Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Standing up to the USA’s militarisation of space

U.S. push for space weaponisation must be challenged,  Independent Australia While most of the world supports outlawing space weaponry, the U.S. Government is still pushing to militarise space, writes Karl Grossman.

RETIRED U.S. Army Colonel John Fairlamb stated in a piece in The Hill, the Washington, DC news website:

Fairlamb knows the issue with the weaponisation of space. His background includes being an International Affairs Specialist for the Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Military Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. He is familiar with war first-hand: he was a company commander in Vietnam and holds a doctorate in Comparative Defense Policy Analysis.

In his opinion column headed ‘The U.S. should negotiate a ban on basing weapons in space’, Fairlamb wrote:

Given the implications for strategic stability, and the likelihood that such a decision [to deploy weapons in space] by any nation would set off an expensive space arms race in which any advantage gained would likely be temporary, engaging now to prevent such a debacle seems warranted.

It’s time for arms control planning to address the issues raised by this drift toward militarisation of space. Space is a place where billions of defence dollars can evaporate quickly and result in more threats about which to be concerned. Russia and China have been proposing mechanisms for space arms control at the United Nations for years; it’s time for the U.S. to cooperate in this effort.

Indeed, if weapons are deployed in space – and for decades, including during the Reagan Administration’s “Star Wars”  (officially named the Strategic Defense Initiative) push, now likely again with the Trump Administration’s creation of a U.S. Space Force and its mission to “dominate” space – there will be no return.

Space weaponisation ‘cannot be walked back’. And the world is at a crossroads.

Russian Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov two weeks ago called tor talks to create an ‘international legally binding instrument’ to ban the deployment of “any types of weapons” in space.

Lavrov declared:

We consistently believe that only a guaranteed prevention of an arms race in space will make it possible to use it for creative purposes, for the benefit of the entire mankind. We call for negotiations on the development of an international legally binding instrument that would prohibit the deployment of any types of weapons there, as well as the use of force or the threat of force.”

He made the statement on 12 April, the International Day of Human Space Flight, marked this year by the 60th anniversary of Russian Yuri Gagarin’s space flight, the first by a person in space.

The U.S., the United  Kingdom and the then Soviet Union joined decades ago in drafting the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 that designated space as a “global commons” for peaceful purposes. The treaty bans the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space. It’s been signed by most nations on Earth.

Russia and China – along with U.S. neighbour Canada – have led in a move to expand the Outer Space Treaty by outlawing the deployment of any weapons in space.

During the period of Reagan’s “Star Wars” and in years since, the U.S. has been working on developing space weaponry that has included hypervelocity guns and particle beam and laser weapons.

The Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty has been pushed by Canada, Russia and China to broaden the Outer Space Treaty.

PAROS has worldwide support. But through a succession of U.S. administrations – Republican and Democrat – the U.S. Government has voted against the PAROS treaty at the Conference on Disarmament of the United Nations. Because conference decisions must be supported by consensus, the U.S. has effectively vetoed the enactment of the PAROS treaty.

The day after Lavrov’s statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry joined Russia in its plea.

Deputy director of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information Department Zhao Lijian said on 13 April:

“We are calling on the international community to start negotiations and reach agreement on arms control in order to ensure space safety as soon as possible. China has always been in favour of preventing an arms race in space; it has been actively  promoting negotiations on a legally binding agreement on space arms control jointly with Russia.”

As for the Biden Administration and space militarisation, spokesperson Jen Psaki tweeted‘We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force…’…..

The comments from retired Army Colonel John Fairlamb are quite excellent as he calls for the U.S. to seriously enter into negotiations with Russia and China on PAROS. Both those nations for years have been offering to enter into negotiations at the U.N. to close the door to the barn before the horse gets out. In other words, develop a new treaty that prevents a space arms race before it happens. Sadly, the U.S. due to aerospace industry greed and dreams of space domination has been blocking this much need treaty development process.

Some might see Mr Fairlamb’s comments as representing the U.S. military – as if a sea change was happening inside the Pentagon – on this very important issue. 

The comments from retired Army Colonel John Fairlamb are quite excellent as he calls for the U.S. to seriously enter into negotiations with Russia and China on PAROS. Both those nations for years have been offering to enter into negotiations at the U.N. to close the door to the barn before the horse gets out. In other words, develop a new treaty that prevents a space arms race before it happens. Sadly, the U.S. due to aerospace industry greed and dreams of space domination has been blocking this much need treaty development process.

Some might see Mr Fairlamb’s comments as representing the U.S. military – as if a sea change was happening inside the Pentagon – on this very important issue. 

Alice Slater, a member of the boards of both the Global Network and the organisation World BEYOND War, said

The U.S. mission to dominate and control the military use of space has been, historically and at present, a major obstacle to achieving nuclear disarmament and a peaceful path to preserve all life on Earth. Reagan rejected Gorbachev’s offer to give up “Star Wars” as a condition for both countries to eliminate all their nuclear weapons. Bush and Obama blocked any discussion in 2008 and 2014 on Russian and Chinese proposals for a space weapons ban in the consensus-bound Committee for Disarmament in Geneva.

At this unique time in history, when it is imperative that nations of the world join in cooperation to share resources to end the global plague assaulting its inhabitants and to avoid catastrophic climate destruction or Earth-shattering nuclear devastation, we are instead squandering our treasure and intellectual capacity on weapons and space warfare.    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/us-push-for-space-weaponisation-must-be-challenged,15066#.YJcE8NQEv74.twitter

May 9, 2021 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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