Friday, January 19, 2007

Some Diplomatic Whining

The US criticized China yesterday over its anti-satellite missile test last 11 January; in which the Chinese used (possibly) a KT-2 missile (a modified Dong Feng 31 ICBM) to destroy an old Chinese weather satellite. (Thanks for the Telegraph link, T).

The AP and the Daily Telegraph both quote National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe as saying that China’s “development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area” and that the US and other countries have expressed “concern” to the Chinese.

You bet the US is concerned: the US military depends on satellites for communications and reconnaissance. Development of reliable anti-satellite weapons means that the US will have to expend resources to protect or replace its space assets if needed. Anti-satellite weapons are cheap compared to the required countermeasures. No surprise that China is building them.

The unbelievable part is the nature of the US rhetorical response. “[I]nconsistent with the spirit of cooperation…in the civil space area.” Humph. I guess the NSC could have said something to look stupider, if their eggheads had really worked on it. I bet the Chinese military had some spirits and a few laughs over the “spirit of cooperation.”

Is Mr. Johndroe serious ? No, I’m not saying we should be going to war with them, or doing anything whatever rash – testing things that go boom is what great powers do from time to time. But why say anything at all, beyond simple acknowledgement that the test took place ? The most appropriate response would be naval maneuvers in the Taiwan straits, or a few tests of various gadgets of our own (such as the missile defense systems we are working on), not some stupid statement gassing about “cooperation in the civil space area.” Mr. Johndroe’s comments sound like something a child says when he’s whining about the schoolyard bully.


louielouie said...

i am posting here as i don't wish to soil you CHD essay with one of my comments.
as it took the US/colonies over two centuries to extricate themselves from king cotton, i wonder how long it will take to rid ourselves of king oil.
as for china from the inside, to myself, it appears that the ruling party is using their population as slave labor. it's the commies, no kidding. while the east coast of china is moving from the 1800s to the 2000s, 1900s????, the various regions of china, countries in their own right, 300mil here, 200mil there, live circa 1200/1300. while they are building those anti-satellite satellites, they might want to contemplate what to do when the three gorges damn backs/fills up with raw sewage.
as for the anti-satellite satellites, i think that shows the short sightedness of our side. kind of like not putting locks on car doors. we are waaay too civilized to hang horse theives. we can make really good computer software though. i would really like to know what happened to the guy at microsoft who first posed the idea of an anti-virus software. who would do such a thing.
let's just put one of these in our backyard.........

louielouie said...

or if you got the cajones, you could landscape in the entire facility........
get along thar litl' doggie......