Peter Fedynsky / Voice of America & Denis Delestrac / Pax Americana – 2015-02-19 19:45:45
NATO Chief: Missile Defense
Needed Against Irrational Players
Peter Fedynsky / Voice of America
(April 21, 2010) — NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen says NATO must work toward nuclear disarmament, but must also have missile defense against irrational countries and players with nuclear weapons. NATO foreign ministers meeting is being held in Tallinn, Estonia.
Secretary General Anders Rasmussen says the allies must discuss the issue of whether tactical nuclear weapons can serve as a credible deterrent against terrorists who may obtain a nuclear device. Turkey and former Soviet satellite countries want to keep such weapons. Several older members want them removed. He said in his personal opinion, US tactical arms in Europe do serve as a deterrent.
Rasmussen says NATO members must also review their overall nuclear posture. He gives credit to President Obama for putting “new wind in the sails of reducing nuclear weapons and risk.” He says the alliance must do what it can to support arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation.
At the same time, Secretary General Rasmussen says NATO’s reason for existence is to protect the 900-million people among its members.
“Missile defense is no replacement for an effective deterrent, but can compliment it, because there are states or other actors who might not be rational enough to be deterred by our nuclear weapons,” said Anders Rasmussen.
Rasmussen adds that NATO must engage Russia on the issue of missile defense for the benefit of security and political unity in Europe.
Speaking after a bilateral meeting with Estonian hosts of the NATO meeting, US Secretary of State Clinton did not confirm reports that Iran may be transferring SCUD missile technology to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon via Syria. But she says the Obama administration is considering the costs and benefits of sending a US ambassador to Damascus after a five-year absence.
“Where we are as of today is that we believe it is important to continue the process to return an ambassador; this is not some kind of reward for the Syrians and the actions they take that are deeply disturbing,” said Hillary Clinton.
Clinton said the United States called the Syrian ambassador to Washington to discuss concerns about the possible transfer of missiles from Iran. She said the presence of a US ambassador would give Washington a better insight into what is happening in Damascus.
The two-day NATO foreign-minister meeting in Estonia aims to find a new strategy for the organization in the 21st Century. Among the new challenges facing the alliance are energy and cyber security. Ministers will continue discussions Friday.
Star Wars Is No Longer Science Fiction
“Some people don’t want to hear this, but weâ€™re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space.”
— Joseph W. Ashy, Commander-in-Chief of US Strategic Command
Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space
As if there werenâ€™t enough weapons here on earth, space has become the newest arena for countries around the globe to launch their struggle for supremacy. Denis Delestracâ€™s film Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space is packed full of some truly startling facts â€” everything from the â€œRods of Godâ€ (space weapons that can launch from orbit) to the fact that fifty cents of every American tax dollar goes towards military spending.
The astronomical costs of arming and policing the heavens (more than $200 billion) has largely fallen to the US Air Force, but with China and other nations challenging American supremacy, there is the potential for a war to take place right over our heads.
Comparison of the space race to the sea battles of the 18th and 19th Century are apt, since so many global interests are at stake. As per usual, economics are at the heart of the struggle. Noam Chomsky draws analogies between the US weaponization of space to good old-fashioned colonialism in the tradition of empire. In the name of protecting commercial investment, the US has charged itself with being the arbiter of peace in space.
But with the weapons industry replacing almost all other manufacturing in America, is this simply a ruse? Many experts unequivocally state that missile defense is the longest running fraud in the history of US defense. That it, in fact, disguises true American intentions to dominate space as a means of dominating the entire globe. (Getting rid of the anti-ballistic missile treaty was one of the first activities undertaken by the Bush Administration.)
If a space war were to happen, the effects could prove catastrophic. Since there is no way to clean up debris and space junk, it stays in orbit, circling the globe at some 14,000 miles per hour. At this speed, even a pea-sized piece of debris has the capacity to destroy whatever is in its path.
This includes satellites that regulate most of the worldâ€™s information systems (everything from GPS to banking to media). But with China shooting down one of their own aging satellites, the race shows every sign of heating up. This time, the sky may indeed be falling.
Interview with Denis Delestrac, Director of Pax Americana
Q: The topic of your documentary has virtually never been explored before. How did you become interested in space weaponization ?
A: Space security is one of the great stakes of this century, a global issue that affects each one of us but â€“ as you say â€“ Pax Americana is the first thorough journalistic work to tackle this question. What are the reasons for such silence by the media ?
Perhaps the difficulty in deciphering a complex space doctrine which conceals the militaryâ€™s ambitions under the concept of Â« defense Â». Maybe also the difficulty in getting access to the bases of the Air Force Space Command. But above all, I think that true investigation journalism is an endangered species. Too often, the media we trust to get informed are â€“ purposefully or not â€“ relaying institutional propaganda with the terrible consequences weâ€™ve all seen in Iraq for example.
One of the responsibilities of documentary filmmakers is to fill this gap, to shed some light on the important challenges of todayâ€™s society, and the weaponization of space is undoubtedly one of them.â€¨â€¨â€¨
Q: Where you interested in space before?
A: For most of us, space is limited to the NASA launches we can see on TV, the magnificent pictures taken by the Hubble space telescope or the probes sent to Mars. And to be honest I was no different until I started to ask myself a few space related questions. How do we use space technology ? Who is in space today? How much do we depend on it, for civilian and military purposes ?
I wanted to go beyond the clichÃ©s and make a clear inventory of whatâ€™s really happening over our heads. And after three years of investigation, the conclusions were both surprising and alarming: the united States, who own more satellites than the rest of the world combined, are pursuing a space control policy which aims at denying access to space to other nations and controlling the Earth from the â€œhigh groundâ€ of space.
Q: What are the dangers of such a policy ?
A: With the destruction of a only a few satellites we would assistâ€“ in a few hours only â€“ to the biggest crisis in history, kind of 9-11 with effects increased tenfold and on a global scale. Financial markets would be paralyzed, TV and all other sources of information would be mute, telephone communications would be impossible, credits cards useless, aircrafts lost.
On the geopolitical aspect, the consequences of such an aggressive policy are increasing the tensions between todayâ€™s major military powers. China and Russia have stated that if the US goes forward with its space control policy, they will have no choice than to use all their means of deterrence to protect their access to space. Including the use of anti-satellite technology and nuclear capability.
Q: What were the man challenges in the making of Pax Americana ?
A: No film crew had ever been allowed in the bases of the Air Force Space Command and I knew I couldnâ€™t make this film without entering in the heart of the military space establishment. If I wanted to gain their trust I had no choice than to be honest about my intentions, so they knew that I was making a documentary about the military uses of outer space.
After a few months, hundreds of mails and phone calls I established a confidence relationship with key people in the Department of Defense and I received an official letter granting me and my crew full access to several military bases and the authorization to interview some of the most influent military space strategist.
Space Weaponry in focus as US Air Force Launches X37B Space Plane
The US Air Force’s second mysterious robotic mini spacecraft, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, carrying classified payload. Soon after the launch a media blackout shrouded the mission in secrecy, fueling speculation about its possible military purposes.
“Missile Defense Needed Against Irrational Players”
NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen says NATO must work toward nuclear disarmament, but must also have missile defense against irrational countries and players with nuclear weapons.
Prompt Global Strike: Hit Anywhere in the World in an Hour
It was carrying the prototype of a new weapon that can hit any target around the world in less than an hour. The Prompt Global Strike is designed as the conventional weapon of the future. It could hit Osama bin Ladenâ€™s cave, an Iranian nuclear site or a North Korean missile with a huge conventional warhead.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.