of Canada, stated: “It has been suggested that our proposal is not relevant
because the assessment on which it rests is either premature or alarmist.
In our view, it is neither. One need only look at what is happening right
now to realize that it is not premature…. We have heard often before that
there is no arms race in outer space. We agree. We would like to keep it
that way for the sake of our own national security and for international
peace and security as whole…. There is no question that the technology
can be developed to place weapons in outer space. There is also no question
that no state can expect to maintain a monopoly on such knowledge—or such
capabilities—for all time. If one state actively pursues the weaponization
of space, we can be sure others will follow.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his address at the UN Millennium Summit
a month earlier, stressed his nation’s concern about “the weaponization
In Canada on December 20, Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretier
issued a joint statement announcing that “Canada and the Russian Federation
will continue close cooperation in preventing an arms race in outer space,
including interaction in the preparation and holding in Moscow in the spring
of 2001 of an international conference on the non-weaponization of outer
Meanwhile, the U.S. military’s would-be space warriors are bullish. The
Air Force Space Command has just issued Almanac 2000, a slick report, which
on its cover identifies the Space Command as “defending America through
the control and exploitation of space.” The report opens with a quote from
the Commander of the Command, General Ed Eberhart: “Set our sights high,
on that high frontier, and be the space warfighters our nation needs today—and
will need even more so in the future.”
“Through the years,” the report continues, “military commanders have recognized
the advantage of ‘owning’ the high ground in battle. In World War II, the
high ground was controlled by those persons who could fly over the battlefield
in airplanes.” Now, it says, the “high ground” space. The report concludes:
“The future of the Air Force is space—a fully integrated, inseparable part
of operations.” The Air Force in the 2lst century needs to be “Globally
dominant—The future Air Force will be better able to monitor and shape
Karl Grossman is with the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power
in Space, www.space4peace. org.