5 years ago
Does anyone else get the feeling that we may have elected possibly the least qualified, least competent and worst ideologue to the Presidency at a time in history when we can least afford this kind of mistake?
When I read this string of articles, that is exactly the feeling I get. We may be witnessing a tsunami of policy errors that will be no less devastating to the U.S. than those that hit Japan recently.
Here is a disturbing article in The Daily Telegraph that sets the stage:
The “star wars” arms race was began in January 2007 when China shocked the White House by shooting down one of its weather satellite 530 miles above the Earth.
The strike, which resulted in thousands of pieces of debris orbiting the earth, raised fears that the Chinese had the power to cause chaos by destroying US military and civilian satellites.
In February 2008, America launched its own “test” strike to destroy a malfunctioning American satellite, which demonstrated to the Chinese it also had the capability to strike in space.
America stated at the time that the strike was not a military test but a necessary mission to remove a faulty spy satellite.
The leaked documents appear to show its true intentions.
One month before the strike, the US criticised Beijing for launching its own “anti-satellite test”, noting: “The United States has not conducted an anti-satellite test since 1985.” In a formal diplomatic protest, officials working for Condoleezza Rice, the then secretary of state, told Beijing: “A Chinese attack on a satellite using a weapon launched by a ballistic missile threatens to destroy space systems that the United States and other nations use for commerce and national security. Destroying satellites endangers people.”
A month after the Chinese strike, America shot down one of its own satellites, ostensibly to stop it returning to earth with a toxic fuel tank which would pose a health hazard. The Chinese did not believe the explanation.
In secret dispatches, US officials indicated that the strike was, in fact, military in nature.
This was the state of affairs as the Bush Administration wound down and the Obama Administration took over. When the Chinese launched another ASAT test, the Obama Administration reacted:
The most recent cable in the collection was sent from the office of Mrs Clinton in January 2010.
It claimed that US intelligence detected that China had launched a fresh anti-satellite missile test. Crucially, Washington wanted to keep secret its knowledge that the missile test was linked to China’s previous space strikes.
The cable, marked “secret” said the Chinese army had sent an SC-19 missile that successfully destroyed a CSS-X-11 missile about 150 miles above the Earth.
“This test is assessed to have furthered both Chinese ASAT [anti-satellite] and ballistic missile defense technologies,” stated the memo to the US embassy in Beijing.
Mrs Clinton’s cable stressed that “the Obama administration” retained the Bush-era concerns over Chinese space weapon plans.
So far so good. Until we come to this article by Eli Lake in the Washington Times that points out that the U.S. is on the verge of agreeing to a European Union protocol on space activities that could hamper our ability to develop space capabilities while leaving the Chinese free rein:
The administration has signaled that it is preparing to accept the European Union’s draft Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities with minimal changes to the document. An administration interagency review concluded last month that the code of conduct — aimed at reducing the amount of space debris that could collide into satellites — would not damage U.S. national interests in space or limit research and development into classified programs.
Peter Marquez, who served as National Security Council director of space policy for President George W. Bush and for President Obama until Sept. 29, raised concerns about the U.S. strategy. He said it could lead other states to set limits on U.S. defenses in space.
“Implementation of the space strategy is going to be key. International norms could unintentionally limit U.S. deployment and development of satellites that track orbital debris and other satellites in space,” he said.
“It leaves open the door also for the United States to be forced to disclose the nature of its intelligence collection activities and capabilities from orbit.”
Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the strategy fails because it does not adequately account for the Chinese threat to U.S. satellites. “One gets the impression from this document that the Obama administration simply wants to ignore the Chinese threat in hopes it will just go away,” he said. “There is apparently no consideration of developing U.S. active defenses for space that would more effectively deter China.”
This President is doing major damage to virtually every aspect of the United States. Here we find that he is possibly eroding our future defenses against attacks on our vital communications and information systems to the Chinese. At this rate, 2013 may be too late.