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There’s no space for warfare in Space

Written by: Nick G. on 5 December 2023


On November 30, the Australian Defence Magazine hosted a Space Summit in Canberra.

If the various imperialist blocs actually honoured the UN Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, there would never have been such a Summit.

Their violation of this negotiated “international rules-based order” has been led by US imperialism, which has created a Space Force to operate alongside its Army, Navy and Air Force.

Increasingly, the lines are becoming blurred between the military and legitimate civilian uses of space such as the tracking of space debris, of meteors, and on meteorological patterns.

This was made clear by the contribution to the Summit of Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS). The company began operating more than 40 years ago in the civilian arena, but has increasingly focussed on the following:

• space domain intelligence and control services 
• laser, remote weapon system and counter-drone technologies 
• high-performance naval satellite communications products

2022 was a disastrous year for the company financially, and it lost many staff.  Its Chairman and CEO told shareholders in the 2022 annual report that they were cutting back so “we are focused on core business areas where we have genuine technological advantages over competitors. Current examples include our family of remote weapon systems (RWS); our long-established expertise in space domain awareness and other space services”. The presentation it made at the Summit was basically to sell its services to US imperialism in its contention with Chinese social-imperialism over the seeking of military superiority in Space.

It claimed that Australia is one of just two countries with the capabilities to neutralise large numbers of satellites passing over its territory.

EOS spokesperson Dr Ben Greene said Australian Space Domain Awareness (SDA) covered around one sixth of the sky, delivered by, among others, EOS with its laser tracking facility in Canberra, the RAAF’s space telescope in WA and the new US-owned LeoLabs Australia space radar, also in WA.

“We could intercept and interdict the satellite operations of any country on earth, if we chose to. That’s a really powerful platform for us,” he said.

“It’s quite feasible now to talk about taking out hundreds of satellites a day if that was necessary.”

An ASPI (aka Australian Serving Predatory Imperialism) spokesperson supported EOS’s vision for the military use of Space, saying: “We need a much more ambitious approach to how we think about defence and space. It can’t just be for communications provision. It’s got to be about space control.

“It’s got to be how we respond to a contested space domain when China is rapidly developing counter-space capabilities and fully intends to use them in the next war. Space will quickly become a warfighting environment, not because of our own actions but because of decisions in Beijing.”

A spokesperson for the US-owned LeoLabs lamented that lack of Australian political support for turning Space into a US-dominated battlefield.

He said, “We actually need ministerial type leadership to set the policy and strategy to do everything we are talking about and it’s unfortunately not happening yet.”

EOS also has its sights on connections within the government, and had appointed retired ACT Labor Senator Kate Lundy as one of its four directors.

Lundy and current Defence Minister Richard Marles were parliamentary colleagues in the various Rudd and Gillard governments, so she is really only a phone call away from the ear of a prominent pro-US decision-maker in the current government.

We must raise the demand that Australia respect and work within the provisions of the UN Outer Space Treaty and not allow Australian companies to violate it.

Late News: December 1 2023

The top defence officials from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia today  announced a raft of new initiatives associated with the AUKUS security pact’s second pillar. Included in the new items is an announcement that the US, Australia and the UK are creating a joint radar network for enhancing space domain awareness, with each home to one of three planned sites for the US Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC).

“In the coming years, our nations will be creating a global radar network, bringing together three ground base stations, one in each of our countries,” Shapps said. “Radars more sensitive, more accurate, more powerful and agile than anything that has gone before giving us the ability to see beyond the clouds to detect, identify and track in space, up to 22,000 miles away.”

DARC is being developed by Northrop Grumman under a February 2022 contract to provide global monitoring of geosynchronous orbit 24/7 in all kinds of weather and during daylight. The trilateral network is apart from but will support Pillar II of the AUKUS agreement, and help the allies keep tabs on potentially Chinese and Russian spacecraft.



For previous articles on the militarisation of space. see:

Beware AUKUS expansion

US wants AUKUS to expand into outer space

An “Australian” Space Agency?


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