Decoding the Spysat Smackdown

Last night the U.S. bagged its first satellite since 1985. The debris is still up there, but the political fallout is just beginning. Three things seem clear enough at this point.

#1: No Ifs, Ands, or Buts, This Was an Anti-Satellite/Anti-Missile Test: The claim that we had to blast this thing out of the sky due to the risk of hydrazine spraying all over some schoolyard was bullshit, pure and simple. This was an absolutely golden opportunity to show off some tech that’s already proven it can do the job: the SM-3 missile has been tested successfully before against incoming dummy warheads. Only this time it nailed a satellite (albeit at a slightly higher altitude). Proving that national missile defense can do more than just bag missiles . . . .

#2: It Was Also a Message: China and Russia introduced new text for a treaty banning space weapons earlier this month. This was the U.S. answer.

#3: With More Than One Audience: National missile defense (aka “Son of Star Wars”) has prospered under eight years of Bush II. It represents a fairly significant component of the military-industrial complex at this point, and its champions are understandably concerned about budget axes, particularly as the nation sails into ever choppier economic waters. While the sat shootdown would never have been greenlighted had the U.S. leaders not wanted to send a “diplomatic” message (per #2), there were a lot of people at the Pentagon licking their chops at the prospect of getting to demonstrate in the most public way possible just what they’ve done with all the money they’ve been given. One more reason why you can be pretty sure they didn’t think they’d miss.

One Response to “Decoding the Spysat Smackdown”

  1. Joe Albrecht Says:

    Interesting stuff, Mr Williams. But what I want to know is does this “Spysat Smackdown” have anything to do with the recent UFO sightings in Texas? I think it’s obvious there’s a link. Tell me that both aren’t diversions created by the military et al to take our minds off the real shit that’s going down right now (Iraq, the economy, the price of oil).