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Military Seeks Approval to Develop Space Weapons

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the that's-no-moon dept.

Space 878

ranson writes "The New York Times is reporting that U.S. Air Force officials are seeking Bush's Approval to begin researching and developing space arms. While analysts feel this move will be unwelcome in the international community, military officials believe that "Space superiority ... is our destiny, ... our vision for the future.""

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$82 Billion Well Spent (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572475)

Based on the fact that a 82-billion-dollar emergency budget for military operations [yahoo.com] has just been approved, this "Space Arm Race" might just be the only realistic hope for us to see any space ventures in our life time.

Is this a variant of how sticky-note Bill are attached (and passed) under another guaranteed Bill?

I'm sure in order to bring weapons into the space, a lot of technologies will have to be developed, which hopefully will benefit many other sectors.

Re:$82 Billion Well Spent (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572529)

What the fuck does one have to do with the other? Just another contentless karma whore early post by fembots.

Re:$82 Billion Well Spent (2, Interesting)

nbert (785663) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572602)

There is not much to develop for a space race (who is really into this race apart from the US btw?).
It has all been planned in the cold war and it wasn't realized back then *for a reason*. And afterall the US doesn't lack technology in current affairs...

Re:$82 Billion Well Spent (5, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572632)

Its sad to see that the 'militarization' of space is the only 'hope' that we have of making additional space ventures.

Re:$82 Billion Well Spent (0, Offtopic)

aklix (801048) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572740)

Is it the forces will that just a second ago I watched my first episode of Star Wars?

Re:$82 Billion Well Spent (2, Funny)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572746)

It's not sad -- it's a great thing. People are going to explore this frontier and like any other frontier they are going to need a military presence to keep the "Indians" from scalping us.

In addition, it's the high ground. Who would you rather have controlling the high ground?

BTW, the Russians were the first to militarize space. Cosmonauts took pistols with them in case they needed to kill predators (wolves) when they "thumped down." Recovery crews could take forever to get to them...

Well spent? Well, that's a matter of opinion... (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572750)

I'd rather see no further manned exploration in space for another 50 years than see any exploration (exploitation?) that's driven by a military agenda: all that will acheive is a military build up in space with the US and most probably China developing space-based weapons.

Space exploration and space science should be carried out on peaceful, scientific grounds only. The world's major militaries can all wipe out life on the face of the Earth already, so being able to do it a few minutes faster with space-borne weapons is hardly my idea of progress.

Serious science, and even pseudo-science like manned missions to the Moon or Mars, provides the West with the best means of fostering positive relations with China in the medium term, and I'd hate to see any opportunity for the betterment of mankind blown because some cowboy decides that putting nukes above our heads is a smarter move than making sure that nobody will want to do it.

Just as the US's nukes begat the USSR's, which begat China's, which begat India's, which begat Pakistan's, any overt US militarisation of space would only lead to others following suit.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572478)

First Post. You all can eat my shit.

Oh geez (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572479)

Not this shit again!

So? (-1, Redundant)

XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572488)

What's new?

Re:So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572534)

No kidding! I like read this story like over 12 hours ago already. Like, let's get some new like breaking stories on here.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572539)

Well lets see...

I just put a deposit on a house, oh and I had a really nice sandwich for lunch.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572755)

This was the second post, how can it be Redundant?

space weapons (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572504)

Star Wars!!

Obligatory.. (3, Funny)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572505)

That's no moon that's a space station!!!!

Re:Obligatory.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572555)

That's no funny, that's a gay observation.

Re:Obligatory.. (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572715)

or, how about...

That's no moon. That's what $87 billion dollars looks like wrapped in a bundle.

I think eventually it will be cheaper just to throw money at "enemies" than to spend it on a $300,000 smart bomb. Think how heavy 300,000 $1 bills wrapped in rubber bands is.

Base Closings (1, Insightful)

gotpaint32 (728082) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572509)

So they are going to close some 20-30 bases in the US so we can have weapons in space. Space weapons sound cool, but a substantial ground presence is needed in any confrontation, either to mop up the mess, or contain it.

Re:Base Closings (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572586)

Meh, a good focused laser weapon attack from space will always be good at mopping up the mess or contain it... just raze a few cities and they'll back down.

At least, that's what this admin thinks, IMO. It's a dangerous idea, one devoid of morals.

Re:Base Closings (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572709)

It's a dangerous idea, one devoid of morals

As opposed to guided missiles? Supersonic bombers? Flamethrowers? Trebuchets? The tool/venue is, by definition not a moral issue. What you do is. So, if China starts taking out our satellites, and we've got no means by which to prevent it... that's a good thing?

Re:Base Closings (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572600)

Oh they're closing Submarine and Bomber bases too.

I'm all for the military industrial complex and all. But there's not a whole lot here technology wise. A kinetic kill weapon just needs a ride up. And since I don't seem them reexamining nuclear rockets for those rides, it's just a sink for cash as opposed to an investment. It the want to get a high band gap semiconductor laser array going, woohoo, but I somehow doubt that's on the near term chistmas list.

I love how the republicans ran on a platform of strengthening Americas military, and all they're doing is cutting back, complicating logistics, DURING the invasion of two countries. Biggest. WTF. Evar.

Re:Base Closings (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572707)

So they are going to close some 20-30 bases in the US so we can have weapons in space. Space weapons sound cool, but a substantial ground presence is needed in any confrontation, either to mop up the mess, or contain it.

I'll bite. Why? As long as we have enough bases to serve or armed soldiers, why do we need a few extra in, say, South Dakota? To repel an invasion from the inner Canadian provinces? I don't think that confrontation is coming anytime soon.

Re:Base Closings (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572756)

Our agenda, successful to date, carries the invasion to Florida, Arizona and California; spearheaded by fat old people in white shoes and polyester.

Re:Base Closings (3, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572729)

See, the truths we cling to depend greatly on one's point of view. We're not really closing bases - we're simply relocating them 200 miles up and phasing out the manpower in favor of automation. :)

Space weapons sound cool? (2, Insightful)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572751)

You'd better not make a mistake with one.

You'd better hope their orbits are stable.

You'd better hope their orbits don't decay

What if one gets fired by accident or software bug?

The basic problem is that once the weapon is deployed into orbit, it's already half fired.

The Race for Space Arms (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572511)


The request isn't to develop the weapons (4, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572518)

It's to enable them to legally deploy them. From TFA:

With little public debate, the Pentagon has already spent billions of dollars developing space weapons and preparing plans to deploy them.

I'm wondering if perhaps this isn't also the military wanting to show off a little and provide the public a glimpse of yesterday's technology, similar to what happened with the F-117 circa 1990. Maybe they want to show us what the Aurora really looks like.

There's no way... right? (5, Funny)

bman08 (239376) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572521)

He's never going to sign this... right? Not Bush... Right. That guy is a conservative who hates spending our tax money on pie in the sky ideas, and loves life... right? He believes we've already got the best weapons in the world, and couldn't imagine us needing more...right? Besides, at his heart, Bush is a diplomat who understands that the US can't go it alone in the world and far be it for him to swing his cock around... right? Right?

Re:There's no way... right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572654)

You must be new here!

"Times' shaky spacewar story" (4, Informative)

GQuon (643387) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572522)

DefenceTech.org Times' shaky spacewar story [defensetech.org] :

"[Global Strike] -- which we first looked at back in November 2003 -- is legit, with a hefty $91 million invested into it over the last two years. But, by making so little distinction between this effort and more pie-in-the-sky plans, the Times does its readers a bit of a disservice."

Quick, before the public finds out.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572532)

They're afraid of a leak, so they have to get approval before their existance is made public. Then, the weapons in space will be OK, because they are approved.

Its not like anyone is going to wait for us (1, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572535)

I mean, why bother publishing the request. Any thinking adult already understands the situation. If anything the request is nothing more than "going through the motions".

Why it is newsworthy is beyond me? Perhaps to say "Hey we really really really don't have these things yet" Or perhaps it is too alert the not so bright that yeah, someone is bound to do it so lets make sure we are there and ready.

In a perfect world this type of waste would not be needed, unfortunately a few nutjobs out there are trying to get nuclear weapons or have them and they have very few moral reasons to not use them except self preservation. With the current idiocy of allowing Iran to become a fully fledged nuclear power just how long before they try to become a spaceborne power?

I don't think the Chinese would tell anyone either until after they threaten to use such capability on Taiwan.

As for the UN, I figure on some good old bashing of America for doing something that so obviously is going to be done by anyone who can lob it up there.

Hell now that I think of it it almost seems as if it were bait.

Re:Its not like anyone is going to wait for us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572608)

With the current idiocy of allowing Iran to become a fully fledged nuclear power

it seems to be the only way to keep imperialists from stealing your country's oil

President In Crisis (-1, Flamebait)

kihjin (866070) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572538)

General Cartwright said that the military would "provide every opportunity to ensure that it's not misunderstood" and that Global Strike simply aimed to "expand the choices that we might be able to offer to the president in crisis."

Such as not being able to run for office in 2008...

You obviously.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572605)

...haven't read the "Patriot Act" have you?

'Emergency Powers'
'suspend the Constitution'
'Martial Law'

Who needs elections with legislation like that?

NASA vs USAF (3, Insightful)

dark grep (766587) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572541)

From informative, well researched fiction by Stephen Baxter (Moonseed) and others, I gather than the USAF has long held a grudge against NASA. Could this be the not so thin edge of the wedge of moving all space funding to a militarily organisation rather than a civilian one?

Evolution of Warfare (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572543)

"Don't throw the past away,
You might need it some rainy day,
Dreams can come true again,
When ev'ry thing old is new again!

- Throw rock
- Hit other guy with stick
- Throw rock with stick on the end of it
- Shoot stick with rock on end of it at guy with curved stick
- Hit rock with fire, make copper, bronze, iron, steel rocks to put on ends of stick
- Put fire in tube, throw rock with fire.
- Put fire in metal tube, throw metal rock with fire.
- Put fire in metal rocks, drop exploding rocks on other guy
- Drop rocks made of unstable atomic metals on other guy
- Head for the asteroid belt. Throw rock

Re:Evolution of Warfare (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572610)

There is a flaw in your last sentence, one should head for the asteroid belt with Bruce Willis and drill the rock!

Star Wars part II? (2, Insightful)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572544)

Ronald Reagan pushed his Star Wars plan at around the same time (rough estimation) that Episode VI was released, and Bush is pushing Star Wars part II at the same time that Episode 3 is being released. Coincidence? I think not!

Re:Star Wars part II? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572589)

obviously george lucas is about to start his bid for world domination.

They Mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572545)

They mean that they want to get approval now, sow that when they need to use the already developed weapons in the next 1-whatever years, they can say they were developed after they were given "permission".

Did the public know about any of the stealth projects prior to accidents involving them or a substancial time has passed?

A few quotes from TFA: (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572552)

Gen. Lance Lord, who leads the Air Force Space Command, told Congress recently. "Simply put, it's the American way of fighting."

Yup...nuke 'em from orbit...that sure sounds like us.

And many of the nation's allies object to the idea that space is an American frontier.

Apparently they weren't listening a few years ago when Dubya called 'dibs'.

Another Air Force space program, nicknamed Rods From God, aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon.

'Rods of God'? Just when I think that the neoconservatives can't get any more arrogant, they serve up this gem. Way to go, guys.

A third program would bounce laser beams off mirrors hung from space satellites or huge high-altitude blimps, redirecting the lethal rays down to targets around the world. A fourth seeks to turn radio waves into weapons whose powers could range "from tap on the shoulder to toast," in the words of an Air Force plan.

Sounds like those Air Force boys have been watching too much Real Genius [imdb.com] .

No nation will "accept the U.S. developing something they see as the death star," Ms. Hitchens told a Council on Foreign Relations meeting last month. "I don't think the United States would find it very comforting if China were to develop a death star, a 24/7 on-orbit weapon that could strike at targets on the ground anywhere in 90 minutes."

Ahh, yes...the Death Star...just in time for the release of Revenge of the Sith. I wonder how much George paid George for that tie-in.

Re:A few quotes from TFA: (3, Insightful)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572726)

nuke 'em from orbit...that sure sounds like us.

Hell yeah it sounds like us. America fights to win. Now maybe we fight too often and in the wrong places and for the wrong reasons (I'm not interested in debating the appropriateness of the most recent war, I hate it, but that's not the question at hand), but when we fight, we don't just march out some poor draftees in front of enemy machine guns to be fair to the enemy. We airstrike them and snipe them and smartbomb them, because we're not there to be fair, we're there to win. We're there to liberate or conquer or raze, but we're not there to die.

I hate this war and I hate the reasons for it and I hate those who perpetrated it. But I won't hate the man that saves legions of my fellow Americans by taking out the enemy from safe distance.

It is as great a crime to send our boys in defenseless, ill-equipped, and without backup to die as it is to subjugate and persecute the enemy.

And as for the name 'rod of god', it's a nickname for Pete's sake. It's not official marketingspeak from the government, it's a bloody nickname! And a pretty damned good one, too.

Re:A few quotes from TFA: (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572745)

Both the US and Russia (by way of the Soviet Union) have ASAT technology already, though I believe that treaties were signed to avoid use of these after the US had one successful test of its missile. That makes me wonder just how useful these satellites would be. They wouldn't be hard to find, or at least to extrapolate from launch monitoring (until they slowly move into alternate orbits by means of on-board thrusters).

Yup...nuke 'em from orbit...that sure sounds like us.

They mean keeping their options open, and being at the forefront of technology.

'Rods of God'? Just when I think that the neoconservatives can't get any more arrogant, they serve up this gem. Way to go, guys.

I dunno. I'd call them Pennies from Heaven, but I'm not religious. Just because some guys in the Pentagon's R&D back office come up with a name like that doesn't mean that the Religious Police are forming up ranks.

Sounds like those Air Force boys have been watching too much Real Genius.

I was thinking Spies Like Us [imdb.com] . :)

We Need Space Defense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572554)

If you look at the upcoming global landscape, China looks to be number potential enemy. They are already working on a space program that will only getter better, and more advanced.

Right now, the US undisputablly has the technogical superiority over the rest of the world. It's high time we develop a space strategy while we still have the edge. Right now, there are no enemies that can attack from space, but you never know in 20 years or so.

It's time to get the ball rolling. Reagan had it right with Star Wars, and he only helped bankrupt the Soviet Union by funding it. I hope Bush follows in Reagan's footsteps.

It's not really a matter of choce (4, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572560)

Will some nation eventually deploy weapons in space? I'd say there's a high liklihood.

To me then, the question boils down to, do you want to be first or attempt to be second?

Re:It's not really a matter of choce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572630)

quick, we better go blow up iraq before it blows us up.
Better yet, lets kill everyone whos not like us..just in case!
We wouldn't want to be second after all!

SG1 (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572563)

Wasn't there an SG1 episode that dealt with space weapons. And, even though the intentions were good, wasn't the weapon used on our enemies as an offence. So, we may not be able to control all the weapons we put in place.

Re:SG1 (1)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572649)

And SG! is the best place to go for the latest thinking on military policy.

Personally, I think weapons in space are great. Just as long as they are US weapons. We may need to perform a few more regime changes...

Re:SG1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572653)

Yeah- lets base our national defense decisions off of a craptastic B-grade sci-fi show. Great idea, idoit.

defence? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572568)

So how exactly does spending billions of dollers on weapons in space help defend america.
Sure it will defend against missile attack but suitecase bombs and various other things are
more apparent problems.
Seeing America getting them more and more into debt, without any real sign of stopping, and
arming themself up even further is very disturbing.
Ok maybe I need to find my tinfoil hat but this seems to look even more like getting
armed to the teeth for a land grab, how else they going to get the money.

Space Arms? (1)

dark grep (766587) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572571)

On a less serious note; Space arms are those long bendy things with grippy bits at the end to move equipment around in space. Personally, I think funding for space arms has gone as far as it can, and now we need space legs and space feet. Haw Haw. Mod -1 Really Lame Humour

UT2k4 already did that (0)

77Punker (673758) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572573)

This is old stuff. See, I've already got this. It's called an Ion Painter. It "paints" a harmless bit of ions on a surface that it is pointed at while the trigger is held down. Soon after, however, a 2 gigawatt orbital laser fires at the ion spot and obliterates whatever is there. UT2k4 is sooooo visionary.

Imagine This ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572576)

Someone, could be anyone -- N. Korea, a group of Islamists in a remote region in the former Soviet Union, whatever, you decide -- launches a missile at the United States.

Presently, there's very little we could do about it. We'd basically just sit and watch helplessly as the missile tracked onto our soil and exploded.

With space-based weapons, we could at least have a chance to prevent it.

Having a reasonable space-based defense just makes sense. The only alternative is to promise Mutual Assured Destruction to anyone who'd launch something like that at us -- and that only works if the one who's doing the launching is rational, and isn't more than willing to die.

Re:Imagine This ... (4, Insightful)

zerbot (882848) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572692)

Do you honestly think they would launch a missile (expensive to develop) that is very easily tracked back to the source rather than smuggling something in? Tons of drugs are imported to this country every year and you don't think they could get a nuke on site, and avoid retaliation?

Re:Imagine This ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572724)

Have you bought so far into this phony-ass defense-driven attitude that has rum rampant in America that you can't even see the other alternatives? How about (and I know this is crazy but bear with me) if America and its allies start using some of their money for building up the rest of the world instead of creating new ways to destroy it. How about if we start treating the rest of the world with a little dignity and respect and start actually helping them instead of undermining them out of some post-cold war paranoia? Yeah? Is that too nutty? Because you know, when we start doing that, we start eliminating a lot of the reasons that other countries might want to fire off a few missiles at us. And when we do that, we start setting an example that the masses in countries like North Korea and Iran and Saudi Arabia want to aspire to and will rise up and overthrow their own governments if they don't get. But when we have a leader who imagines himself a two-bit cowboy and is too quick to shock and awe those who disagree with him, then it creates an environment where people start to feel threatened, and when people start to feel threatened, the start thinking in terms of how to take out that threat.

Do space-based weapons do anything about that?

Remember, it was the Republicans in the 80s insisting that the only defense against the dreaded Russian menace was exactly this kind of thing. Do you remember that? Did that swirl away down the memory hole yet?

Get out of this perpetual war mentality you're stuck in. Get out from under this premise of fear that you cling to. Attitudes like yours are far more dangerous to the safety of the planet than North Korea.

I trust that's not too tough to understand, right?


Escalation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572578)

This is an escalation targetted against the rest of the world, and will be taken as such.

Way to win the war on terrorism!!! (5, Insightful)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572579)

Nothing will defeat terrorism like billion dollar space weapons!!!

You never know when Al Qaeda is going to build a rocket.

Those kids in Explorers [imdb.com] did.

Re:Way to win the war on terrorism!!! (1)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572686)

OT, but thank you! I've been trying to remember the name of that movie for a long time.

Reminds me of Ronald Reagan (4, Insightful)

mauriatm (531406) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572593)

Remember his speech, now known in history as the "Star Wars" [cnn.com] speech.

"As we pursue our goal of defensive technologies, we recognize that our allies rely upon our strategic offensive power to deter attacks against them. Their vital interests and ours are inextricably linked. Their safety and ours are one. And no change in technology can or will alter that reality. We must and shall continue to honor our commitments."

Sad how little has changed.

Re:Reminds me of Ronald Reagan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572748)

Actually, it just reminds me of what a great man Ronald Reagan was and what a visionary he was.

It's amazing how much he foresaw the fall of communism while his detractors laughed at him. Turns out he had the last laugh.

Ronald Reagan will be remembered was one of the truly great people of the 20th century.

Isn't Earth enough? (0, Redundant)

ArtimusArchmage (789937) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572596)

Isn't it enough that the US is screwing over the rest of the world? Now we have to go and take over space too.

Won't somebody think of the martians?

Re:Isn't Earth enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572749)

Won't somebody think of the martians?

Rumor has it that martians have WMD.
Oh! They have oil too

Seriously, isn't it forbidden under the START deals ?

self-answer: No
although no treaty or law bans Washington from putting weapons in space, barring weapons of mass destruction.

In alignment with the new global threats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572621)

We keep being told that the new threats to our national security are groups of terrorists hiding in caves in third world countries. Clearly the logical conclusion is that we need space based weapons in case they're hiding their WMDs there?

I'll just replace (0)

warrior (15708) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572634)

their PROM with my EEPROM and ... Popcorn!

Re:I'll just replace (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572700)

This is funny if you have seen Real Genius. Its a geeky movie, you probably wouldnt understand .....

Re:I'll just replace (1)

warrior (15708) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572714)

Hrm, actually, that weapon was on a plane on the edge of space, not quite a space-based weapon. I guess to be on topic I'll have to mention that I work for the Ace Tomato company.

Well this is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572635)

...now they're admitting to it! Of course space weapons have been in the works for many years without any approval of the people at all. Of course, since when did decisions that put the entire human race in peril require public debate? AFAIK, they've always been made by a small group of megalomaniacs.

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Albert Einstein

RE: Military Seeks Approval to Develop Space Weapo (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572639)

Here Bush goes will go breaking international laws again...

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies, and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space.

The treaty's key arms control provisions are in Article IV. States-parties commit not to:

* Place in orbit around the Earth or other celestial bodies any nuclear weapons or objects carrying WMD.
* Install WMD on celestial bodies or station WMD in outer space in any other manner.
* Establish military bases or installations, test "any type of weapons," or conduct military exercises on the moon and other celestial bodies.

The USA fully signed and ratified the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

http://www.peaceinspace.com/sp_faq.shtml [peaceinspace.com]
http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/outerspace.a sp [armscontrol.org]
(among others)

Re: Military Seeks Approval to Develop Space Weapo (2, Insightful)

Wandering-Seraph (878056) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572702)

Breaking treaties isn't exactly a new sport for the American Politic. Remember the American Indians? Yeah... no, really, we wont utterly annihilate anyone in our way using nefarious means. Never. One only hopes to learn from history...

Science fiction doesn't count here (1)

Eunuch (844280) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572648)

I have not heard of any science fiction that is anonymous. Since science will lead to transhumans who abandon the silly idea of ego, we'll finally have works of fiction that do not need to be associated with a name. Can you name even one anonymous science-fiction book (pseudonymous doesn't count)? Getting the nature of ideas itself is bad enough that I wouldn't count on Orson to get space warfare right.

Bad bad foreign policy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572664)

If the US of A is the strongest country in the world then it can get away with whatever it wants to do. When, however, other countries finally become strong, they will govern themselves by the current behavior of Uncle Sam. If China becomes the next super power, we will complain bitterly if they behave themselves the way we are behaving now.

Repudiating treaties will come back to haunt us and it will serve us right. We have a treaty that says space is not supposed to be weaponised. We should honor that treaty. While we're at it how about respecting the human and basic legal rights of the prisoners we are illegally holding without charge and without trial and torturing.

Me stops rant and goes looking for a stiff drink so I can hold off reality for a while.

Scorched Earth (1)

stupidkiwi (817077) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572670)

There has been a loose agreement over arms in space for decades. Everyone agrees not to go there. The simple reality is this. USA puts arms in space and has a vast superiority over other contries. France, Russia, China, India, and half a dozen other capable countries send rockets straight up into orbit to explode. Hundreds of rockets creating millions of super speed projectiles. End result. USA has no superiority, as does anyone else. No one could send ICBMs into space, no one could send shuttles, or space stations up. Space close to earth would be scorched earth (figuratively).

Colonization (1, Insightful)

TLouden (677335) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572677)

Why not develope space technologies to help in safely travling through and living in space instead of ones to kill each other out there. We're already killing ourselves too much here so why must we be able to do so elsewhere before we'll even work on being able to go elsewhere?

Grave Concerns (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572685)

Space weapons must be communicated over a network, which is susceptible to hacking, which if done could be used against us.

If they crack the encryption all the hackers have to do is aim a more powerful beam at the weapon to override the legitimate communications.

Likewise these same weapons can be jammed easily by any country posessing satellite communications technology so when you need it they can just jam it.

Re:Grave Concerns (1)

N1ghtFalcon (884555) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572721)

Likewise these same weapons can be jammed easily by any country posessing satellite communications technology so when you need it they can just jam it. Can't we just pull some CAT5 up there? I never did like the whole "wireless" thing... Better yet, make it CAT6 and run the thing on gigabit. Hm... I wonder if the distance limitation will be a factor. Only one way to find out!

J.F.K. would disagree (1)

Delta2.0 (846278) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572690)

For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

This is a quote from John F. Kennedy's speech on September 12, 1962 to Rice University about the Space Effort. For the rest of the speech visit the Rice University Archives [rice.edu] .

Are our policy makers blind? (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572697)

Seriously...are our policy makers blind? I think so and here is why:

The problem is our open southern border which guys like Osama and the like can exploit fully three yeras after 9/11 and with an elected president "fighting the war on terror".

The problem is out-sourcing which is eroding our industrial base to the extent that already, about one-third of our defense machinery is foreign made.

The problem is the lack of competitive leverage that is now known of American workers. This is helping out-sourcing.

The problem is big business. This is evidenced by the fact that all innovation in important fields is coming from Europe/Asia. Look around your living room and tell me what you see. Where were those electronics made?

The problem is hypocricy. Consider this: In year one, India and Pakistan must not have nuclear weapons and all efforts are taken to ensure this is the case. In year two, they are our best allies even after testing the same weapons. You know why? It's because we do not have an answer to a nuclear bomb. This bomb once on its way to its destination, it cannot be stopped. That's why we as USA do not want Iran to get this weapon.

More problems: Cuba/China and so many others. Have a good nite guys.


Re:Are our policy makers blind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572754)

This bomb once on its way to its destination, it cannot be stopped

Um since when? We have missile defense (albeit flaky so far) systems in the works.

Space Superiority (2, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572701)

I don't know about you but I read that as a grand "fuck you" to the rest of the world. "We own the entire rest of the universe and we'll blast you to subatomic particles if you try to have a piece..."

Space weapons... (1)

ajaf (672235) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572742)

... for what? to fight aliens? to fight ground terrorists?
Please, we don't want space weapons... YET.

Are we facist yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12572753)

One element of a facist government is excessive, disproportionate militaristic spending. *sigh*

Seriously, though, I wonder how much damage a 100 kilogram projectile could inflict, striking at 120 miles per minute.

Next thing you know (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 8 years ago | (#12572760)

They are going to implant RFID chips into every citizen and you can be zapped by the giant space laser the next time you step outside because your neighbour ratted you out for "mind-crimes". Yay future!!
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