A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.-Definition of Health, Preamble of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Constitution, 1948
These days, many argue that our Covid (C-19) response is a planetary fiasco, whose size is yet to surface with its mounting disproportionate and enduring secondary effects, causing tremendous socio-economic, political and psychosomatic contractions and convulsions. But, worse than our response is our silence about it.
It is an established fact that the quintessence of Nazism was not Hitler and the circle of darkness around him. It was rather a commonly shared ‘banality of crime’ atmosphere: Benevolent acceptance of ordinary village people living next to Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Dachau that the nation must be ‘purified’ … The day when questioning stops and silent acceptance becomes a ‘new normal’ is a day when fascism walks in a big time. Of course, today we have a diagnosis for it: Manufacturing consent through choice architecture, of a fear-imprisoned,via media infantilised (returned to the pre-Oedipal phase) psychology of the de-socialised and alienated, an atomised one.
Appinion disguised as opinion
Did we really forget basic teaching of our history: Every time when the power was unchecked, it degenerated into the obscure brutality; ritualising its force with a stamp on or under our skin to visualise and immortalise the twilight of reason?
So, our C-19 response illustrates – the argument goes – nothing else but a social pathology: the non-transparent concentration of power, and our overall democracy recession – further bolstering surveillance and social control systems. All that as lasting consequences of cutbacks, environmental holocaust, privatisation (or PPP-ization) of key intergovernmental and vital national institutions, ill-aimed globalisation as well as of the fixation onoverly allopathic, mandated (not repurposed but usually novel and expensive) drugs-centred healthcare, and lack of public data commons. Pandemic or plundermic …
Trust in and support to governmental and intergovernmental institutions is rapidly deteriorating. Ever larger number of citizens do not see the mainstream media (or pop culture celebrities) at service for population. Dialogue and opinionation is rarefied and discouraged, if not even sanctioned. Hence, the faith in western medicine is in a free fall. Compromised generational contract and thinning social consensus are challenging our fabrics like never before in recorded history. The first real stress-test since the end of the WWII, the United Nations (UN) clearly didn’t pass. Many feel deeply disappointed with and disfranchised by the universal organisation and its Agencies for its lasting “self-marginalisation”.Is our cohesion irreversibly destroyed?
Early lockdowns, mid-March 2020, were justified by a need to flatten the curve of the ‘sudden’ virus’ (harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility) impact, since there were no enough hospital beds. In the meantime, the lockdowns were extended and widened, curves not arguablyaltered. Still, for the past 9 months, there is hardly any new hospital built in the EU although the non-essential medical services are by and far suspended. Neither there was or is any massive investment into general health prevention. The only visible infrastructure growth is in 5/6G networks expansion.
Following a simple ratio that the one’s level of health is genetic expression of life-style choices made, it is no surprise that there are also growing speculations if the lockdown – as the most notorious expression of monofocal perspective and rejection to any scientifically contested, debate-based integratedjudgment– is invasion or protection:
- Whetherthe aim is a herd-immunity or herd loyalty (and to it related growing, yet still unrefuted, rumours that the eventual ‘unsafe, unneeded and ineffective’ C-19 vaccine (or genoccine) might contain biohacking nano-properties which establish backdoor interface via extensively set 5/6G, besides viral interference and transduction as standard side-effects in the clinical trials ever since 2002)?
- And, if is there any back-to-normal exit from the crisis, or this disaster ‘turned into planetary terror, through global coup d’état’ will be exploited to further something already pre-designed (with a fear, not as a side-effect, but rather as a tool manufactured to gain control).Simply, is all that more related to the biotronics and demographics – ‘epsteinisation en masse’, than to health and economics or any common social purpose?
E.g.Le Monde Diplomatique – while examining the possible merge between tech oligopoly and political monopoly – claims: “Political decisions have been central in shaping this tragedy — from the destruction of animal habitats, to the asymmetric funding of medical research, to the management of the crisis itself. They will also determine the world into which we emerge after the worst is over.” Over the past 30 years, every critical juncture had a similar epilogue: pardon and enhancement for the capital, a burden and suppression for the labour. The C-19 is no exception to it: Ever since early lockdowns of March 2020, the capital flows unhindered while the labour, ideas and humans are under the house arrest.The XXI century frontline is the right to health (incl. body integrity and informed consent) and labour, privacy and other fundamental human rights and liberties. (LMD, IV20)
Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not for a single man’s greed
Still to be precise, the WHO- decreed virus pandemic brought nothing truly new to the already overheated conduct and increasingly binarized world affairs: It only amplified and accelerated what was present for quite some time – a rift between alienated power centres, each on its side of Pacific, and the rest. No wonder that the work on the C-19 vaccine is more an arms race than it is a collaborative humanistics.
Would all this be – in its epilogue – about the expansion of techno-totalitarian model of government as an alternative to liberal democracy? Devolutionary singularisationinto techno-feudalism as the highest stage of capitalism? Is now a time to return to the nation-state, a great moment for all dictators-in-waiting to finally build a cult of personality? Hence, will our democracy be electro-magnetised and vaccinated for a greater good (or greedier ‘god’)? Will we be (ever) allowed to exit this year?
One is certain, confronting the long-term interests of stakeholders with the short-term interests of shareholders, the private sector from both sides of Atlantic exercises disproportionate power in the technological share (infrastructure and data). It alsolargely benefits from the massive public research funds while in return paying dismal, negotiable tax if at all.Far too often it comes with the nondisclosure agreements, liability outsourcing/protections and other unilaterally beneficial legal instruments as well as with the close ties between the private sector, intelligence agencies and media.
The same applies to a big Pharma which increasingly dictates a non-preventive,monofocal approach to medicine and research, and controls reporting about it – not always in the name of our public health.
Therefore, the above represents the largest underreported threat to our democracy and future societal conduct.
Conclusively, bioinformatics is a dual-use technology. Past its formative age, it has today a huge weaponization potential for at home and abroad. Consequently and urgently,thisnecessitates a comprehensive legislation which builds up on the Universal Charter of Human Rights and Nuremberg Code, and rests on its effective enforcement (with the monitoring of compliance mechanisms as set for the IAEA, OPCW, RC-BTWCand the Nagoya protocol),nationally and internationality.
Pop Europe, back to its Future
By many accounts, 2020 – a year when distancing became social – will be remem- bered as the worst year in living memory (since 1939). Some would say; C-19 stopped history, as it locked down our dialogues. Actually, 2020 only quarantined and halted us, while in fact it accelerated history. This especially refers to the Old Continent.
As this author noted in spring 2020: “It is amply clear from the C-19 event that the right to health is an issue for all. The search for a reliable cure for pandemics control is not a matter of private business, but of fundamental individual rights situated on higher levels of sociableness, as embedded in the UN and EU Charters, and being obligatory for each of the UN Specialized Agencies or EU bodies to comply with. (Not a fear based manufactured consent, but the right for informed consent as an inseparable segment of the constitutionally endorsed right to health.)
Even if the vaccine becomes the agreed or preferred option, it must be made available patent-free for all, and locally manufactured. However, binarization of debate onto a pro-and-con vaccine represents a dangerous reductionism and waste of planetary energy critically needed for a holistic and novel approach. There is no silver bullet for the European problems. Consequently, there is no solution in one-directional medical research in response to any pandemic, and in a single-blended (centrally manufactured, hastily introduced) and mandated medication for all. This especially refers to the genoccine.(Dogma is based on a blind belief; science necessitates constant multidimensional exploration. Science, especially a medical one, holds no single or absolute truth: The closest it can get is to the least wrong answer – which must be contested constantly, literally every day.)
Proportionality of our (current and future) responses in Europe is another key issue. Hence, what presents itself as an imperative is the universal participation through intergovernmental mechanisms. That rule applies for at home and for abroad, as the Union has to comply with(and set example to) it urgently – since biology and geopolitics have one rule in common; comply or die.
Growing particularisms in Brussels quarters, where (on taxpayers money and public trust)it is more and more the particular – be it individual, regional, national, lobby-groups driven – interest that prevails over the solid all-European project of our common presence and future.”
Past the Brexit, the EU has to be extra cautious about its chronic democracy-deficit, apparatchik alienation of Brussels, as well as the brewing concerns that the EU without UK becomes yet another greater Germany.
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is well aware of it: Addressing the Organisation’s General Assembly at the 75th anniversary (September 2020) he admitted: “… people continue to lose trust in political establishments. … widespread protests against inequality, discrimination, corruption and lack of opportunities all over the world – grievances that still need to be addressed, including with a renewed social contract.”
 Even in the neutral and peace-loving Austria – following the provisions of a strict autumn 2020 lockdown – only the basic supplies shops are opened. However, besides the grocery stores and pharmacies, it also includes the guns shops, while the schools, theatres and museums remain closed.
 “The pandemic has also reviled how imbalanced the relationship between the public and the private sector has become. In the US, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests some$40 billion a year on medical research and has been a key funder of the R&D of C-19 treatments and vaccines. But pharmaceutical companies are under no obligation to make the final product affordable to Americans, whose tax money is subsidising them in the first place. … It was a typical move for Big Pharma. … Even so, US drug prices are the highest in the world. Pharmaceutical companies also act against the public interest by abusing the patient process. … Equally bad deals have been made with Big Tech. In many ways, Silicon Valley is a product of the US government’s investments in the development of high-risk technologies. The National Science Foundation funded the research behind the search algorithm that made Google famous. The US Navy did the same for the GPS technology that Uber depends on. And the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency, part of the Pentagon, backed the development of the Internet, touchscreen technology, Siri, and every other key component in the iPhone. Taxpayers took risks when they invested in these technologies, yet most of the technology companies that have benefited failed to pay their fair share of taxes. Then they have the audacity to fight against regulations that would protect the privacy rights of the public. … the power of AI and other technologies being developed in Silicon Valley, a closer look shows that in these cases, too, it was high-risk public investment that laid the foundations” – states prof. Mazzucato(FAM 99/6/20)
See, eg. the EU Pandemic Accelerator Act (April 2020) or the July 15th 2020 Suspension of the EU GMO-related legislation (the so-called EU Council adoption of the Commission’s proposal to accelerate clinical trials and the supply of medical product containing the GMOs) – all promulgated speed-track without a prior investigative scientific reports, hearings or debate. These are now submitted to the European Court of Justice for a legality and impartiality judgment. In the same fashion the recently adopted European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) leaves many ambiguities, while also contradicting the European Convention on Human Rights.
 All fourbelonging to the United Nations system: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Review Conference to the Biological Weapons Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (RC-BTWC), the Nagoya Protocol to the Biological Diversity Convention on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (NP).
It is a more accurate name for the experimental, new, RNK and DNK modified, nanotechnology-based tri-injecting solution currently advocated for C-19.
See: “World on Autopilot: The UNSC should urgently address C-19”, New Europe Brussels (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 10 APR 20); “Contributing to a Safer, Healthier and Prosperous World”, Diplomat Magazine Hague (Bajrektarevic-Goutali, 12 MAY 20);”Return of Global Stewardship: the UNSC should urgently address C-19– addendum” (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 25 May 20), ModernDiplomacy Athens/ Brussels; “Democracy Vaccinated, – The post-Corona epilogue of Sino-American relations”, (Bajrektarevic), L’EuropeUnie Intl. Journal, Revue d’étudeseuropéenne, Paris, France 2020 (15) 2.
 On December 18th 2020, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that encourage modern forms of racism and xenophobia. 60 UN members co-sponsored resolution, while only 2 states casted negative vote. Rather strikingly and disturbingly, Germany refrained from voting in favour (abstained). The UN GA recommends states “to take appropriate concrete measures, including legislative and educational ones, in accordance with international human rights obligations, in order to prevent revisionism in respect of the Second World War and the denial of the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the WWII.”
The New High Seas Treaty: Takeaways and answering the hard questions
On 04 March, Rena Lee, President of the UN Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), announced that “the ship has reached the shore,” referring to the last compromise and successfully negotiated to stumble block of this historic treaty, which marked the apogee of over two decades of negotiations to protect the ample internationally ungoverned space of the ocean. The last time the countries came together to gather political will during geopolitical tensions to protect biodiversity was on 01 December 1959 during the cold war to declare Antarctica a place for peace and science.
The draft agreement of the ‘The New High Seas Treaty’ emphasises the need to address the planet’s largest unregulated biosphere for the sustainable use of resources and biodiversity protection. It covers the expansive portion of the ocean beyond national boundaries and will provide a legal framework for designating vast marine protected areas (MPAs) to protect against marine life degradation and sharing of resources. It is necessary to identify, monitor and regulate vulnerable areas to address the commitment of protecting 30 Percent by 2030 endorsed by COP 15 in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December 2022. Exit options and other unique provisions for the Arctic or China Sea and other geopolitically tense areas are also mentioned to avoid disagreements and conflicts within the agreement.
The stumbling block of this treaty was how to appropriately share marine genetic resources (MGR) and wealth, which separated the Global South and North. Due to their potential for application in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, MGR, which are made up of the genetic material of bacteria, corals, krill, seaweed, and deep-sea marine sponges, are gaining more scientific and commercial interest.
The agreement is legally binding and establishes a new global authority for the high seas, complete with an executive body called “COP,” a secretariat, and a scientific council. It is based on certain principles and approaches like the polluter-pays principle, the principle of the common heritage of humankind, the freedom of marine scientific research, and other freedoms of the high seas.
In addition, an approach for maintaining and restoring ecosystem integrity, including the carbon cycling functions that support the ocean’s role in climate while also increasing ecosystems’ resilience, is practiced. Signatories are also tasked with conducting environmental impact assessments before exploitation, exchanging marine technology with other littoral states, and monitoring the space for other threats.
What are the High Seas and the threats present on them?
States currently govern up to only 200 nautical miles of seas from their coasts, delineated by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). But beyond the nautical boundaries are the high seas, which only one percent are protected. States have access to freedoms, including the right to overfly, navigate, and install underwater cables. The high seas cannot be the subject of any claims to sovereignty. Once expressed as desolate, it is now considered a treasury of rich biodiversity and marine resources. However, they are being exploited by technological advances enabling them to deplete fisheries and seabed minerals. Deep-sea ecosystems may change or be destroyed by machine-aided excavation and gauging of the ocean bottom. As a result, there will be a loss of species in addition to fragmentation or loss of the structure and functionality of the ecosystem.
Increasing cargo ship transportation and their Bilge Dumping practices also threaten the open ocean. Bilgewater, which gathers in the bottom of a ship, is a mixture of fluids from the engine room and other potentially harmful materials like lubricants, cleaning agents, and metals like lead and arsenic. It is expensive to process this oily effluent, whether by treating it to eliminate contaminants or by discharging it at the port. Some ships simply dump it into the ocean with portable pumps, which can be a significant hazard to marine life, to save operational expenses.
Another threat in the high seas is the Great garbage patch, which carries and culminates tonnes of plastic debris released through river exits. They are carried and formed by ocean currents and “gyres.” There are five gyres in the ocean. One in the Indian Ocean, two in the Atlantic Ocean, and two in the Pacific Ocean. Garbage patches of differing sizes are located in each gyre. Cleaning up these garbage heaps and systematically disposing of them is a heinous task.
In addition, Climate change is heating the oceans, which may result in a mass extinction of marine life like the Permian Extinction experienced 250 million years ago, which extinguished 90 percent of marine species. The oceans have mitigated the worst of climate change by absorbing 90 percent of the heat caused by global warming and providing us with 50 percent of the oxygen.
What are the existing treaties on High Seas, and what are their issues?
About 20 international organisations oversee human activity in the high seas in accordance with UNCLOS, although their authority is constrained. In the shipping industry, for instance, the International Maritime Organization is in charge of safety and pollution control, whereas regional fisheries management organisations are in charge of particular fish populations. Yet, a lot of marine species migrate and regularly switch between various environments into the wild ocean which are unprotected from human activities.
The International Seabed Treaty is less concerned with conserving the environment and more interested in advancing the ultimate extraction of valuable mineral accretions from the seabed. Exploratory mining licences have never been denied. The contracting entity does environmental impact assessments; they are not independently verified and investigated. The ISA dismisses the worries of environmental groups like Greenpeace about defending the seabed from similar mining in the future or from the several very detrimental environmental side effects that would be involved.
What does the treaty pose to International Security?
First, an increased presence of private players. The implementation process of the treaty will see an increased presence of private maritime players as the agreement does not apply to the Navy warships. However, they are expected to behave reasonably with the agreement. Ocean conservation is currently led by non-governmental organisations funded by philanthropists, bureaucrats, and governments.
Second, increased monitoring and surveillance. To assess environmental impacts, monitor and traffic control ships, and provide constant surveillance over an expansive area will require advanced remote sensing and imaging technologies. There will be a need for marine spatial analysis and planning to track human activities and the ecosystem. New marine technologies must be exchanged between the developing and developed states to explore the deep ocean and seabed’s for research and exploitation. Increased monitoring will be a critical challenge for the littoral states to move their submarines in stealth and secrecy.
Third, potential for new marine resource-induced conflict. Though the agreement states that the marine samples and genetic coding will be shared, it does not mention who can further exploit the resources and with whom it shares. Does it share with the states involved in the exploration or those proximate to the resource.? Here, Global North faces the question of the free-riding problem and whom to free-ride its services.
Political Philosophy: An Attribute of a Superpower
In the modern science of international relations, defining the essential features of modern superpowers has remained a bone of contention. What makes a true superpower stand above the rest? Is there a universal set of traits that distinguishes a few leaders from many outsiders? Until now, the key criteria for a “superpower” have mainly been considered by scholars in a material way.
A superpower must have economic potential that far exceeds that of other countries, military power, critical technologies, a developed scientific and industrial base, and human capital. The totality of such material opportunities provides measurable, albeit not controversial, criteria for ranking countries. The situation with non-material factors is much more complicated. Their quantitative measurement is difficult, if not impossible. Their assessment is too subjective and potentially vulnerable to distortion. Whose culture is stronger? Whose ethics are correct? Whose value system is better? Such questions lead to value-oriented disputes, but do little to distinguish the superpowers from other players in the international arena. Meanwhile, this is where one of the most important criteria lies.
We can suggest that a noticeable difference between a superpower and other states, along with the superiority of material factors, is the presence of a systemic and consistent political philosophy of international relations. The superpower offers its own unique view of how exactly the world should be arranged, according to what rules it should exist, what its goal is, and why this particular superpower is legitimate in its role. Moreover, political philosophy is neither a set of slogans and clichés, nor a pretty wrapper or simulation. It is neither an ideology nor a utopia. All of the above may be derived from political philosophy, but not exhaust its content. We are talking about a special interpretation of key political concepts in relation to international relations—power, authority, justice, equality, etc. Such an interpretation should be based on a deep intellectual tradition and one’s own practical experience, which make the arguments of the proposed political-philosophical doctrine convincing both for oneself and for others.
Can a country represent a value only due to material factors? Undoubtedly. Ultimately, the state can concentrate significant power and live exclusively in accordance with the principles of realism, pursue a pragmatic policy, advance its material interests, and achieve dominance where possible. However, bare realism will sooner or later mark the boundaries of legitimacy. The dominance of the bayonet and the purse strings will have shaky ground without a clear understanding of why and for what it exists.
Can a country broadcast an influential political philosophy while lagging behind materially? Also definitely. At a certain moment, it can be a model of stoicism or heroism, a carrier of innovative and attractive ideas. But without a material base, there is a risk that these will just remain hot air, remaining good wishes alone.
It is noteworthy that there are surprisingly few countries that have material power and at the same time have their own political philosophy. It would seem that creating a political-philosophical doctrine is much easier than designing a missile or a nuclear bomb. One can unite “smart people”, edit the results of their “brainstorming”, write basic works, and make manuals for propagandists—that’s all. In fact, many of these creations crumble and get lost in the information noise. There are single copies in the hands of single carriers—the same superpowers.
Does the political philosophy of a superpower need to be “sovereign”? Should it be based only on the nation’s intellectual tradition? Certainly not. It is extremely difficult to find exceptionally original political and philosophical doctrines with global influence. As a rule, we are talking about a mixture of universal ethical principles, categories of such major political and philosophical doctrines as liberalism, socialism or conservatism, nationally specific views and principles, and even religious doctrines such as Christianity or Islam.
In the modern world, only two countries can be distinguished which combine both significant material potential and their own political philosophy: the US and China.
The politico-philosophical core of the United States is well known and widely replicated at all levels, from university essays and textbooks to propaganda videos and social media posts. It is based on liberal principles with their appeal to the supremacy of the human mind, the idea of “negative freedom”, justice as fairness, equality of opportunity within the framework of uniform rules, as well as the ideas of democracy derived from them as the optimal form of government and the market as a means of organizing the economy. This political and philosophical code is a product of the European enlightenment and the specific experience of organising the internal life of European countries, which was embodied on the basis of American political experience and multiplied by their material strength. The European roots of US political philosophy have allowed it to easily take root in the soil of numerous Western countries, although in some places it contradicts individual interpretations “on the ground”. It is also important that there is a powerful modernist potential in such a political philosophy. The political philosophy of the United States and the modern West in general is a philosophy of emancipation, liberation and reason-based progress.
The political-philosophical core of the People’s Republic of China is much less well known, simply because Beijing has not strived to actively promote it abroad. The political philosophy of China has long remained largely nationally oriented. However, it has a systemic and deeply reflected character, which yields a high potential outside the PRC. It is based on a view of international relations as a non-zero sum game, the idea of the collectivity of international relations, and a departure from rivalry as the leitmotif of world politics. Modern Chinese political philosophy’s powerful Marxist element gives it a modernist potential, combined with the experience of solving the key problems of China itself. It combines the ideas of people’s democracy with successful experience in solving the problem of poverty, overcoming backwardness, and reducing the sharpness of social inequality. In the modern world, China appears as a country whose ideas have been tested in practice. Yes, many successes have been made possible by integration into the Western-centric global economy. But here, too, China pursues its own philosophical line—a non-zero sum game, borrowing Western experience and combining it with Chinese traditions. Marxism is one example of a Western doctrine which China has used to its advantage.
Will there be a clash between American and Chinese political philosophies? Most likely, yes, because China is increasingly perceived in the US as a long-term threat. China avoids copying and mirroring the American allegations against itself by promoting the idea of a non-zero-sum game and thereby turning its political philosophy into an even more visible alternative. One can argue for a long time about what is primary in the contradictions of the powers—material factors or ideas? Obviously, if necessary, differences of ideas can be used for political mobilisation and the consolidation of allies. The more systematic such ideas are, the easier it is to draw dividing lines.
Are the political philosophies of the US and China self-sufficient for them? No. Both the US and China combine their political philosophies with the principles of realism. Like many other players, they proceed from the risk of worst-case scenarios and prepare for them, accumulating resources for mutual deterrence. However, political philosophy allows you to maintain the global legitimacy of your influence or to claim it.
Does Russia have its own political philosophy? The answer so far is rather negative. Russia has returned in its foreign policy to the principles of realism, which was already an achievement for its time. But it is too early to talk about a systemic and deeply developed political philosophy. There is a set of still-fuzzy, sometimes contradictory ideas and concepts, as well as their interpretations and slogans derived from them. The system of Russian views clearly lacks modernist potential. The question of whether it is necessary in itself can be a matter of debate, but it is clearly built into the system of views of the United States, China and smaller powers. Russia has recent experience in the collapse and loss of its political and philosophical project, which began long before the collapse of the USSR. Perhaps it is the Soviet experience that continues to yield a persistent and unconscious allergy to political philosophy. It is also possible that both the US and China, at some point, will also face the same problem that the Soviet Union experienced—the separation of their doctrine from the real state of affairs. Perhaps, a lack of political philosophy is now Russia’s advantage. Russia will develop its own unique experience, which will allow it to avoid the mechanical copying of other people’s ideas, mixing them in its own practice. The maturation of political philosophy takes time, as does the cultivation of its material base.
From our partner RIAC
Learning Multilateralism on Obama’s National Space Policy
In June 2010, Obama’s new National Space Policy (NSP) emphasizes a broad continuity between its main goals and the overarching themes originally developed by the Eisenhower administration, such as the use of space and strengthening space stability. Other goals evolved directly from original U.S. space policy goals, including expanding international cooperation, nurturing U.S. space industry, and enhancing the assurance and resilience of mission-critical functions enabled by commercial, civil, scientific and national spacecraft and supporting them infrastructure. Thus, National Space Policy of U.S and also National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) of U.S is seeking to emphasizes international cooperation through its pillars and also point from policy
Five Pillars of National Security Space Strategy of U.S
The National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) provides a roadmap for the implementation of US space policy and the achievement of U.S space objectives. It consists of five basic principles or pillars that prescribe the framework.
Promote the Responsible, Peaceful and Safe Use of Space
The NSSS first pillar calls on the United States “to lead in improving security, stability and responsible spatial behavior” and to develop transparency and confidence-building measures that “encourage responsible spatial action and peaceful use”. As stated in the National Space Policy, there are specific steps that include national and international actions that aim to promote safe and responsible spatial operations, improve information collection and sharing, which is to prevent collisions between spatial objects, protect critical spatial systems and infrastructure support, with special emphasis on critical interdependence and reinforcement of space and information systems.
Provide improved U.S Space Capabilities
The NSS second pillar calls on the U.S. to improve space capabilities and energize the U.S. industrial space base. In addition, the existence of a strong industrial base and staff support is also one of the U.S. country’s best insurance policies, in the strategic, operational, economic and technological fields referred to in the new defense strategy.
Partnering with Responsible Nations, International Organizations, and Commercial Firms
The third pillar calls for greater involvement and partnership with other space-based countries, relevant international organizations and business actors. To guard the third pillar in US Space Policy and ready to face future strategic circumstances, the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is one of the main organizations responsible for safeguarding these benefits in the face of changing strategic circumstances and the US uses the National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) as means to maintain this benefit. Meanwhile, there is a specific geographical responsibility area (AOR) that is not assigned to USSTRATCOM. So that the responsibility is only limited to below sea level, which is used as a place for strategic U.S. submarines operating, up to 22,000 miles above the surface of the earth.
United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) engage actively in this pillar and have signed more than 29 agreements with several business entities that were then used to share situational awareness with many selected information partners. Recently, U.S. country in this case it has been authorized to negotiate similar agreements with non-U.S. government agencies and intergovernmental organizations, to work with space actors who are supposed to be responsible for the process of sharing and exchanging space flight information security. Also, USSTRATCOM actively seeks further partners, in particular those with whom little or no previous commitment has been made. State U.S. has also partnered with old friends and allied countries such as Australia, Canada, Britain and other NATO allies who are always involved with them. Moreover, this is done while looking for new opportunities to work with potential partners in Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, South America, the Middle East and Africa.
Prevent and Deter Against U.S Space Infrastructure
U.S. space infrastructure basically an U.S. component vital. This is seen in how U.S. want to protect this asset. Space defense also certainly requires a full understanding of the operating environment, which allows U.S. warnings. to be recognized and effective protection of U.S. assets, provide resilience, and use alternatives when challenged. This fourth NSSS pillar, which is “preventing and deterring U.S. space infrastructure,” includes operations to gain and understand the location, activities, ownership and purposes of space-based objects. In point of Prevent and deter against U.S space infrastructure mentioned about international cooperation; the point is;
“Sensitivity to space situations (SSA) enables all our operational activities. An important way to increase SSA’s capacity and capacity would be to expand partnerships and increase international cooperation. To this end, we want to transform California’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) into a Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC).”– U.S Department of Defense
Initially, such a step would enable us to influence individual strengths in full cooperation with U.S closest partners and, in accordance with national policies, provide a framework and environment that might help meet the needs of common space security. In addition, such a transition would conform to the mandate of the NSSS “build coalitions of like-minded nations that share space”.This partnership would allow the U.S. to act in a coordinated manner, synchronize U.S. efforts and promote responsible spatial behavior with these partners to ensure long-term spatial sustainability.
Prepare to Defeat Attacks and Operated in a Degraded Environment
The final pillar of the NSSS calls on the United States to prepare to defeat space attacks and operate in a degraded environment. This approach will generally always include activities to provide critical space capabilities for U.S. missions. and coalition forces. Besides that, it is also used to ensure the success of the mission through architecture and alternative means, even if necessary, under all conditions of conflict and pressure.
The guarantee mission includes the need to maintain and protect the capabilities of the US critical space itself, US allies and partner countries, and also to improve the resilience of critical space systems, increase the use of alternative means and resources to secure the space mission, not to mention the ability to operate in a stressed environment if and when the capacity is degraded.
Several successive U.S. administrations have sought to maintain the leadership of the country in the field since the United States entered space. There’s no exception to the Obama administration. It openly emphasizes efforts to strengthen U.S. in its National Security Space Strategy and National Space Policy. Leadership in outer space in particular. These efforts include reassuring U.S. allies ‘ commitment to collective self-defence in space-related forums and activities; promoting regulations and encouraging interoperability within these regulations; promoting security, stability and responsible space behaviour, facilitating new market opportunities for U.S. commercial space capabilities and services, advancing appropriate risk-sharing amounts.
Recall Multilateralism from Obama’s Space Policy
The Obama administration incorporates multilateralism into one of the policy’s six major objectives, the policy’s goals of expanding international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities are mentioned. The space policy of Obama will make U.S. space policy more conducive to multilateral space efforts. In its National Security Space Strategy and National Space Policy, the U.S. adopted the National Security Strategy, which aims to maintain and enhance the benefits of U.S. space advertising capabilities resulting from national security. The NSSS set specific goals for enhancing security, stability, to accomplish the tasks assigned by the NSSP. And space security; maintaining and enhancing strategic space-based national security; maintaining and enhancing the US’s strategic space-based national security benefits; and energizing the space-based industrial base that supports US national security.
Obama’s new National Space Policy (NSP) highlights a broad continuity between its main goals and the overarching themes originally developed by the Eisenhower administration, such as the use of space and enhancing space stability. Obama still wishes to emphasize international cooperation, which can be seen under the heading. “Space operations should be conducted in ways that emphasize openness and transparency in order to increase public awareness of activities” and, “All nations have the right to explore and use space for peaceful purposes under the NSP Principles and the other side mentioned in the NSP Goals, which is Support International Cooperation”.
At this stage, the National Space Policy and National Security Space Strategy during Obama administration indirectly also applied the Multilateralism. This can be seen in policies that emphasize and invite to conduct international cooperation in space matters. For example, are, Obama fully supported the life of NASA through increased funding budget to NASA through NASA authorization act 2010 and U.S was hosted the International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board Joint Statement 2010 and also Obama through U.S NSP and NSSS implement multilateralism efforts towards Global Positioning System (GPS) Cooperation.
This is stated in the National Space Policy and National Security Space Strategy of U.S issued during Obama administration. One of the most obvious instances of U.S. international cooperation for peaceful space purposes is demonstrated by the International Space Station (ISS). Aboard the ISS, 15 countries cooperate, sharing international flight crew, several globally distributed launch vehicles, operations, training, engineering and development facilities. In addition, communication, the Global Positioning System (GPS) Cooperation, and the ISS Multilateral Coordination Board.
The approach taken by President Obama is very different from his predecessor. He was aggressive with space policy by issuing the 2010 United States of America’s National Space Policy and the 2011 Strategy for National Security Space. President Obama spoke about the contributions of civil and commercial space capabilities in his space policy. The US has also committed to encouraging and facilitating the growth of the US commercial space sector that supports the country’s domestic needs. Thus, the space success heritage and its transformation also pose new challenges. The possibilities of using space were limited to just a few nations when the space age began and there were limited consequences for irresponsible or unintended behavior.
Lastly, Obama also abandoned the unilateralism of Bush and pursue/emphasizing multilateralism would be given top priority in dealing with international affair. Platform of multilateralism efforts during Obama period are concentrate in joint scientific and research program. To support joint scientific and research program in space, Obama make decision to extend the life of U.S on International Space Station in order to giving more U.S contribution and offer transparency scientific research program at International Space Station (ISS) and the decision of Obama based on writer perspective change U.S view in term of space towards more opened transparency and cooperation among other states. Even though, U.S still want to be leader in space, at least this multilateralism effort which mentioned by Obama on his speech and also each point of NSSS and NSP can bring a new perspective about U.S in space.
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