Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Noting Relationships: Military Space Control & Energy Domination



There’s currently a push in the halls of Washington D.C., to establish a new branch of the military by 2019, one whose focus would be operations among the stars. Proposed legislation by House representatives would create a “Space Corps” that would serve “as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force.” It would be the first branch added to the military since 1947 when the Air Force was officially established.

“There is bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” the bill's sponsors said in a joint statement. “We are convinced that the Department of Defense is unable to take the measures necessary to address these challenges effectively and decisively, or even recognize the nature and scale of its problems.”

Under the proposed legislation, the Space Corps would serve under the direction of the Air Force much like the Marine Corps serves under the direction of the Navy. Additionally, the Space Corps head would have a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson responded to the idea while speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill:

“The Pentagon is complicated enough. This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart, and cost more money. And if I had more money, I would put it into lethality, not bureaucracy…I don’t need another chief of staff and another six deputy chiefs of staff.”

The entire House Armed Services Committee will have to approve the subcommittee’s additions to the NDAA before they can go any further. If that happens, the debate will move to the House floor, where the NDAA is expected to be voted on sometime after the Fourth of July. 


The new anti-Russian sanctions are outlined in an amendment to a bill imposing sanctions against Iran. It was overwhelmingly approved by the US Senate on Thursday by a majority of 98 to 2, but still needs to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by President Trump to become law.

In a joint statement, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern said that Wednesday’s decision by the US Senate to slap new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged meddling in US presidential election and the Ukrainian conflict would make the European energy industry less competitive and would put thousands of jobs on the line.

Germany and Austria suspect that Senate's anti-Russian bill is an attempt to "occupy" the European energy market on the part of US corporations.

"Germany and Austria went one step further, too — accusing the US of looking to promote the role of US LNG in Europe at the expense of Russian gas," the S&P Global Platts writer [Ivan Danilov, a Russian economist] underscored, adding that the US apparently wants to kill two birds with one stone by exerting sanctions on Nord Stream 2: to "punish" Moscow and promote US LNG supplies in Europe, "which would have the knock-on effect of supporting domestic US gas industry."

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