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Think Tank Warns Against Space Weapons Systems
Space.com ^ | January 22, 2004 | Tariq Malik

Posted on 01/22/2004 5:18:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Satellites orbiting high above Earth are a crucial resource for the U.S. military in terms of communications, reconnaissance and global positioning. But a new report warns that too much of a space military presence, mainly the use of space-based weapons systems, may inevitably cause more problems than they're meant to solve

Should the U.S. military "weaponize" space, the report states, it will most likely be affect global commerce, weaken American ties with other nations and eventually lead to space weapons proliferation as other groups develop countermeasures or their own space weapons systems.

The study, called Space Assurance or Space Domination? The Case Against Weaponizing Space , was released by the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank aimed at enhancing international peace and security.

"When you weaponize space, you invite company," said Michael Krepon, who wrote the report and served as the founding president of the Stimson Center. "When we go first, others will come second. That is an absolute certainty."

Once killer satellites start destroying one another above Earth, they will cause space debris that could harm benign satellites used by civilian agencies and companies around the world, which in turn affects global economy, according to the Stimson report.

If other nations or groups choose not to put their own space weapons in orbit, they could develop ground-based countermeasures like electronic jamming or spoofing devices to confuse U.S. machines. A ballistic missile could disable satellites in low-earth orbit by detonating a nuclear device, subjecting any ground troops relying intelligence from those satellites to possible attack, the study noted.

Finally, the report added, space weapons systems could hurt U.S. diplomatic ties on the ground, with other nations constantly mindful of its space forces in Earth orbit.

Krepon said there is a distinction between the current militarization of space -- which uses satellites to support forces on the ground -- and weaponization, defined in the study as the flight-testing and deployment of any system to specifically as systems used to "fight a war in space or from space, or military capabilities on the ground designed to kill satellites in space."

The U.S. military has had an established foothold in space for decades and its application in wartime was visually apparent during the recent war, and current occupation, in Iraq. Military forces there from the U.S. and other nations, rely heavily on satellites on everything from weather forecasts to signal detection and photointelligence.

Krepon said the United States Air Force (USAF), in particular, is creeping close to the threshold of space weaponization with its XSS satellite program. The XSS program, short for Experimental Satellite System, consists of a series of microsatellites smaller than 100 kilograms.

One such satellite, XSS-10, was successfully launched in 2003. Weighing about 62 pounds (28 kilograms), it demonstrated the ability to be activated soon after launch, maneuver close to its spent rocket and broadcast live video of the booster to officials on the ground. A follow-up mission, XSS-11, was set to conduct a similar mission -- but over a longer period of time -- sometime this year.

"But a maneuverable satellite like that could also be used to disable, stun, dazzle or destroy an object," Krepon told SPACE.com. Even if the U.S. military moves forward with a non-destructive system, one that disables enemy satellites rather than obliterating them, the foreign space forces that follow won't be so polite about the means they use to destroy spacecraft, he added.

The push to develop military systems in space in the current administration was boosted in 2001, when a government-assigned commission reported its findings on the United States' national security capabilities in space. Commissioners, then, reported a great need to protect American space systems, particularly since the government's growing dependence on satellites could make it an attractive target for enemies.

"Many foreign nations and non-state entities are pursuing space-related activities," reported the study, which was headed then by Donald H. Rumsfeld, who is now the Secretary of Defense. "If the U.S. is to avoid a 'Space Pearl Harbor' it needs to take seriously the possibility of an attack on U.S. space systems."

If space warfare becomes a reality, it should only be implemented as a last resort, according to the Stimson study.

"We are in a position to deter the first use of space warfare because of our predominant military power," Krepon said, adding that the U.S. is now in a position to cause grievous damage to any other state that engages in space warfare. "The prospect of deterrence can be quite meaningful in space."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: delusional; moon; nationalsecurity; space
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The study, called Space Assurance or Space Domination? The Case Against Weaponizing Space , was released by the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank aimed at enhancing international peace and security.

For those in Miami that means LIBERAL, any other is called conservative or Right Wing.

Heading for the Stars, and Wondering if China Might Reach Them First

1 posted on 01/22/2004 5:18:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
What this means is that the U.S. should unilaterally "disarm" space, leaving its enemies free reign to threaten us in whatever way they will.
2 posted on 01/22/2004 5:20:07 AM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
More egocentric, we-are-the-world, why-can't-we-all-just-get-along, 60's utopian pinheads trying to undercut our defense.
3 posted on 01/22/2004 5:24:22 AM PST by theDentist (Boston: So much Liberty, you can buy a Politician already owned by someone else.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Michael Krepon, who wrote the report and served as the founding president of the Stimson Center. "When we go first, others will come second. That is an absolute certainty."

This has the exact flavor of "Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten" ... I mean, if we go second, others will go first, right, professor? Maroons. A classic statement from the hate America first crowd.

4 posted on 01/22/2004 5:27:10 AM PST by AFPhys (((PRAYING for: President Bush & advisors, troops & families, Americans)))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Anybody who thinks that China's move into space as anything but military has no brain.
5 posted on 01/22/2004 5:27:18 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Should the U.S. military "weaponize" space, the report states, it will most likely be affect global commerce, weaken American ties with other nations and eventually lead to space weapons proliferation as other groups develop countermeasures or their own space weapons systems."

Is this from the "head up our ass" think tank? They're about 15 years too late.

6 posted on 01/22/2004 5:27:19 AM PST by Destructor
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I've always been amazed by the socialist hive that has always been against the militarization of space.

Myself, I've always taken a completely different tack -- its seems that in an ideal world, all military weapons would be banned from being used on the EARTH, and ONLY allowed in Space!

7 posted on 01/22/2004 5:27:27 AM PST by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: Agnes Heep
China has proposed a mission to count space debris. Yeah, right.
8 posted on 01/22/2004 5:28:08 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Semper Paratus
Bump!
9 posted on 01/22/2004 5:28:33 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Agnes Heep
No, what this means is we should be more quiet about what we are doing, like a black ops project.
10 posted on 01/22/2004 5:28:56 AM PST by m1-lightning (Weapons of deterrence do not deter terrorists; people of deterrence do.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"When we go first, others will come second. That is an absolute certainty."Yes, we should let others go first, that way us and others will come second. Makes sense to me. Why be world leaders? Lets just follow along like France and Germany."What a joke,lets be domanated by other countries."
11 posted on 01/22/2004 5:32:02 AM PST by The Turbanator
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To: The Turbanator
Why be world leaders? Lets just follow along like France and Germany.

Bump!

12 posted on 01/22/2004 5:34:50 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Destructor; chilepepper
It's for the children. Good grief! I suppose we should turn everything over to the U.N.
13 posted on 01/22/2004 5:36:10 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Some would say so.
14 posted on 01/22/2004 5:38:24 AM PST by Destructor
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To: Destructor
They would be wrong.
15 posted on 01/22/2004 5:48:54 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Oh, G*d, here we go. It's eighties night at the "nonpartisan" think tank. i.e., American weapons are at the heart of foreign policy problems. If only we didn't threaten the poor Chinese, there wouldn't be all this trouble concerning space weapons.

Sorry as I am to say it, our GPS satellites are already targets for our enemies. The Chinese will be sending Sinonauts into orbit, and perhaps militarizing space, whatever we do.

16 posted on 01/22/2004 6:03:06 AM PST by Timm
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Henry L. Stimson Center Board Members
Charles W. Bailey II
Linda Banton
Barry M. Blechman, Chairman
Barbara Davis Blum
Richard M. Clarke
Alton Frye
William Harrop
Arnold L. Kanter
Farooq Kathwari
Michael Krepon
Roger Leeds
Philip A. Odeen
Thomas Pickering
Enid C.B. Schoettle
Jeffrey H. Smith
General Larry D. Welch
Carroll R. Wetzel, Jr.

17 posted on 01/22/2004 6:05:04 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This topic came up years ago, and I can't remember exactly what I wrote. Besides, it was to long to go on here.

From historical times, an army had to command its internal lines of communications and to occupy the strategic positions (take the high ground). Mahan in his work showed the importance of "command of the sea"- later other military authorities made a case for "command of the air". All of these theories were and are correct. A well implemented strategy and its associated tactics will take these principles into account when planning an action.

Now a new dimension has been added to the mix - "command of space". Initially near-Earth space. I don't know what will come later.

My UNSTUDIED opinion is that "battle stations" orbiting Earth, or parked in certain geostationary orbits, armed with the proper suite of weapons (high power lasers, particle beam weapons, and a mix of rockets) will be able to target any spot on Earth within minutes.

When the sun rises on that day, a US flag better be painted on them or the world will sink into a despotism unknown in Earth's history. It is unclear how one could defeat such a system once the nation(s) controlling them takes charge.

I for one do not want the Chicoms to be there, not necessarily for my sake, but for my grand children's sake.

18 posted on 01/22/2004 6:20:26 AM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (The past is an unknown land and so is the future.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Nonpartison? I don't think so.

Henry L. Stimpson, as I recall, was Secretary of War under FDR and HST.
19 posted on 01/22/2004 6:31:00 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"We are in a position to deter the first use of space warfare because of our predominant military power," Krepon said, adding that the U.S. is now in a position to cause grievous damage to any other state that engages in space warfare. "The prospect of deterrence can be quite meaningful in space."

This from the author of the report opposing space based weapons? These liberals have gone completely schizoid.

20 posted on 01/22/2004 6:37:26 AM PST by Faraday
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; Poohbah; section9; veronica; BOBTHENAILER; Howlin; Miss Marple; PhiKapMom
Oh, where do I start?

First, the fact is right now, all we have in space are targets. Why? Because these things are primarily surveillance and communications assets. Not only are they targets, but they are HIGHLY VALUABLE targets. Why? It's because the satellites provide INFORMATION - the most valuable commodity in war.

Second, this is also a shot at an effective missile defense system. The ideal system would have layers capable of targeting ballistic missiles from launch through their final attack on targets. Some of those systems have to be in space to work best.

I could go on, but I need to keep my blood pressure down.
21 posted on 01/22/2004 6:39:27 AM PST by hchutch (Why did the Nazgul run from Arwen's flash flood? All they managed to do was to end up dying tired.)
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To: Timm
.....our GPS satellites are already targets for our enemies. The Chinese will be sending Sinonauts into orbit, and perhaps militarizing space, whatever we do.

All those military and commercial satellites just circling above.

22 posted on 01/22/2004 6:39:42 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: hchutch
First, the fact is right now, all we have in space are targets. Why? Because these things are primarily surveillance and communications assets. Not only are they targets, but they are HIGHLY VALUABLE targets. Why? It's because the satellites provide INFORMATION - the most valuable commodity in war.

Bump!!

23 posted on 01/22/2004 6:43:00 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Citizen Tom Paine
A base on the Moon would allow us to use the local resources for rocket fuel. With that capability, we could service and protect our assets in space - and venture further out into the solar system.
24 posted on 01/22/2004 6:44:37 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: facedown; Cicero; Faraday
Bumps!
25 posted on 01/22/2004 6:45:15 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Don't announce it, just do it! Kind of like concealed carry. The first inkling that it exists should be when it performs its' function.
26 posted on 01/22/2004 6:48:14 AM PST by JimRed (Disinformation is the leftist's and enemy's friend; consider the source before believing.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Should the U.S. military "weaponize" space, the report states, it will most likely be affect global commerce, weaken American ties with other nations and eventually lead to space weapons proliferation as other groups develop countermeasures or their own space weapons systems.

It took a "think tank" to produce this leftie blubbering? Barbara Streisand is as deep a thinker.

27 posted on 01/22/2004 6:49:24 AM PST by Land of the Free 04
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To: Cicero
Henry L. Stimpson, as I recall, was Secretary of War under FDR and HST.

True, but even more significantly as regards this article, he was the former Secretary of State who shut down our fledling cryptologic (code-breaking) service in the 1920s on the grounds that, "Gentlemen don't read each other's mail". Is it ironic or appropriate that the organization bearing Stimson's name is carrying on his legacy of enhancing America's ability to defend itself?

28 posted on 01/22/2004 6:56:01 AM PST by pawdoggie
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If we "weaponize" space, other nations will rush to find counter weapons. If we do not weaponize space, then other nations will race to get the jump on us. We should weaponize space. It is much easier to counter others' efforts above the atmosphere if we already control that area. We dont need to be in the position of having to decide what to do when China threatens us with her orbitals and we dont have anything up there yet. If we do not "weaponize" space then others will see it as their opportunity to sandbag the only country standing in their way to global dominance.
29 posted on 01/22/2004 7:24:07 AM PST by ThanhPhero (Ong lam hanh huong di La Vang)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The guy I work with says:

The moon would be perfect for nuclear reactors, since the gravity is so low, if anything did happen, the fallout would just fall to the surface, plus people would already be wearing protection suits just to be there. Also, if the radiation went into space, then what? Nothing. If only we could figure how to get the energy here from there. Plus, lift off from the moon would be so incredibly easier because of the no atmosphere thingy going on at the moon.

His $.02

My $.02:
Enterprise (The newest Star trek) they leave from the Jupiter Base to leave our solar system, to boldly go where no man has gone before. We gotta get out there to get out there. Man is an explorer. We've explored the earth, now onward and upward.
30 posted on 01/22/2004 7:57:48 AM PST by eyespysomething (Another American optimist!)
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To: ThanhPhero
We've seen what China will do when we fly near their airspace. I don't doubt their intentions are space dominance.
31 posted on 01/22/2004 8:13:33 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: eyespysomething
That's .04 more in the kitty.

Bump!

32 posted on 01/22/2004 8:15:58 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: JimRed
The first inkling that it exists should be when it performs its' function.

Unless you have some bonehead LIBERAL in the WH.

33 posted on 01/22/2004 8:17:12 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Land of the Free 04
Bump!
34 posted on 01/22/2004 8:18:41 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cicero; hchutch
Henry L. Stimpson, as I recall, was Secretary of War under FDR and HST.

He was a Republican. Served as Secretary of State for Hoover. His most famous quote was his pious statement when he closed down the State Department's cryptanalysis shop: "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail."

35 posted on 01/22/2004 8:43:07 AM PST by Poohbah ("Beware the fury of a patient man" -- John Dryden)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
We could better spend all those billions here on Earth, to find a cure for AIDS and save butterflies.
36 posted on 01/22/2004 8:49:34 AM PST by steve8714
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To: Semper Paratus
Now that the old Soviet Union is gone, they're rooting for China to assume world domination, the last great Communist hope.
37 posted on 01/22/2004 8:55:44 AM PST by jpl
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
But a new report warns that too much of a space military presence, mainly the use of space-based weapons systems, may inevitably cause more problems than they're meant to solve

Especially if the enemies of freedom get there first.

38 posted on 01/22/2004 9:17:21 AM PST by He Rides A White Horse (For or against us.........)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Bah, the Think Tank's argument is, in itself, counterproductive. They say America must not put weapons in space because other countries would follow. How exactly would America refraining from putting weapons in space compel the other interested countries to show the same restraint?

It didn't work with the submarines, it didn't work with the atom bombs...how on Earth could it work with space-based weapons ?
39 posted on 01/22/2004 9:50:56 AM PST by Atlantic Friend (Cursum Perficio)
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To: Poohbah; section9; BOBTHENAILER
Of course, when Japan launched the sneak attack, he had no problem with the notion any longer...

And in fact, nobody thought of acting like a gentleman when a certain admiral's travel plans were intercepted and decoded. Instead, a guy named Tom Lanphier proceeded to avenge Pearl Harbor.
40 posted on 01/22/2004 10:15:27 AM PST by hchutch (Why did the Nazgul run from Arwen's flash flood? All they managed to do was to end up dying tired.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This is essentially the same argument used by the Nuclear Freeze and Disarmament types. IOW, our bad behavior will cause others to respond.

There is a nugget of truth to this, but it shouldn't cause us to overlook the obvious.

Much of our current military supremacy depends on our use of space. Thus, any country (i.e., China, Russia, or the EU) that wants to take us on militarily is going to go after our space assets. That's the only way they stand a chance on the battlefield.

Space will be weaponized. That's just the facts of life.

41 posted on 01/22/2004 10:19:44 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Space weapons were invented with the Sputnik and rocket proppeled nukes in the 50s.

These people should not blame the US.
42 posted on 01/22/2004 11:29:32 AM PST by JudgemAll
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To: r9etb
IOW, our bad behavior will cause others to respond.

I consider it national security. I have no desire to be a guinea pig for the next, communism will work if you do it right, experiment.

43 posted on 01/22/2004 11:45:58 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This "think tank" appears to be empty.
44 posted on 01/22/2004 12:33:23 PM PST by Spruce
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To: Spruce
Well put.
45 posted on 01/22/2004 12:52:25 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Should the U.S. military "weaponize" space, the report states, it will most likely be affect global commerce, weaken American ties with other nations and eventually lead to space weapons proliferation as other groups develop countermeasures or their own space weapons systems.

Just take out the word "space" and you can see this think tank's true agenda/belief system. They're nuts.

46 posted on 01/22/2004 12:57:31 PM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: xm177e2
Certifiable!
47 posted on 01/22/2004 1:00:34 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Atlantic Friend; Cincinatus' Wife
They say America must not put weapons in space because other countries would follow.

A.F., thanks for pointing out how hollow this paper is. I found more at their site on Space Assets and the War in Iraq:

Instead of seeking dominance in space, the United States national security interests are best served by a "space assurance" posture. Space assurance requires better monitoring capabilities, so that troubling developments or anomalous events can be discovered quickly. A space assurance posture also requires new initiatives to lessen U.S. vulnerabilities in space or at ground stations servicing space assets. The United States must be prepared to respond quickly to troubling developments. Continued laboratory research and development into space warfare capabilities could help reinforce caution in other states, given the ability of the United States to compete effectively in this realm.

A good defense in space does not require going on the offense. Space assurance, unlike space dominance, promises the continued benefits to the United States of the twin revolutions in military affairs and space-aided commerce.
What a notion. "Surrender is peace," how Orwellian.

At the bottom of each of these notions is the idea that no one country should ever become so powerful that it "threatens" another, no matter how morally superior that country may be. So despite America's century-long history of liberating third world countries and defending the western world from the hordes, we hear this kind of thing again and again.

How fitting it is that a Frenchman would remember to stand up for us in support of our strategic strength. Also, from what I understand, France is not as far behind us technologically, if at all.

48 posted on 01/23/2004 4:44:47 AM PST by risk
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To: risk
What a notion. "Surrender is peace," how Orwellian.

Peace through stength.

49 posted on 01/23/2004 4:48:25 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Not to mention that we need a reserve of space military assests already in orbit before any conflict begins.
50 posted on 01/23/2004 4:53:37 AM PST by Rebelbase (Miserable failure = http://www.michaelmoore.com/ put it in your tagline too!)
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