Wednesday, February 13, 2008

US, China and Russia

Russia on weaponizing space

China shot down satellite because US WOULD NOT SIGN A SPACE WEAPONS BAN - BLAME BUSH for global space weaponization

Olbermann - China ready to fight US in space

CNN - China space weapons can destroy US military satellites

U.S. braces for face-off over weapons treaties

Washington Times
By Nicholas Kralev and John Zarocostas
February 11, 2008

The United States is headed for a showdown with Russia and China this week over competing international treaties, one banning the production of nuclear materials and the other trying to prevent an arms race in space.

The squabble is certain to prolong an embarrassing stalemate at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva that has received an unusual rebuke from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, diplomats and analysts said.

U.S. officials said their top priority at the conference is beginning negotiations on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), which would ban the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for weapons purposes.

"We believe it is in everybody's interests to reduce the availability of fissile materials on the streets — [first] for producing bombs, which is a disarmament measure, and [second] preventing terrorists from getting hold of it, [which is] a nonproliferation measure," said Christina Rocca, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference.

Trying to reach an international agreement on such a ban has been one of the longest-running arms-control exercises since World War II. No agreement was secured during the Cold War, even after the groundbreaking deals between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The latest attempt to negotiate a treaty began more than a decade ago, but diplomats said getting 65 countries to agree to such a document has been difficult.

Now Russia and China have linked negotiations on the FMCT to a treaty that aims to prevent an arms race in space. They are expected to co-sponsor a draft in Geneva tomorrow.

Foreign diplomats and analysts suggested that Washington's push for the FMCT is an attempt to pre-empt that proposal. State Department officials countered that Moscow and Beijing are trying to upstage Washington with their draft.

"We put our FMCT draft forward in May 2006 and have been pushing it all along, before there was any talk of a treaty on outer space," one official said. "This is just another attempt to block the FMCT."

Another official said the United States opposes the Russian-Chinese proposal because it considers the 1967 Outer Space Treaty sufficient, although Washington is "prepared to look at new transparency and confidence-building measures."

"Given the dual nature of space activities, trying to negotiate something with the idea that you can prohibit the deployment of weapons in outer space but not their development is ludicrous," he said.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said the FMCT faces a "complex diplomatic web," because "everyone is saying that the other one is the bad guy."

Four of the five declared nuclear powers — the United States, Britain, France and Russia — have said publicly that they no longer produce fissile material. The fifth, China, has not made such a statement.

China opposes the FMCT, as do India and Pakistan, which still produce highly enriched uranium, analysts say. India also extracts plutonium, and Pakistan is expected to begin doing so in the near future.

India has said it would support the treaty only if it includes a verification mechanism. A verification provision was taken out of the text in the latest U.S. draft, which the Bush administration put on the table after a long review of a series of international treaties and proposals.

The administration said that effective verification was impossible to achieve.

Iran, Syria and Israel also are expected to object to the FMCT text.

The Conference on Disarmament, established in 1979, is desperate to break its long stalemate. Mr. Ban voiced frustration with the body's inability to overcome differences last month at its opening session for this year.

"Even with widespread agreement on the gravity of threats to international peace and security, you still have not been able to find common cause to address them," he told the delegates. "I'm deeply troubled by this impasse over priorities."

• John Zarocostas reported from Geneva.

Moscow To Present Sino-Russian Space Arms Race Control Initiative

Moscow (RIA Novosti) Feb 12, 2008

Russia will submit to a UN disarmament conference a joint Sino-Russian proposal for an international treaty to ban the deployment of weapons in outer space. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will present the draft treaty to the UN-sponsored annual Geneva Disarmament Conference on February 12.

The United States has been critical of the Russian-Chinese initiative, especially following China's anti-satellite missile tests last year.

Donald Mahley, acting U.S. deputy assistant secretary for threat reduction, export controls and negotiations, said: "We see nothing in the new proposal to change the current U.S. position."

He said additional binding arms control agreements, "are simply not a viable tool for enhancing the long-term space security interests of the United States or its allies."

Washington said that after China tested an anti-satellite missile in January 2007, the U.S. administration had intensified work on a program called Space Situational Awareness (SSA). The program has been defined as "knowing the location and potential function of every object orbiting the earth active or inactive regardless of its size, its purposes, its mission and its status."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Friday that a new arms race had begun, but that Russia would not allow itself to be drawn into it.

Russia has also been unnerved by NATO's ongoing expansion and Washington's plans to deploy missile defense bases in Central Europe, which it says are needed to deter possible strikes from Iran and other "rogue states."

US rejects Russian call for new space treaty

Feb 12, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The White House on Tuesday rejected Russia's call for a new treaty to ban the use of weapons in space, warning that ensuring compliance would be "impossible."

"The United States opposes the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit access to or use of space," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

The best way to prevent an arms race in space, said Perino, would be to "encourage discussions aimed at promoting transparency and confidence-building measures" so that countries are not in the dark about potential rivals' plans.

Her comments came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia and China were proposing a new treaty to ban the use of weapons in space amid concerns of growing anti-satellite missile rivalry.

"Without preventing an arms race in space, international security will be wanting," Lavrov told a conference on disarmament in Geneva.

Perino said Washington welcomed international cooperation "to preserve the benefits of peaceful activities in space for everyone" and was "committed to preserving equal access for the peaceful uses of outer space."

But "proposed arms control agreements or restrictions must not impair the rights of the US to conduct research, development, testing and operation or other activities in space for US national interests," she said.

"Besides, any object orbiting or transiting through space can be a weapon if that object is intentionally placed onto a collision course with another space object. This makes treaty verification impossible," the spokeswoman said.

"The only way to determine such intent is to discuss each nation's policies and strategies for space activities, and we encourage discussions aimed at promoting transparency and confidence-building measures," she said.

Perino said past US administrations had "recognized the impossibility of achieving a verifiable and equitable space arms control agreement.

Dr. Carol Rosin of the Disclosure Project explains the reasons behind the escalating SPACE WAR

Associated Press


Feb 12, 2008

GENEVA (AP) — China and Russia renewed their push for a global ban on arms in space at a disarmament conference Tuesday with a proposal opposed by Washington on the grounds it is directed at U.S. military technology.

The proposal, which includes banning defensive missile shields, contrasts with a U.S. plan that urges countries to agree to halt the production of fissile material needed for making atomic warheads. Neither proposal appears to have any chance of gaining the full support of the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament, and the split is threatening hopes of reviving the disarmament process, which has gone nowhere since the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1996. "Russia is of course dissatisfied," said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. "The substantive work of the conference has been blocked for 10 years now."

The solution is an international ban on space weapons, he told the Geneva-based body.But Washington has labeled the proposal a diplomatic ploy by Russia and China to gain a military advantage because it would prohibit an American missile interceptor system from being installed in the Czech Republic and Poland. In addition, the U.S. says, Chinese and Russian ground-based missiles that can fire into space would not be covered in the plan, which also says nothing of normal satellites that can be used as weapons against other satellites.

The Bush administration has stymied the Sino-Russian proposal since it was first raised in 2002, two weeks after the United States withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Bush signed an order in October 2006 tacitly asserting the U.S. right to space weapons and opposing the development of treaties or other measures restricting them. The U.S. did not speak at the conference Tuesday and its mission in Geneva refused to comment. But Washington points to China's launch last year of a ballistic missile that destroyed one of its old weather satellites and created thousands of pieces of space debris.

The test was widely criticized as a provocative display of China's growing military capability and has been used by the U.S. government to highlight why it needs to pursue programs to ensure that satellites and other spacecraft are protected. Jozef Goldblat, an author on disarmament who monitors the conference, said the space weapons proposal had no chance of gaining a consensus and intended only to pressure Washington on the missile defense it plans for eastern Europe.

While Russia and China likely will not succeed with their proposal, it is damaging the U.S. "because many countries are in favor of discussing it and that would be a diplomatic victory for the proponents," Goldblat said.

"People are afraid of anarchy in space," he said, citing traditional U.S. allies on security such as Canada that at least want to entertain the notion of a new treaty. The U.S. is trying to rally support for a ban on the production of all fissile material for the making of nuclear weapons. Such material is controlled under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but nonmembers like India and Pakistan are not covered and China opted out of that part of the pact.

The American proposal would still allow the U.S. to recycle fissile material from old warheads it is dismantling and to produce new and better nuclear weapons.

Star wars returns - Free speech tv. Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Russia bomber intercepted by US jet fighters near ALASKA last year

Russia bomber intercepted by US jet near GUAM last year


British warplanes intercepted Russian bomber last year

Russian long range bombers at a glance

No comments: