US, Chinese Military Commanders Disagree on Significance of Provocative Anti-Satellite Test

 

US, Chinese Military Commanders Disagree on Significance of Provocative Anti-Satellite Test

Senior US and Chinese military commanders sharply disagreed Friday on the impact of China’s provocative anti-satellite weapon test in January. The exchange came during a meeting in Beijing between the commander of US forces in the Pacific and the vice chairman of China’s powerful Central Military Commission. VOA Pentagon Correspondent Al Pessin attended the meeting and later interviewed the US commander, Admiral Timothy Keating about the first day of his first visit to China in his new job.

Keating told Chinese General Guo Boxiong many people do not understand why China would test an anti-satellite weapon if it truly seeks a peaceful rise to superpower status, as it claims. The admiral said the test, in which China used a missile to destroy one of its own satellites, sent a “confusing signal” to the United States and the world.

Keating said he hopes China does not pursue its anti-satellite weapon program.

“I’d hope that once demonstrated that they, ‘put it on the shelf,'” he said. “There’s little further scientific data to be derived, in my perspective. They could have done it in the laboratory, if you will. But, it’s done and the debris is there. We can’t unring the bell. And I would hope that they now understand, we all understand, the challenges attendant to introduction of large quantities of large debris into the commons of space.”

When Admiral Keating raised the anti-satellite weapon issue during his meeting with Guo, the general chuckled and said he does not understand why the world reaction to the Chinese anti-satellite missile test has been so “dramatic.” He called the test a normal scientific experiment that had no serious consequences or ulterior motives, and didn’t threaten any country. Guo disputed the view that the test left a large amount of debris in orbit.

Guo tried to change the subject to Taiwan, but Keating insisted on staying on subject for a few more minutes, saying some people in the US military, government and business community believe the test was more than a scientific experiment and that the risk to other satellites posed by the debris is “not insignificant.”

“The explanation provided, that it was a scientific endeavor, in my view is a partially complete answer,” Keating explained. “There are, in my opinion, military overtones to this, if not direct military application.”

When the two senior officers did turn to Taiwan, Guo warned Washington not to trust assurances by leaders on the island that they will not try to declare themselves an independent government, and not to encourage them to do so.

Keating said the US recognizes that there is only one China, but he also noted that the US is committed to help Taiwan defend itself against any attack. He said he is concerned that a series of misunderstandings, possibly fueled by rhetoric during the campaign for Taiwan’s coming election, could lead to a situation neither China nor the US wants.

To avoid that, Keating called for more US-China military contacts at the leadership level, and also at lower ranks. He said that will help lead to better understanding of each country’s strategic intentions, and also to more transparency in China’s defense spending and capabilities.

On Friday, Keating also met with China’s military chief of staff and the vice foreign minister responsible for North American affairs. Over lunch, he had a long discussion with a Chinese admiral about the possibility that China might develop aircraft carriers. [Editor: Why would peacefully rising China need a blue-water navy?]

As his five-day visit continues, Keating will meet with Chinese military scholars and students, and will visit the eastern military region, directly across the straits from Taiwan.

U.S. military develops Robocop armour for soldiers

U.S. military develops Robocop armour for soldiers

By MATTHEW HICKLEY, Defence Correspondent – More by this author » Last updated at 12:51pm on 10th April 2007 We may have seen it all before in science-fiction films. But the bionic warrior is in fact a vision of real-life warfare in the 21st century. U.S. defence chiefs hope to have their troops kitted out in the outlandish combat gear as soon as 2020.Included in the Pentagon’s Future Warrior Concept are a powerful exoskeleton, a self-camouflaging outer layer that adapts to changing environments and a helmet which translates a soldier’s voice into any foreign language.

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The robo-warriorArmour-clad and armed to the teeth, this is the soldier of the (near) future

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The future soldier will also benefit from ‘intelligent’ armour, which remains light and flexible until it senses an approaching bullet, then tenses to become bulletproof.

Perhaps worryingly, several of the planned enhancements seem to owe more than a little to Hollywood blockbusters such as Robocop, Aliens and Predator.

But officials are quick to point out that many of these systems are already working in prototype form, or are refinements of proven technologies.

Some of the blueprints will be unworkable without eagerly awaited advances in nanotechnology, but researchers remain confident. And perhaps with good reason.

The sheer scale of U.S. military research spending and the pace of recent advances in aircraft stealth technology and guided precision bombs are staggering.

Project specialist Jean-Louis DeGay, a former captain in 75th Ranger Regiment, said: “We’re already trialling equipment and technologies that did not exist a few years ago.

“The air force has just debuted its new stun gun and five years after the concept of an exoskeleton was first discussed, we have fully functioning prototypes.”

He told Soldier magazine: “Five years ago, nobody thought we’d have a portable hydrogen fuel cell, but we’ve got them now.

“They’re functioning, and we’re just trying to make them smaller. And if I’m honest, nothing speeds up the development of technology like war.”

If the U.S. military’s vision of the future is even half-right, Britain’s armed forces will have their work cut out trying to keep up.

Even comparatively understated attempts to improve our troops’ battlefield technology, such as the Bowman digital battlefield radio system, have been blighted by years of delays and embarrassing technical blunders.

A Different Christmans Poem — Please copy and email it to your friends

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”

 “It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for
us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

Al Qaida’s new generation unknown to U.S. intelligence

Special to World Tribune.comGEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT.COMFriday, October 6, 2006 The new generation of Al Qaida remains secret and unknown to international intelligence services, an Al Qaida website last week reported. Islamic writer Uways Bradley wrote Sept. 22 on a Global Islamic Media Front website that Al Qaida was expanding worldwide and has not been diminished by U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts. “Al Qaida is here to stay,” he said, noting that many members of the first generation Al Qaida are known to “Crusaders” and their followers. However, the next generation of Al Qaida is still secret. “The new generation is a mercurial generation in every measure,” he said. “This creates a serious security and political crisis. For example, the blessed attacks in London were carried out by heroes who were not previously known, and so were the attacks of Madrid and the Arabian Peninsula.” Bradley said the United States has “limited knowledge” of the identities of current Al Qaida leaders and noted confusion among U.S. intelligence agencies about the successor to Al Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi prior to the naming of Abu-Hamza al-Mohajer. Meanwhile, Pakistan has learned that the Al Qaida leader involved in the plot to blow up jetliners flying from London to the Untied States is hiding in northeastern Afghanistan and has been moving between Nuristan and Konar provinces bordering Pakistan. The name of the operative was not revealed publicly, but he was an Arab and aide to Ayman Al Zawahiri. Rashid Rauf, who was arrested in Pakistan and is a key figure in the foiled plot, disclosed his identity. The investigation revealed that Al Zawahiri, Al Qaida’s No. 2 leader, approved the plot.