Sen Jon Kyl - Stuck on Starwars

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Sen. Jon Kyl, speaking just an hour ago before the Heritage Foundation of the fearful and war hawks, is using China's test of their capability to take out a satellite, as leverage to move the Administration and State Department back to Reagan's 'Starwars' Space Defense Initiative. He wants money in the budget to fund SDI.

There are so many arguments and reasons why Sen. Jon Kyl's proposal is wrong headed, and irresponsible, I cannot cover them all in a single article. But, here are some of the major problems with his views.

First, Kyl's entire arguments are premised on the view that if the U.S. does not maintain space war superiority over the Chinese, the risk of war with the Chinese becomes more real. He touted history as justification arguing that it is when other nations perceive us to be weak, that we get attacked. This was true only once in modern history, and that was when Japan's military, most of them, believed they could take our fleet at Pearl Harbor and prevent our effective intrusion into WWII.

There is unlikely a single head of government in the world today, and especially those potentially hostile to the U.S., who are not acutely aware of the grave and devastating error of judgment by the Japanese on that fateful day of Dec. 7, 1941. Hence, Sen. Kyl's argument is flawed from the beginning. Every nation on this globe knows well, that even with a military advantage, whether in space, on sea, or land, destroying America and coming out victorious is an impossibility. The U.S. sits atop the greatest deployable nuclear armament capable many times over of insuring any nation which choose war with us will not survive to claim victory.

Second, Sen. Kyl fears our State Department's efforts headed by Condoleeza Rice, to negotiate an arms treaty in space or, an international treaty to prevent space based war capability. Again, Sen. Kyl's fear of China gaining the ability to take down our satellites is flawed.

The reality of our time is that war can be started in space, but, it will be finished on earth. The Chinese are acutely aware of this fact, as are the Russians. Space based war capacity in no way advantages a nation in terms of its ability to claim victory in the ensuing war on the surface of the earth. Yes, the Chinese have demonstrated the ability to take out a handful of our satellites, which could be used to force us to retaliate against their satellites. But, what would be gained?

Third, Sen. Jon Kyl failed to recognize the possibility that the Chinese test was their way of alerting our President and Pentagon, that if the U.S. thinks it can dominate space war technology without engaging in one of the most expensive arms races of all time, America is sadly mistaken. Kyl acknowledged in his speech that the Chinese take a very long view of things in planning strategy and tactics. But, he failed to recognize the most probable meaning of China's test firing to take out their own satellite.

Some obvious meanings of China's action are:

1) The space debris of taking out a satellite, whether our taking out theirs, or theirs taking out ours, poses self-defeating consequences all by itself. The space debris from such action threatens the viability of both their own and our satellites.

2) China is aware that our GAO cannot account for billions of dollars of Defense Spending. Therefore, it was reasonable for the Chinese to entertain the notion that America may be engaging in secret programs to develop space based offensive weapons, a favored goal of Republicans since the Reagan years.

3) China's test is a wake up call to the world community that a space arm's race must be considered, weighed, and debated for the sake of all nations and peoples of the world. The reason is simple. If a war begins in space, it can migrate in minutes to hours or days, into full nuclear exchange here on earth which, the human race may just as well call Armageddon.

There was an irrational and impeachable fear factor in our nation's decision to invade Iraq. Sen Jon Kyl is perpetuating that irrational and impeachable fear factor in defense of his belief that the U.S. must have maximum military superiority over all other nations of the world in order to sleep at night. Never mind that we can destroy any nation that may attack us regardless of how serious their first attack is.

The Chinese could take out half of our satellites, but, not blind us as to where the strike came from, nor prevent our submarines from counter attacking with devastating results.

But there is another devastating consequence should America follow Kyl's footsteps of paranoia. An arms race in space will be so horrendously expensive as to sap our ability to fight global climate change or, rescue 100 million Americans from poverty and suffering throughout the baby boomer retirement years, which in turn will cause huge economic upheaval and recessionary consequences. The opportunity costs of moving ahead with the Starwars initiative, are incalculable.

Not just for the U.S. either; the Chinese potential for becoming the new 21st century economic giant would be derailed if they pursued an arms race in space. The Chinese face the greatest challenge of their history in this 21st century, and that challenge is food and arable land to grow it on. China is about to engage in the greatest farmland reclamation project in the history of the planet. And it will be immensely costly. They cannot fail this, for to fail to feed their population is the shortest route to China's greatest nightmare, another revolution.

Sen. Jon Kyl was critical of the Bush Administration and concerned over the Pentagon's failure to budget for renewed Starwars technology. I believe Sen. Kyl just presented me with an opportunity to both praise and commend the Bush administration for this reticence to date, to follow his recommendations.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 29, 2007 1:11 PM.

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