US wants AUKUS to expand into outer space
Written by: Nick G. on 27 September 2023
(Above: As sinister as it looks, the emblem of the 23 Space Operations Squadron of the US Space Force. Public domain image)
In April 2001, the US Department of Defence announced that its objective was “full spectrum dominance”. It included the domain of space in its definition of the term, which was:
The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains and information environment, which includes cyberspace, that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.
It was the clearest statement so far of US imperialism’s desire to completely control the world.
Various attempts were made by the US to create a body to implement its domination of space.
They came to fruition in 2019 when President Trump created the US Space Force as the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces. According to Trump’s legislation, the aim of the Space Force is to:
1. Provide freedom of operation for the United States in, from, and to space;
2. Conduct space operations; and
3. Protect the interests of the United States in space.
The US remains the only nation to maintain an armed force for operations in space and does so in defiance of the international community which, through the United Nations, had established the Outer Space Treaty as far back as 1966. The Treaty includes the following provisions:
• the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
• outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
• outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
• States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
• the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
The AUKUS arrangements are seen by senior US personnel as a door through which the US can achieve its aim of dominance in the space domain.
Speaking a week ago at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference in Hawaii, the US Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman referred to the “lack of sensors in the Southern Hemisphere” needed to provide “comprehensive” coverage of the space domain.
He added that the Space Force’s Space Warfighting Analysis Center (SWAC), will first look at “what’s the fastest way to evolve the architecture that we know we’re going to need?” That “architecture” would depend on what “our allies and partners can bring to bear on this mission set”.
Having publicly flown this kite, a US military think-tank, MITRE Corporation proposed the expansion of the AUKUS Pact to include space monitoring. In a paper delivered to the same AMOS conference, MITRE said that an AUKUS space pact “could have a lot of promise to help tackle the challenges that make the space environment less stable”.
The paper the outlines the “mutual benefits for the US and Australia of tighter collaboration on Space Domain Awareness — a relationship that already is in its formative stage, for example with the US planning to put one of three planned sites for the Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) system” in Australia.
“Through AUKUS, measures could be taken to enhance space resilience against military or natural crises by ensuring that countries maintain minimum viable capabilities across key elements of the supply chain for the space industry. This may involve concentrating on the components necessary to reconstruct vital space-based assets, as well as systems for disaggregating and enhancing existing capabilities. This process should involve AUKUS governments collaborating to integrate new and emergent technology firms into the supply chain of the space industry,” the paper states.
Regrettably, certain sections of the Australian “defence” community and leading politicians will be only too happy to be handed the kite strings of the US proposals.
People like Albanese, Marles and Wong have proven adept at dressing their subservience to US imperialism in the fancy dress of skills development and jobs “bonanzas” – and hang the cost.
The opponents of AUKUS must be prepared for a fight to keep Australia out of any expanded AUKUS arrangement.
They must fight to ensure the principles of the UN Outer Space Treaty are upheld; namely, that space belongs to all humanity, that it must not be dominated by any one nation by any means, and that peaceful purposes must drive its exploration and utilisation.
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