By Killing Satellite, US Would Send Ominous Message
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2008
by Elizabeth Sullivan
The debris fallout may be less wor risome than the diplomatic fall out. U.S. space and defense planners say they're putting safety first in trying to shoot apart a falling spy satellite and its tank full of toxic fuel before either come to ground next month and hit a town.But countries around the world instead see another notch on the belt of America's aggressive space-weapons research. A multibillion-dollar anti-missile program that has yet to prove itself in a full, real-world test - and that many physicists say can never be an impermeable shield against cheap decoys - is either openly supported or not clearly rejected by the leading presidential candidates.
John McCain strongly favors the missile defense system. Hillary Clinton doesn't directly address the issue on her Web site. It was her husband's administration that made the decision to move forward more aggressively with the underlying research.
Barack Obama opposes weapons in outer space, but, according to the Polish press, his chief foreign policy adviser, Anthony Lake, told Polish Americans in Cleveland last month that the shield project should not be abandoned in light of Iran's nuclear ambitions.
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