Skip to comments.Crony Capitalism Keeps the US Dependent on Vladimir Putin
Posted on 04/24/2014 8:52:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
The latest news to come out of Ukraine doesnt involve Vice President Joe Biden, European natural gas supplies, or Vladimir Putins insatiable appetite for the resurrection of the Soviet Union. In fact, it hits a bit closer to home. Americas spy satellites, as it turns out, is dependent upon Russian provided technology to reach orbit.
Thats right Not only are our astronauts hitching rides to the Russian-run international space station, but even our spy satellites have to hitch a ride via Putins Russian Military industrial complex. And any sanctions that could come out of the situation in Ukraine, may just put the future of those missions in some peril. And the worst part is that American built technology, from American Companies, is being denied the opportunity to replace the Putin approved tech upon which our space missions depend.
At issue is the engine for the Atlas V rocket that places our satellites into orbit. The RD-180 is sold to the United Launch Alliance (a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin) for use in the Atlas V. And while the ULA claims to have enough engines in stock to last the agency roughly 2 3 years, they may soon be buying up more engines from Vladimir before sanctions are put in place, according to Capitol Hill insiders.
According to ULA, American made replacement engines are several years away Which begs the question, are we really that far behind in space age technology? Well No. It seems that ULA simply enjoys their monopolistic handle on American space technology. Elon Musks company, SpaceX, has developed all American-made alternatives to the Russian engines. And just like a good old-fashioned capitalist, Musks technology is significantly cheaper. (But, I guess saving the taxpayers some expense isnt a real concern unless were talking about soldier pay, or foreign aid.)
According to the ULA, any sanctions that might inhibit their ability to acquire future RD-180s, would be self-destructive to American interests:
Import restrictions of RD-180 engines by our own government would have a minor effect on Russia, as 90 percent of Russian exports to the U.S. are raw materials. It imposes an artificial crisis in the U.S. domestic launch market, one that only serves to impede U.S. capabilities to launch critical payloads.
So Why, exactly, are we willing to be so dependent on a foreign power that thrives off of injecting instability throughout the world? Especially given the existence of cheaper domestic alternatives?
Of course, ULA (along with Boeing/ Lockheed Martin supporters in Congress) insist that replacement technology for Russian engines is still years in the future. And while SpaceX seems to have demonstrated a clear competency for producing domestic alternatives already, the cronyism in Washington has largely dismissed Musks attempts to bring space missions back home with his Falcon rockets. Apparently, Pentagon officials would rather continue to give Putin more money to advance his military objectives in Ukraine and beyond.
ULA would not comment on rumored plans to pre-buy RD-180s before possible sanctions make such deals impossible. They instead, focused on their track record of success with Russian provided equipment almost as if America cant possibly be expected to produce quality technology without the help of some foreign thugocracy.
Hitching a ride to space with the most serious geopolitical threat to American interests seems mildly self-destructive. But when such actions are combined with a crony-capitalist dedication to wasting taxpayer dollars on Russian technology (despite domestic alternatives), it almost seems absurd. If there is any truth to the DC rumor that ULA plans on bulking up its stock piles of Russian rocket engines, it only adds to the decline of American space-age excellence. Wasting taxpayer dollars when there is a domestic alternative, simply to maintain the Boeing/ Lockheed Martin monopoly on military space missions, doesnt exactly seem to fall in line with national security interests.
I might not be a huge fan of the Tesla Motor's CEO, Elon Musk But, cmon: Id rather give money to an American innovator than a foreign military power any day. Especially when our incompetent government starts talking about getting in a sanctions war.
Besides: I thought we won the space race...
It’s not crony capitalism, it’s new world order.
IMO, there are two major threats for mankind: islam and communism. Russia doesn’t represent any of these right now.
This makes me hopping mad. Cronyism
Nothing will change until we get ourselves in a world of hurt over some stupid cronyism like this.
If this is true, I hope we get stung BAD because of it ... because until we do, nothing is going to change.
The cronyism has got to stop. And if we are too week and cowardly to stop it ourselves, let events do it.
You forgot the biggest threat of all ... our own stupidity.
2014-American can't transport a man to the space station. Russia provides the transportation.
2014-Russia builds rocket engines for America.
Who won the space race? Who lost the space race?
We are living in a bizarro world.
That should be enough time for the SpaceX heavy lifter to be ready.
~You forgot the biggest threat of all ... our own stupidity~
Exaclty, it is that makes both of the above work.
We won the Space race, but that arrogant pos occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave threw a huge boulder in to prevent any more wins by the US
"Crony Capitalism" is simply the new and acceptable phrase for the unacceptable proper terminology "Fascism", and, yes, Fascism is the basis for installing the New World Order administrative/bureaucratic tyranny.
Should the US ever do the unthinkable and rid ourselves of Crony Capitalism, the BRICK economies would have to up their game to compete, and the the world would be a much better place with growing economic freedom everywhere.
Antony C. Sutton in the Best Enemies Money Can Buy interview - search for it on you tube.
makes a convincing argument that the US gave both the Soviet Union post WWII and later the Chinese essential technology - plans and equipment to build engines for ships and rockets. His findings on the equipment for precision ball bearings transferred to the Soviets is shocking and evidence that the Chinese were decades behind until we sped them up is also maddening. Now we have apparently laid down to grovel before them which can only be intentional and by design.
Its why my thinking has drifted to opposition to sanctions. The state department hands out thousands of waivers to the politically connected companies and UN imposed sanctions are even worse.
Sanctions should be strictly restricted to weapons.
I expect Putin to prohibit any such exports. Make it clear to us that he has us by the short hairs.
More and more I feel like I'm living in a particularly idiotic sitcom wondering "how in the world were we stupid enough to do this to ourselves?"
~”Crony Capitalism” is simply the new and acceptable phrase for the unacceptable proper terminology “Fascism”, and, yes, Fascism is the basis for installing the New World Order administrative/bureaucratic tyranny.
Should the US ever do the unthinkable and rid ourselves of Crony Capitalism, the BRICK economies would have to up their game to compete, and the the world would be a much better place with growing economic freedom everywhere.~
Too bad it is not about to happen anytime soon.
We let globalist minions of elite finance do the thinking and planning.
Ever listen to C-Span ?
All those “experts”, talking heads, employed by all the same foundations, think tanks, etc., all funded by elite finance.
They advise all members of Congress and all Presidential administrations, at the top level.
You know that US Generals that are combatant commanders often have civilian “experts” - the same pedigrees, of course - “advising” them ?
I posted something way back on FR where one pair of “consultants” was actually a husband and wife team. Civilians, now, not military. But right there at his HQ by his side.
Just another completely disgusting thing, IMHO.