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Thread: US claims space

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    US claims space

    I found this quite interesting. A new US statement has pretty much claimed space as their territory,

    "The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space; dissuade or deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so; take actions necessary to protect its space capabilities; respond to interference; and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to US national interests," the strategy says.

    Full Story on M&G
    I'd just like to know when they are going to realise that the US foreign policy as a whole is flawed. Maybe when they change the way they treat other countries, they'll get less backlash.

    Actually makes me think of a Gary Larson comic...shoot first, ask questions later (wish I could find a link to the graphic)
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Read carefully, the intent is to defend their interests. However, it is easily interpreted as claiming a sole right on space. This would be aggravated by someone for whom English is a second language.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I agree, the exact wording is to defend their interests, but I think (just opinion) that the intention is more towards claiming it as part of their territory. There were some interesting reports a while back (pre-bush admin) from Rumsfield and Wolfowizt (think it was them) detailing how US should go about "colonizing" certain territories.

    What is imporant is the practical outworking of the policy (which I think will resemble their foreign policy in general), rather than the exact wording.

    Just ask Dali Mpofu about pedantics and meaning
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    From an article on ABC news

    "Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says we need to protect against a 'space Pearl Harbor,'" he says. "But we're still the dominant power there."

    Full Story Here
    The particular words that people use are always interesting to me, because they reveal a lot about how they're thinking. Rumsfeld's feelings (as always) come through strongly in his words.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    When I was chairing WEPMA, probably the biggest challenge was dealing with misunderstandings that arose basically because of how the intent of statements were misinterpreted or assumed. It took some diplomacy sometimes.

    A lot of it comes from cultural communication habits. There is a thin line between healthy self-confidence and perceived arrogance, and that line moves around according to the standards of the beholder.
    Last edited by Dave A; 20-Oct-06 at 10:43 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    When I was chairing WEPMA, probably the biggest challenge was dealing with misunderstandings that arose basically because of how the intent of statements were misinterpreted or assumed. It took some diplomacy sometimes.
    Guilty as charged

    I'll back off
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Guilty as charged

    I'll back off
    Don't. I think we need to be honest about it. I went to a convention in Washington DC a few years back where we had a series of pretty high powered political types do the speech and shake hands thing.

    It was full of memorable moments - but one statement in particular stuck in my mind and is relevant here:

    One of the speakers was a lady who is known there particularly for leaving Bush's staff to "go back home". It was a fascinating story of how a person, essentially a housewife returned to the working world as a staffer for Bush (Jnr) on the campaign trail to become Governor - ultimately ended up in the White House. The comment, and it was a "sort of" request, was that they really wanted to understand why their well-meaning intentions for the world was met with so much resistance from so many quarters.

    Given that two weeks later the invasion of Iraq commenced, things were a bit tense and I thought to myself "Now isn't the best time for me to go into this".

    They are aware of the problem. Just haven't figured out how to solve it yet.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    What the US wants (along with most other nations) is to make its citizens happy and allow them to live in peace and freedom.

    So maybe there are three ways to approach this,

    1. Laissez-faire (i.e. don't worry about anything, free market and social forces will result in balance)
    2. Control everything
    3. Create value based relationships


    Now maybe it is a good thing to draw a parallel here between the "How to motivate your staff" thread, and this one.

    Let's start by throwing out the Laissez-faire approach, it results in randomness and choas.

    So the two approachs left are the two that I would say are typically employed in the workplace with staff - micromanagement (control) and value-based relationships.

    In my mind the control option is inherently hierarchical, and often implies adult-child type relationships, whereas the values based system is more adult-adult type relationships.

    In the case of the US I would say they've gone with the control option and tried to enforce their world view on anyone who does not want to conform to it. The intention is to help create a peaceful and democratic world where everyone is treated equally, but the outworking has probably created an even more unstable world.

    To me the question the US needs to ask is, "How do we engage in meaningful relationships that do not require everyone to see the world from our perspective? Are we able to do that?"
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I tend to frame the issues in much simpler terms. And I think this principle will appeal to your engineering mind.

    What we need to recognise is that the forces that unify also polarise. The force in this instance is patriotism. And the citizens of the USA have plenty of it.

    It is their unifying strength as a nation, but can cause difficulty once the arena moves to international affairs.

    Expanding on the principle: The secret to my mind is that whatever unifying force you are applying must be fully inclusive of the entire group to which the force is being applied. If it is not fully inclusive, the force should not be used.

    Over the years I've managed to bring many disparate parties together by building the encompassing forces for unity to a point where they outweigh the ever-present narrow-interest forces that tend to polarise.

    EDIT:
    There are two USA based stories right now that demonstrate these forces at play:

    In this story the Republicans are trying to use the "common external enemy" approach to bolster support for their party in the upcoming round of elections. This is tapping into patriotic feelings against Bin Laden.

    In this second story we see how the unifying force of Black Pride is also a polarising force that is causing divisions. It would be interesting to know whether the absence of black faces in the movie was deliberate or accidental - I don't know Clint Eastwood's politics on this.

    But let's say for a moment it was accidental. The danger of assuming intent is then clearly shown. Extrapolate that to foreign policy issues and to some extent this incident models the difficulties the USA face in their dealings with the rest of the world.

    Their dilemma is not unique. The IMF, World Bank, G8 (add your own here) face similar challenges.
    Last edited by Dave A; 21-Oct-06 at 01:20 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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