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“Rods From God”
November 16, 2006, 3:38 am
Filed under: Space, Strategic

Feathers flying over orbital weapons at World Politics Watch in a very similar story to one published by the BBC on the 19th October. A growing reliance on satellite technology for security and commerce has led an increasingly belligerent US government to issue a new policy on the militarisation of space. One notable aspect of the policy is that the Secretary of Defense is instructed to:

Develop capabilities, plans, and options to ensure freedom of action in space, and, if directed, deny such freedom of action to adversaries (p.4).

Initial perceptions of the new policy were helpfully coloured in by the announcement that a Chinese ground-based laser had “painted” a “US intelligence asset” in orbit whilst the NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, was on the first visit by a NASA official to China. However, according to Spacedaily:

The Pentagon has denied reports that China has tried to blind U.S. satellites with lasers. U.S. Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, said in a Sept. 21 interview with “Inside the Pentagon” published on Oct. 12 that the United States had not seen clear indications that China has intentionally disrupted American satellite capabilities, Inside Defense.com reported Oct. 13.[Source]

Given the perception by some in India that a Space Race has already begun between China, India ,Pakistan and Malaysia the American policy would seem to be more concerned with the maintenance of their perceived strategic advantage than because of any manifest threat.

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