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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's
war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars"
defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make
the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an
application of science be successful? Is a militarized space
inevitable, necessary or impossible?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(856 previous messages)
- 10:32pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#857
Would Tony Blair really launch a nuclear strike against Iraq
- with an American Trident missile, the only nuclear capability in
Britain's arsenal - with all the consequences that would have
throughout the Middle East? Is the threat credible? Would it do
anything to deter Saddam? As Hoon dug himself in, there was silence
from the Foreign Office, one of whose ministers (Peter Hain) is a
member of CND and whose official view is that, far from threatening
states with nuclear weapons, it is in Britain's strategic national
interest to engage constructively with those states which pose a
Or has Whitehall accepted that, despite its obligations under the
non-proliferation treaty, nuclear weapons are not only here to stay,
but to be used? Hoon could unwittingly have provoked a debate on
this crucial question. There is no sign of it yet.
- 10:35pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#858
If Mugabe got 'kicked out of the Commonwealth' .. isn't there a
case here for 'kicking Bush out of the world'?
- 10:40pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#859
At a moral level, the United States is losing prestige at a very
great rate. But notice that Bush is being forced to learn, in the
Middle East, how limited strictly military power can be. The trust
on which the practical function of NATO depends is now in tatters.
"Erica Goode's IDEAS AND TRENDS piece Hey, What if Contestants
Give Each Other Shocks? deals with issues of concern to most people
I know, and shows a case where scientific information can give
evidence on an issue about humanity, and one particularly troubling.
During WWII, what did the Germans know, and when did they know it? "
- 10:41pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#860
G A L I L E O EU SATELLITE
Europe agreed yesterday to fund a satellite navigation system
that will rival America's mighty Global Positioning System (GPS),
which is widely used by every self-respecting traveller from the
weekend yachtsman to fighting soldiers.
The European Union's transport ministers have signed off the
first €450m (£280m) which, along with the €100m already authorised
and the €550m promised by the European Space Agency, will pay for
the four-year development of the Galileo system.
Loyola de Palacio, the EU's transport commissioner, said that
Galileo would be compatible with the American GPS, although it will
be seen as a competitor in the satellite navigation market.
"We now have a 'yes' for Galileo, which signifies Europe's wish
to be present in the international scene in the areas of research,
technology and industrial development," Ms de Palacio said.
Galileo – a network of satellites positioned in a stable,
geostationary orbit around Earth – is scheduled to be launched over
a two-year period beginning in 2006. It is expected to be
operational from 2008 onwards.
The system will be civilian controlled, unlike the
military-operated GPS, and it will provide some 100,000 new jobs for
European companies, such as Airbus, Thales and Eutelsat.
John Spellar, Britain's Transport minister, welcomed the decision
to go ahead with Galileo, despite the fact that the UK, along with
Germany and the Netherlands, had voiced doubts over the financial
viability of the plan at the end of last year.
"Because of the importance of Galileo to Europe, we and other
member states such as Germany and the Netherlands have been keen to
ensure the viability of the project," Mr Spellar said.
"Our concerns have focussed on the management of the project,
funding, costs and the benefits to users. I am glad that today the
council has accepted our concerns and we have successfully
negotiated sound financial and other safeguards," he said.
The safeguards will require the council to review Galileo's
progress at the end of 2003 and to take a decision on the
continuation of its development phase and on the capping of future
funding so there is no need for further financing from member
states, Mr Spellar said.
The US is concerned about the security of the civilian-run
Galileo system. GPS, like the Russian equivalent, can be downgraded
or taken off-line if an enemy state or terrorist group tries to use
it, for instance to launch guided missiles.
Alvarez Cascos, the Spanish Development Minister, said: "The
Galileo project has a civilian impetus and it will be managed by
civilian authorities. It is up to the authorities to decide which
users can use it."
Jean-Claude Gayssot, the French transport minister, said that
Galileo would give Europeans much-needed independence from the
American GPS. "Only the realisation of this civil system will allow
the beginning of the development of the use of satellite navigation
in conditions which are suitable for Europeans," Mr Gayssot said.
"It will allow the European Union to liberate itself from
dependence on the American GPS system."
Some commentators have questioned the usefulness of a second,
Western-built satellite navigation system, but supporters of Galileo
argue that the "sat-nav" market should grow with the emergence of
more powerful pocket computers and mobile phones.
Because Galileo is designed to be compatible with both GPS and
the Russian Glonass satellite navigation system, it should mean that
users will have a more accurate and reliable service for areas that
are poorly covered at present, such as northern Europe. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=278880
- 10:48pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#861
3/26/02 10:40pm . . . recon satellites are being discussed, as
well. With "views from the skies" widespread, large scale surprise
attacks become much more difficult. The maneuvers of Desert Storm
would not have worked -- and Afghanistan would not have worked as
well -- if such views had been available to all combatants.
And with "independent views" - claims about risks from missiles
can be independently evaluated, as well. Also claims that overstate
the number of people killed by factors of the order of 10-fold -
which may have been instrumental in getting the US Nato allies to
agree to what the US wanted in Kosovo.
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