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U.S. Announces New Space Security Policy 475

Posted by Zonk
from the i-want-to-visit-the-space-pearl-harbor-memorial dept.
hey! writes "The Bush administration has announced a new space security policy, which includes the statement that 'Consistent with this policy, the United States will preserve its rights, capabilities and freedom of action in space ... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests.'" More from the article: "Eisendrath, co-author of a forthcoming book, 'War in Heaven: Stopping an Arms Race in Outer Space Before It Is Too Late,' says the United States is wasting its time. 'Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says we need to protect against a 'space Pearl Harbor,'' he says. 'But we're still the dominant power there.'"
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U.S. Announces New Space Security Policy

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  • Old News (Score:4, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:53PM (#16505641) Homepage Journal
    Just in case you want to catch up on the last time we discussed this:

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/0 9/1333248 [slashdot.org]
    • Re:Old News (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sd AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:58PM (#16506953) Homepage Journal
      Old News

      This isn't "old news" - this is very important news. The US is - all at the same time - unnecessarily creating a hostile space race, further alienating itself from the world, declaring itself king of space and who can fly there, and basically creating an "anyone who is hostile to the US" policy of disabling, shooting down, or destroying other countries' equipment in space.

      This isn't old news, this is NOW news. Just like Iraq, Afganistan - I know that a large portion of the US popuation doesn't consider those things on a daily basis, but news isn't a moment-in-time sort of thing. This declaration is still relevant, scary, extremely obtuse, and worthy of continued discussion.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cold fjord (826450)
        This isn't "old news" - this is very important news. The US is - all at the same time - unnecessarily creating a hostile space race, further alienating itself from the world, declaring itself king of space and who can fly there, and basically creating an "anyone who is hostile to the US" policy of disabling, shooting down, or destroying other countries' equipment in space.

        I think you are misrepresenting the policy. I cheated and looked at page 2 [go.com] of the article:

        "Nearly six years into his presidency, the Bus

  • Wouldn't that be throwing out the Hubble Space Telescope and science programs for a fancy Moon/Mars mission that doesn't have to be budgeted until years after the Bush Administration is long gone?
  • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:56PM (#16505687) Homepage Journal
    'Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says we need to protect against a 'space Pearl Harbor,'' he says. 'But we're still the dominant power there.'"

    We were the dominant power in Pearl Harbor too. It doesn't take a lot to destroy a space station. That said, this is a pissing match I have no interest in having. I can see defending sites, systems, and transportation. By trying to claim ownership of a chunk of space is just retarded.

    -Rick
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bladesjester (774793)
      No more strange than laying claim to a harbor or x miles of ocean from your shores, really.

      Not that I'm defending the move, but I can see where, in some ways, it makes sense to defend certain portions of space (say the parts above your country) where satelite based weapons could make easy targets of important sites.

      Heck, they've been talking about it since the Regan administration at least, so this is nothing really all that new.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I thought we could cover the earth's area with only 3 precisely-based sattelites? Wouldn't it be amazingly easy just to launch something above your country and angle the "laser" next door? Keeping the sky above your own land clear would be a futile gesture.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by evilviper (135110)

          I thought we could cover the earth's area with only 3 precisely-based sattelites?

          You could manage with 2, actually.

          Wouldn't it be amazingly easy just to launch something above your country and angle the "laser" next door?

          No, it would be significantly more difficult. At a 45% angle, you're firing through something like 50% more atmosphere, and at a 50% longer distance to the target.

          It is concievable that lasers on satellites will become powerful enough to do that in the future, but it's anything but "amazin

      • by Ender_Stonebender (60900) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:30PM (#16506371) Homepage Journal
        If you believe what you just said, you're not only not a rocket scientist, but you have no idea how orbital mechanics works.

        While it's not impossible to put something in space in such a way that it always stays over a single point on the planet, there are very limited number orbits in which this can be achieved, and they are all directly above the equator.
        • by everphilski (877346) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:45PM (#16508871) Journal
          Several satellites (two would be good, three for optimal coverage if you need minimal angular divergence from the surface) in a Molniya [wikipedia.org] orbit would provide coverage over a static point in space, not over the equator. For the vast majority of the orbit ( greater than 12 hours, 18 IIRC [it has been awhile since I've done orbital mechanics, I'm a missile guy]) the satellite is in clear view of the point. Russians have been using this technique for surveillance of American assets for decades. And yes, I am a Rocket Scientist.
      • by radtea (464814) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:40PM (#16506551)
        Not that I'm defending the move, but I can see where, in some ways, it makes sense to defend certain portions of space (say the parts above your country) where satelite based weapons could make easy targets of important sites.

        One of the many problems with this policy is that those "certain portions of space" are six dimensional and time-varying. What the U.S. is trying to "defend" amounts to certain orbits. This is not like defending your coastal waters, which have zero momentum relative to your nation's landmass. For one, it is possible to change from an orbit that does not overfly a given country to one that does with relatively trivial delta-v.

        Because of this, there is little or no practical value in preventing others from accessing just some orbits. Now, the U.S. government, particularly the Defense Department under Donald Rumsfeld, has a long history of doing stuff that has no practical value (often at the cost of American lives.) So it is possible that this policy will be acted upon in an ineffectual but relatively harmless way. But given the grip of fear that still has a big hold in the U.S. it is a matter of some concern that those who would put security before all else might decide to deny everyone access to all orbits.
        • by Quadraginta (902985) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:09PM (#16507209)
          I would have to provisionally disagree. Just because some launch profiles from certain countries in many circumstances are sufficiently ambiguous that there is no real value in taking action does not mean that all profiles from all countries are.

          If the Iranians were to begin to launch satellites, or say they were, and there were sufficient evidence -- possibly some of it secret -- that their real intentions were to develop suborbital or quasi-orbital intercontinental ballistic missile technology, and the US decided it was possible to knock the test missiles down reasonably safely, then I'd have no problem with them doing so.

          Where it gets tricky is if China wants to launch national technical means a.k.a. spy satellites that overfly US strategic assets, map out targets, et cetera, within the contintental US. Is this the kind of thing we'd want to knock down? It's hard to really say, for two reasons: (1) Experience in the Cold War showed that spy satellites were stabilizing technology, because they prevent hysteria and nasty surprises. When each side is well-informed about what the other has, and is up to, decisions tend to be calmer and better. (2) This business has been thrashed out before, in the 16th-17th centuries, with respect to navigation of the high seas. In addition to being a very expensive process, the end result was a general agreement that freedom to travel -- even for a warship -- peacefully anywhere in international waters is guaranteed, unless you are actually at war. Do we really need to repeat the bloody experiment in space to probably arrive at the same conclusion?
          • by kabocox (199019) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:59PM (#16509041)
            (2) This business has been thrashed out before, in the 16th-17th centuries, with respect to navigation of the high seas. In addition to being a very expensive process, the end result was a general agreement that freedom to travel -- even for a warship -- peacefully anywhere in international waters is guaranteed, unless you are actually at war. Do we really need to repeat the bloody experiment in space to probably arrive at the same conclusion?

            For actual space colonization and mining, I'd say no. For control of Earth's orbitals that could be used by Earth's various governments to control the entire Earth. Yes, we wouldn't fight WWIII with China over this, but we would fight "smaller" countries like Iran or NK that tried to get into space. I'd think China, Russia, EU, Japan, and India would be "safe" from any US actions. It's the smaller countries that can't be easily controlled by the big boys that the US really wants to keep Earth bound.

            Let's be honest, the US doesn't control the Earth. We have our strings of control over various other governments, but they hold our strings as well. I'd say that the entire EU was more worried about our Iraq adventures mainly because there was a feeling that the US would try to liberate the entire region for its resources for our use. Those middle eastern countries with oil have strings that have a pretty tight hold on us. We are trying to break them, but we can't do it within 5 years though. We need to learn how to use our position to better control the rest of the globe. They are catching up far to quickly and they are just as smart as we are.
    • by SteveAyre (209812) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:06PM (#16505921)
      A: "I own this"
      B: "Own what? There's nothing there!"
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by SteveAyre (209812)
        Yes, it is retarded. It's not like there's not enough to go around, and trying to keep a monopoly on all of it would be impossible. There's just too much to keep an eye on.

        It'd be nice if warfare never reached space. Sadly that's rather idealistic and extremely unlikely to happen. :(
    • by CRMeatball (964998) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:09PM (#16505973)
      I would disagree that we were "the" dominant power before WWII. The US certainly was after. It is true however that we are the current power when speaking of aerospace research, but we are losing that dominance. I certainly applaud the efforts of ESA and so forth, but as an American, I think it dangerous to our national security to lose our power in this arena. In a recent address, Mike Griffin stated 25% of NASA's work force will retire in the next 5 years. Since 1990, the number of people employed in the aerospace community has dropped by 43%! According to various reports I have read, one of the primary causes of this is because the workforce is getting old and retiring, without new, young people to replace them. If the US doesn't step up and put some effort into developing new engineers to enter the aerospace workforce, we will fall behind other nations that are.
    • If the US is defending itself against hypothetical attacks by claiming owner ship of space
      then I think I should be able to claim ownership on Donald Rumsfeld.

      If anyone finds my Rummy could they please top up his rabies shots and DHL him
      to;
          The cave,
              Back Of Beyond
                Afqganistan 1000

      ThankingYou In Advance

    • by ktakki (64573) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:51PM (#16508071) Homepage Journal
      We were the dominant power in Pearl Harbor too.


      Actually, no. Prior to 1940, when the US began mobilizing its armed forces, we were pretty weak. Part of the reason was the Depression, which hit our industrial base hard, and partly because of isolationist sentiment.

      There were three aircraft carriers in our entire Pacific fleet; the Japanese had 6 carriers in the Pearl Harbor strike force alone, with more protecting the Home Islands and raiding the Philippines and European colonies. Our standing Army was number 17 in numerical terms, behind Czechoslovakia, and a number of new recruits were being rejected because they had suffered from malnutrition growing up during the Depression. Modern aircraft were just beginning production but a large portion were being supplied to Great Britain and the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Agreement.

      We were losing the Pacific War for the first six months, until the Battle of Midway. Even then, until Guadalcanal was secured (well into 1943), keeping lines-of-communication open to Australia wasn't a sure thing, much less victory in the PTO.

      Atom bombs aside, the US defeated Japan and the Axis by out-producing them. During the period from 1941-45, the Japanese produced 13 aircraft carriers of all sizes. The US produced 137.

      k.
  • A Prediction (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 3278 (1011735)
    90 percent of the replies to this posting will be ignorant anti-Bush rhetoric regarding his plans to weaponize space, or destroy nation X or capability Y. My sincere hope - my challenge - is that those 90 percent will, in hopes of foiling my prediction, actually /read/ the text of the statement, and not presume to know what it means by reading headlines. President Bush is a scary sort of moron, but this particular issue isn't one for which he should be demonized. Read the text, consider it, /then/ reply. P
    • Re:A Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Threni (635302) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#16505827)
      I read it. Different rules for the US. The US and its allies can have nuclear power, but not other countries it chooses to put on a list. You can enforce that sort of mindset through force, but it doesn't make it morally right, and there are consequences to all acts of unfairness.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ScentCone (795499)
        The US and its allies can have nuclear power, but not other countries it chooses to put on a list. You can enforce that sort of mindset through force, but it doesn't make it morally right,

        Sure it does. Why, other than while suffering from an acute case of moral relativity, should we consider it good to allow a country like Iran, that speaks in terms of wiping out other countries, to develop nukes? Why is it morally reasonable to support a country like North Korea, which runs a hideously repressive, retro
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by why-is-it (318134)

          Sure it does. Why, other than while suffering from an acute case of moral relativity, should we consider it good to allow a country like Iran, that speaks in terms of wiping out other countries, to develop nukes? Why is it morally reasonable to support a country like North Korea, which runs a hideously repressive, retro-grade regime funded by illicit traffic in counterfeit foreign currency, drug trafficking, and weapons sales to places like Iran, in their pursuit of deployable nukes?

          Let he who has no sin

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kohath (38547)
        You can enforce that sort of mindset through force, but it doesn't make it morally right...

        Is being "morally right" a good defense against nuclear attack?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mpcooke3 (306161)
          Is being "morally right" a good defense against nuclear attack?

          Is the behaviour of the US likely to increase or decrease the number of nukes held by the "axis of evil"?

          Would you be more likely or less likely to launch nukes at america if you were deemed to be an "axis of evil"?
    • Re:A Prediction (Score:5, Insightful)

      by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:06PM (#16505913)
      The policy says that space access can be denied to groups "hostile to US interests."

      The guy who wrote this policy believes in the idea that any group or country not with us is against us.

      Therefore, it states that we can prevent neutral nations from spaceflight.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)
        I don't know how you can word it softly enough for a policy, but it's sort of like putting nukes on Cuba. Why it's a free^H^H^H^Hindependent country, it can do whatever it wants right? And if North Korea decides today is a good day to launch its orbital missile platform in low earth orbit, that's fine too right? Space is free more as a matter of practicality, you're bound to cross other nations orbiting the earth. That doesn't mean the military is going to let other nations put whatever it wants up there. T
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Quadraginta (902985)
        Er...how does a neutral nation fit into the category of "groups hostile to US interests"?

        It sounds like the document merely says that space is as much of a potential battleground as the high seas, or any continent. That is, if the United States was at war (cold or hot) with country X, then there's no obvious reason not to express that hostility in space, if it is in US national interest.

        Whether the US should go to war against country X or Y or anybody at all is an entirely different question. But arbitrar
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by phalse phace (454635)
      My sincere hope - my challenge - is that those 90 percent will, in hopes of foiling my prediction, actually /read/ the text of the statement,.... Read the text, consider it, /then/ reply.

      Heh heh, you're funny.... Read the text....

      You do realize you're on Slashdot, right?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dorfmann (1010467)
      Do you post the same comment in every politics.slashdot.org article? You didn't actually make any comment at all - you added about as much as the ACs who feel compelled to say 'obligatory - in soviet russia ...'

      If you want the moral high ground, why don't you read the full text of the new space policy (go here [bbc.co.uk]).

      You do realize that Bush (walking through a door left open by Clinton) is declaring that the US will do whatever it feels is necessary to defend its interests in space - including developing and

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *
      Forget it. The last time we discussed this, the thread was overrun by DocRuby and his galant band of Bush haters. This thread has already devolved into the same sort of nonsense. Which is really too bad, because the document actually says is that Nuclear Power in Space is a Good Thing(TM) for space exploration. But too many people are busy making nonsensical claims about "reading between the lines" or it being evidence of the real agenda, which isn't actually contained in the document. (WTF?)

      *sigh*

      Looks lik
      • Re:A Prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

        by chill (34294) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:54PM (#16506895) Journal
        ...which isn't actually contained in the document.

        How the hell do you know that? From the linked article "The document, much of which is classified..." Good chunks of the document are classified. People HAVE to read between the lines.

        Not that I'm agreeing with the anti-Bush, knee-jerkers, but you are also making unsubstantiated claims.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crabpeople (720852)
        Thats a nice red herring there. I think people are more likely objecting and responding to what is in the summary (and i assume article, I didnt read it, this is /. after all) specifically; "Consistent with this policy, the United States will preserve its rights, capabilities and freedom of action in space ... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

        Now the phrase 'hostile to US national interests' is an agenda and a policy that I would say anyon
    • Re:A Prediction (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:52PM (#16506829) Journal
      Well, I did read it, and it is evil Evil EVIL.

      Basically, it says the USA can act in anyway it chooses in space, and others can't. It basically says no one can fuck with our space toys, but we can fuck with anyone else's space toys. It basically says that "Rules Don't Apply to Us".

      It is, very simply, typical fascist horseshit that the Bush Junta has been coughing up for years, only this time it affects satellites. nice.

      I'm not going to cough up line item to line item - /. It's not THAT much to read, and it's all there in black and white. DIY.

      Now, I'll propose that 90% of the responses to THIS will be from pink neocon dupes of the conspiracy, and yes, Bush DOES deserve demonisation for this, as it is part and parcel of his evil Evil EVIL neocon agenda. And for that, the pink neocon dupes of the conspiracy will likely mod me "Flamebait" or "Overrated" and anyone with half an ounce of sense will mod me "Interesting" or "Insightful".

      Imagine if the Bush Junta said "the laws of the sea no longer apply to us." Imagine what kind of a row that would make. It's just the same thing, only in orbit in the vacuum of space.

      RS

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
      90 percent of the replies to this posting will be ignorant anti-Bush rhetoric regarding his plans to weaponize space

      90% of the people who have uttered the phrase "anti-Bush rhetoric" are fat balding guys who think feminism is the reason they can't get laid.

      Are you a fat balding undersexed Republican? How can you not be? Then why should I listen to anything you say?

      I'll get -1 Troll for this, but I haven't "framed" this "debate" any less than you have. Then content of your post is nothing more than "All cri
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:58PM (#16505729)
    "Consistent with this policy, the United States will preserve its rights, capabilities and freedom of action in space ... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

    So .... if China tries to establish a moon base ... we'll attack it?

    Satelites can be taken out by ground-based lasers. Any major power planning a war with the US would need to have that capability.

    With vulnerable satelites, the next level would be a moon base. There's not much an Earth-based attack can do against a moon base. We're at the bottom of the gravity well.
    • "So .... if China tries to establish a moon base ... we'll attack it?"

      Such a conflict would have a risk of igniting the nuclear waste dump on the moon, and sending our satellite away from us.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *

      So .... if China tries to establish a moon base ... we'll attack it?

      if(chineseMoonBase.isArmed() && chineseMoonBase.getWeapons().getTarget() == "US")
      {
      blowThemToHellAndBack(chineseMoonBase);
      }
      else
      {
      monitorForHostileActivities(chineseMoonBase);
      media.initTalkingHeads(chineseMoonBase, media.IS_IT_GOOD_OR_IS_IT_WHACK);
      media.broadcast();
      }

    • With vulnerable satelites, the next level would be a moon base. There's not much an Earth-based attack can do against a moon base. We're at the bottom of the gravity well.

      A moon base is about as useful for a terrestrial conflict, or for terrestrial commercial purposes as a bicyle is to a fish. Being on top of a mountain is pretty much useless if everything of interest is at the bottom.
  • by dedazo (737510) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @01:58PM (#16505747) Journal
    And no one else. We're due for another Cold War anyway...
  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:00PM (#16505775) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, no elaborate arguments, witty remarks, or logic this time. Damn you all who voted for these idiots and made them a trouble for the entire world.
  • Pfft (Score:5, Funny)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:00PM (#16505789)
    International treaties are just goddamned pieces of paper.
    • International treaties are just goddamned pieces of paper.

      International financial and legal treaties are at work every day, managing everything from currency exchange to sale of goods to extradition. They're agreements. Sometimes agreements end swiftly, sometimes they last for a very long time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:00PM (#16505795)
    Space Pearl Harbor will be the best Ben Affleck movie ever
  • Fear & Hatred (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#16505815) Journal
    Once again, the leader of my country has managed to create hate and fear for the United States and its power.

    Mod me as flamebait but this is one of the stupidest and beligerant announcements I've heard in quite sometime. Appearantly, the rest of the world aggrees. Allow me to quote the headlines I see right now on websites (foreign and US):
    • US turns space into its colony - Asian Times Online
    • Bush asserts right to deny space access - Boston Globe
    • Bush issues doctrine for US control of space - Mail & Guardian Online, Guardian Unlimited
    • US insists it has right to keep its enemies out of space - Scotsman
    • US Says 'Keep Out of My Space' - ABC News
    • Space: America's new war zone - Independent, UK
    • America wants it all - life, the Universe and everything - Times Online, UK
    • America aims to control the space - The Money Times
    • United Space of America - Hamilton Spectator, Canada
    • US Claims Monopoly on the Use of Space for Weapons - ShortNews.com, Germany
    • Emperor Zurg Has A Tiny Tiny Wiener And Must Be Told - OpEdNews, PA
    What kind of feelings do you think the rest of the world is going through based on that?

    Is this the new SDI? I don't care if you're Republican or Democrat or Independent, this isn't about keeping bad people out of space. This isn't about securing space. It's about doing what we want the rest of the world to do. It's childish colonial imperialism and it's complete bullshit.
    • Re:Fear & Hatred (Score:3, Insightful)

      by halivar (535827)
      A couple of those headlines are accurate, but the majority of them are just sensational. Am I supposed to measure the rightness/wrongness of my government by the words foreign press uses to sell newspapers?
    • Space needs democracy too! Too long has Space been under attack from extremist's such as Mr. Blackhole and Mr. Ether, who long to dominate Space's innate right for FREEDOM.

      Speech from the near future:

      "I am the Shrub. And, I see a whole army of my country men, here in defiance of tyranny in SPACE. You've come to fight as freemen, and freemen you are. What will you do without freedom?! Will you fight?

      Crowd of defeatist surrender monkeys: No . . . we will run . . . and we will live.

      "Aye. Fight and yo

    • You assume that the people we have running the US Government are a bunch of power-mad fools, who have no inkling of The Big Picture.

      But even the little picture, which you barely glimpse, is important: they're trying to stop North Korea or Iran from sending a nuke into space, or even a big chunk of potentially molten iron to target your roof.

      As for the big picture, they know as well as you or I that space travel will be more common in the future. They also know how to negotiate, and it isn't by giving thing
    • Re:Fear & Hatred (Score:5, Informative)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:40PM (#16506559) Homepage Journal
      I am afraid have drunk the koolaid yet again.
      1. The USSR tested and deployed anti-satellite weapons.
      2. The USSR armed manned space craft and I don't mean pistols for the crews for survival in case they came down outside the recovery zone.
      3. The USSR tested a fractional orbital bombardment system for the SS-9.

      So what the US is saying is simply this.
      They intend to develop systems that can
      a. take out anti-satellite systems that could be used to target US satellites.
      b. take out other countries spy satellites.

      Spreading fear of the US is a fun past time for many news services and government. They know that the US will not really harm them so they can try and act tough with no risk.

      Truth is China is already stated that they are going to develop space based weapon systems. The USSR/Russia has already developed space based weapons systems and deployed them. Only their current lack of money is keeping them from deploying them right now. Of course they might be selling them.

      The only big problem is making it public instead of keeping it a black program.

      Space was militarized back in the early 60s. ROSATs, Elint satellites, and optical satellites are all deadly weapons and they have been in use for over 40 years.
      So this is really worth about a yawn and a stretch as far as news. Makes nice scary headlines though.
  • AS IF !!!!! (Score:2, Redundant)

    by unity100 (970058)
    as if they were able to defend u.s. against 9/11 with all the resources they had ...

    Now they are going to waste shitload of taxpayer money for stuff in space - just to please their arms-industry backers.
    • by ScentCone (795499)
      as if they were able to defend u.s. against 9/11 with all the resources they had ...

      Now they are going to waste shitload of taxpayer money for stuff in space - just to please their arms-industry backers


      Right, because the area of intel and defensive weapons and technology that would be focused on not having our communications and surveilance birds taken out by the Chinese on the same day they decide to physically take over Taiwan would be the same as what we should have used to stop suicidal religious
    • Of having sex in space is good to me! ;)

      (well short of thermo-nuclear war ofcourse)

  • by x-vere (956928) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:04PM (#16505875) Homepage
    All your base are belong to us!
  • Whee HA! (Score:3, Funny)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:06PM (#16505915) Journal
    Sounds like we have a Death Star gap in the making!

    Time to get busy constructing and training of personel. I got dibs on the planet destruction button.

    Jupiter - you're going to be SO pwned!
    • by Duhavid (677874)
      It's Yee. Not Whee. Yee Ha.
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:09PM (#16505963) Homepage Journal
    According to ABC it's the "National Space Policy", not the space security policy. In other words, this is supposed ot cover our whole space program's direction. And it doesn't mention going to the moon.
  • by b-l4ke (997876) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:10PM (#16505989) Homepage
    I guess the Iranian/N.Korean/Venezualan space station's gonna be put on hold for a while.
  • by shogarth (668598) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:11PM (#16506015)

    For 50 years we've pretended that things were different in space; everyone would ignore national rivalries and history and stare with awe at the daring feats of cosmonauts and astronauts. It was a nice fantasy and flew in the face of reality. The Apollo missions grew out of a fear of sleeping "under a communist moon."

    Here's the reality check. The US Navy exists to do a few things:

    • Project power ashore (i.e. shoot and bomb things that don't float or fly)
    • Guarantee US access to sea lanes of control
    • Deny access to SLoCs to US enemies
    Both the US Air Force and US Navy have space commands and with good cause. Clearly access to orbit is as critical now as access to the seas were 100 years ago. It is in every nation's self-interest to guarantee its access to orbit. It's not much of a leap to get from there to seeing that having technologies to deny that access to enemies is a strategic advantage. How many lives (on either side of a conflict) might be saved by neutralizing an enemy's communications and recon satellites? It's a no-brainer policy. (Insert Bush joke here...)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Vitriol+Angst (458300)
      "
      For 50 years we've pretended that things were different in space; everyone would ignore national rivalries and history and stare with awe at the daring feats of cosmonauts and astronauts. It was a nice fantasy and flew in the face of reality. The Apollo missions grew out of a fear of sleeping "under a communist moon."
      "
      >> We couldn't trust it so we went ahead and broke it before anyone else?

      Nuclear non-proliferation worked well, until Bush exited the system in 2003. Now there is no incentive to NOT go
  • by Broken scope (973885) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:13PM (#16506057) Homepage
    If you fuck with our space based assets or are openly hostile towards us, we will destroy your space based assets. That is like saying if you shoot at our costal positions, we will blow up what is shooting them and then blow the living hell out of your costal assets. Its common sense defensive posturing. For christ sake any country that has signifigant assets that doesn't take that position is stupid. It basically saying fuck with me and I will fuck you up in return.
    • by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:16PM (#16507387) Homepage Journal
      Because its a hostile, threatening act.

      There are currently no Hitlers taking over space. There are no weapons in space, either aimed in space, or aimed at us from space. There is nothing going on up there that Bush needs to react to.

      Its like youre in a bar, and the guy next to you says "If you ever sneak into my house, I will shoot you and then beat the shit out of you. Do you understand me? Fuck with me and I will seriously fuck you up!" Meanwhile, youre just sitting there, having a beer, minding your own business. Why is this guy talking about beating you up? Why is he afraid of you breaking in? Why is he imagining you fucking with him? Its a beligerent, hostile action. He is over-reacting to a situation that is totally in his mind.

      Same with the Bush administration. They literally made shit up as a pretext to invade Iraq, which is now a de facto clusterfuck. The whole world saw this and understands it. Now Bush is getting all high and mighty about blowing shit up in space. Not only has he foolishly over-reacted to a situation that *was not a threat*, he just hasnt learned his lesson -- he wants to also invade Iran.
  • by LM741N (258038) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:17PM (#16506143)
    Asked about how the United States could own a vacuum, the Bush administration spokesman said that "the President had been associated with a vacuum for many years."
  • If it were any other country, the UN would probably be holding an emergency meeting to discuss possible actions, including sanctions. There's not much point doing that though, since the US could just veto any resolutions. It's a bit hypocritical to be opposing the spread of Nuclear weapons, while at the same time announcing your intentions to weaponize space.
  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:24PM (#16506255)
    "Oct. 18, 2006 -- The White House has quietly put out a new National Space Policy -- a document that, among other things, makes it clear that the Bush administration will not sign any treaty that limits America's ability to put weapons in orbit."
    Apparently it is, at least in part, about weaponizing space.
    "The document, much of which is classified,..."

    Interesting that our own "policy" is a secret from the American people. Apparently we are not allowed to know our own position on this issue. Now that is retarded.

    "Consistent with this policy, the United States will preserve its rights, capabilities and freedom of action in space ... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

    This is a broad and bold statement that will certainly piss off a lot of people. Which "national interests" do we feel gives us the right to deny to someone else what we absolutely refuse to be denied? All to often we seem to confuse "national interests" with "corporate interests" now days.

    What an arrogant, pig headed, bully position.
  • Even in the space, A human beeing needs to piss around his territory.

    Anyway...
    The sun is mine! I saw it first!

  • by Peter Trepan (572016) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:33PM (#16506429)
    The Bush Jr. administration has already expressed interest in a Mars mission, and nuclear pulse propulsion [wikipedia.org] might greatly simplify that project. The first step in achieving that capability is breaking the various treaties which prohibit the detonation of nuclear weapons in space.

    Perhaps Bush finds it easier to sell the treaty breakage as a security measure than to sell it as a first step towards Mars.
  • by Kirgin (983046) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @02:57PM (#16506939)
    I think maybe the competitive types in the administration may not want to end up like Portugal did during the colonization of the new world. Much/most of the initial exploration and mapping of the Caribbean was done by the Portugese. Much more aggressive empires used that knowledge and work to expand their empires. Why couldn't portugal keep up? I can see the US doing all the initial space colonization/weaponization work on to have China duplicate the work and 1/1000th the cost. Being able to catch up with less resources gives you more to focus on jumping ahead. China = the New Spain. China will throw a 1000 people into space just to get 10 that actually survive much like spain throwing a hundred thousand conquistadors away to cleanse the way for its colonies. The US solution to this problem? Use their dominant position to keep competitors grounded.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @03:50PM (#16508055)
    This has bothered me for a long time, because I've never heard a good answer. I mean, obviously not getting bombed is in our interest. But what about when our "interests" means things like, people won't give us oil that we "need" to keep our economy growing (when we won't consider alternatives like, I dunno, limiting our use)?

    Why should anyone die to protect "US interests", when we have no reason whatsoever to believe that corporate profits and cheap goods at Walmart lie outside that category?
  • Hostility (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smoker2 (750216) on Thursday October 19, 2006 @04:44PM (#16508859) Homepage Journal
    'Consistent with this policy, the United States will preserve its rights, capabilities and freedom of action in space ... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests.'
    Unfortunately, adversaries include anybody who disagrees with American policy, and U.S. national interests include unfettered access to world oil supplies, total IP domination, the right to all information regarding any person on the planet, a significant cut of all profits made by any company anywhere, and, oh yeah, lebensraum.

    Under this rule, the space race would never have happened. It was in the US national interest to get to the moon first. Should they have been allowed to destroy all the Soviet missions ? (oh yeah, they would have got a bloody nose for that) Is the ESA going to get their equipment shot down ? What about the new European GPS system ? After all, it's in the US national interest to be in total unopposed control of space.

    And you wonder why the USA gets such bad press ...

    Look, I realise that as a nation, you are pretty young and inexperienced, but surely you get enough respect from the outside world that you don't have to act like a fuckin 12 year old in a schoolyard. You're showing signs of a serious inferiority complex.
    You've got one of the highest standards of living in the world, coupled with one of the lowest population densities in the world. And you're still not happy.

    BTW, didn't you ever learn - what goes around, comes around.


    As an aside, the town I grew up in was already 700 years old when the USA was founded. The place I live now was founded by the Romans. That gives one a sense of perspective.


    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

    Frank Herbert.

"I got everybody to pay up front...then I blew up their planet." "Now why didn't I think of that?" -- Post Bros. Comics

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