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Thursday, January 18, 2007

China's Space Weapons - We need Prez with Global Strategy

China just destroyed one of its aging weather satellites with a new space weapon. If it can destroy a satellite, then all satellites including our military satellites are vulnerable as potential targets. We could be seeing the beginning of a new space race - a race to put weapons into space.

Or ban them. The militarization of space is a big issue that needs to be discussed.

I think we made a mistake by not including China in building the International Space Station. It would be better to have them part of the global team pursuing peaceful joint projects instead of pushing them away from us so they can focus on building their own space weapons systems. That could put us in a 21st Century version of the last cold war. The changes in China since my first negotiating trip there in 1982 are incredible. They have gone from bicycles to rockets in a generation.

Our next President needs a global strategy for handling these issues before entering office. The candidates need to share those plans with the public. It won't help us to pick a President with little experience beyond our border. We can't afford to have a chief executive guessing which advisor is right or making it up as we go.

It won't help us as a country if the next President and his/her team have no real world experience in cultures as diverse as Asia's and the Middle East. We need someone who knows how cultures think; we don't need someone guessing what to do with billions of dollars and lives at stake.

We need a President in 2008 (and beyond) with worldwide experience and a strategy to keep America in the global game. China is just one example of that challenge in this new global century.

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