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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Treaty needed to ban weapons in space

 

The Hill

The US should negotiate a ban on basing weapons in space

The Biden administration is assembling a deep bench of personnel with experience negotiating arms control agreements and already has agreed with Russia to extend the New Start Treaty. It’s clear the administration intends to initiate another look at the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review and the massive buildup in nuclear weapons begun by the Trump administration. While it’s good that the Biden administration intends to resume negotiations to continue nuclear force reductions, the specter of placing weapons in space is another area that requires a serious arms control effort.

Now that separate space organizations have been established, major military commands are advocating to develop new capabilities. Pentagon buzzwords characterize space as a “contested domain” and some consider actual war-fighting in space to be inevitable. Some advocates argue that the U.S. should strive for technological superiority in space to ensure our dominance of that critical domain.

The history of technological advancement in weapons systems shows that any advantage gained usually lasts fewer than five years and guarantees a cycle of ever-increasing cost and new perceptions of threat. Already, there are weapons that can be targeted against space-based assets from non-space domains. Russia and China are believed to have deployed ground-based capabilities to attack satellites, and India joined this club last year by using a ground-based missile to bring down a satellite.  [The US has also tested anti-satellite weapons.]

Although it isn’t clear how the Biden administration will shape space policy, during his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin seemed to signal a shift away from a more muscular approach and back to a focus on space resiliency and protecting U.S. space assets. As one analyst concluded, the language Austin used signals the Biden team wants to “start to lean away from … the pugilistic aspects of what’s been articulated [by the Trump administration].” Responding to a question about what his advice would be to the U.S. Space Command concerning military space operations, Austin stressed measures to protect U.S. assets that don’t include offensive options for taking the fight to adversaries. While not a fully articulated space policy, this is a welcome change of tone after the past few years of heavy breathing about waging war in space.

If the U.S. and other nations continue the current drift toward organizing and equipping to wage war in space, Russia, China and others will strive to improve capabilities to destroy U.S. space assets. Over time, this would greatly increase the threat to the full array of U.S. space-based capabilities. Intelligence, communications, surveillance, targeting and navigation assets already based in space, upon which the Department of Defense (DOD) depends for command and control of military operations, increasingly would be at significant risk. As a consequence, weaponizing space could become a classic case of trying to solve one problem while creating a much worse problem.

For example, buried in the DOD 2020 budget is $150 million for research into putting missile defense assets in space to attack enemy nuclear missiles in the boost phase. If the U.S. or another nation does deploy weapons in space, it would be the first country to do so and likely would be a disaster for strategic stability. To ensure the credibility of their nuclear deterrents, Russia, China and others could be expected to respond by deploying additional and new types of long-range ballistic missiles, as well as missiles employing non-ballistic trajectories that are harder to hit.  Russia and China also would strive to improve their ability to destroy U.S. space-based interceptors, which would greatly increase the threat to the full array of U.S. space assets.

It’s time for arms control planning to address the issues raised by this drift toward militarization of space. Space is a place where billions of defense dollars can evaporate quickly and result in more threats about which to be concerned. China and Russia have been proposing mechanisms for space arms control at the United Nations for years; it’s time for the U.S. to cooperate in this effort.

In 2015, Frank Rose, assistant secretary for arms control, verification and compliance in the State Department, called for arms control in space at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum workshop on space security. But, he said the Obama administration opposed a 2008 Russian and Chinese proposal to ban all weapons in space because it was unverifiable, contained no prohibition on developing and stockpiling space arms, and did not address ground-based space weapons such as direct ascent anti-satellite missiles.   

Instead of just criticizing others’ proposals, the U.S. should join in the effort and do the hard work of crafting a space arms control agreement that deals with the concerns we have and that can be verified. A legally binding international treaty banning the basing of weapons in space should be the objective.

Let’s be clear: Deploying weapons in space crosses a threshold that cannot be walked back.  Given the implications for strategic stability, and the likelihood that such a decision by any nation would set off an expensive space arms race in which any advantage gained would likely be temporary, engaging now to prevent such a debacle seems warranted.    

~ John Fairlamb, Ph.D., is a retired Army colonel with 45 years of government service, much of it in joint service positions formulating and implementing national security strategies and policies, including  two four-year details in the Department of State and as the political-military affairs adviser for a major Army command. His doctorate is in comparative defense policy analysis. 

Friday, February 05, 2021

Biden's magic tricks: watch both of his hands

 


During the Obama administration the Modus operandi (MO) was to play magic tricks. Obama would announce a good thing and then at the same time do a really bad thing.  I started urging people to watch both of the magicians hands. 

Following Obama's slight of hand tricks, Biden is off to a similar start. Here are a few examples:

  • Just yesterday Biden made a foreign policy speech where he said, "America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy". But on February 2 Stars & Stripes newspaper reported that his administration was "deploying bombers and airmen to a base in Norway for the first time, underscoring the growing importance of the Arctic region to U.S. defense strategy." The Air Force has been stepping up its strategic bomber missions in the Arctic, but recent missions have either been staged from England, where bombers typically deploy while training in Europe, or have involved round-trip flights between the U.S. and the Nordic region. This is the first time bombers are deploying to Norway. (Which of course borders Russia in the north.)

 

 

  • In his speech Biden praised those who have been calling for an end to the Saudi-US war in Yemen.  He said the US will end all support for Saudi Arabia's 'offensive operations' in Yemen. But then in typical magician style the new prez stated that the US will "continue to help and support Saudi Arabia" by selling them 'defensive' weapons.  Now let's see here - how much difference is there between offensive and defense weapons?  A bullet is a bullet.  A bomb is a bomb....
  • On February 3 Biden announced an agreement to extend the New START Treaty with Russia, to preserve the only remaining nuclear arms agreement between them.  OK that is good.  But are you watching his other hand?  On Biden's first day in office he ordered more US troops into the oil fields of Syria
  • On January 28 Biden sent three warships into the Black Sea, stepping up its presence in the region after a drop in overall NATO maritime activity there last year. The destroyer USS Porter began its transit into the sea, joining the USS Donald Cook (built in Bath, Maine) and a third warship conducting operations in the strategic waterway, the Stars & Stripes reported. Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who led the Army in Europe until 2018, said more allies should step up to help the U.S. in the region. “We clearly have to increase the priority of the Black Sea,” said Hodges, who is now the Pershing chair of strategic studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis. “US Navy has too many (requirements) and not enough resources. President Biden will expect Allies to do more.” Russia took note of the US's Black Sea escalation and sent fighter jets zooming just above Washington's provocative deployment of destroyers in Russia's backyard.  How would the US respond if Moscow sent warships into the Gulf of Mexico? 


 

  • Let's not leave China out.  Again on January 28 Biden ordered a 'task force' of four B-52 bombers to fly to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, part of an ongoing demonstration by the Air Force of its ability to move strategic assets around the globe. Stars & Stripes again reported that the B-52s, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, were sent to “reinforce the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific region” through “strategic deterrence.” Guam, at the eastern edge of the Philippine Sea, is within easy range of the South China Sea, where the US is escalating pressure on China to surrender to Washington's control.

 

 

  • Then on February 4, just to make sure that Beijing got Biden's message that "American is back", the US Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain (built in Bath, Maine) sailed through the Taiwan Strait marking the first such transit since Biden took office. The Navy called it "routine". China said it remains on "high alert" and "is ready to respond to all threats and provocations at any time." My son lives in Taiwan so this one really hit close to home.
  • All of these 'operations' cost big $$$$ - especially at a time when the US Congress says that the government can't afford to give our citizens $2,000 each to help them deal with loss of jobs, no healthcare, growing hunger and poverty, and general economic collapse. But despite all the nice talk about bringing the nation back to sanity and solvency - it is the same old 'double cross' - Three-card Monte scam.  Watch both hands of the dealer.  Look away at your own risk.
Bruce

Israel: fascist outpost in Middle East

 

Israel has become a killer country.  They are as fascist as any nation could ever be.

Free Palestine....stop the plans for 'Greater Israel' which has its eyes set on grabbing Syria, Egypt, Iran and more.

Their actions, like those from US-NATO, are pure criminal.

US citizens must stop funding the Israeli war machine. Stop Now!

Bruce 

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Comedy break: Love it!

 


Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Snow days here in Maine

 

Mary Beth and I went to Augusta one day late last week for an appointment. Since we would be there anyway we joined the weekly noon time Women in Black vigil in 14 degree weather - quite cold and windy as well. (Masks actually are quite helpful in this kind of cold/windy weather.) These two photos above by Roger Leisner.

Then Monday and Tuesday we had a snow storm here in Maine, so we needed to get out and do some shoveling.  Today the sun is shining and the temp is 37 degrees.

I had a call from a high school friend in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida yesterday who wanted to check on me after seeing the weather report about our big snow storm.  They were predicting we'd get up to a foot of snow but I'd guess we only got about six inches or so.  We actually have not had very much snow this winter and the temperatures have generally been pretty mild so far.

Bruce

Space issues webinar that got hacked

 

Last Sunday I did this webinar on space issues with a Marxist group in northern California.

Three quarters of the way thru it was hacked by a racist who posted various disgusting words on my Powerpoint slides.  So the talk had to be stopped and we continued without people seeing the last 1/4 of my slides.

This is one slide that didn't get seen by those on the Zoom meeting.

 

Add NATO nations spending to the US figure and you'll see the global total well over 50%. How can Russia and China (even combined) be such a military threat to US-NATO?  And it should be remembered that Russia cut their military spending the last couple of years to help deal with their large poverty numbers.

One does not have to be a Russian or Chinese booster in order to see the facts as they are.

Bruce 

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Preview: Latest Space Alert newsletter

 

 

Our current Space Alert newsletter is now at the print shop and is also available online here

Below are a few bits from the latest edition which has a focus on impacts from the growing numbers of spaceports around the world and their launches.  Increasingly crowded orbits result as well as continued destruction to the ozone layer from toxic rocket fuels. 

  • During this past year we’ve been witnessing a virtual explosion of plans to construct new ‘spaceports’ at various locations around the world. Proposals have included building them in Scotland, Hawaii, Maine, Japan and beyond. Some are still in the works and others have been put on the shelf for now. Space X and  other  corporate-owned  launch  companies are scanning the globe for launch sites as the ‘need’ for tens of thousands of mini-satellites for 5G are making the  aerospace industry drool as they envision the money that can be made hoisting them into the heavens. 
  • A couple big problems immediately come to mind when I think of thousands of mini-satellite launches. One would be the toxic rocket exhaust punching a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer thus  making our climate crisis worse. The growing space debris problem, with increasingly congested orbits adding to the mess, makes the chances of an accidental avalanche of crashes in space more likely. This could ultimately make it impossible to launch a rocket off Earth due to the ‘minefield’ of space junk circling our already fragile planet. Astronomers are upset about the dark night sky being fouled by legions of new blinking satellites encircling our planet.
  • Today Sweden has joined the club [NATO]. Numerous bases are installed from the North to the  South in the “neutral and non-aligned” country of Sweden. We have Lerkil in the South and Esrange in the North of Sweden—the world ́s biggest downloading station from satellites. Sweden has, with its vicinity to Russia, become a servile obedient vassal state to the U.S.
  • Rocket Lab (RL) was founded in 2006. Its founder and CEO is Peter Beck, a high-profile New Zealand (NZ) entrepreneur who was a finalist for New Zealander of the Year 2020.  He personally and Rocket Lab, the company, have enjoyed consistently favourable treatment from both the NZ media and successive governments. RL was originally touted as a shining example of Kiwi innovation and continues to be under the Jacinda Ardern government. But, in fact, it is now simply the NZ subsidiary of an American company, with major ownership by Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest weapons manufacturer. 
  • Space is now big business and seen by the (UK) government as one potential path to recovery from the economic havoc caused by Covid-19. Forecasts suggest it could be worth over $1 trillion by 2040 and the UK aims to capture 10% of the market by 2030. A consortium of Local  Enterprise  Partnerships (LEPs) which bring together local authorities, academic institutions, research groups and businesses are establishing several regional space hubs around the UK to ensure that space is a priority for regional economic growth. Among them is ‘AstroAgency’ which operates across Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Space Leadership Council. Lockheed Martin has chosen Unst—one of the Shetland Islands—to develop its own Shetland Space Centre (SSC) for vertical launch operations. So, the UK is now well on the way to being directly  involved in US plans for space domination.
  • SpaceX may be the dominant player, but it is far from the only U.S. company with plans to slather “every inch of the world” with emissions from low-orbit 5G satellites. Amazon, angling for a potential four billion new customers, plans to launch a total of 3,236 satellites and promises to start delivering Internet services.  Facebook is also planning for thousands of satellites. 

 

 

  • The Space Development Agency (now integrated with the Space Force) selected Elon Musk’s  company SpaceX as the launch provider for its first 28 satellites, awarding the company a $150  million contract for two launches.  SpaceX is expected to conduct the first launch in September 2022. All satellites need to be on orbit by March 31, 2023. The satellites will form the layers of the SDA’s National Defense Space Architecture, a constellation in low Earth orbit that will be able to ‘push targeting data to war fighters, track hypersonic weapons, connect sensors and shooters over the orbit  network’. While the NDSA will eventually include hundreds of satellites, the agency isn’t putting them all up at once—the agency plans to add a growing number of satellites every two years.
  • In 1978, NASA scientist Donald Kessler warned of a potential catastrophic, cascading chain reaction in outer space. Known as “Kessler  Syndrome,” the theory posited that orbits above Earth could one day become so crowded, so polluted with both active satellites and the junk from of past space missions, that it could render future space travel problematic and even impossible.
  • The plunge into Earth’s atmosphere of worn-out satellites, rocket parts and other space junk is a common occurrence.  For spacecraft re-entries, that process means basically ‘burning computers'. During re-entry, big chunks of aluminum and other materials are subjected to intense heating. Some  particles are very reactive, so even small amounts of them could have a significant effect on atmospheric chemistry.
  • The Tromsø municipal council in northern Norway has decided to say NO to a port for U.S. nuclear-powered submarines. This prompted the Norwegian Minister of Defense to  react: “Tromsø cannot opt out of NATO”, he said in October. The federal government is pushing hard to override local politicians and public opinion. Tromsø is the third largest urban municipality in Norway, and the seventh in population. Tromsø is the regional civil administration center for the northern area in Norway. Tromso is very close to the Russian border along the Barents Sea.

Monday, February 01, 2021

Warning about 5G health impacts

 

Former President Of Microsoft Canada, Frank Clegg: 5G Wireless IS NOT SAFE

 

 

Click on the graphics for a better view
 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

RAND Corporation study on regime change in Russia


This is a Rand Corporation study (remember them for 'The Pentagon Papers' during the Vietnam War) outlining US-NATO plans for regime change in Russia. The plan includes heavy doses of internal destabilization. 
 
See the entire study here 
 
Just last week the US Embassy in Moscow published a list of protests inside the country on its web site.
The CIA, USAID and other US agencies are known to be funding much of the protests inside Russia in recent years just like they do in all color revolutions they organize. Russia is high on the list as are China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, etc...Notice how all those nations are working together today to help each other survive.
 
Washington complains about alleged Russian interference in US elections - but this study (and the actions now taking place) are clear evidence of US-NATO direct interference in Russian affairs. These actions are a clear violation of international law.
 
Expect it to get much worse during the Biden (and Dems) Russia-hating administration. Great way to start WW III.
 
You might ask why this is happening? Russia has the largest land border with the Arctic Sea and its melting ice due to climate crisis.  Western fossil fuel corporations want control of that region. The idea is to break up Russia into smaller national units so as to ensure easier control by the west. Like Napoleon and Hitler the US-NATO appear willing to go to war to achieve their goal.
 
 
The US is dramatically expanding its military operations in the Arctic region - Navy, Army, Air Force, etc. See this article from Stars & Stripes Army plans new ‘Arctic brigade’ as sea levels and competition rise.


It's a disgusting, provocative, dangerous, immoral and illegal strategy by the US-NATO.  Sadly, far too many people are fooled by the western media Russia-bashing.  Even more sadly few governments around the globe (while they clearly understand what is going on) are too afraid to speak up for fear that US-NATO will punish them.
 
Pray for peace. Act now to stop the US-NATO drive for world corporate domination before it is too late.

Bruce