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Next Major War in Space? 805

An anonymous reader writes "A US Northern Command general thinks that with US and international military dependence on space assets (such as GPS, eyes in the sky, communications), the next major conflict will occur in the heavens. He acknowledged that the US wants to keep space peaceful, but that can't last forever, and potential threats might not care, anyway. Yes, China's recent success (or what we heard from the military secrecy) relates to this, but he also said he's not implying China is a threat, or will be."
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Next Major War in Space?

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  • by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Friday October 17, 2003 @09:18AM (#7238796) Homepage Journal
    In GW1 a lot of fuss was made about an Iraqi super gun. This was a long barrel fixed to a mountain. It had a fixed trajectory and would always fire at the same place when made. The powers that be (our beloved propaganda machine) told us that, with this gun, they could launch waves of attacks at Israel.

    This was rubbish because once the first incoming arrives the radar defence system is able to work out the launch location and it is destroyed. This is why the scud missile system was favoured as it is mobile and could be moved before the retaliation arrived.

    The super gun was developed originally to take out satellite systems. It could fire a bomb into space and it would only take one bomb as the shrapenel would damage all satellites in the area, accuracy is not required as satellites are relatively fragile.

    If we had not had our survellence satellites we would not have been able to walk through as easilly as we did in GWI or GWII. If the super gun had been built it would have destroyed our theatre intelligence and more of our lives would have been lost. The problem for the propaganda machine was that 'would the public support going after a defensive weapon?' so they portrayed it as offensive.

    That said, maybe Saddam was daft enough to think it could be used offensively... I doubt it though.
  • Re:Paranoia (Score:2, Informative)

    by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) * on Friday October 17, 2003 @10:04AM (#7239299)
    a complete breakdown of civil rights like it is happening now.

    Yipes! Where?

    Here in NY, nothing's changed. Seriously, dude, if things are that bad where you live consider moving here to the Northeast. Even though, geographically, we got hit hardest by "the events of 9/11," I have been unable to detect that breakdown of civil rights you mention.

    ...unless you're referring to Mayor Bloomberg's recent smoking ban. In that case, yeah, you're right. Total abuse of power.

  • Re:Intelligence (Score:2, Informative)

    by Facetious ( 710885 ) on Friday October 17, 2003 @10:37AM (#7239591) Journal
    Many Intelligence satellites are in a low altitude (150-300 mile) polar orbit. Reading newspapers from 22,000 miles (geosync) just can't be done yet.
  • by bluGill ( 862 ) on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:05AM (#7239798)

    Yes you can Jam GPS from the ground. However you cannot do it without announcing exactly where you jammer is. It is trivial for the military to launch a bomb at all your jammers, and solve the problem. Further, jammers have a limited range (how limited depends on power...) so by turning on a jammer you announce that there is some reason to jam that area, focusing attention on the area. You can assume some decoys, but jammers still announce something. Directional antennas are also of some use. Ground based jammers are easy to block out when you recall the real signal is coming from overhead. Combine that with sensitive recivers and you can't be sure your jammers will even jam the signal.

    The military has carefully considered ground based jamming. It was done in WWII (and likely before), they are not stupid enough to overlook it. They have spent years finding things that are immune to jamming.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall