This is from Tom Burghardt, a “researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.” He has a pretty interesting article in the Pacific Free Press.
It’s not as if things aren’t bad enough right here on planet earth. What with multiple wars and occupations, an accelerating economic meltdown, corporate malfeasance and environmental catastrophes such as the petroleum-fueled apocalypse in the Gulf of Mexico, I’d say we have a full plate already.
Now the Defense Department wants to up the stakes with new, destabilizing weapons systems that will transform low- and high-earth orbit into another “battlespace,” pouring billions into programs to achieve what Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) has long dreamed of: “space dominance.”
Indeed, Pentagon space warriors fully intend to field a robust anti-satellite (ASAT) capability that can disable, damage or destroy the satellites of other nations, all for “defensive” purposes, mind you.
That’s the set-up, and Burghardt highlights one of my favorite Lance Lord quotes:
Back in 2005, The New York Times reported that General Lance W. Lord, then commander of AFSPC, told an Air Force conference that “space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny. … Space superiority is our day-to-day mission. Space supremacy is our vision for the future.”
Of course, I only saw this because I was ego-surfing on Google (see crass self-promotion). I got a kick out of how an accurate quote of mine is intermixed with an opinion on Area 51 (somethign I did not do but am looking forward to the web hits it will generate):
This view is shared by Everett Dolman, a professor of Comparative Military Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
“Regardless of its original intent, Dolman told Space.com, “the most obvious and formidable is in service as a space fighter–a remotely piloted craft capable of disabling multiple satellites in orbit on a single mission and staying on orbit for months to engage newly orbited platforms.” A project such as the X-37B, more advanced systems still on the drawing-board or in development in any number of Air Force black sites such as Groom Lake (Area 51) “would be a tremendous tactical advantage,” Dolman said.
Even were the system not to be transformed into a space bomber, Dolman theorized that the X-37B could be maneuvered close to an adversary’s satellite and capture details in the form of signals intelligence. “With the anticipated increase in networked-microsatellites in the next few years, such a platform might be the best–and only–means of collecting technical intelligence in space.”
The italics are mine, in the excerpt above, if not the words or sentiment.