The Militarization of Space - Military Research Agendas For The Futurebibliotecapleyades.net
Some of the very persons involved in this effort may be ex-Nazi rocket scientists brought over from the Peenemunde V2 factory to work on our fledgling rocket program so we could beat the Soviets to the Moon.
While space has already been used for military purposes - mostly the use of reconnaissance satellites to gain information on the enemy and carry communications for military operations - there has never been deployment of actual weapons in orbit. Concern over the deployment of ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons led the UN to pass the treaty on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, forbidding such programs. Fortunately, the use of space has mostly been limited to exploration and cooperation, as with the Soyuz linkup of the 1970s, and the planned joint Mars mission of 1992.
But there are plans to change that.
While Reagan characterized such a defense as a 'shield,' most physicists see it as having so many problems in both the technological and strategic area that they call it a 'sieve.' At best, it might be able, according to some computer models, to take out 20 to 40% of incoming warheads. But, as with any system, there are countermeasures, and multiple warhead systems (MIRVs), decoy missiles, and enemy ASATs might reduce even that level of effectiveness.
Most scientists were afraid, especially during the Cold War, of "Star Wars" destabilizing effect as a concept. An enemy which even thought that a country was on the verge of creating such a shield might feel they were prepared to launch a 'first strike,' and they might feel pressured to launch an 'anticipatory' strike to prevent it!
Many scientists are afraid that militarization of space also represents a territorialization.
While there are UN treaties to restrain the nations of the world from taking what is in the seas or in Antarctica for their own, there is no real set of agreements that declares space to be the common heritage of mankind.
The militarization of space is a bad trend, away from where mankind should be going - declaring space to be the place where our lines on Earthly maps should not matter.
Robots represent the Pentagon's wet dream: a soldier that can deliver its 'payload' with no foul-ups and no guilt.
"Smart" bombs may be more accurate, since they are guided by complex terrain-mapping programs, but they do not distinguish between civilians and military targets. And they serve to further separate the act of killing from its completion, because the person who programs the guided missile can claim that he bore no malice toward the people that it hits.
They may make war more 'surgical,' in that certain targets and sites can be carefully and precisely excised, but if their programmers are in error, these "smart" systems can make very stupid errors, because they don't "know" the difference between a bunker and a milk factory, or between a jet fighter and a 747.
MILSTAR is supposed to be a system of satellites that are supposed to make nuclear war-fighting strategies once most of the existing C3I has been wiped out; in short the Pentagon is trying to develop the computer in 'War Games,' which will fight WW IV. With computers giving the orders, the chain of command in a complex situation like a 'limited' nuclear strike - which may require hundreds of decisions in a few minutes - is supposed to be 'simplified.'
But what happens when computers make mistakes, as when the NORAD radar confused a gaggle of geese for incoming missiles?
People who have seen the movies "Short Circuit" or "Terminator 2" may laugh at the idea that the Pentagon is developing 'robot warriors' that will 'carry a bomb into the heart of Moscow'. But the Pentagon is funding university studies of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and also cognitive science (CS) research projects seeking to find computer algorithms that will duplicate human vision and motion-response, precisely for that reason.
Realizing that as the lethality and scale of warfare has grown exponentially in the 20th century, the Pentagon war-planners may also feel that soldiers have become less and less able to execute it. Better to have robots that do not question orders and can withstand much more damage than humans. It is very possible that one such project in the future may be to develop androids which are perfect human simulacra, for covert warfare purposes. In that sense, perhaps Terminator 2 may be very prescient.
Will we surrender our authority to some omniscient 'Skynet' to fight all our wars, only to have it turn against us?
Once again anticipating (or responding to) science fiction, the Pentagon has seriously looked into the development of 'bionic' additions to its soldiers. There are already exoskeleton prototypes out there that may magnify the strength of their operators tenfold. It is not unreasonable to find in the future that prostheses might be developed with greater tensile strength than human limbs, or artificial eyes that see in other EM spectra or have greater magnificatory power. (a la "Six Million Dollar Man"?)
Perhaps the next step for creating the perfect soldier are cyborgs, who may be outfitted with electronic implants for receiving and carrying out orders. Fantastic, but not impossible.
Saddam Hussein tried to destroy the ecological balance and natural resources of Kuwait by dumping crude petroleum into the ocean and setting the Kuwaiti oil fields ablaze. Wars have always had disastrous environmental consequences, with unexploded ammunition and minefields making many areas uninhabitable, and used armaments destroying the landscape and biota of others.
Wars consume vast amounts of fuel, energy, and resources; create massive amounts of air and water pollution; and pose massive hazards to other forms of life besides people, especially fragile 'key' species in precarious ecosystems - such as the bactrians of the sandy dunes of Iraq. What made Hussein unique was his decision to deliberately undertake actions which would destroy the environment of his enemy and render it unlivable.
The military has also explored the use of climate control in conflict - searching for ways to create drought, hurricanes, or tidal waves which might be directed toward the enemy so as to cause destruction. Subtle methods of decreasing rainfall, raising temperature, or changing soil composition might also damage agriculture and paralyze economic production.
The use of "weather warfare" has obvious advantages: how can you prove that a tornado which devastated your country was 'sent' by an enemy to cause that destruction?
The military, as one of the world's largest polluters, is quite aware of the problem of toxins in the environment. It has commissioned many studies of toxicology, but not necessarily for the reason of cleaning up its mess. Imagine the effectiveness of introducing small amounts of a toxic substance into key species in an enemy's ecosystem, then allowing it to build up in the food chain until the whole ecosystem is ruined.
Or subtly allowing radiation to build up in the environment by spreading low-level radioactive waste over a battlefield. Such radiation would be invisible (except to a Geiger counter) and be very effective. I would not be surprised if the Pentagon is working on it right now. It is also now widely believed that underground nuclear detonations may be able to trigger earthquakes elsewhere on the planet.
Might this be the reason that underground nuclear testing was continued up until very recently?
Two of those substances were the hallucinogen LSD and the mood-altering BZ. While the CIA has been interested in LSD as a 'spook drug' or truth serum, the Army saw it as a means for disorienting and confusing the enemy. It could be delivered through their water supply (which was tried) or through aerosol sprays (which didn't work very well since it dissipated very quickly.)
They found BZ interesting because they felt it could increase human aggressiveness; when tested on rats, it set them to fighting savagely against each other. It might, they thought, cause the enemy to get paranoid and turn against its own forces. Other psycho-chemicals were tested in the hope that they might cause enemy pacification reactions (reducing the will to fight or resist), increase allied performance (by stimulating adrenalin and alertness, etc.), or outright delusions (for distraction purposes.)
Many of the drugs that leaked into the hands of the counterculture were being tested by the military and the intelligence community long before, as early as the early 1950s. Drugs have always been an instrument of conquest; opium was the principal means that Britain extended its imperial ambitions into China and kept the populace from resisting.
The military was fascinated by the possibility of developing a Manchurian Candidate - an assassin from the enemy who could be 'brainwashed' into killing its enemies. To that end, the Army also explored hypnosis, the effect of ELF waves on human brain frequencies, and the use of sounds as signals to 'trigger' specific behavioral responses.
Other low-tech methods of exercising power, such as entrapment, intimidation, and coercion, continue to be explored. There was also a great deal of research into "psychoacoustic" technology, involving the use of induced audible hallucinations and disorientation created by infrasonic or microwave technology. Such "directed-energy" weapons may well be battlefield-tested someday for behavioral warfare ops.
Other forms of non-behavioral psychological warfare revolve around what might be called 'disinformation' or propaganda. An important part of fighting an enemy is feeding them false knowledge and misdirecting them with false facts. But even in peacetime propaganda can serve to demoralize, destabilize, and divide internally a hostile enemy.
Various techniques have been explored - the use of false rumors, doctored photographs and images, and "planted" news stories - fall into this category. The U.S. military in Nicaragua was accused of distributing a handbook which described vividly the arts of industrial sabotage.
In Panama, they used rock music to drive Noriega out of a church where he had taken refuge, which may be the ultimate form of psychological warfare.
Most efforts focused on developing 'binary' weapons which involved inert chemicals which became deadly upon mixing. Unfortunately, up until 1972 much of the chemical weapons in the country were 'unitary,' and we are stuck with stockpiles of nerve gas which we don't know what to do with.
In the recent Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein threatened to use Scud missiles with chemical warheads, but he did not make good on his threat. Unfortunately, many of the chemical agents used in this warfare are extremely lethal, and some do not even need to be breathed (they penetrate the skin) rendering the use of gas masks for protection worthless. Since such agents are often odorless and colorless, detection is a high priority.
One project in this vein may have been the Tuskegee Experiment, during which black men were exposed to a particularly potent strain of syphilis, without their knowledge. The attempts may have been to create a disease strain - such as a mutant form of anthrax - which would not respond to the standard medical treatment because of its genetic modification. The possibilities in this realm are truly frightening.
Having long since faced up to the fact that the hydrogen bomb makes a nuclear war un-winnable and a 'limited exchange' nearly impossible, the Pentagon has tried to develop a 'flexible response' which might allow us to initiate a nuclear war and win it. Components of this strategy include 'first-strike' hard-penetrating weapons like the Trident missile, mobile-launched missiles such as the MX or submarine-fired IBCM, multiple-target MIRVs, zero-tech damage Neutron Bombs, and antiballistic missile (ABM) systems.
The idea would be to launch a nuclear attack which would be rapid and undetected, would take out the enemy's ability to respond, and create a unilateral victory. While neither side claims they would initiate a first strike, during the Cold War the U.S. tried to develop ways that it could, and so did the Soviets. Perhaps neither side knew how dangerous that was, or how likely it was to provoke the enemy toward more rapid and irresponsible judgments because they would feel they had to respond immediately.
Many so-called 'tactical' nuclear weapons - for battlefield or "theater" use - have been deployed in crisis situations. Their use was certainly contemplated in Iraq. But many of the ordinary munitions used in the air war carried explosive potentials close to that of nuclear weapons: a greater amount of explosives were dropped on Baghdad than were used in all of WW II.
Particularly deadly were Fuel-Air Explosives which would create firestorms that would suck all the oxygen out of bunkers, and Cluster Bombs which would spread around 'incendiary' bomblets over large areas.
These munitions are so destructive that they may obtain some of the secondary effects associated with the use of nuclear weapons - the psychological demoralization of the enemy.
Of course, it is only radar-invisible, and even that is only partially true, since it only deflects some radar frequencies. However, there is some reason to believe that the Navy may have made attempts to render ships 'invisible' to radar or magnetic mines during WW II, and that this may have been the basis of the 'Philadelphia Experiment' of 1943 made famous by Moore and Berlitz.
"Stealth" technology facilitates covert operations because it allows the Pentagon to send in a fighter to strike undetected and escape unscathed.
Of course, any one with good eyes can spot the plane, and if it has American insignias, they will know who has bombed them... plus, it turns out, the effort to make the B2 stealthy has also made it very unstable (it requires six computer systems to fly) and very vulnerable to attack (there is no armor or armaments aboard) but who's counting?
Camouflage, radar jamming, chaff, electronic countermeasures, and other techniques have long been used by the military to hide its forces from the enemy. "Stealth" technology is an attempt to take the quest for invisibility one step further. As to whether the Army has developed a technique for visual invisibility... they certainly aren't telling.
Nonetheless, there do appear to be more developments in the 'black programs' in the aerospace field. If and when "Aurora" makes its appearance, it is expected to be able to do upwards of Mach 5 or 6 - it is a hypersonic plane built, according to certain sources, on the 'wave-rider' principle, utilizing "pulsed wave detonation engines" that employ a unique means of external combustion.
Such a hypersonic plane, even if not radar-invisible, would have little trouble penetrating most air defenses at such velocities, and probably could strike with complete anonymity - who would be able to identify the markings on the plane at that speed? Further, such a plane might have to be a "drone" piloted by computers, since a human pilot might have a tough time reacting quickly enough or surviving the inertial acceleration.
And it would once again put the act of war out of the hands of human decision-making.
Hence the Pentagon's doctrine of 'low-intensity conflict,' (LIC) which generally involves the use of proxies or surrogates, such as the contras in Nicaragua.
Such proxies are often CIA-trained mercenaries, "counterterrorist" squads like the 'Delta Force,' and infiltrators or saboteurs. One important LIC effort during the Vietnam war was the CIA's Project Phoenix, which identified and assassinated over 60,000 members of the Vietcong cadres. LIC is yet another effort by the Pentagon to wage war without the government declaring it - because LIC can be maintained even while the pretense of nonintervention is used and blamed on paramilitary "death squads" which, of course, get no aid from us.
Some of the methods used in LIC include flooding the enemy country with bogus currency to create inflation, sabotage of factories and other production facilities, disruption of trade routes and transportation networks (such as railroads), resource depletion, and the use of 1980s-style "junk bonds" to create false debt in the economy.
This strategy can often paralyze the opponent's economy, creating vast amounts of misery, but equally vast challenges to his authority.
The CIA, recognizing the economic battlefield as the next possible field of war, has begun to devote important amounts of intelligence to industrial sabotage and espionage. They know that the techniques employed by the U.S. to cripple foreign economies could be used against us. Most current LIC efforts involve a complex coordination of proxy fighting, economic warfare, and covert support to foreign political parties, trade unions, and "think tanks" supporting a pro-American policy for their government.
This, combined with some vote-rigging, electoral fraud, and outright poll-place coercion, can often produce the desired result. Amazingly, Americans bark at the role foreign lobbyists play in their deliberative process - but consider what a hue and cry there would be if it was found out that Mexico gave the Republicans thousands of dollars for their campaign and paid for anti-Democrat advertisements in the U.S.!
Yet we do this kind of thing in the Third World all the time.
One almost starts to think of teams of Shaolin monks going out to disarm their opponents and send them home bruised but uninjured. But the Pentagon's interest in non-lethal warfare is once again simply PR. Tired of being told that they are in the killing industry, the Pentagon wants to brag that it can deter America's enemies without harming them.
Some of the things being explored in this field are:
Yet the Pentagon's praises of the potential for 'non-lethal' hi-tech warfare deserve several grains of salt.
There are many drawbacks to so-called "non-lethal" weapons. There are, after all, "fates worse than death." Is it truly preferable to be permanently blinded by lasers, deafened by infrasonic, or maimed or disabled by some other technology designed not to kill?
Further, the infrastructure that maintains a nation's war machine also supports its people in peacetime: "infrastructure targeting" can cause high additional "collateral damage" from disease, hunger, and social breakdown, as we can see from postwar Iraq. And weapons designed to disable can accidentally kill - as when your paralyzed tank is slammed into by the tank behind you. "Non-lethal" weapons might be quite lethal in certain circumstances (which one might or might not categorize as unavoidable.)
It is fairly obvious that any weapon with a "non-lethal" setting (just like Star Trek - 'set phasers on stun') could easily be augmented for a lethal one. (Low-intensity lasers could be amplified and refocused.)
Distinguishing between lethal and non-lethal weapons on the battlefield might not be so easy to do. Such non-lethal technologies may backfire in numerous ways (such as when chemical agents dropped on 'their' side are carried by prevailing winds back over to 'ours') and exacerbate the problem of "friendly fire."
And non-lethal weapons are quite simply more likely to be used in a conflict situation, since their usage might not attract the same international criticism as conventional warfare. Possession of "non-lethal" weapons may encourage conflicts rather than forestall them, and one might consider that opponents may not be so generous as to retaliate to 'non-lethal' weapons with similarly non-lethal "attacks."
"Non-lethal" weapons may end up making life on this planet much more lethal.
Who knows what we might see?
All I know to expect from the Pentagon is the unexpected.
I imagine they will continue their efforts to move postmodern warfare into the high-tech realm, moving it into a distant, abstract, electronic realm, where only images and icons are being killed, not people. As warfare becomes more and more lethal, they will try to sell it as a 'video game.'
That is what it was called by the fighter pilots in the war against Iraq, who also called it a 'turkey shoot.'
"Star Wars" is a highly frightening reality, very different from the movies. In space, there is almost no friction to slow down the momentum of objects.
If a satellite were to be blown apart, there would be a hail of fragments preceding outward at thousands of miles an hour. Some of those fragments would continue to orbit around the Earth at the same velocity as initial impact. If they slammed into a civilian rocket ship (such as our Shuttle) the cabin might depressurize and all the oxygen in the vessel would rush out in a wave of explosive decompression. It would be a highly deadly affair.
Our astronauts have enough to worry about, with cosmic rays, micrometeorites, and tons of "space junk" as existing space problems.
I suspect that in the future, increasingly corporatized universities will get more and more of their funds to do R&D (Research & Development) for the DOD (Department of Defense), all academic ethics and ethical problems aside. The university has been made a full partner in the military-industrial complex. Despite protests against university research on napalm in Vietnam, and continuing demonstrations against work on nuclear weapons, the 'marriage' between academia and the military seems to be proceeding apace.
There will be more and more penetration of the military into the fields of aerospace, electronics, and materials research. As a result, more and more scientific research will become classified material hidden in the "black budget." Sadly, technology has been a handmaiden of war ever since Da Vinci.
Perhaps someday it can be the companion of peace.
These projects include:
HAARP is supposedly a multimillion dollar civilian project in the Arctic to study the Aurora Borealis, but close observers note many elements of the project which suggest it is actually a cover for military research into using the ionosphere for long-range communications, and perhaps even such things as weather manipulation, power transmission, or EM interference.
The HAARP project has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media, which is why Project Censored gave it one of its "Top Ten Most Censored Stories" awards... Tesla enthusiasts note that it seems to be based on many of the inventor's ideas regarding the use of the Earth's own electromagnetic field - but for some perhaps very sinister purposes.
They are going to try and develop viruses and worm programs which are designed to directly attack an enemy's C3I capability, knocking out critical systems. Further, they are going to develop a coordinated strategy for monitoring security threats on the Internet - mentioning several domestic groups, including UFO enthusiasts, which would require more extreme electronic surveillance.
Finally, part of their 'cyberwar' program seems to involve the more stepped-up dissemination of electronic disinformation - with the sinister purpose of destroying the assets of enemy nations, through the reduction of trading partner confidence.
A third "black" initiative appears to be Project Stargate, where the CIA, DIA, and other military agencies revealed that since the 1970s, they have been using psychics, primarily for "remote viewing" of enemy installations and even testing some experiments in precognition, psychokinesis (attempting to scramble enemy missile codes), and ESP.
The mainstream media played up the Stargate story for its laugh factor, but they simply bought the military's story that the program was discontinued due to a lack of results. In point of fact, the program was simply reshuffled bureaucratically, and while Stargate was ended, military use of psychics continue. If such human talents exist, nothing will be gained by using them in such restrictive, paranoid ways.
All three stories reveal the ongoing determination of the Pentagon to pursue dangerous projects which could backfire tremendously, outside the scope of public scrutiny. HAARP could have unguessable long-term consequences on planetary climate, or even knock out electronic systems and communications worldwide permanently.
'Cyberwar' techniques could very easily wind up in the hands of agencies determined to use them back against the U.S.; such is the nature of everything on the global net. And Stargate may have even involved some dangerous efforts to biochemically 'boost' psychic functioning, according to some reports.
The emperor marches on...
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