Missile Defense is a Trojan Horse
Control and Domination the Reality of Space Program
by Bruce Gagnon
Resist newsletter. October 2001
Missile defense is a Trojan horse. The Pentagon tells the
American people, and the rest of the world, that missile defense
is a gift to protect us from attack by a rogue state that might
send a nuclear weapon toward the US. The recent terrorist attacks
in NYC and DC clearly reveal that anyone thinking of attacking
the US will not do so with a missile that leaves an easily traceable
"signature." Instead, terrorists will find ways to "underfly"
Star Wars systems and bring bombs to American targets via suitcases
or small boats. If the US really wants to protect itself, the
best thing to do would be to hold a real national dialogue about
why people around the world are so upset with our economic and
military policies. Initiatives like Star Wars distract people
from the real dialogue and horde resources in its construction.
Documents like the Space Command's Vision for 2020 and the
recent Rumsfeld Commission report clearly indicate that US plans
for space are really about "control and domination"
of the heavens and the Earth below. Vision for 2020 is a US Space
Command planning document that explicitly calls for the US to
control and dominate space. Appointed by Newt Gingrich, the Rumsfeld
Commission issued a report saying that the US faced a viable threat
of nuclear weapons, and that such a threat would be minimized
by a "defense" shield. Developing the ability to "deny
other countries access to space," Vision 2020 notes, will
allow the US to be the "Master of Space."
The politicians and their aerospace corporation allies know
that they can't come to the American people and ask for hundreds
of billions of dollars for an "offensive" space warfare
program, especially when our traditional nuclear enemies are eager
to negotiate arms reductions. But by dressing the program up as
some kind of gigantic present, and calling it missile defense,
the Pentagon has effectively shifted the debate away from their
The recent appointment by George W. Bush of General Richard
Meyers to be the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is
an indication of the direction the Pentagon is heading. Gen. Meyers,
the former head of the US Space Command, will be responsible for
consolidating support for the nuclearization and weaponization
of space within the military and selling it to the Congress and
Simulated War Games
Last January, the US Space Command held a simulated computer
warfare "game" set in the year 2017. The "Blues"
(US) went to war with the "Reds" (China). The Blue team
launched a preemptive first-strike attack on China using the military
space plane, the now planned successor to NASA's space shuttle.
The second weapon used in the January computer war game was
the space-based laser (SBL). The SBL is a resurrected technology
from Ronald Reagan's Star Wars vision that would be an orbiting
battle station whose laser would knock out other countries' satellites
in space and hit targets on the Earth below. Last December the
Pentagon announced the start of the SBL testing program at NASA's
Stennis Missile Center in southwest Mississippi. By the year 2012
they hope to deploy the first operational SBL to be eventually
followed by a constellation of 18-48 of the weapons orbiting the
planet. Power for the SBL would be provided by on-board nuclear
reactors. The Pentagon estimates the SBL testing program will
cost over $30 billion.
Lockheed Martin, TRW, Boeing, and Raytheon are the top four
Star Wars contractors. Their campaign contributions to Republicans
and Democrats alike have paved the road for nearly unchallenged
appropriations of research and development (R & D) funding
for the many different technologies now under way. The Pentagon
figures that by opening up many different Star Wars project lines
that they will be able to increase the money flow and over time
get some of them to work. So-called missile defense systems thus
get the pipeline moving.
The Machinists Union has recently produced a video called
Bombs Bursting in Air that promotes the "missile defense"
program and calls upon both parties to fund a "robust"
R & D effort. Bush is asking for $8.3 billion for Star Wars
R & D in 2002 and it appears that Congress will give him the
bulk of that request.
It is possible to conclude that before it is finished, the
new Star Wars program will cost many hundreds of billions of dollars.
(Already over $120 billion has been wasted on space weapons development
since the Eisenhower administration began work on the technologies
with the help of ex-Nazi rocket scientists following WW II.) Knowing
that recent tax cuts will eat up the national budget surplus,
it is easy to see that further funding for Star Wars will be paid
for by raiding human needs programs like Social Security, health
care, family farm subsidies, education, day care, and the like.
Funding for enforcement of the Endangered Species Act struggles
to survive with a meager $6 million annual appropriation while
Star Wars rages on.
Market Weapons for Profit
It is always important to remember that the number one industrial
export of the US today is weapons. If shoes were our principal
export product we'd have a global marketing strategy to put a
shoe on every person's foot in the whole world. But when weapons
are your chief export, what is the marketing strategy?
Try regional instability. Today the US arms all sides in the
Middle East and the region is total chaos. The US is now moving
to create the same situation in the Asian-Pacific region by expanding
US military operations in that part of the world and by selling
weapons to South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia
The Washington Post, in a May 26, 2000 article, stated that
the US will now begin to "manage China." Today the US
is widening and lengthening the runways on Guam and Wake Island
in the Pacific to handle the B- I and B-2 bombers. Cruise missiles
are being prepositioned on Guam and a new program, Theatre Missile
Defense (TMD), is being planned for deployment surrounding China.
China has 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the continental
US while we have 7,500 that could "hit" China back.
Unlike Russia, which is now fully under the control of the IMF
and World Bank and is virtually surrounded by an expanding NATO,
China remains the one independent actor in the world today not
fully under US corporate control.
TMD systems would be forward deployed on the air, land, and
sea and would allow the US to virtually surround the coastal regions
of China. TMD systems are designed to immediately hit missiles
in what is called their "boost phase." Deploying TMD
systems around China will force them to decide if they should
respond by increasing their own military capability, thus giving
the US weapons industry the gift they are after-a new enemy and
the justification for a new arms race.
Today we hear many leading Democrats say they are opposed
to deployment of National Missile Defense (NMD), the system designed
to protect the continental US from attack by hitting a bullet
with a bullet while the "offending" missile is high
above in deep space. (Interestingly, the Democrats voted overwhelmingly
in support of deployment of missile defense in April, 1999. The
House voted 345-71 and the Senate 97-3.) While Democrats routinely
claim opposition to deployment of NMD, they strongly support deployment
of Theatre Missile Defense and they are pushing the "robust"
R & D program for the whole Star Wars program.
The underlying issue at hand is corporate global control and
domination. The US Space Command is viewed as the new military
arm of the corporate globalization effort. The Vision for 2020
states that due to current economic realities the gap between
"haves and have nots" will be widening in coming years.
As a result, the Space Command maintains that there will be more
regional instability as workers organize to oppose slave labor
working conditions and a loss of democratic rights. By developing
the new program of "control and domination" from space,
the US Pentagon intends to suppress any "regional" hotspot
without having to commit major troop deployments. All warfare
on the Earth is now coordinated from space. Those who control
space will be in a position to be the Masters of Space and the
The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in
Space has called for an "International Day of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space" on October 13. Local actions
are being planned in over 17 countries and at nearly 100 sites
including US military bases, aerospace corporation facilities,
federal buildings, and embassies.
We must create a global debate about the real intentions of
U.S. Star Wars plans. Missile defense must be revealed for the
sham that it is. We must show the public documents like Vision
for 2020 and make the case that the weaponization of space will
create more global instability rather than make us more secure.
And we must remind the public that our government will not be
able to deliver on social spending promises while paying for space
weapons research and development.
More than a technical question, the whole Star Wars program
being promoted by both major parties is a moral and ethical issue.
What right does the US have to move the arms race into the heavens?
What will be the environmental consequences when space-based lasers,
powered with nuclear reactors, tumble back to Earth and spread
deadly plutonium worldwide as the satellite burns up upon hitting
This debate must be taken into our local communities, to the
very front door of those who are working to create a new arms
race in space. We must move now to keep space for peace.
Bruce Gagnon is the director of Global Network Against Weapons
and Nuclear Power in Space, which received a grant from Resist
in 1999. For more information, and a list of resources, contact
them at PO Box 90083, Gainesville, FL 32607; www.space4peace.org;
firstname.lastname@example.org. The following resources may be obtained
from the Global Network:
of Space page