|The smoke trail from Endeavour's final launch|
It breaks my heart, boggles my mind, and boils my blood that the White House cannot see the value of the space program. Beyond just the job losses here in Central Florida, we are needlessly sacrificing a national security advantage to China and Russia, and any other country that decides to step into the void we're creating. We've cancelled a successful shuttle program with nothing to take its place, voluntarily surrendering control of space to foreign countries and corporate interests that cannot be counted on to have our same interests at heart. Any company seeking to profit from space tourism is not going to make an investment in American national security the same way that NASA and our military do.
I have two major national security-related fears. First, any student of military theory knows that there is a strategic advantage in controlling the high ground, and what higher ground is there than space? Military technology continues to advance; we've had intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles for decades, allowing us to attack any point on the globe with weapons located on our own soil. But how much of a deterrent will that nuclear arsenal be if we have yielded all ability to control our presence in the space above the flight path of those missiles? Any video-game playing child can see the problem.
Second, we are heavily dependent on satellite technology for communication. What happens if someone took out even 5 or 10% of our communication satellites? Beyond the inconvenience of losing ESPN, what happens if the New York Stock Exchange computers cannot communicate with the European markets, if telecommunications are cut off with part of Asia, if a major metropolitan area loses its internet connection? And of course it's easy to see the national security risks if we lost any part of our network of spy satellites that help us keep an eye on the many dangerous parts of the world.
The White House administration that so casually and callously allowed our shuttle program to die is the same one that senselessly placed a moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, while President Obama travelled to Brazil in March and told a group of business leaders there, "“We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."
President Obama's obsession with sacrificing America's ability to control her own destiny to foreign interests doesn't end there. The Air Force is currently considering bids to build a new type of "light attack and armed reconnaissance" ("LAAR") aircraft from two companies, Hawker Beechcraft and Embraer.
|The Hawker Beechcraft AT-6|
More importantly, we cannot risk granting a foreign country the ability to ground a large part of our Air Force. Brazil was publicly and vehemently criticizing our military action in Libya only hours after President Obama finished his March visit. What happens if protecting the interests of the United States necessitates action in one of the many socialist governments in Latin America, such as Cuba or Venezuela? Hugo Chavez is extremely hostile to American interests, and we cannot predict the chaos that may occur in Cuba when the Castro brothers finally pass away.
It is clear that our economic, military strategic, and national security interests are all best served by awarding this contract to Hawker Beechcraft. Hopefully the powers-that-be in our government can break their frightening habit and put America first this time.
For more information on this vital national security issue, please check out the following links:
American Legislative Exchange Council | When American Companies Face Foreign Government-Sized Competitors
The Hill's Congress Blog | Do not hand American job opportunities to Brazil
Center for Individual Freedom | Freedom Line Blog | CFIF to Defense Secretary Gates: American Security Interests Come First, Not Brazil's
Lexington Institute | AT-6 Meets The Need For An Affordable Light Attack Aircraft
[Cross-posted at The Minority Report and Red County]