[Politech] Bush administration eyes space as next (final) battlefield

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Wed Apr 07 2004 - 11:01:16 PDT

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "[Politech] Pro-regulatory groups: Gmail may be illegal, "must" be suspended [priv]"

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: didn't know if this was of interest to politech or not
    Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 10:02:57 -0500
    From: Chuck Mauthe <cmauthe@private>
    To: 'Politech' <declan@private>
    orig at
    Space: The Final Battlefield?
    March 31, 2004,
    For all of human history, people have looked at the stars with a sense of
    wonder. More recently, some U.S. military planners have looked skyward and
    seen something very different - the next battlefield.
    While the military's presence in space stretches back decades, now there
    appears to be a new emphasis. Officials in the Bush administration and the
    Department of Defense are actively pursuing an agenda calling for the
    unprecedented weaponization of space.
    The first real step in that direction appears to be coming in the form of a
    little-noticed weapons program at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. The
    agency has now earmarked $68 million in 2005 for something called the Near
    Field Infrared Experiment.
    The NFIRE satellite is primarily designed to gather data on exhaust plumes
    from rockets launched from earth, and defense officials claim it is
    therefore designed as a defensive, rather than offensive weapons.
    But the satellite will also contain a smaller "kill vehicle," a projectile
    that takes advantage of the kinetic energy of objects traveling through
    low-Earth orbit (which move at several times the speed of a bullet) to
    disable or destroy an oncoming missile or another orbiting satellite.
    As one senior government official and defense expert described the program,
    which has seen cost-related delays and increased congressional scrutiny:
    "We're crossing the Rubicon into space weaponization."
    Blueprint for Lasers Weapons, Rod Bundles
    "A lot of folks in the Air Force are leery of lobbing weapons into space, so
    they want to creep up on this issue," added the official, who asked to
    remain unnamed. "It's very hard to kill anything in the Missile Defense
    Agency budget - it's political protected."
    Politech mailing list
    Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
    Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Apr 07 2004 - 11:20:32 PDT