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Conservative media site claims Bush will seek funding of orbital anti-missile satellites

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Published: Saturday December 2, 2006

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A story on a conservative media site is claiming that the Bush Administration will ask Congress to fund development of an "orbital battle station," aimed at destroying missiles launched against the United States.

The article, published by Pajamas Media, attacks Democrats' opposition to an missile defense system and alleges that such orbital "stations" would actually be satellites carrying 40 to 50 small "kill vehicles" that would attack enemy missiles during their initial ascent.

Opponents to the the missile defense program -- which is aimed at shooting down incoming nuclear projectiles -- note that it has rarely worked during testing. They also assert that such programs are more likely to result in a new arms race, in which other nations continue to expand their nuclear arsenal.

President Bush unilaterally withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in June, 2002. The treaty prohibited development of missile defense programs, "based on the premise that if either superpower constructed a strategic defense, the other would build up its offensive nuclear forces to offset the defense," according to Arms Control Today. "The superpowers would therefore quickly be put on a path toward a never-ending offensive-defensive arms race as each tried to balance its counterpart’s action."

Excerpts from Pajama Media's article follow.


Each Battle Station would be a fairly large satellite that carried a number, perhaps 40 to 50 infrared guided “kill vehicles.” On orders from the ground, the battle station would launch these kill vehicles, roughly about the size of a loaf of bread, at incoming missiles. Professor Everett Dolman of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama and the author of %%Amazon= 0714681970 Astropolitik - Classical Geopolitics in The Space Age%%, says that space based systems are “the only viable option for global defense against the most likely threats, such as an attack by Iran against Israel or by Pakistan against India.”

“The technology,” Dolman said, “for a basic orbital interceptor that could hit an ICBM in mid flight has been available to the U.S. for at least two decades. Indeed should the U.S. dedicate itself to a fast track development and deployment of several dozen networked anti-missile satellites, it could have a baseline capability in place within two years.”

The Bush administration pending request for an orbital battle station will surely touch off a brawl over “space weaponization”. Loren Dealy a spokeswoman for the Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee told Pajamas Media: “Our members have serious concerns with the concept of space-based interceptors.”