The National Reconaissance Office -- the government agency in charge of all U.S. spy satellites -- "is talking openly... about actively denying the use of space for intelligence purposes to any other nation at any time -- not just adversaries, but even longtime allies," EE Times reports.
At the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in early April, (NRO director Peter) Teets proposed that U.S. resources from military, civilian and commercial satellites be combined to provide 'persistence in total situational awareness, for the benefit of this nation's war fighters.' If allies don't like the new paradigm of space dominance, said Air Force secretary James Roche, they'll just have to learn to accept it. The allies, he told the symposium, will have 'no veto power.'While empire-cheerleaders, like the fine folks at Winds of Change, are applauding the move, such a denial seems sure to piss off America's dwindling handful of pals -- again. And when fighting a global, decentralized enemy like Al Qaeda, don't you need all the friends you can get?THERE'S MORE: As if on cue, the European Space Agency has announced plans to move ahead with the 30-satellite Galileo system, which is widely seen as a rival to the U.S. military's Global Positioning System (GPS) array. The plans call for Galileo to be operational by 2008.As Slashdot notes, the U.S. opened up access to GPS three years ago "partly to make GPS more useful for all mankind, but also to dissuade other countries from developing their own navigational satellite system, and thus be dependant on the U.S. for both peaceful and military purposes."Since the demise of the Russian GLONASS system, GPS is the only game in town. Evidently recent events make Europe feel less comfortable about such things, and so they're building their own." (emphasis mine)