World Affairs Brief, February 22, 2008. Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.

Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief


The government claims it has to shoot down a defunct spy satellite in order to keep sensitive debris parts from falling into the wrong hands and save the environment from toxic Hydrazine fuel. Nonsense. According to credible experts, Monomethyl hydrazine has a half-life of only 2 days in the environment, and does not bio accumulate.

The hydrazine tank would never survive the extreme heat of atmospheric re-entry–likewise for the sensitive electronic circuits of the spy satellite. They would all be burned up. Furthermore, using a non explosive warhead, the special version of an Aegis missile could not ensure that the hydrazine tank was destroyed on impact.

In short, the US was interested in testing a new high altitude, long range version of its Aegis missile –sending a not-so-subtle message to the Russians and Chinese that they have a new ABM missile alternative to the fixed base types whose effectiveness is in dispute. I’m all for this new ABM sea-based missile technology–if I had any confidence the US would use it to protect us, but they won’t–at least not until a world war has begun and everyone worked up into a patriotic frenzy. The excuse for shooting down a spy satellite was deemed necessary because of the hypocrisy factor: the US recently lambasted China for testing an anti-satellite missile of its own.