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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


( CLICKING AT THE TITLED LINK WE ARE REDIRECTED TO AN ARTICLE PART1 Insurrection and Military Intervention: The US-NATO Attempted Coup d'Etat in Libya? )

Libya: NATO's African War
The Role of US Africa Command (AFRICOM)

Following similar developments in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, anti-government protests began in Libya on February 15. On March 19 the U.S., France and Britain delivered air and cruise missile attacks against targets in Libya: 112 Tomahawk missile strikes from U.S. and British submarines and warships in the Mediterranean Sea and attacks by French warplanes on what were identified as government military vehicles on the ground.

Twenty French Rafale and Mirage jet fighters took to the country's skies and U.S. stealth bombers delivered 40 payloads to its main airfield.

A Russian parliamentarian pointed out that the attack on Libya represented the fourth country targeted for armed assault - the fourth war launched - by the U.S. and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 12 years: The current one, codenamed Operation Odyssey Dawn, and Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia in 1999, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq in 2003. The beginning of the war against Libya occurred on the eighth anniversary of the attack on Iraq and five days before the twelfth anniversary of that against Yugoslavia.

However, whereas it took several months for the U.S. and its NATO allies to selectively identify developments in Yugoslavia (Kosovo) and Iraq as crises requiring international attention before proclaiming them grounds for war, with Libya the process has been reduced to a month's duration. The slaying of unarmed civilian protesters in Yemen and Bahrain has not evoked a comparable outcry and has not produced analogous military actions from Western military powers.

This time equipped with a United Nations Resolution, 1973, passed in the Security Council with the BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China - and Germany in opposition, the U.S. and its NATO partners are prepared for an indefinite conflict more closely resembling that in Afghanistan, which will be ten years old in less than seven months, than the wars against Yugoslavia and Iraq.

Despite opposition from the BRIC nations, since yesterday echoed by the 53-nation African Union, the 22-member Arab League and several Latin American nations like Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, Washington and its allies are portraying their attack against Libya as an international effort - because the West has recruited the kings of Morocco and Jordan and the emirs of Qatar and Abu Dhabi as allies in what is presented as a humanitarian campaign to bring democracy to an Arab nation.

In the current reincarnation of the "humanitarian war" model of the 1990s, an estimated 65 Libyan civilians were killed and 150 wounded on the first day of the bombing onslaught. Oil depots and a medical facility were among the targets of bombing and missile attacks.

President Barack Obama was in Brazil at the start of the attacks, and by rights should have been declared persona non grata and expelled for his role in ordering U.S. Tomahawk strikes and bombing runs.

If anyone had doubted that it was possible to out-Herod Herod in surpassing his predecessor George W. Bush's record of waging military aggression internationally, that illusion should be finally laid to rest. The Obama administration has increased American troop strength in Afghanistan (which has become the longest war in U.S. history on Obama's watch) to 100,000, with another 50,000 foreign forces serving under NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

It has also massively escalated unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) strikes in Pakistan, killing nearly 2,000 people in the last 26 months, including over 80 civilians slain in 12 missile strikes, the deadliest on a tribal meeting, in North Waziristan only two days before the attack on Libya was launched. The U.S. is a far better candidate for an international no-fly zone than any other nation in the world.

The Obama government has launched cruise missile strikes and run special forces operations in Yemen and conducted a deadly helicopter raid in Somalia.

It has also acquired the use of seven military bases in Colombia to assist the decades-long counterinsurgency war in the country and to threaten neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador.

The rapidity with which the U.S. and its NATO cohorts built the case for the attack on Libya should be cause for serious concern to the last two South American nations, as it should for Bolivia, Nicaragua and Syria and for former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice's "outposts of tyranny": Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

Last year NATO airlifted thousands of Ugandan troops to and from Somalia for the war in that country (its civilian counterpart, the European Union, is training Somali government troops in Uganda) and is currently conducting a naval operation off the Horn of Africa, Ocean Shield, but the ongoing attack on Libya is the Atlantic Alliance's first direct war in Africa.

It is also the first war for the newest Pentagon overseas military command, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

AFRICOM spokesman Lieutenant Commander James Stockman boasted that American and British missiles hit at least 20 of 22 intended targets in Libya on March 19, and newly appointed AFRICOM chief General Carter Ham pledged to "degrade the Qadhafi regime’s capability" under his command's Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn the same day.

Taking part in the attacks were the U.S. submarines USS Florida, USS Providence and USS Scranton, guided missile destroyers USS Barry and USS Stout, amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, amphibious transport dock USS Ponce, flagship of the Mediterranean-based Sixth Fleet USS Mount Whitney, B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, AV-8B Harrier II ground-attack aircraft and EA-18G Growler electronic warfare planes.

The USS Bataan helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ship and USS Whidbey Island dock landing ship are on their way to the coast of Libya.

The U.S. maintains 42 F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters at the Aviano Air Base in Italy and has the use of two air bases in Bulgaria and one in Romania.

The USS Enterprise carrier strike group, with 80 planes, is in the Arabian Sea and can cross back through the Suez Canal for action against Libya.

The above is to be recalled as the White House continues to disavow a direct, much less a leading, role in the war.

Although to date not formally a NATO operation, the air and sea campaign against Libya began with the Alliance subjecting the targeted country to around-the-clock surveillance by Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft assigned to the nearly ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval surveillance and interdiction mission. NATO's E-3A AWACS planes fly at a height of 30,000 feet and cover a range of 120,000 square miles.

The military buildup in the Mediterranean Sea by other NATO nations matches that of the U.S.

In addition to 20 warplanes flying over Libya, on March 20 France deployed the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the only non-American nuclear-powered carrier, from its base in Toulon for air strikes against Libya.

Britain has warships and a submarine off the coast of Libya which participated in the first round of missile strikes. The BBC reported that London has also deployed Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado warplanes and Nimrod surveillance aircraft to the region.

Canada, whose prime minister Stephen Harper has identified the attacks on Libya as "acts of war" while acknowledging that Libyan civilians will be killed by them, has sent the HMCS Charlottetown frigate to the area and has deployed six CF-18 Hornet multirole jet fighters to Italy for air patrols over Libya. Defence Minister Peter MacKay has stated that the Charlottetown is available to assist in enforcing a naval blockade of the North African country.

Norway has committed six F-16 jet fighters and Belgium eight F-16s, a frigate and 200 military personnel in an effort to, in the words of Defense Minister Pieter De Crem, "topple the Gaddafi regime."

The Belgian F-16s are currently in Greece and the warship in the Mediterranean, with European Affairs Minister Olivier Chastel stating his government has decided to "tell NATO that we are available, offer what we have and wait for a common command."

Spain has provided four F-18 jet fighters, a maritime surveillance plane, a submarine and a frigate in addition to turning over to NATO its military bases at Rota and Moron de la Frontera in the south of the country.

Italy has offered eight combat aircraft and the use of seven bases on its mainland and in Sardinia and Sicily for the war effort. It has also activated five ships, including the Andrea Doria destroyer, for action against Libya.

Denmark has six F-16s in Italy prepared for deployment to Libya.

According to the Sabah newspaper, Turkey will also supply F-16s for NATO's Libyan campaign.

Greece has provided the U.S. and NATO the use of bases at Aktio and Souda Bay in Crete.

More military assets are being added by NATO nations almost hourly, which indicates that a no-fly zone is the least of Western plans for Libya and that the campaign is not expected to end in the foreseeable future.      

BY  Rick Rozoff

SOURCE   http://www.globalresearch.ca



Monday, March 14, 2011


Rhodes, September 29th 2007


Recent developments in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East
cause great concern. To the continuous struggle in Iraq, war cries and threats for a
nuclear strike are added, because of the Iranian government’s insistence on
developing a nuclear program. The publicly confessed possession of nuclear weapons
by Israel creates the conditions for proliferation of nuclear weapons in the wider area.
Furthermore, an effort for the return of nuclear energy is taking place, under the
pretext of countermeasures against global warming and climate changes phenomena.
Many countries in the region express, more or less openly, the will to choose the way
of installation of nuclear stations in order to solve their energy problems. Definitely a
wrong way, a way of high risks, a dead-end.
The most effective way of dealing with the nuclear threat is, above all, a matter of the
citizens’ will and reaction.
One of the basic conclusions of the International Symposium – held in Rhodes, on
May 12-13, 2006, with the subject “We have the right to live in a Nuclear-Free
world”, with the participation of lecturers from 8 European countries and USA – was  that the Anti-Nuclear Movement has the obligation to organize its reaction to the
nuclear threat and direct its actions to make that cause effective.
Taking the aforementioned into account, the following protocol is signed:
Article 1
An International Network of Unions and Organizations (henceforth “the Network”) is
founded, consisting of unions or organizations, located and acting in countries
around/of the Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Black Sea and Middle East, under the
general title “Mediterranean No Nuclear Neighbourhood”.
The Network’s headquarters are located in Rhodes, Greece

The official language of the Network is English, in which the Network publishes its
positions and in which all official procedures take place.
Article 2
Purposes of the Network are:
- The communication, cooperation and coordination of all the participating
organizations, in order to make the actions undertaken against the nuclear threat
stronger and more effective.
- The monitoring and publishing of all recent developments in the fields of nuclear
weapons, nuclear power reactors and generally any sector of industrial nuclear
- The information, sensitization and motivation of citizens towards the substantive
cause of the abolition of the nuclear threat against Life, Peace and the Environment.
- The promotion of the Renewable and Environment-friendly Sources of Energy and
the institution of measures for energy preservation, along with the energy saving with
the formation of new consumer standards, matters strongly connected to the future of
the planet and humanity.

- The transformation of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Balkans and the
Middle East into a Zone free from nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
And generally:
- The conservation of the high ideals of Life and Peace, the protection of the
Environment and the Ecological Balance of the Planet, as necessary requirements for
the quality of life for the current generation and the generations to come.

Article 3
Means for the accomplishment of the Network’s purposes:
- The creation of a website, under the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Network,
as a place of opinion exchange, policy configuration and continuous contact among
the members of the Network and the world community.
- The interventions, announcements, protests, signed petitions, information
campaigns, publications, etc.
- The organization and realization of events, lectures, seminars, educational programs,
meetings, conferences, festivals, etc.
- Any other means judged necessary for the accomplishment of the Network’s
purposes, always within the frameworks of Transparency, Democracy and according
to International Law and Practice, principles governing the nature of the Network.

Article 4
Members of the Network
Member of the Network can be any local, regional or national organization,
movement, union, or network fulfilling the following conditions:
1. It acts within the borders of any country of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the
Balkans or the Middle East and agrees with the aforementioned purposes and means,
and generally all those described within this Protocol.

2. It includes in its constitutional causes and/or demonstrates through its actions
opposition to the use of any form of nuclear energy.
For an NGO to become a member of the Network, apart from the constituting
members, the NGO has to apply for membership to the Secretariat, the application
being accompanied by its constitution and a description of its actions over the last
years. The Secretariat rules on the application with a 2/3 majority.
Article 5
Network Organs
The Organs of the Network are:
• the Plenary Session
• the Secretariat
• the Executive Secretariat

 Plenary Session:

The Network’s Plenary Session takes place once a year, in a different country each
time, with the participation of delegates from all its member-organizations. The
Agenda of the Plenary Session is set by the Secretariat. Additional topics to the
Agenda may be added by the delegates.
During the Plenary Session, workgroups are formed, with the participation of certain
groups of delegates, as established by the Secretariat, after debate with the memberorganizations.
Special guests of the Network may attend the workgroups.
Finally, the last day of the Session, the conclusions of each workgroup are introduced
to the Plenary participants for approval.

In any case and in order for a workgroup resolution to be included in the final
conclusions of the Plenary Session, the resolution must be approved by the Plenary by
2/3 majority.
At the end of each Plenary Session, the next Plenary host is selected by the members
with a simple majority.

The hosting member-organization, with the cooperation of other members and with
the support of the Secretariat, ensures the best possible outcome of the Plenary
Session procedures and the facilitation of the accommodation for all participants. The
expenses for the transportation and accommodation of the delegates are provided by
the member-organizations they represent.

The Secretariat composes of a delegate and a substitute delegate from each country
with NGOs participating in the Network. The delegates of each country are
recommended to the plenary by this country’s member-organizations.

  The Secretariat operates between two Plenary Sessions. It has the responsibility of
informing and coordinating the member-organizations of the Network, maintaining
the website of the Network and the responsibility of the practice of the Plenary’s
decisions. The Secretariat rules with a 2/3 majority on matters arising between two
Plenary sessions.

Executive Secretariat:

The Executive Secretariat is the coordinating and introductory organ of the Secretariat
and is composed of the delegate of the country to host the next Plenary and the two
delegates of the countries that hosted the last two. In case the Plenary is hosted in the
same country as one of the previous two, the third member of the Executive
Secretariat is elected among the delegates of the Secretariat. The Executive Secretariat
rules and release announcements, in emergency, under consensus.

Article 6
Network’s funds
The Network’s funds originate from member-organizations. The funds cover the cost
of the design and maintenance of the Network’s website, along with the costs of the
secretarial support of its organs. The funds are managed by the Secretariat, which also
defines the amount of each of the member-organizations contribution.

Momentary Provisions for the First Plenary
The first Session of the Plenary took place in Rhodes, September 27th to 29th, during
the 2nd International Anti-Nuclear Festival of Rhodes (September 25-29, 2007).
The Protocol of Cooperation has been ratified and signed during this First Session, as
concluded after cooperation among the NGOs participated and are considered as its
constituting members. The constituting members and the representatives signing the
Protocol, are:

Mediterranean Anti Nuclear Watch, Greece
Represented by Mr. Thanassis Anapolitanos, President of the Board

Greek Medical Association against Nuclear and Biochemical Threat, Greek
Affiliate of IPPNW, Greece
Represented by Mrs. Maria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou, President of the Board

ECOTOPIA - Environmental Research and Awareness Society, Greece
Represented by Mr. Mihalis Promponas and Mr. Giannis Shizas

Eco - Corfu, Greece

Foundation for Environment and Agriculture, Bulgaria
Represented by Mrs. Albena Simeonova, President of the Board
Ecologists - Environmentalists Movement of Cyprus, Cyprus
Represented by Mrs. Chrisemily Psilogeni, Secretary on International Relations

Ecoclub, Ukraine
Represented by Mr. Andriy Martynyuk, President of the Board

Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire, France
Represented by Mr. André Lariviére, Responsible on International Relations

Israeli Committee for a Middle East Free from Atomic Biological and Chemical
Weapons, Israel
Represented by Mr. Yehuda Atai and Mr. Gideon Spiro

EUROSOLAR, Turkey - The European Association for Renewable Energy
Represented by Mrs. Isil Uyar

ATTAC-Hellas, Greece
Represented by Mr. Wayne Hall

Anti Nuclear Platform of Izmir, Turkey
Represented by Mr. Metin Erten

Turkish Greens, Turkey
Represented by Mrs. Bilge Contepe, General Spokesman

Monitor of International Organisations and Globalization, Greece
Represented by Mrs. Maria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou, Secretary General

Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (ACDN), France

ECOGNOSIA-Environmental Research and Information Center, Cyprus
Represented by Mr. Kostas Papastavros

Group of Scientists and Technicians for a Non Nuclear Future, Spain
The Greens-Green Alternative, Spain

Green Justice Association, Bulgaria
Represented by Mr. Pepo Petrov, Member of the Board

Friends of Science, Culture and Art Association, Istanbul, Turkey
Represented by Mrs. Isil Uyar

Rhodes, 06/03/2008
His Excellency Demetris Christofias
President of the Republic of Cyprus
Your Excellency,
On behalf of the international network “Mediterranean No Nuclear
Neighborhood” (in short MN3 Network) we wish to congratulate you for your
election to the highest position in the Republic of Cyprus and to wish you success
with your task.

The MN3 Network was founded in Rhodes Island in September 2007 by 20
organisations from 8 countries of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the
Balkans. Two international meetings had precede this event, in May 2005 in order
to obstruct the construction of new nuclear power plants and in May 2006 under
the title “we have the right to live in a nuclear free world”, with the participation
of scientists and representatives of organisations from 8 countries from Europe
and the USA.
The MN3 Network´s main objective is to establish the Mediterranean and the
Middle East as a peace zone, without nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass
destruction. This objective does not concern only nuclear weapons but also the so
called “peaceful” use of nuclear energy”.

In the last years there is an increased interest in the promotion of nuclear
energy. The powers that be in the world, taking advantage of the time lapse from
the disaster in Chernobyl and renewed concern about climate change and high oil
prices, are planning a comeback for nuclear energy, creating a dangerous
environment and political dependence. Recently many governments in the region
have declared the construction or the intent to construct, nuclear power plants:
Bulgaria, Rumania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Egypt,
Jordan and others. Turkey has already declared a bid for the construction of it’s
first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, on the coast right across Cyprus, an intention
that had initially created great opposition in the 1990’s, leading to the initial
abandonment of any such plan in the year 2000. .
And of course we do bear in mind the nuclear program of Iran, for which the
USA and their allies, with apparent hypocrisy, are trying to convince us that it is
the only dangerous such program, but also Israel, the only country in the area   which has not signed the Non Proliferation Treaty (DEF) and does not allow the
entrance of international inspectors on its lands.
These plans, if no immediate initiatives are undertaken, will create a tight
situation and consist of a major threat for the Environment, Life and Peace in the
entire planet.
The MN3 Network, taking into consideration the unsolved problems of nuclear
waste disposal, the limited technological experience and financial resources and
the real risk of a nuclear accident, acknowledges that the intention of several
countries to install nuclear power plants in this highly flammable area is suicidal.
The risk of such intentions is even more enhanced due to the very thin line that
crosses the peaceful use and the military utilisation of nuclear power, as well as
the danger of a blind terrorist attack, especially under current circumstances,
which from a geopolitical point of view are characterised by fragility and

Nuclear energy is neither cheap nor safe or friendly for the environment. It is
not a solution. It is yet another problem. The only guaranteed solution is the
undertaking of measure to save energy consumption and the development of
renewable sources of energy, which our blessed region has in abundance.
Your Excellency,
We strongly doubt the right of any country to decide to construct nuclear
power plants. It cannot be the right of any country to jeopardise the future and
to decide on the health and life of the citizens of another country.
We believe that the governments of countries that decide to construct
nuclear power plants undertake a huge risk and responsibility. But responsibilities
are undertaken also by those who could alter such decisions and choose to do
nothing. That is why we intently ask for political initiatives at an international
level and in the concept of good neighbouring relations.

Your Excellency,
We call upon you with the event of your resuming your new high
responsibilities and look forward to the undertaking of initiatives that will keep
nuclear threat at bay and will bring a vision of a Mediterranean and Middle East
nuclear free closer. Political initiatives which will give hope for sustainable
development, without the threat of war, without fear of ecological disasters and
human holocausts.

The MN3 Network once more wishes you success in your responsibilities and
is at your disposal for any further information and cooperation in the issues we
have displayed.
Sincerely yours,
The executive Secretariat of the Mediterranean No Nuclear Neighbourhood-MN3 Network

Thanassis Anapolitanos Yehuda Atai Chrysaimili Psilogeni
anapolitanos@manw.org yatai@olam-hatanach.co.il chrisemily@gmail.com



Monday, March 07, 2011


A)U.S.Air Force Launches Robotic Space Plane on Mystery Mission

After being delayed a day by bad weather, the U.S. Air Force's second X-37B robotic space plane blasted off from Florida this afternoon (March 5) on a mystery mission shrouded in secrecy.

The unmanned X-37B mini-shuttle — known as Orbital Test Vehicle 2 (OTV-2) — took to the skies from Cape Canaveral at 5:46 p.m. ET today, tucked away in the nose cone atop a huge Atlas 5 rocket.

MORE AT http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/05/air-force-launches-robotic-space-plane-mystery-mission/

                                           MUSE URANIA

B)Space Governance and International Cooperation

The National Space Policy and posture reviews of the Obama Administration place much greater
emphasis on international cooperation than did the George W. Bush administration.1 So far,
though, the new administration has not articulated a coherent and compelling strategic concept to
guide its pursuit of space cooperation. Department of Defense (DOD) officials have argued that
the United States needs more informal cooperation because space is increasingly “congested,”
“competitive,” and “contested.”2 State Department officials have used more diplomatic terms,
saying that space is not only “congested,” but also “multifaceted” and “interdependent.”3 Each
phrase reflects a different, somewhat contradictory way of defining the problem that space
cooperation could help solve. Each also puts conceptual limits on the kinds of cooperation
deemed worthy of serious U.S. consideration in ways that reduce the likelihood of international
agreement on measures that would advance the administration’s main policy objectives in space
and its overall national security strategy.
This conceptual confusion may explain the gap between the Obama Administration’s declared
interest in space cooperation and the lowest-common-denominator measures that it has endorsed.
For example, the United States recently announced that it would begin providing pre-launch
notification for commercial and civilian satellites, but not national security satellites, and only
for “the majority” of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic
missiles.4 This is a positive gesture, but it only partially fulfills the Hague Code of Conduct
pledge made, but never implemented, by the Bush Administration. It falls far short of a prelaunch
and post-launch notification accord signed with Russia during the Clinton Administration.

Likewise, while stronger norms regarding responsible space behavior are a central element of the
new National Space Policy, the United States has shown more interest in voluntary measures
proposed by allies than in binding constraints on those countries whose space behavior most
concerns the United States, and vice versa.5 Without knowing how such voluntary transparency
measures and norms fit in overall U.S. national space policy and security strategies, it is hard to
judge how likely they are to lead to more ambitious, robust, and effective forms of cooperation in
the future.
One way to think more strategically about the role of space cooperation in achieving U.S.
objectives is to evaluate different ways of conceptualizing why it might be useful, what kinds of
cooperation would be preferable, and whether other key countries are likely to agree to measures
that will produce the desired results. Three strategic objectives represent a core of continuity in
U.S. national space policy over time, despite major disagreements about what they mean in
practice and how they should be pursued: (1) to secure the space domain for peaceful use; (2) to
protect space assets from all hazards; and (3) to derive maximum value from space for security,
economic, civil, and environmental ends.
This paper analyzes the three strategic logics for space cooperation evoked by different policy
ideas being used in the Obama Administration’s space and security policies. The Global
Commons logic seeks more informal cooperation so that a multitude of self-interested space
users can share a “congested” environment without causing unintentional harm. In the Strategic
Stability logic, U.S. use of space is increasingly “contested” by states or non-state actors who
might attack vulnerable space assets to offset U.S. military advantages. In this logic, the primary
purpose of space cooperation is to minimize such attacks by increasing the negative
consequences for attackers, reducing their potential benefits, and avoiding misperceptions. The
Space Governance for Global Security logic centers on characterizations of space as
“interdependent” and “multifaceted.” This logic emphasizes that the more different countries,
companies, and individuals depend on space for a growing array of purposes, the more they need
equitable rules, shared decision-making procedures, and effective compliance mechanisms to
maximize the benefits that they all can gain from space, while minimizing risks from
irresponsible space behaviors or deliberate interference with legitimate space activities.
Each logic highlights important features of the evolving space arena, and each gives good
reasons why greater international cooperation could help accomplish U.S. objectives at an
acceptable level of risks and costs. Since the main goal of U.S. space policy in recent years has
been to maximize U.S. military power and freedom of action in space, with commercial and
civilian interests subordinated to that goal,6 most Americans and allies who argue for greater
space cooperation use the Global Commons or Strategic Stability logics. Although the Global
Commons logic has the widest appeal, emerging space environmental problems do not seem
urgent enough to motivate much more cooperation than has already been achieved since this
collective action rationale for cooperation gained adherents in the 1990s. Framing the case for
space cooperation in environmental terms also obscures, and is obstructed by, conflicting
security interests among different spacefaring nations. Using the Strategic Stability logic to build
the case for more space security cooperation, on the other hand, intensifies the sense of urgency
by exaggerating conflicting security interests. In doing so, though, it risks inadvertently
stimulating competition, and undermining the prospects for cooperation.
The Space Governance for Global Security Logic broadens the rationale for cooperation to
include the mutual positive gains that space users can achieve at lower cost through
collaboration, as well as the negative benefits from reducing risks of inadvertent interference and
deliberate attack. It offers a more compelling reason to increase policy coordination than the
Global Commons logic does, and a more constructive context for space security cooperation than
the Strategic Stability logic. Although the Space Governance for Global Security logic might
encounter more initial political resistance in the United States than the other two logics, it is
more likely to produce international agreements that accomplish the desired results. Domestic
political resistance could be overcome by showing how space has become integral not only to
modern U.S. military operations, but to all the major elements of the 2010 National Security
Strategy’s vision for promoting security, prosperity, and shared values by building a just and
sustainable international order in space as well as on Earth.
Sustainable Management of Space as a Global Commons
Domains, such as space, the high seas, the atmosphere, and Antarctica, that are considered
“global commons” lie beyond the sovereign jurisdiction of any state, are governed by
international law, and are available for all to use for the common good. This creates a right of
access that does not exist for land, territorial waters, or airspace under a sovereign government’s
control, at the same time that it strengthens the responsibility to respect other states’ interests.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) provides the basic legal framework for managing space as a
global commons. It designates space as the “province of all mankind.”7 It cannot be appropriated
(Article II), but can be freely accessed “without discrimination of any kind,” and “on a basis of
equality.” The exploration and use of space should be “for the benefit …of all countries,
irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development” (Article I), and must be “in
accordance with international law… and in the interests of maintaining international peace and
security” (Article III). The OST further specifies that States Parties shall conduct space activities
“with due regard to the corresponding interests of all other States Parties.”
They shall consult  before doing anything that might cause harmful interference for other space users (Article IX), shall be liable for damage caused to others (Article VII), and shall help each other’s astronauts in   emergencies (Article V). Neither the OST, nor any subsequent space law, though, provides  detailed rules or an authoritative process for deciding what types of space activities are
inconsistent with these principles, when the individual or cumulative usage of space might
damage the common interests, and how the benefits from space activities should be shared.
For collective action theorists, the global commons characteristic of space evokes Garrett
Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons,” a class of coordination problems that arise when many
short-sighted, self-interested users try to maximize their own gains from consuming a nonexcludable
public good without regard for the net negative effects on other users, on finite
resources, on the shared environment, and even on their own long-term benefits.8 As the
commons becomes overcrowded and degraded, users must consume more just to get the same
level of benefit, so a downward spiral begins that individual users are powerless to stop.
Averting tragedy involves either the establishment of a central authority to make rules, verify compliance, and respond to violations, or less formal self-regulation by enough users to ensure
sustainability. Voluntary norms, transparency measures, and peer pressure can produce
sustainable behavior if the users value their social relationships as much as they value their shortterm
material gains from over-using or abusing the commons; if all users can be educated to
understand that mutual restraint is essential to preserving their livelihood over time; or, if the
common environment can tolerate a moderate amount of bad behavior without breaking down.
Clear legal rules, effective verification, and well-resourced implementing organizations become
more important when a weak sense of community leaves the users focused primarily on their
own short-term cost-benefit calculations, when the sustainability of the global commons is under
more serious threat, and when high rates of compliance are needed to protect it.9
Despite the vastness of space, certain kinds of crowding and irresponsible use are already raising
the risks that individual space users will inadvertently cause problems for each other. The two
most commonly cited examples involve allocating orbital slots and radio-frequency (RF)
spectrum so that one satellite’s transmissions do not interfere with a neighboring satellite’s
operations, and minimizing orbital debris that could damage satellites or space vehicles. Because
the most powerful actors would currently rather keep negotiation and implementation costs low
and preserve flexibility than obtain high rates of compliance with effective and equitable rules,
they have preferred relatively weak international coordination and self-governance mechanisms.
But the inadequacies of this approach are apparent in both areas, and will likely get worse as the
number and diversity of space users continues to grow, each wanting more from space and each
able to have a greater impact, for better or for worse, on others’ space usage.
Overcrowding is most severe in geostationary orbit (GEO), where satellites need substantial
orbital separation so that the high-powered signals required to reach Earth do not interfere with
neighboring satellites. Only a small number of satellites can fit in the equatorial arcs over the
United States and other prime geographic locations.10 Resource constraints and interference
problems are not increasing proportionally to satellite population growth because technological
advances are enabling satellites to operate in closer proximity, use RF spectrum more efficiently,
and coordinate movements to avoid affecting neighboring satellites. Still, the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) system for coordinating orbital slots and spectrum usage
needs ongoing improvement to process registration applications more efficiently, reduce “paper
satellites” (slots registered to non-existent satellites), and increase compliance with registrations
and technical recommendations. As more new countries and companies gain the technological
capability and financial resources to put satellites in GEO, pressure will mount to revisit a system
that still allocates scarce orbital slots foremost on a “first come, first served” basis, more or less
in perpetuity.11
In addition to 1,100 active satellites, space is also littered with debris and defunct satellites, spent
rocket stages, explosion or collision fragments, paint flecks, and other human-made objects that
serve no useful purpose. The United States currently tracks more than 19,000 objects that are 10
centimeters (cm) or larger, and experts estimate that there are another 300,000 objects in the 1 to
10 cm range, each able to cause serious damage if it collides with a satellite at orbital speeds,
plus millions or billions of very small objects that could degrade satellites or damage certain
sensors and subsystems.12
While collisions between space objects have been rare, several recent hits and near misses have
increased awareness of the operational risks and complications caused by space debris.13 Of
greatest concern is the possibility that a cascade of collisions—a series of hits creating ever
larger numbers of debris and greater collision probabilities—could make some “valuable orbital
regions increasingly inhospitable to space operations over the next few decades.”14
Spacefaring countries have made gradual progress on debris mitigation. Beginning in the 1990s,
the United States, the European Space Agency (ESA), and other spacefaring countries developed
national guidelines to reduce the production of debris during launch and on-orbit operations, to
move GEO satellites into graveyard orbits at the end of their service life, and to put defunct low
Earth orbit (LEO) satellites into 25-year decay orbits. Following such best practices involves
additional costs, complicates operations, and shortens the useful life of satellites. Therefore,
national requirements, compliance, and enforcement levels vary. Some space-users, including
China, still do not have national debris mitigation guidelines.
To harmonize and strengthen national practices, the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses
of Outer Space (UNCOPOUS) asked the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee
(IADC) to develop international guidelines that were adopted by COPUOS in 2007 and endorsed
by the UN General Assembly. The vague language still lets each space user and state decide how
many design and operational changes are reasonable to limit debris production, minimize breakup
potential, reduce the probability of accidental collision, and avoid intentional destruction,
especially in ways that produce long-lived debris. Since compliance with the guidelines is
voluntary, it also remains weak. For example, only 11 of 21 GEO spacecraft that ended their
service life in 2009 were disposed of properly.15


Nancy Gallagher
Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, University of Maryland

1The Obama Administration has undertaken several different, but overlapping, space policy reviews. The National  Security Council directed an interagency review of U.S. national space policy, the Department of Defense conducted  a congressionally mandated Space Posture Review, and the National Security Space Strategy is being updated to  improve coordination between military and intelligence space programs. The National Space Policy was released on  28 June 2010, see National Space Policy of the United States of America,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf (accessed September 2010).
2Deputy Secretary of Defense, William J. Lynn, “Remarks at the National Space Symposium,” 14 April 2010, Colorado Springs, Colorado, http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1448 (accessed July 2010).
3Remarks by Ambassador Laura E. Kennedy to the UNIDIR Space Security Conference, 29 March 2010, Geneva, Switzerland, http://geneva.usmission.gov/2010/03/29/ambassador-kennedy-space-policy-review (accessed July 2010).
4George Jahn, “U.S. agrees to announce missile launches,” Associated Press, 20 May 2010.
5The Obama Administration has continued a policy adopted by the Bush Administration in 2007 of agreeing to let  the Conference on Disarmament establish an ad-hoc working group to discuss, but not negotiate, cooperative steps  to enhance space security. No formal work has occurred on this agenda item, though, because Pakistan has been   blocking consensus on a program of work, because it objects to another item on the CD agenda: negotiations on a treaty to prohibit production of new fissile material without reductions in existing stocks (Fissile Material Cutoff  Treaty). The most common recommendation to get the CD functioning again is to relax the interpretation of the consensus rule so that no one country can block negotiations indefinitely, but some countries who want to start the
Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations do not want to relinquish the right to block negotiations on other longstanding  topics on the CD’s agenda. The United States could expect that other nuclear weapon states, and many nonnuclear  allies, would also oppose negotiations on a near-term convention to eliminate nuclear weapons, but it could  be the only CD member opposed to starting negotiations about additional legal measures to protect satellites and  prevent space weaponization.
6This historical sequence is covered in Nancy Gallagher and John Steinbruner, Reconsidering the Rules for Space  Security, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, April 2008,
http://www.amacad.org/publications/reconsidering.aspx (accessed July 2010).
7J.I. Gabrynowicz, “The ‘Province’ and ‘Heritage’ of Mankind Reconsidered: A New Beginning,” The Second Conference on Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century, Proceedings from a conference held in  Houston, Texas, 5-7 April 1988. Edited by W.W. Mendell, NASA Conference Publication 3166, 1992, p. 691.
8The analogy Hardin used to illustrate the need for collective action involved English villagers grazing too many  cattle on a common pasture. See Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, 162 (1968): 1243-1248.
9Christopher C. Joyner, “Global Commons: The Oceans, Antarctica, the Atmosphere, and Outer Space,” pp. 354-391, in P.J. Simmons and Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, eds., Managing Global Issues (Washington, DC: Carnegie  Endowment for International Peace, 2001.)
10Jessica West, ed., Space Security 2009, SPACESECURITY.org, p. 40.
11See Theresa Hitchens, Future Security in Space (Washington, DC: Center for Defense Information, 2004), pp. 39- 52; and Gerry Oberst, “Efficient Use of Satellites – Part 2,” Via Satellite, 1 May 2010.
12Brian Weeden, “The Numbers Game: What’s in Earth’s Orbit and How do We Know?” The Space Review, 13 July  2009, pp. 2-3.
13The most noteworthy recent debris-generating events have been the February 2009 collision between an active  Iridium communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite, and China’s January 2007 ASAT test. Jessica  West, ed., Space Security 2009, pp. 26-33 summarizes debris-generating events and mitigation efforts in the past  several decades.
14U.S. National Research Council, Orbital Debris: A Technical Assessment (1995), p. 4.
15Brian Weeden, “Dealing with Galaxy 15: Zombiesats and on-orbit servicing,” The Space Review, 24 May 2010, Part I, p. 8.