Space Warfare, the New Battlefield

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The Pentagon is considering creating a combatant command for space warfare, the latest step by the Defense Department to respond to Chinese and Russian militarization high above Earth.

The move — one of several under consideration — is mentioned in a new Pentagon report sent to Congress last week. Right now, space forces are dispersed throughout the military and intelligence community.

There are two kinds of combatant commands. Geographic cocoms oversee military operations in six regions of the world. Functional ones — like U.S. Strategic Command and U.S.Transportation Command — oversee operations that span multiple geographical commands. U.S. Cyber Command is considered a subunified command under STRATCOM, but is being elevated to a functional command.

The Pentagon is looking into whether space should have its own combatant command or subunified command (like Cyber Command), the report says. Space forces were grouped under U.S. Space Command, a unified combatant command, until 2002.

The Pentagon is preparing for war should China, Russia, or other adversaries attack vital American satellites and other space systems, a senior Pentagon official told Congress on Wednesday.

The Pentagon has requested $12.5 billion in funding for the fiscal year 2019 that begins Oct. 1 for building up what he termed a “more resilient defendable space architecture.”

The request is $1.1 billion more than funding for last year on military space.

Rood, and Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the Omaha-based Strategic Command, testified on the command’s budget request of $24 billion.

Neither elaborated on what space warfare capabilities are being developed. The Pentagon also has not said how it would deter and defend satellites from attack.

Space defense so far has involved development of intelligence capabilities to identify and assess if an incident in space is an attack, or the result of a malfunction or disruption due to collision with space debris.

Military space “resilience” also calls for the Pentagon to rapidly replace or restore satellites after attacks or other disruptions.

The Pentagon’s Defense Science Board, in a report last year, warned that the vulnerability of U.S. satellites to electronic attack was “a crisis to be dealt with immediately.”

The Joint Staff intelligence directorate warned earlier this year that China and Russia will have fully developed space attack weapons in place by 2020 that will threaten all U.S. satellites in low earth orbit—100 miles to 1,200 miles in space.

“Space is a warfighting domain just like the air, ground, maritime, and cyberspace domains,” Hyten said.

Currently, a defense and intelligence center called the National Space Defense Center, located at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, runs 24-hour operations for rapid detection, warning, and defense from space attacks.

War games involving space war also are held regularly with U.S. military forces and allies, including Asian and European allies.

China has conducted at least seven tests of hypersonic vehicles and Russia as well has conducted several hypersonic missile tests.

The hypersonic vehicles are designed to defeat missile defenses. More here.


February 2018: The Pentagon put Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites in orbit to ensure communication in the event of a nuclear attack. But those spacecraft could also play a role in the rapid militarization of space.

  • Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites will be able to keep the U.S. military in communication even after a nuclear attack.
  • They’re also more resistant to electronic jamming, which is a growing concern as tensions with China and Russia heat up.
  • In the war of the future, nations may try to physically destroy other nations’ satellites to disrupt communications and navigation.

Your phone is not going to work on the day nuclear war starts. But the U.S. President, National Security Council, and combat commanders count on being able to communicate. This doomsday connection relies on what we call Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites that sit in geostationary orbit.

“We need systems that work on the worst day in the history of the world,” says Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

There are four AEHF sats in orbit today. The proposed 2019 U.S. Air Force budget shows about $29.8 million in funding to complete two more, which would launch in 2019 and 2020. Air Force staffers say more money has been set aside in 2019 to ready the software and databases for the pair of new sats.

The Air Force talks about the AEHF satellites as part of its new focus on modernizing America’s nuclear abilities. “We must concurrently modernize the entire nuclear triad and the command and control systems that enable its effectiveness,” says Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The Trump administration has its eye on nuclear weapons, but these satellites also sit at the nexus of another big defense trend: Space warfare.

The Department of Defense is also investing in new jam-resistant GPS satellites. It is pouring money into future satellite programs, including AEHF, to the tune of $677 million for research and development in 2019. As orbital threats grow, new potential users—especially the U.S. Army—are taking interest in what the doomsday spacecraft can do. Preparing for post-apocalyptic communication may be just the beginning. More here.


Susan Rice Unmasked the Names in the Seychelles Meeting

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Who is George Nader?

A Lebanese-American businessman, Nader currently serves as an adviser to Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who has developed a close relationship with Jared Kushner. For years, Nader has been a well-known, if somewhat off-the-radar, figure in certain political circles. According to the Times, Nader worked with the Bill Clinton administration in its attempt to broker a peace deal between Syria and Israel, convincing the White House that he could leverage his influential contacts with the Syrian government. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Nader worked with Prince’s private security company, Blackwater—which is now known as Academi—as a “business-development consultant,” according to a 2010 deposition. At the time of the 2016 election, he was serving as an adviser to Prince Mohammed, and was a frequent visitor to the White House during the early months of the Trump administration, where he met with Kushner and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

George Nader, a Middle East expert connected to several associates of President Donald Trump, is now cooperating with the special counsel Robert Mueller and has testified before a grand jury in the Russia investigation, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

FBI investigators approached Nader when he landed at Washington Dulles International Airport in January and served him with search warrants and a grand jury subpoena, the report said. At the time, Nader was en route to Mar-a-Lago to meet with President Donald Trump and his associates to celebrate the anniversary of Trump’s first year in office.

The meeting was said to have raised red flags within the US intelligence community because the government was not notified of Crown Prince Mohammed’s visit. The Obama administration felt misled by the UAE as a result, which prompted then-national security adviser Susan Rice to request that Trump associates’ names be unmasked in intelligence reports detailing the meeting.

A senior Middle East official acknowledged to CNN last year that the UAE did not inform the US of the crown prince’s visit in advance but denied that the UAE had misled the Obama administration. The official said that the December Trump Tower meeting was merely part of an effort to build a relationship with the incoming administration.

Mueller’s prosecutors have repeatedly questioned Nader about the meeting, as well as his meetings in the White House with Kushner and Bannon following Trump’s inauguration.

That same month, Kushner met with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US, and reportedly proposed setting up a secure back-channel of communication between Trump and Moscow using Russian facilities.

Shortly after, Kushner had a separate meeting with Sergei Gorkov, the CEO of the sanctioned Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank, which was reportedly orchestrated by Kislyak. The interaction piqued investigators’ scrutiny as the FBI began examining whether Russian officials suggested to Kushner that Russian banks could finance Trump associates’ business ventures if US sanctions were lifted or relaxed.

Kushner’s meeting with Gorkov came as he was looking for investors to shore up financing for a building on Fifth Avenue in New York that his family’s real-estate company had purchased.

Prince told the House Intelligence Committee last year that he knew Kirill Dmitriev was a Russian fund manager but did not know it was a sanctioned fund that was controlled by the Russian government.

After the Seychelles meeting, Dmitriev also met with Anthony Scaramucci, who would later become the White House communications director, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Russian state media quoted Scaramucci as saying, after his meeting with Dmitriev, that the Obama administration’s new sanctions on Russia — which were imposed that month to penalize it for interfering in the 2016 election — were ineffective and detrimental to the US-Russia relationship.

Dmitriev’s company, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, was included on the list of Russian economic entities that were penalized as part of that decision.

An RDIF spokesperson reached out to Business Insider to clarify that the fund was included on the US sanctions list because of its status as a former subsidiary of Vnesheconombank. More here.

When it comes to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Americans and people with ties to the U.S. have held some of the top spots at RDIF. For years, a deputy CEO at the fund was Sean Glodek, a Stanford alum and Wharton MBA graduate who previously worked at Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers. The current deputy co-director for RDIF’s Russia-China investment fund is Oleg Chizh, a Brandeis and Columbia graduate. Other Americans have served in top investor relations and advisory roles.

Part of its mission is to make outsiders more comfortable investing in Russia by pairing their capital with RDIF funds. It was formerly part of VEB, the bank that doubles as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “private slush fund,” according to Atlantic Council fellow Anders Aslund. More here.


WaPo Columnist Goes Marxist: ‘It’s Time To Give Socialism A Try’

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

The mask is totally off on most media outlets these days. They fully embrace socialism, which is just communism-lite. The Washington Post ran and tweeted an op-ed from Elizabeth Bruenig. She waxed poetic regarding the possibilities of a new economic system in the United States… yep, socialism. I have news for these useful idiots… socialism sucks. Just ask Venezuela. And WaPo is not alone. The New York Times just ran a series of pieces over this past year that vociferously praised Marxism from the perspective of women’s rights, “inspiring” Americans, the Harlem Renaissance, even from the perspective of having better sex. Ben Shapiro astutely points out however, that Bruenig’s trashy write-up is a masterpiece in silliness. He called it, “a veritable cornucopia of evil ideas repackaged in the mildewed bows of revolutionary optimism.” I so wish I had said that.

Bruenig is adept at whining. First she complained that capitalism has hollowed out the “liberal” movement. It’s hard to hollow out an ideal that was empty to begin with. Instead, Bruenig suggests, “It’s time to give socialism a try.” Like that hasn’t been done before… over and over and over again. And every time it has resoundingly failed. Many times with people starving to death or winding up in gulags. She claims that the ills bedeviling our society are almost entirely the result of capitalism. Excuse me? It’s socialism that has impoverished our large cities, exploded crime and has taxed Americans under crushing burdens of debt. This woman is delusional.

Bruenig excoriates Andrew Sullivan of New York Magazine for embracing capitalism while lamenting the rise of nationalism. She even goes after good ole Uncle Joe Biden, whom she says whines uselessly about America being “better than this.” She seems confused. Biden is a socialist himself that spoons with union Marxists. What? Isn’t he ‘Marxist’ enough for her? She says that Americans are “isolated, viciously competitive, suspicious of one another and spiritually shallow; and that we are anxiously looking for some kind of attachment to something real and profound in an age of decreasing trust and regard,” and that all of this is “emblematic of capitalism.”

Once again, she is assigning to capitalism the fruits of socialism. Marxism causes paranoia and suspicion and as far as spirituality… it is devoid of it. Capitalism has brought millions out of the depths of want and has given them good lives. While Marxism’s ‘real and profound’ result is communism, where everyone is equally destitute, equally subservient and equally oppressed. Maybe that is her version of reality – communism you can trust in – but it’s not mine. While capitalism was ascendant, our social bonds were incredibly strong. Interventionism by our government has resulted in the breakdown of social cohesion as well. Freedom to shop and live and prosper is not the problem… progressives are.

If you can believe it, her rant gets even worse. According to Bruenig, capitalism “encourages and requires fierce individualism, self-interested disregard for the other, and resentment of arrangements into which one deposits more than he or she withdraws.” So, capitalism = bad, socialism = pretty? She’s saying that capitalists are selfish for making a profit that is resented by others who did not earn said profit. That’s called production… you are paid for services or items rendered. It’s also called exchange, something that socialists seem to have a devil of a time comprehending. And it is not evil to be individualistic.

She continues:

Capitalism is an ideology that is far more encompassing than it admits, and one that turns every relationship into a calculable exchange. Bodies, time, energy, creativity, love — all become commodities to be priced and sold. Alienation reigns. There is no room for sustained contemplation and little interest in public morality; everything collapses down to the level of the atomized individual.

Morality is far more a product of a society that rewards effort with exchange than it will ever be of those who are rewarded for not producing, yet taking what is not theirs to begin with. Personally, I do not know one Marxist that is a moral person. Not one. They have a very different definition of morality than most of us. Bruenig quickly skips over the totalitarianism of socialism, instead suggesting a “kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture.” Instead, the state would strangle all of us. Shapiro points out that, “There is no way to “democratize” socialism — there is always a boss at the factory, whether it’s a government bureaucrat or an owner who has a stake in the success of the factory. You cannot decommodify labor, because labor is by its nature a commodity — it is a tradeable good to be bought and sold. And capitalism may create inequality, but it also creates prosperity for everyone, including those on the bottom end of the economic spectrum.”

Bruenig continues her inane argument:

I don’t think that every problem can be traced back to capitalism: There were calamities and injustices long before capital, and I’ll venture to say there will be after.

That is correct, but at its premise, it is moronic in nature. Before we had capitalism, we had feudalism, monarchic tyranny, mercantilism and bloody war with complete lack of economic progress. Tyranny has many faces, including that of socialism.

She concludes by saying:

But it seems to me that it’s time for those who expected to enjoy the end of history to accept that, though they’re linked in certain respects, capitalism seems to be at odds with the harmonious, peaceful, stable liberalism of midcentury dreams. I don’t think we’ve reached the end of history yet, which means we still have the chance to shape the future we want. I suggest we take it.

Socialism and communism have never worked throughout history. But these neanderthals keep on trying. Shapiro ended his brilliant response with this, “Bruenig’s path has already been taken. It leads to the gulag, to the prison camp, to the starvation of children. It leads to centralization of power and it leads to destruction of the individual. The fact that Bruenig can repeat the discredited nostrums of Lenin and Mao without even realizing it shows how our capitalist system has failed to educate its beneficiaries about just why they’re able to write garbage editorials for pay in the freest, most prosperous country in world history.” Very well said.

Perhaps Bruenig should take her seditious meanderings and head down to Venezuela where she can experience the true fruits of unbridled socialism. If she survives her jaunt, perhaps it will give her a new outlook on capitalism. Or, she could always opt for the Russian or Chinese gulags. I hear they are lovely this time of year and I’m sure they have room for her. If you wanted a reason to never read the Washington Post again, this is it.