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E.U. Agrees To Launch Galileo Satellite Location System 1318

Posted by timothy
from the duopoly dept.
waimate writes "The European Union today decided to go ahead with Galileo, the constellation of 30 satellites which will compete with the U.S. GPS system. The U.S. abolished selective availability three years ago partly to make GPS more useful for all mankind, but also to dissuade other countries from developing their own navigational satellite system, and thus be dependant on the U.S. for both peaceful and military purposes. Since the demise of the Russian GLONASS system, GPS is the only game in town. Evidently recent events make Europe feel less comfortable about such things, and so they're building their own. Good thing for commercialization of space, or bad thing for world peace?"
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E.U. Agrees To Launch Galileo Satellite Location System

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  • It serves us right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jkauzlar (596349) * on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:36PM (#6043181) Homepage
    I guess we Americans can't blame anyone for not trusting us after the whole Iraq thing. Somebody's got to police the police!
    • "Americans can't blame anyone for not trusting us after the whole Iraq thing"

      Thank God!!! Maybe next time France is invaded they will call somebody else.
      • by cperciva (102828) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:47PM (#6043247) Homepage
        Thank God!!! Maybe next time France is invaded they will call somebody else.

        At the rate things are going right now, the next time France is invaded it will probably be *by* the USA.
        • by Rumagent (86695) on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:09PM (#6043421)
          At the rate things are going right now, the next time France is invaded it will probably be *by* the USA.


          You mean liberated of course.
        • by den_erpel (140080)
          This is typical of a teenager responding. If you're not a teenager, you still didn't grow up. You have to remember that the ties between the US and the 'old' continent were much stronger than they are now.

          Back then, a large percentage of the ppl in North America had (close) relatives living in Europe, so what happened in Europe affected lots of people personally. By now, I guess most family ties have been broken (I have uncles, aunts and cousins in MN, but time seems to dissolve family contact).

          I think th
      • by plalonde2 (527372)
        I seem to recall the US wasn't too interested in helping France for quite a while during that conflict.

        Jingoism continues to cloud people's thinking.

        • by javiercero (518708)
          And never mind that it was the French who helped us in getting rid of the British. Oh, yeah that whole statue of Liberty thing.

          Oh, right... so basically we are trying to bring democracy to Iraq, but we do not tolerate dissent on such decision. Yup, it sound totally democratic to me!

          BTW. All those people who were laughing at the French, have no idea of how much we owe to them (in the same manner they owe to us), they have never purchased French products (no French fries are not actually made in France, duh
      • by fenix down (206580)
        Prediction: Liberals will hysterically blame this on Bush, conservatives will hyserically defend whatever the liberals attack on the grounds that the liberals are attacking it, and libertarians will celebrate this healthy competition and continue to remain confident that the demand created by an incoming space-laser strike will allow for the quick roll-out of a planetary defense shield in the .005 seconds before the lasers hit the ground.

        Don't even need to read the rest of the thread.
    • by grungie (240475) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:50PM (#6043275)
      Galileo is --in theory-- much more accurate than GPS. You probably don't want your airliner to risk missing the runway by a couple of meters in thick fog. Galileo will give QoS guarantees and greater precision, which will make it a viable solution for critical systems such as air-traffic control. But I have no clue what the current plans are to enforce the policy that it should be a civilian-only system.
      • Actually, with differential GPS (2 GPS receivers with software corrected data), accuracies of 2 to 45cm are attainable.

        Source: http://www.geod.emr.ca/index_e/geodesy_e/gps-13_e. html
        Two receivers are used; one receiver over a known location (the base or reference receiver) and the second (Rover or roving receiver) is placed over the new or unknown location. The receivers track and record data from the same satellites at the same time recording similar information. The data is eventually transferred from the receivers to a computer. Specialized software is used to 'correct' the data.
        But this is kind of moot for your example. Since when do commercial aircraft use GPS for landings? Inertial navigation systems coupled with ground based positioning transponders and cockpit instrumentation provide highly accurate navigation data close to the airport, when necessary for low-visibility landings.
        • Technically, you *can* use the two station system to land a plane. It works like this...

          Receiver 1 is fixed. It is hooked into a computer system that outputs correction data in real time (RTK or real time kinematic), radio recievers coupled with another GPS receiver provide spatially correct location for both Horizontal (XY) and Vertical (Z). Many companies provide solutions for individual-level tracking.

          Trimble [trimble.com]
          Leica [leica-geosystems.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:36PM (#6043182)
    This has been in the works for many years. It has to do with American power in general, and not any specific recent actions.
    • by brejc8 (223089) on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:15PM (#6043467) Homepage Journal
      Im not sure what's better.
      Europe being a set of quite sepperate countries, and the US ruling the world with its rough hand and feeling good about it self.
      Or the EU creating a super country to equal that of the US and not relient on the US investment, army or technology. Unfortunately in 20-50 years it might just take someone shooting a turkey to create a nasty global war.
      Im in favour of the satelite system but I hope we dont get too big headed about it.
  • Peace? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:39PM (#6043198) Homepage Journal
    or bad thing for world peace?

    Er, I you mean good thing for world peace.

    Unless you want to imply that the USmilitary is going to attack europe to stop them from lauching its satelittes...
    • Re:Peace? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BabyDave (575083)
      I think the "bad thing" is that it's being seen by many as a big "Fuck you" to the US - essentially "We don't trust you cowboy arseholes, so we're building our own system, so :-P" or something ...
      • Re:Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SETIGuy (33768) on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:37PM (#6043621) Homepage
        I think the "bad thing" is that it's being seen by many as a big "Fuck you" to the US - essentially "We don't trust you cowboy arseholes, so we're building our own system, so :-P" or something ...

        I think the "bad thing" is that the rest of the world hasn't been saying "fuck you" loud enough. Unfortunately my fellow countrymen and women apparently don't seem to see there is a difference between saying it to the U.S. versus saying it to the current administration.

        Even worse, my fellow citizens apparently haven't paused long enough in handing over their freedoms to consider that they should be saying the same thing.

        • Re:Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by maxpublic (450413) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @02:06AM (#6045197) Homepage
          You say it, brother. Every day I see the creeping evangelism of Orwellian doublespeak advancing through the ranks, where you only want privacy if you have something criminal to hide, where safety can be bought at the expense of rights, and where Big Brother *really does* know what's good for you.

          The eyes of Americans glaze over, citizen by citizen, getting that glassy fanatic's look. If this continues, we will soon be the number one threat to world peace - if we aren't already there.

          Why, today I heard a senator describe Canada as a 'safe haven for terrorists', demanding that something should be done to 'force' the Canadians into taking their 'duty to world peace and security' seriously. Goddamn if it didn't sound like some asshole prepping the ground work for a fucking invasion...if Americans could accept *that* then I'd say the world is well and truly screwed.

          Max
          • Re:Peace? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by lysium (644252)
            How about members of our government openly debating whether or not Iran's government should be "destablized?" God help any Arabs who say the same thing about OUR government.....
  • Combined receivers (Score:5, Informative)

    by yet another coward (510) <yacoward@noSpAM.yahoo.com> on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:41PM (#6043210)
    A receiver compatible with both systems could provide increased accuracy over either alone. Even though current GPS is accurate enough for my practical demands, I want more for nerd reasons. I remember speculation on using both GLONASS and GPS signals several years ago with the idea of improving both reliability and accuracy.
    • There were at last a couple of GPS receivers used for precision timing systems that could receive GPS and GLONASS.
  • by LoztInSpace (593234) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:42PM (#6043215)
    I'm sure I'll get blasted for this, but the US really showed it's true colours in this last war. They rode roughshod over every international organisation when the consensus didn't go their way and ultimately staged an invasion rather than liberation. I think under these circumstances the world needs another option.
    • I'm sure I'll get blasted for this, but the US really showed it's true colours in this last war. They rode roughshod over every international organisation when the consensus didn't go their way and ultimately staged an invasion rather than liberation. I think under these circumstances the world needs another option.

      Clearly a system of satellites that provide location data will be an excellent counter to US military supremacy. After this coup, no doubt the EU will look into building the 'Euronet' (aka the

      • by Sanity (1431) * on Monday May 26, 2003 @10:00PM (#6043767) Homepage Journal
        Note that I'm no fan of the current US administration, but to suggest that creating a European version of GPS is some great step towards making the EU a 'relevant' force in world politics (by which I mean a force capable of doing ~anything~) seems a tad laughable.
        And to imply that 'relevant' political force is determined by military strength alone is typically American thinking, and sorely misses the core lesson of 9-11 (namely that you don't need to spend 3% of your GDP on your military to inflict suffering on your enemies, nor will it prevent them from inflicting suffering on you).

        The EU is growing rapidly, its population already exceeds that of the US, and it won't be long before its economic strength does too (if it doesn't already). Most European countries have experienced first-hand the real meaning of war on their own soil (think 9-11 thousands of times over), and because of this they seek to create a world where justice doesn't have to be dispensed through Cruise missiles and Cuban concentration camps.

    • I'm sure I'll get blasted for this...

      Maybe because you're wrong? There are all kinds of arguments I could make regarding the war. However, I agree with one of the previous posters that this has more to do with American power in general. The Eurocrats are jealous of the fact that the U.S. has the power to act in its own interest with or without anyone's help, which makes them feel particularly irrelevant. Their response to this irrelevancy is to form a more federal E.U. with a common foreign policy a
      • by Chunky Kibbles (530549) <chunky@icculus.org> on Monday May 26, 2003 @10:22PM (#6043933) Homepage
        That's the typical american attitude; "We're the biggest and the best, and country is not as good as us, and they know it."

        In practice, American arrogance is altogether ridiculous, and given recent and past behaviour, the US is, I would say, more than likely to do things like break GPS leaving everyone else in the lurch.

        Contrary to what you may believe, the interest in a common EU isn't in competing with the US. You never know, there's a danger it may be that it's the best for all of Europe, and Europe knows it, and that's why we're doing it.

        We would all love to get together with the US, and provide various decent global systems... But the US simply keeps proving that it isn't trustworthy.

        Flamebait, I'm sure. But The arrogance I've witnessed in the 8 months since I moved here is beyond anything I had ever been able to imagine it would be. And yes, I'm pissed and even embarrassed to be an American citizen.

        Gary (-;
      • by Sanity (1431) * on Monday May 26, 2003 @10:29PM (#6043996) Homepage Journal
        The Eurocrats are jealous of the fact that the U.S. has the power to act in its own interest with or without anyone's help
        Yeah, just like the allies went to war with Hitler because they were "jealous" of him. Get out of the playground politics and into the real world pal!

        No, I don't equate Bush with Hitler, but I am making the point that just because you disagree with the schoolyard bully doesn't imply that you are "jealous" of their strength.

        Most Europeans (and many Americans) are concerned because they want to live in a world where nations obey the rule of law, not a world where the sheriff is whoever has the biggest gun, which is the world the US is rapidly creating. And lets remember that the UN was created by those brave Americans and Europeans who fought and won the Second World War, and it is being demolished by people who for the most part never risked their own lives at war, nor those of their family.

        • The problem with the UN isn't the theory, it's the practice. After the second world war, there were some key players that ended up becoming permanent members of the security council, which gives them more than their fair share of influence. The problem is that the balance of power has shifted since then. Is France still an important enough country to have a permanent status on the security council? Why give 5 nations permanent status? Why even *have* the security council in the first place? The UN is
        • Yeah, just like the allies went to war with Hitler because they were "jealous" of him. Get out of the playground politics and into the real world pal!

          No, I don't equate Bush with Hitler, but I am making the point that just because you disagree with the schoolyard bully doesn't imply that you are "jealous" of their strength.

          Even more importantly, counteracting the US isn't about counteracting Bush, but about the next US government, and the one after, and the one after that. The US has shown that it is

      • by dackroyd (468778) on Monday May 26, 2003 @11:02PM (#6044209) Homepage
        However, I agree with one of the previous posters that this has more to do with American power in general. The Eurocrats are jealous of the fact that the U.S. has the power to act in its own interest with or without anyone's help, which makes them feel particularly irrelevant.


        Irrelevant is a complete understatement. A more accurate picture would be scared and appalled.

        Most people in Europe generally perceive that the war in Iraq was for the benefit of the US companies that will be given access to the oil in Iraq, and for the benefit of Dubya, who gets a war that satisfies his need for revenge and to distract from the fact that the war on terror isn't going too well (Bin Laden still free, Afghanistan fucked and on the edge on tribal warfare again, all sympathy for US from 911 having been dissapated by American agresssion).

        We're also scared and appalled by the arrogance that the US administration has shown with it's mistreatment of France and Germany. These are countries that have been strongly allied with America for fifty years on most global issues. Now because of a single issue that they 'dared' disagree with the US on, the Bush administration has been making noises about how they no longer consider them to really be allies.

        This is completely insane behaviour - If the US doesn't consider the countries of Western Europe to be it's natural allies, then it suggests the US will follow a path of having no allies in the world (apart from Mr Poodle Blair) and using it's sheer economic and military might to get whatever it wants.

        It appears that the only way to even be allowed to negotiate with the US, is to have enough economic or military clout to resist the US directly. And that's one good reason for the Galileo system to go ahead.

        Two other points, Europe is not jealous of the ability of the US to wage war anywhere in the world against any country - after having so many wars waged across Europe we are broadly opposed to all wars. This really is a cultural difference between the citizens of the US and the EU, probably because apart from the American Civil war, the US has not seen or had to bear the horrors of wars at close hand, and with the 'patriotic' news coverage of the Iraq war, you still won't.

        Finally, France opposed the war both for it's own economic reasons and because it thought that the US was trying to manipulate the UN with false intelligence on the WMDs, massively overestimating Iraqs capabilities. Remember Colin Powell telling the UN how many thousands of litres of Anthrax the Iraqis had, and that they could assemble a nuclear bomb in a few hours ? Well turns out France was right and Colin Powell was either lying, or just repeating bullshit concocted by people in the US intelligence agencies that wanted an excuse to invade Iraq.

        End result of the US decision to invade ? Thousands of Iraqi civilians dead (not to count tens of thousands of Iraqi army personnel), no WMDs found and the chances of terrorist attacks have increased as people see the US as invading and subjugating another muslim country.

        • It appears that the only way to even be allowed to negotiate with the US, is to have enough economic or military clout to resist the US directly. And that's one good reason for the Galileo system to go ahead.

          Don't you hate it when someone completely proves your point:

          http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20030522S0050

          The nation's largest intelligence agency by budget and in control of all U.S. spy satellites, NRO is talking openly with the U.S. Air Force Space Command about actively denying the use of s

  • I just hope they do a really good technical job of it, that results in an even better system than GPS.

  • Well done, EU (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Faust7 (314817) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:43PM (#6043220) Homepage
    So they have their own system now, excellent. Autonomy is always a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that the U.S. is healthy as hell, but no country should be dependent on it for satellite navigation (GPS) or software (Microsoft). I just wish Japan would get its act together to avoid a U.S. economic bailout...

    Perhaps at some point in the future, both satellite systems will be merged into an internationally-run outfit. Good standardized functionality as well as a symbol of building what President Clinton referred to as an "integrated global community."
  • Not a new project (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bunji X (444592) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:46PM (#6043245)
    Galileo has been in the planning for quite a while, and will as far as I can tell be compatible and possibly linked with the US GPS system.

    The Galileo homepage [eu.int], in english.
  • When the U.S. gets a "monopoly" on something, we seem to have a way of imposing our moral correctness on others. (Lots of foreign aid money, kick-ass military, GPS satellites, etc.)

    This, of course, rubs everyone the wrong way and is probably why we are so, um, disliked in many parts of the world.

    We have this weird political morality that makes people very uncomfortable. On one hand, we impose Hollywood/TV on the world (OK, "Impose" is the wrong word) and then we also have the high-falutin right-wing chris
  • Great Name (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yet another coward (510) <yacoward@noSpAM.yahoo.com> on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:53PM (#6043304)
    During Galileo's day, longitude was hard to determine. Ships at sea had no sufficiently good clocks to determine position. Galileo proposed a system [uwaterloo.ca] using the moons of Jupiter, but it never worked well enough. John Harrison ultimately solved the problem, but I guess "Harrison" does not sound as good as "Galileo." Nova had a good program [pbs.org] on the longitude problem. There was also a bestselling book [amazon.com] about Harrison and his feat, but I have not read it.
  • World peace? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by incom (570967) on Monday May 26, 2003 @08:53PM (#6043306)
    Good thing for commercialization of space, or bad thing for world peace? And how is the EU having thier own GPS system a threat to world peace? Maybe if your a paranoid mountain hermit, and if the world to you is the USA. I for one trust the EU as peacekeepers more than just about any powerful organization out there.
    • Re:World peace? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitterOak (537666)
      And how is the EU having thier own GPS system a threat to world peace?

      Well, it isn't just European bombs that could be guided by the European satellite system, but anyone's bombs: Iraq, North Korea, etc. So, if the U.S. is in the middle of combat, and turns off public GPS to thwart emeny guided bombs, I can imagine a bunch of European beaurocrats sitting in Brussels trying to decide whether or not they should do the same. By the time they reach a consensus and turn off their system, the battle will be

      • Re:World peace? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by plaa (29967) <sampo,niskanen&iki,fi> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @02:42AM (#6045350) Homepage
        Well, it isn't just European bombs that could be guided by the European satellite system, but anyone's bombs

        I somehow doubt that the ultimate motivation for the system is for guiding bombs. Yes, of course it's a factor, but Europeans seem to be culturally more opposed to war than the US.

        So, if the U.S. is in the middle of combat, and turns off public GPS to thwart emeny guided bombs, I can imagine a bunch of European beaurocrats sitting in Brussels trying to decide whether or not they should do the same.

        Well, perhaps this will make the US think twice before going off to wage war that most of the rest of the world opposes. If Europe should choose to go to war (not very likely), I think that the decision would be made easily (if it will be possible to achieve at all).

        Is it somehow better to have absolute power in the hands of some kid trying to play dad?
      • Re:World peace? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Malcontent (40834)
        "By the time they reach a consensus and turn off their system, the battle will be over, possibly with lots of allied casualties."

        What allies? The us will act unilaterally anyway. Sure we had "allies" like jamaica and somalia but they didn't actually do anything did they?

        Also consider that US has a very stange concept of an ally. Our allies are only allies as long as they don't disagree. France went from being an ally to being an enemy in less then a month.

        Europe now realizes that America is no friend or
  • It threatens the new policy the US of A would like to have - from the cold war and MAD to UAI - Unilaterally Assured Invunerability, as seen by their insistance on a rocket shield, when any poor fool who'd try launching a nuke would be erased from existance, including the country in question. If anyone that desperate actually had a nuke, they'd probably just drive or ship it in instead. Same effect, helluva lot less payback (until they were found out at least).

    Kjella
  • as an European taxpayer i find disgusting this continuing tendency of certain European Governments (always the same Gang : French, Germany and Belgium) of copycatting the US instead of cooperating for the global good...

    This is not even competition, it is simply a continued waste of money ...

    Some European Politicians didn't understood yet what Alexis of Tocqueville (himself a French) found two hundred years ago and still think that Europe must, whatever it takes, be the Center of the Universe ...

    Imagine i
    • by Bartmoss (16109) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @03:40AM (#6045563) Homepage Journal
      How did THAT get modded up?

      As a European taxpayer, I applaud the plan to launch Gallileo! Competition is a good thing. This will also create jobs, and in the process of creating it, we will gain more experience in the space industry which will probably be a vital area in the future. Hey, guess what the more space infrastructure we get, the more likely we are to get to Mars.

      Also, let's not forget that USEuropean relations are at a low. Being dependent on a system that HAS been switched off in the past is foolish. Just imagine the United States decide to re-implement selective availability - 22 meters accuracy just doesn't cut it. Imagine a ship entering a harbour being 20 meters off to one side. That's enough to ram something.

      No, we need Gallileo, and we need not stop here. We need to become independent from the Americans, so in an ideal we can be equal partners and don't get pushed around by whatever weird ideas the US president of the day has.

      The Americans who "saved Democracy twice" in Europe in the 20th Century are NOT the Americans running the US today. I will not get into a debate about what's fscked up with America today, but the list is truely long and growing by the month.

      Europe cannot be the "center of the universe" (if that's what we want) without a reliable, working, accurate satellite navigation system. Even if you discount military uses, it's just too damn important for commerce today.

      Finally, your "always the same gang" smells of jealousy. Yes, France in Germany are the "center of Europe". Together, we have about a third of the population, and I have no idea how much of the industrial output, but let's face it, it's a lot. Yes, France and Germany are in the limelight recently (The UK would, if it chose to participate in the EU instead of in the US). So, what's your point? Are you pissed that Portugal is not the center of attention? The idea behind the EU is that there is Europe of which everybody is a part. If you want your country to play a greater role, push your politicans to do something.

      Sorry, but it's people like you why the EU will fail. Put aside your damn jealousy and realize that we are one continent, one people; we are free to live and work anywhere we chose, travel anywhere.

      I am not German, I am European. If the EU issued passports and direct citizenship, I'd be the first in line.

      Sorry to rant, but you it really pisses me off that we finally seize an opportunity, that the EU finally gets off their collective butts and actually DOES something that will benefit people, and which is a cool project on top of it, and you just cry foul and complain.

  • by Ken@WearableTech (107340) * <ken.kenwilliamsjr@com> on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:00PM (#6043357) Homepage Journal
    Doesn't the US have some trademark or some other crap on the name "Galileo" relating to a spacecraft?

    Can't Europe do something orginal. Sure copy GPS, but do you need to copy our mission/ship names too?
    • by n3k5 (606163) on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:09PM (#6043423) Journal
      Doesn't the US have some trademark or some other crap on the name "Galileo" relating to a spacecraft?
      Lot's of space related things, in Europe as well as the US, have been named after Galileo, Copernicus, or Kepler for ages. All of which were European, by the way. If something in the US is called 'Galileo', that choice probably wasn't all that original in the first place; it's definitely not 'your' name.
  • by jerde (23294) on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:11PM (#6043429) Journal
    Just think for a moment about how dependant we are on GPS for a whole bunch of things now...

    It is a complex system, and if computer science has taught us nothing else (and it hasn't), we know that complex systems can never be immune to failure.

    If there were a totally redundant system of different design, I for one would want to require planes and ships to carry recievers for BOTH systems. Then you can check for agreement or be in much better shape if either system failed for whatever reason.

    - Peter

    (extra points to anyone who sees my failed attempt at a Simpsons reference)
    • Suppose both don't agree: then what? Which one do you rely on? If you are an airliner on landing approach, it's not like you can stop in mid-air and ask for directions, you know.

      Just something to think about.

  • by KFury (19522) * on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:16PM (#6043476) Homepage
    The /. article claims that the US abolished selective availability three years ago, but that's not the case. They abolished the 'fuzzing' of resolution, so that ordinary joes could get 10-foot accuracy instead of 70, but that's not selective availability.

    Selective availability is the capability of 'turning off' GPS in specific geographic regions during times of war or for any other reason. They did it in Afghanistan last year, and they can do it whenever and wherever they want, though it's on an incident by incident basis.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Wrong. Selective availability *is* the degradation of the signal. Just follow the link provided in the post. What you are talking about is selective deniability.
  • by yoder (178161) <progressivepenguin@gmail.com> on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:20PM (#6043505) Homepage Journal
    Right now we (the US) are bad for world peace. Anything that will help level the world playing field is good for world stability and peace. The EU just needs to get their ducks in a row so they can truly be a world superpower.
    • You say you are an American but you think the EU needs to be a world superpower? You must not have had much history class. WWI and WWII were both started by western europe. You may disagree with the recent US aggression toward backwards governments that shouldn't be in power in the first place, but if you think Europe would be any better you know nothing of European history.
      • by darkov (261309) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @02:27AM (#6045288)
        WWI and WWII were both started by western europe.

        I think this is the point of the EU. When large powerful countries like Germany are part of an integrated Europe, they're not going to have political differences that involve invading another part of the EU, since that would be like chopping off your own leg.

        I think the more integrated the world is economically and socially, the better off we are (this is the upside to economic globalisation). It's just right now the US just doesn't get it and it going around like the class bully. The other good reason for the EU to exist is to balance out an overly strong US.

        backwards governments that shouldn't be in power in the first place

        You mean like the Bush administration?
    • by TummyX (84871)
      You're right. World peace can only be attained by sitting idly by and watching dictators take over the world. It worked in WW2, why shouldn't it work now...oh wait..
  • by PHAEDRU5 (213667) <instascreed@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:22PM (#6043520) Homepage
    Among other things, the article notes:

    The European Space Agency (ESA) said in a statement that an agreement had been reached among its member states which finalised the conditions for their participation in the project.

    "The European Space Agency is now able to finalise the conditions for participation in the Galileo navigation program and to approve the Galileo joint undertaking foundation act to be soon signed by ESA and the European Union," ESA's statement said.

    "Now able to finalize the conditions for participation"? Sounds to me like scheduling a meeting to discuss the meeting where they finalize the agenda items to be discussed in the main meeting.

    Good luck to them, but I doubt they'll succeed.
  • by NickFitz (5849) <slashdot@nickfiH ... minus herbivore> on Monday May 26, 2003 @09:23PM (#6043525) Homepage
    Good thing for commercialization of space, or bad thing for world peace?

    I appreciate that this question is intended to provoke a debate, but it seems to me to narrow that debate through its phrasing. The implication seems to be that the US are the Guardians of World Peace (TM), and that we pesky Europeans have no business sticking our noses in when it makes the Yanks feel a little less in control.

    Given the assumption that any removal of absolute control of some useful technology from the US is potentially "a bad thing for world peace", can anybody possibly point us to the evidence for Iraq's possession of WsMD, given that the Guardians of World Peace (TM) [whitehouse.gov] used them as their sole justification for starting a war?

    Or could it be that the US should have listened to what the European states (with the sorry exception of my own nation) were trying to tell them about making unjustified assumptions? Might it not be a good thing if more than one kid in the playground has control of the baseball bat?

  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug&geekazon,com> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @12:23AM (#6044633) Homepage
    Wait until the US military decides Galileo is a potential tool for terrorism.
  • US != Peace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Offwhite98 (101400) on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @01:12AM (#6044925) Homepage
    Having the US exist as the only major power does not mean there will be peace. I think it would be best for these European countries to work toward their own mutual benefit without outside influence because they do exist in a very tight geographical location.

    While the US is not perfectly secure, the country is surrounded by water and 2 friendly nations. I can only imagine how tense it could be to live in Turkey, Serbia or even Germany right now. The European Union may prove to be the new stabilizing force in the world now that the US and USSR are not fighting over the way things should be.

    In a few years we may realize the biggest threat to war is a nation that fears nothing and is sees nothing wrong with destroying other nations as long as it serves their interests.
  • Trusting the US. (Score:4, Informative)

    by rew (6140) <r.e.wolff@BitWizard.nl> on Tuesday May 27, 2003 @04:01AM (#6045656) Homepage
    Here in a little country called The Netherlands in Western Europe, we house the "international court of Justice". This formally has nothing to do with our country. We just happen provide a place for this institution to "live". This court tries to be fair to dirtbags that order thousands killed in wars.

    The United States has "promised" us that they will invade us if "we" ever convict an American of such things.

    So, the Europeans should trust their friendly American "friends", who openly refuse to be subjected to the internationally agreed upon "police"? Right.

    There are always "differences" between countries. We think that shooting someone for being on your property is outrageous. You think that allowing small quantities of drugs is outrageous.

    If at one point in time we (any European country) end up with a difference of opinion that the Americans find important, we'll certainly be refused the right to use the GPS system in a conflict situation.

    Also, should anything go wrong with GPS, it's nice to have a backup. I mean how big is the chance that suddenly the Americans end up unable to launch (replacement) satelites for over a year? Only happened twice so far....

All constants are variables.

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