excerpts from the book

Weapons in Space

by Karl Grossman

Seven Stories Press, 2001


Foreword by Dr. Michio Kaku

When historians write the history of the 20th century, they will remark that the threat of all-out nuclear war, involving a cataclysmic exchange of tens of thousands of hydrogen bombs between the two superpowers, receded with the ending of the Cold War.

But just when one danger is fading, another one is rising ominously. Instead of ushering in an era of peace and prosperity, the beginning of the 21st century, historians will note, saw increased militarization, marked by the weaponization of outer space. They will remark that this represented a missed opportunity of enormous dimensions. Right before our eyes, the prospects of banning nuclear weapons is slipping through our fingers.

Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this. Vaguely hearing of arms control talks at the United Nations, people have been lulled to sleep, thinking that the great powers are finally dismantling their weapons.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sadly, the U.S. military is dangerously pursuing its goal of military superiority, even though there is not an enemy in sight.

The U.S. military is shadowboxing with itself.

The weaponization of space represents a real threat to the security of everyone on Earth. Not only will this squander hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars, which are better spent on education, health, housing, and the welfare of the people, it will greatly accelerate a new arms race in space, with other nations working feverishly to penetrate a U.S. Star Wars program, or to build one themselves. A whole new round of the arms race could begin.

Ironically, it is the U.S. that stands to lose the most in such a race to militarize outer space. It is the U.S., not China or Russia, which is highly dependent on a vulnerable, fragile network of communication satellites. It is the U.S., not the developing countries, which has a high concentration of resources centered on just a handful of cities. In case of war, the U.S. would suffer greatly, its satellites blinded by anti-satellite weapons, its communications centers neutralized.

The time to stop this madness, therefore, is now, while Star Wars and affiliated programs are still in their infancy...

Michio Kaku is Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at City University of New York


Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power
www. space4peace. org

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

U.S. Space Command - http://www.spacecom.af.mil/usspace


The United States is preparing to make space a new arena of war.

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
"If the U.S. is allowed to move the arms race into, space, there will be no return. We have this one chance, this one moment in history, to stop the weaponization of space from happening.

U.S. Space Command - http://www.spacecom.af.mil/usspace
"The U.S. Space Command "coordinates the use of Army, Naval and Air Force Space Forces to help institutionalize the use of space."

Vision for 2020 report of the U.S. Space Command, issued in 1996
"US Space Command-dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict."

The Long Range Plan, issued in 1998

"Now is the time," says the Long Range Plan, "to begin developing space capabilities, innovative concepts of operations for war-fighting, and organizations that can meet the challenges of the 21st Century.... Even as military forces have become more downsized in the 1990s, their commitments have steadily increased. As military operations become more lethal, space power enables our streamlined forces to minimize the loss of blood and national treasure.... Space power in the 21st Century looks similar to previous military revolutions, such as aircraft-carrier warfare and Blitzkrieg."

"The time has come to address, among warfighters and national policy makers, the emergence of space as a center of gravity for DOD [Department of Defense] and the nation.

The Long Range Plan 1998

Widespread communications will highlight disparities in resources and quality of ~ life-contributing to unrest in developing countries ... The gap between 'have' and 'have-not' nations will widen-creating regional unrest....

General Joseph Ashy, then commander in chief of the U.S. Space Command, told Aviation Week Space Technology in 1996.

"It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen. Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but-absolutely-we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space." Ashy told Aviation Week Space Technology in 1996.

Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force for Space Keith Hall, also director of the National Reconnaissance Office, told the National Space Club in 1997:

"With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it, and we're going to keep it."

Bill Sulzman, director of Citizens for Peace in Space, presented to the audience-which included many UN delegates-U.S. Space Command Major Kevin Kimble's 1998 lecture "to future Air Force officers" at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The lecture, appearing as an overhead on a screen, began:

"There is a role for military use of space. Space is a medium useful for human endeavor. Human endeavor is accompanied by conflict. Human conflict, at its extreme, requires military solutions. Space is a medium requiring exploitation for military purposes. Space Control is the first order of business."

Helen John of the Menwith Hill Women's Peace Camp who has been arrested many times for protests at the Menwith Hill military facility, a key command-and-control component of the U.S. space military program and a communications surveillance center, located in North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom.

"We, who have protested outside the base at Menwith Hill at a Greenham-style women's peace camp for the past five years, cannot imagine how the international community can allow this to continue. This kind of power and this kind of spy technology is beyond Hitler's wildest dreams.... Following in the Fuhrer's footsteps, the U.S.A. now intends to dominate space to protect the American military and American business and commercial interests, having stolen everyone else's.... The U.S. Space Command documents Vision for 2020 and The Long Range Plan spell out the far from peaceful future Uncle Sam has worked out for the rest of us...

George Friedman, a "defense expert" and co-author, with Meredith Friedman, of the 1997 book The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 21st Century

"The age of the gun is over.... He who controls space controls the battlefield," said Friedman, in an interview, arguing that other nations "lack the money and/or technology to compete with us in the development of space-age weapons."

His book, The Future of War, concludes: "Just as by the year 1500 it was apparent that the European experience of power would be its domination of the global seas, it does not take much to see that the American experience of power will rest on the domination of space.... Just as Europe expanded war and its power to the global oceans, the United States is expanding war and its power into space.... Just as Europe shaped the world for half a millennium, so too the United States will shape the world for at least that length of time. For better or worse, America has seized hold of the future of war...."

As New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century, a 1996 U.S. Air Force Board report, states:

"In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict.... These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills. This can be done rapidly, continuously, and with surgical precision, minimizing exposure of friendly forces. The technologies exist or can be developed in this time period."

Who makes money on the use of nuclear devices in space? General Electric, which manufactured the plutonium systems, and, in recent years, Lockheed Martin, which took over that division of GE. Both GE and Lockheed Martin ... long lobbied the government to use their plutonium systems in space.

The U.S. military wants nuclear-powered weapons in space and that's been a key reason why NASA has been insisting on using nuclear power in space even when solar power would suffice. NASA coordinates its activities with the military.

Time magazine reported in a July 2000 article on missile defense
"The heart of Ronald Reagan's 1983 Star Wars program lives on, kept beating by a mix of election-year politicking, behind-the-scenes defense-industry puppeteering and a fiercely committed group of conservative think tanks and antimissile-system advocates."

"Not surprisingly, noted Time magazine in a July 2000 article on missile defense - "The Reagan-era Star War Program Lives On"

"Defense contractors...have a major interest in a NMD [National Missile Defense] system, especially since its ultimate cost is estimated at more than $30 billion. The four largest weapons contractors-Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and TRW-together received more than $2.2 billion in missile-defense research-and-development money over a recent 21-month span, according to a report issued by the World Policy Institute. In 1997 and 1998, the latest years for which figures are available, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and TRW spent $35 million on lobbying '

Those working to make sure Star Wars "kept beating" include the Republican right, aerospace corporations that have spent huge amounts of money in lobbying the political system, archconservative foundations like the Heritage Foundation and the U.S. military, especially its U.S. Space Command.

Strong evidence of that can be found in the book Military Space Forces: The Next 50 Years that stresses on its title page that it was "Commissioned by Congress"- a Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress of the mid-1980s.

This blueprint for space warfare is as wild and extreme as anything produced by the U.S. Space Command or the Heritage Foundation, and yet was endorsed personally by a group of mostly Democrats and commissioned by a Democratic Congress. The list of officials signing off on the "Congressional Introduction" is topped by the facsimile signatures of Representatives Ike Skelton of Missouri and John Spratt of South Carolina- Democrats and leaders in recent years for missile defense. Then there are the signatures of then Senator John Glenn of Ohio, the ex-astronaut and a Democrat given a NASA space shuttle ride in 1999); now U.S. Senator then Representative Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat representing Cape Canaveral and the rest of the "Space Coast" who got his NASA space shuttle ride in 1986); and Representative Harold Volkmer, a Missouri Democrat. The two Republicans are Representative John Kasich of Ohio and Ben Blaz, a non-voting member of the House from Guam.

The "Congressional Introduction" declares that Congress asked John M. Collins, senior specialist in national defense at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, "in June 1987 to prepare 'a frame of reference that could help Congress evaluate future, as well as present, military space policies, programs and budgets."'

After a foreword by General John L. Piotrowski, then commander in chief of the U.S. Space Command, Military Space Forces opens with consideration of "economic and military enterprises" on the moon. "The moon is rich, in many natural resources.... iron, titanium, aluminum, manganese, and calcium are abundant.... Simple machines could easily strip top layers."

Military bases on the moon would not only "defend" the mining operations but could take advantage of what Military Space Forces calls the "gravity well" of Earth. This is described as a channel in space between the moon and Earth. "Military space forces at the bottom of Earth's so-called gravity well are poorly positioned to accomplish offensive/defensive/deterrent missions, because great energy is needed to overcome gravity during launch," it says, but "forces at the top"- on the moon-could act "more rapidly. Put simply, it takes less energy to drop objects down a well than to cast them out. Forces at the top also enjoy more maneuvering room and greater reaction time." A map of the best "site" on the moon from which the U.S. could take military advantage of this "gravity well" is provided and the work stresses that U.S. "armed forces might lie in wait at that location to hijack rival shipments" of materials mined by other nations. The U.S., according to this Congressionally-authored plan, would engage in piracy m space.

Combat on the moon is discussed with the observation, "Lunar foxholes would provide better cover than terrestrial counterparts, because the absence of air confines blast effects to much smaller areas."

Military Space Forces examines space weapons and states that nuclear weapons have a drawback. "Nuclear weapons detonated in atmosphere create shock waves, violent winds, and intense heat that can inflict severe damage and casualties well beyond the hypocenter. " But in space "winds never blow in a vacuum, shock waves cannot develop...and neither fireballs nor superheated surrounding air develop above about 65 miles. Consequently, it would take direct hits or near misses to achieve required results with nuclear blast and thermal radiation." On the other hand, "space is a nearly perfect laser environment...because light propagates unimpeded in a vacuum," it says.

"Laser weapons, regardless of type (gas, chemical, excimer, free electron, solid state, X-ray), concentrate a tightly focused shaft or pulse of radiant energy photons on the target surface," Military Space Forces explains. "The beam burns through."

The book also examines use of chemical and biological warfare in space and states: "Self-contained biospheres in space accord a superlative environment for chemical and biological warfare.... Clandestine operatives could dispense lethal or incapacitating CW/BW agents rapidly and uniformly through enemy facilities. "

"Conventional weapons" would have their place, too, it says, pointing out that "high-speed birdshot...could seriously damage most space facilities which are strong enough to maintain structural integrity and repel micrometerioids, but not much more."

As to the UN Charter seeking "peaceful and friendly" international relations, the Outer Space Treaty designating space as a place where "exploration and other endeavors 'shall be carried out for the benefit...of all mankind,"' and the Moon Agreement of 1979 saying "neither the surface nor the subsurface of the moon" or "other celestial bodies within the solar system" shall "become the property" of any person or state, Military Space Forces declares: "The strength of such convictions will be tested when economic competition quickens in space. "

"Parties that hope to satisfy economic interests in space must maintain ready access to resources on the moon and beyond, despite opposition if necessary, and perhaps deny access to competitors," it says.

A good way to keep other nations from engaging in space militarily, it goes on, is to "control attitudes" in other countries. "Control over elitist and popular opinion, using inexpensive psychological operations as a nonlethal weapon system, could convince rivals that it would be useless to start or continue military space programs," it says. "The basic objective would be to deprive opponents of freedom of action, while preserving it for oneself. Senior national executives, legislators, members of the mass media and, through them, the body politic, would be typical targets."

Meanwhile, for the U.S., "Superiority in space could culminate in bloodless total victory, if lagging powers could neither cope nor catch up technologically." As examples of the advantages of waging war from space, Collins states that "naval surface ships comprise" a particularly "inviting target category.... Former astronaut Michael Collins, who has been there and back twice, believes space is an ideal place from which to attack aircraft carriers and other major surface combatants." And "strike forces on the moon could choose from the full range of offensive maneuvers."

Military Space Forces also urges the use of nuclear power in space, both plutonium-fueled radioisotope thermoelectric generators and nuclear reactors which are "the only known long-lived, compact source able to supply military space forces with electric power about 10 kilowatts and multimegawatts.... Cores no bigger than basketballs are able to produce about 100 kw, enough for 'housekeeping' aboard space stations and at lunar outposts. Larger versions could meet multimegawatt needs of space-based lasers, neutral particle beams, mass drivers, and railguns."

Among the endorsements featured on the back cover of Military Space Forces are from then Senator Sam Nunn, a Georgia Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that, "This book will be an indispensable starting point," and then Representative

Les Aspin, a Wisconsin Democrat, later a secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, stating: "No other military space study puts all pieces of the puzzle together." General John W. Vessey, Jr., former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states Military Space Forces "should be useful for decades."

Former U.S. Senator Charles Robb of Virginia, in 1999
"The United States and other nations have rightly avoided placing weapons in space.... A space-based arms race would be essentially irreversible.... It defies reason to assume that nations would sit idle while the United States invests billions of dollars in weaponizing space, leaving them at an unprecedented disadvantage.... Once this genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back in.

Rep Dennis Kucinich of Ohio - keynote address at the 2000 international meeting of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

"We know that moving forward with a national missile defense system will set the stage for the advancement and proliferation of nuclear weapons in space, " he declared. "And we know that once we continue down this road, we're going to be locked into funding an industry that makes missiles, and anti-missiles, and creates policies to promote the use of missiles, and more spending on missiles...

"There's only a restless, ceaseless arms race which rides the newest technological wave, to continue to drain our national resources, to continue to create fear in America, to continue to create fear abroad, to continue to make the world less safe, and to continue to drive our national consciousness downward...

"Lockheed Martin. TRW. Boeing. They now have a contract to build the space-based laser weapons that will be the follow-on technology to ballistic missile defense. This weapons system will enable the U.S. to have offensive capability in space...

"It seems that Orwell's vision of 1984 just follows the curve of time, and now it's taken us into 2020 where the vision of the United States Space Command is for war in space....

"We are creating the seeds of the destruction of people all over the world, and it inevitably will come back to this country as well... But if we love our country, then if we see our country taking a path that is dangerous, that we must help our country by challenging our country to do the right thing and not the wrong thing...

"We have to address this as a moral issue as well. Because it is a moral issue. We're a country that should be about turning swords into plowshares.... Not in fashioning new, technologically superior swords of Damocles over the populations of the world. We cannot survive as a nation with that approach."

Bruce Jackson, vice president of corporate strategy and development of Lockheed Martin

"I wrote the Republican Party's foreign policy platform... The Bush administration will be using a foreign policy platform ... written by a top executive of Lockheed Martin, the world's biggest weapons manufacturer ...

The "power structure" of the U.S. gathers together at the Council for Foreign Relations, a 3,000 member group that includes among its members those who are considered the top figures in government...

There are many members from U.S. banks and corporations-and media, too. Indeed, more than a dozen editors and writers of The New York Times alone are council members along with Diane Sawyer, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Jim Lehrer, Barbara Walters, Katherine Graham, chairman of the Washington Post and several of its top editors. The elite council, founded in 1921, says its mission is "to serve our nation through study and debate, private and public." In 1998, it issued a report titled Space, Commerce, and National Security written by Air Force Colonel Frank Klotz, described as a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "In summary," the report declared, "the most immediate task of the United States in the years ahead is to sustain and extend its leadership in the increasingly intertwined fields of military and commercial space. This requires a robust and continuous presence in space."

Jack Manno, a professor at the State University of New York, Environmental Sciences and Forestry College, in his I984 book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995.

"The space program of today has its roots deep in the strategy of world domination through global terror pursued by the Nazis in World War II... Many of the early space-war schemes were dreamt up by scientists working for the German military, scientists who brought their rockets and their ideas to America after the war."

...the development in Nazi Germany during World War II of the V-1 and V-2 rockets and how) at war's end, the U.S. sought to grab as many of the German rocket scientists as possible. "It was like a professional sports draft," Manno writes. And corporate America was deeply involved. Scientists from the Nazi Penenemuende Rocket Center "were turned over for interrogation to Richard Porter, who was in Germany representing the General Electric Corporation, which held the Army contract for the first long-range ballistic missile under development in the United States." In the end, the U.S. "adopted nearly one thousand Germany military scientists, many of whom later rose to positions of power in the U.S. military, NASA, and the aerospace industry."

"Wernher Von Braun and his V-2 colleagues...began working on rockets for the U.S. Army. They soon launched [at White Sands Proving Ground] in New Mexico the world's first two-stage rocket, using a salvaged V-2 as the first stage and a smaller booster rocket that fired when the first rocket burned out," Manno relates. "In 1949, with the beginning of the Korean War, the Army ordered Von Braun and his rocket team to the Redstone Army Arsenal at Huntsville, Alabama. They were given the task of producing an intermediate-range ballistic missile to carry battlefield atomic weapons up to two hundred miles. The Germans produced a modified V-2 renamed the Redstone."

Huntsville began to become a major center of U.S. space military activities-which it continues to be-and soon "Von Braun began to emerge as the most dynamic spokesman for America's budding space program."

The U.S. military, on its Redstone Arsenal website, provides this narrative on Von Braun: "He became technical director of the Peenemuende Rocket Center in 1937, where the V-2 rocket was developed. Near the end of World War II, he led more than 100 of his rocket team members to surrender to the Allied Powers. Von Braun came to the United States in September 1945 under contract with the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps as part of Operation Paperclip. He worked on high-altitude firings of captured V-2 rockets at White Sands Proving Ground." Von Braun and his "group" were then sent to the Redstone Arsenal in 1949 where he became director of development operations. After the creation of NASA, "Von Braun and his team were transferred" to it "and became the nucleus of the George C. Marshall Space

Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal." For ten years Von Braun was Marshall's director, leaving in 1970 to go "to NASA Headquarters to serve as Deputy Associate Administrator. "

Former German Major General Walter Dornberger-who had been in charge of the entire Nazi rocket program-also becoming a powerful figure in the U.S. space program. "In 1947 as a consultant to the U.S. Air Force and adviser to the Department of Defense, Walter Dornberger wrote a planning paper for his new employees," relates Manno. "He projected a system of hundreds of nuclear-armed satellites all orbiting at different altitudes and angles, each capable of reentering the atmosphere on command from Earth to proceed to its target. The Air Force began early work on Dornberger's idea under the acronym NABS {Nuclear Armed Bombardment Satellites). As a variation on NABS, Dornberger also proposed an antiballistic-missile system in space in the form of hundreds of satellites, each armed with many small missiles. The missiles would be equipped with infrared homing devices and could be launched automatically from orbit. This concept was also taken under study by the Air Force in the 1950s. Labeled BAMBI (Ballistic Missile Boost Intercept), it was an idea that would reappear in the space-war dreams of the Reagan administration in 1983.'

Manno wrote in 1984: "The real tragedy of an arms race in space will not be so much the weapons that evolve-they can hardly be worse than what we already have-but that by extending and accelerating the arms race into the twenty-first century the chance will have been lost to move toward a secure and peaceful world.

Even if militarists succeed in arming the heavens and gaining superiority over potential enemies, by the 21st century the technology of terrorism-chemical, bacteriological, genetic, and psychological weapons and portable nuclear bombs-will prolong the anxiety of constant insecurity. Only by eliminating the sources of international tension through cooperation and common development can any kind of national security be achieved in the next century. Space, an intrinsically international environment, could provide the opportunity for the beginnings of such development."

It is now the 21st century and Manno was saying from his home in Syracuse that in the past as today "control over the earth" is what those who want to weaponize space chiefly want.

The Nazi scientists are an important "historical and technical link, and also an ideological link, " he said. As to claims of space warfare being defensive-from how Reagan characterized his Star Wars plan as a "shield" to the appellation "missile defense" today, "it's all a smokescreen. The aim is to put all the pieces together and have the capacity to carry out global warfare including weapons systems that reside in space."



The U.S. is now called a "unipolar superpower"- the only superpower left on Earth-and having supremacy over the world politically, economically and militarily is most important to the country's "power structure. "

This "power structure"-more than the country's political far right-sees a U.S. that is overwhelmingly powerful militarily as required for globalization.

"The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist-McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps," wrote New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman in a March 1999 cover story in the magazine of what is considered the U.S.'s "paper of record." "What The World Needs Now: For Globalization To Work, America Can't Be Afraid To Act Like The Almighty Superpower That It Is," was the title of the piece. The full-cover illustration for it was a photograph of a clenched fist, with stars and stripes painted on it in red, white and blue.

U.S. military strategy is ... now relying on "stand-off" weaponry: fighting wars from afar, with a seemingly bloodless, sanitized, video game-aura and a minimum of U.S. physical exposure, sending in stealth fighters and bombers and pushing buttons and, from hundreds, sometimes more than 1,000 miles away, firing off Cruise and Tomahawk missiles.

Patricia Mische, Lloyd Professor of Peace Studies and World Law at Antioch College in her important book Star Wars and the State of Our Souls: Deciding the Future of Planet Earth, 1984

"Powerful economic, political, technocratic, military and other forces want to weaponize space. To do so would virtually close the gateway to the peaceful uses of space.

Loring Wirbel of Citizens for Peace in Space

"The United States is trying to find a new bully mission in the aftermath of the Cold War. We already have the largest economy on the planet, we want to be able to control resources, to control the balance between have and have-nots, to control who stays wealthy and who remains poor. And that implies being able to constantly monitor the planet, constantly challenge anyone who would even dare to question our dominance of the planet, and that ultimately means that the arms control treaties that were in place many years ago no longer apply because we intend to be the unipolar superpower."

The U.S. "needs to express its leadership through good works and good examples. The more we try to achieve dominance through wielding power and having our own way all the time, the more we lose the essence of our democracy that makes us an exceptional nation and the more we move toward this dominance regime, the more I have to say I'm embarrassed to be an American."

January 2001 report of the second U.S. commission headed by Donald Rumsfeld-the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization

"In the coming period, the U.S will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on earth and in space."

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