Saturday 31st of July 2021

space war...

jetsonsjetsons                          America’s newest military service is an agency desperately floundering to identify its role. By embracing digital innovation as a defining mantra, however, all it has done is turn itself into a laughing stock. Beam me up, Scotty! 

In Kinka Usher’s 1999 superhero comedy film, Mystery Men, there is one character, a Mexican wrestler-turned-superhero who goes by the name ‘Sphinx.’ Throughout the film, the ‘Sphinx’ offers up platitudes that would rival Sun Tzu, Confucius, or Yoda. “He who questions training,” he says on one occasion, straight-faced, “only trains himself at asking questions.” Another time, he declares deadpan, “to learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn.”

To which ‘Bowler,’ another superhero in the movie played by Janeane Garofalo, observed: “Whoa!”

That was my response in reading the latest tract published by the newly formed US Space Force (USSF), entitled “US Space Force Vision for a Digital Service.” Although the document is signed by the Commander of US Space Force, General John W. Raymond, it could have been written by the ‘Sphinx,’ since its contents are little more than a series of disconnected statements of so-called wisdom and insight that leave the reader confused as to what the actual intent of the document is and, more importantly, struggling to ascertain a military mission for the US Space Force.

Its apparent mission is to “organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect US and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force.” The responsibilities of the force include “developing Guardians [the ridiculous name given to an individual member of the force], acquire military space systems, mature the military doctrine for space power, and organize space forces to present to our Combatant Commands.”   

Truth be told, this is simply a re-working of that of the former US Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), which was responsible for operating the US military space launch capability as well as overseeing satellite monitoring and early-warning radar capabilities. USSF essentially took over that mission, and the people and facilities of AFSPC when it came into being. The idea behind the creation of the Space Force came from former President Donald Trump, who created the new military service over the opposition of the US Air Force.

To boldly go…?

Space Force was envisioned by its supporters to be a forward-looking agency which would seek innovative solutions to emerging problems so that the US would remain ahead of any potential adversary. This notion was taken to extremes by some supporters, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who opined at a Senate hearing on the subject that “[p]irates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we, too, must now recognize the necessity of a space force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”

Cruz later clarified that he was talking about the threats from China and Russia, but the fact of the matter is that, from its inception, the Space Force has had a cartoonish aspect about it. While its motto, “Semper Supra” (Always Above), is memorable, so, too, is the Space Force logo, which to many space aficionados looks as if it were lifted from the popular television show and movie franchise, Star Trek. When Space Force is talked about, one cannot help but hear the voice of William Shatner – Captain Kirk – speaking the immortal phrase, “Space–the final frontier...” or Buzz Lightyear (from Pixar’s Toy Story) shouting “To infinity and Beyond!”

Space Force is, in many ways, a joke – the pet project of a narcissistic president whose bevy of “yes” men (and women) at the Pentagon and Congress breathed life into a fake entity, much like Doctor Frankenstein, at a cost of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. 

It is not that there is not a serious mission to be implemented by USSF – launching satellites and managing the programs those satellites support is critical to the success of the US military and the country as a whole. But this mission does not justify the creation of an entirely new military service on par with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. All the effort by its supporters to bring gravitas and credulity to it simply ends up looking pathetic.

Matthew Gault, a reporter for Vice, called the Space Force digital vision document “a 17-page collection of buzzwords and phrases that feel pulled from a dotcom startup pitch deck from 1995.” He was being too kind by far. 

Highly illogical

“The USSF,” the vision document declares, “will become the world’s first fully Digital Service. We will be an interconnected, innovative, digitally dominant force.” To accomplish this, the document states that USSF will “change the paradigm” by acting “far more swiftly and decisively across all aspects of leadership, acquisition, engineering, intelligence, and operations in order to take up permanent residence inside the adversary’s observe, orient, decide, act (OODA) loop.” 

By referencing the OODA Loop, the USSF gives away its Air Force roots. This concept was the intellectual creation of Colonel John Boyd, and initially intended to train fighter pilots how to shoot down their opponents in aerial combat, and later adapted by the Marine Corps as one of the core philosophical tenets of its “maneuver warfare” doctrine. 

Gaining air superiority through force of arms or using maneuver warfare to defeat an enemy on the ground, are legitimate applications of the OODA Loop, as has been proven over time. However, the mating of the OODA Loop with the launching and maintenance of satellites is, to put it gently, a stretch. 

So, too, is the concept of space as a battlefield, where, as the USSF digital document claims, “potential adversaries are working diligently to negate US advantages in the space domain and are rapidly closing the gap. They are pressing to field space, counterspace, cyberspace, and electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) capabilities more quickly than we are and, in some cases, are on pace to surpass us.”

The solution to this highly fanciful threat? To field a “Digital Space Force” that operates as “an interconnected, innovative, digitally dominant force.”

 

An “interconnected” USSF, the document explains, “encompasses both the people and the infrastructure needed to enable and foster unrestrained exchange of information and ideas.” To achieve this, the USSF must “incubate a culture of forthright mutual trust both horizontally and vertically across the force.” The reader is reminded that “in this fast-paced, high-threat environment, we must continually keep in mind we are all on the same team.”

Whoa!

‘I cannae change the laws of physics!’

The digital vision document is full of such gibberish. Words, however, do not automatically translate into capability. One of the USSF missions is to track space objects. To better accomplish this, USSF has partnered with the Silicon Valley data management company, Palantir, to build a common operating picture of space to enable USSF “to better understand what is orbiting the earth, be it satellites, space debris or incoming hostile projectiles.”

The Palantir contract was awarded through an innovative “fast track” contracting procedure, known as “Kobayashi Maru” (yes, a Star Trek reference), designed to cut down contracting times from several years to a few months. “Kobayashi Maru'' uses a consortium of innovative technology companies called the Space Enterprise Consortium to solicit bids on contracts and start software prototyping.

Whoa! Very digital, indeed.

And yet, in 2016, when Palantir hired an outside hacking firm, Veris Group, to test its cyber security, the hackers were able to take full control of Palantir’s computer domain, an act which, if done by malign outside actors, could have compromised the security of all data managed by Palantir. 

In its rush to be innovative, USSF may end up giving any potential adversary the ability to hit “control, alt, delete” on its operations. These risks will, its commanders believe, be more than mitigated by the fact that USSF has hired the cyber security firm Xage Security to safeguard its digital domain. 

Xage specializes in securing data for clients using what is known as a “zero-trust blockchain” approach. While, on the surface, the “zero trust” approach provides for an effective defense against the kind of cyber attacks that plagued SolarWinds and, more recently, Colonial Pipeline, the enemy of “zero trust” is digital innovation – the very kind of digital innovation that drives the new USSF vision.  

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/523589-us-space-force-farce/

 

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UFOs...

The “propaganda machine” has always been the driving force behind US policy, not only to effectively reduce social discontent, but also to form the state image of the United States as a state supposedly endowed with a “special mission of enlightenment,” a bearer of “true democracy,” a “savior” of states and peoples from tyranny. At the same time in the United States they always try to take into account their national mentality when carrying out propaganda campaigns, because it allows to successfully solve internal and external political tasks, to form moral and ideological base, using propagandistic tricks of persuasion, falsification of facts, shifting of focuses. In one of his speeches, Richard Nixon, the former US president, noted that propaganda yields a far greater return on every dollar invested than money invested in building weapons systems, for the latter is unlikely ever to be used, while information works hourly and everywhere.

In recent years, the US Constitution’s right to free speech has been replaced by a pro-government “propaganda machine,” as put by Lawrence Davidson, a political analyst and expert in international relations and history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of propaganda in the United States today is that most Americans have become fed an artificially created minimum of opinions and viewpoints on certain issues, says the professor.

It is no secret, however, that the propaganda conducted by US government agencies is necessary to justify the expenditure of vast sums of money from the American budget spent on the implementation of an expansionist foreign policy, instead of meeting the needs of American society. This is why the US government places a great deal of emphasis on advocacy by both government agencies and a large number of public organizations and individuals.

Someday, however, even in the US there may be punishment for such tricks of self-serving propaganda. And the first signals of such a process have already appeared in the form of a serious inspection of the Pentagon in the near future. In particular, the US military department will have to report to the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense not on the rational use of multibillion-dollar budgets or on the effectiveness of the American army as such, but on whether or not the Pentagon takes the UFO issue seriously enough. What exactly does the Pentagon’s task force to investigate and study UFO sightings do?  “It still remains to be seen how it was possible that closed airspace over military installations was routinely violated, for months and years, without anyone in the Defense Department or Congress being made aware of it,” — laments the former deputy assistant secretary of defense of the United States.

Indeed, as is evident from reports that have been appearing more and more frequently in the American press lately, the drone zone over US bases has become more like an unobstructed air highway. But what if, as they say, there is a war first thing tomorrow?

Would it not be better then to investigate the true security of no-fly zones over US special facilities instead of blathering on at every doorway about the oh-so-mysterious sightings of UFOs? And maybe it is all just simple atmospheric phenomena? But the Pentagon has already spent billions of taxpayer dollars on this touted government “propaganda machine” UFO control program and is demanding more.

Of course, the Pentagon officials are desperate to prove that they didn’t just pocket the money allocated to them. There was even a specially created operation to discredit the “wicked Russians” allegedly trying to use UFOs against “American democracy”.

And now US ex-senator Harry Reid, as reported by the British Daily Star, in a Russophobic hysteria began to shout that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed UFOs to observe the US Navy ship. “So Russia is involved in this, no question about it,” he said. The footage in question was taken in July 2019, showing a luminous triangle or pyramid-shaped object above the USS Russell, more akin to an atmospheric phenomenon. The Pentagon immediately confirmed the authenticity of the video, and therefore the “involvement of Russia”. An official representative of the US military department pointed out that the Pentagon task force of specialists involved in UFO research has studied the footage and found it to be authentic.  Meanwhile, the publication stresses that the notorious “pyramid-shaped” UFO video may only be the beginning, because the person behind the publication claims that there are “nine more videos”. Jeremy Corbell shocked the world when he released FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-red) footage of unidentified objects hovering above the USS Russell off San Diego.

However, there is clearly a different underlying motive in this whole affair. It is well known that the Pentagon is doing rather poorly today with its weapons program. Despite the exorbitant funds allocated by the US government to the Pentagon, sometimes this money simply “disappears” and never reaches the intended recipient. As a result, today we face an obvious lag in the development of hypersonic weapons, already created and ready for use not only by Russia, but also by China — the two main “enemies of the United States”, as they are commonly referred to in the White House. Hence, the current US missile defense is completely ineffective today, even though quite a few billions of dollars have been spent on it. The very expensive development of the F35 military aircraft also failed. Serious problems in almost all branches of the military. Even the US missile cruiser Vella Gulf CG-72, recently sent to the Mediterranean Sea “to intimidate Russia”, was forced to “surrender” after a few hours, breaking down immediately after leaving the port. These facts are being highlighted by a great many publications in the United States. Media articles tell us that the US nuclear triad is unfit for service, and there are lots of publications about the poor state of the fleet, which is something the US cannot handle: maintenance and construction of ships is a difficult problem due to the fact that shipyards (of which there are four) have never been modernized in the last one hundred years. However, there is no mention of the real reasons behind it — the corruption that has ruined the US army, the rampant peculation among the Pentagon’s officials, the drug trade in Afghanistan, to name a few, all in lieu of their direct responsibilities.

Given this reality, stories about UFOs and their alleged use by “wicked Russians” are certainly in demand by the Russophobe elite in the United States who are trying to divert attention from real problems and to make more money with this propaganda.

However, it is already clear to any perfectly rational person today that this propaganda bubble of Washington with the “wicked Russians” and UFOs will one day burst, leaving its initiators and executors in a rather sticky situation. Wouldn’t be the first time!

 

 

Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2021/05/16/yet-another-failure-of-the-us-propaganda-policy/

 

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space commies...

Washington: A commander in the still-new Space Force has been relieved of duty after publicly espousing a number of conspiracy theories, including that Marxists had infiltrated leadership in all branches of military, while promoting a self-published book.

“Since taking command as a commander about 10 months ago, I saw what I consider fundamentally incompatible and competing narratives of what America was, is and should be,” Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lohmeier said on a podcast.

“That wasn’t just prolific in social media, or throughout the country during this past year, but it was spreading throughout the United States military. And I had recognised those narratives as being Marxist in nature.”

According to the book, a “new-Marxist agenda” has taken hold in the military.

 

In the podcast, Lohmeier also decried anti-racism training and education and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The Pentagon said it no longer trusted Lohmeier to lead.

 

Read more:

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/us-space-force-leader-claims-marxists-taking-over-military-loses-job-20210517-p57slm.html

 

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