21 November 2008

Is Galileo a military project?

Is Galileo a military project? Today the Daily Mail published a news about the European military space policy. The journalist says:
"The European Union is pursuing a secretive military space policy which could lead to a costly 'Star Wars' arms drive, a report warned yesterday. ... Next week, ministers from all ESA member states will meet in The Hague to implement a new European space policy which identifies military 'security' as a priority. A driving force behind the switch in policy is President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which holds the European presidency until December 31. In July, he said the space agenda was one of his priorities. The think-tank report also said French ambitions for the militarisation of space have caused rows with Britain - particularly over Galileo, the much-delayed European global positioning system. Galileo would be vital in any European deployment of the sort of GPS-guided artillery now being used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. Report author Frank Slijper, an economist and arms trade specialist, wrote: 'While Galileo is generally presented as a genuinely civilian programme, it now appears highly militarised. 'The public denial of these important capabilities shows how much Brussels and many European capitals are afraid to tell the public that Galileo is to become an extremely important tool in future warfare by European military forces.'"

True or not, the news is interesting...