Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Slim" Shkedy: Next War May Be in Space

I remember when Prince's "1999" had apocalyptic undertones. Now it's the theme for a retro party.

We've definitely entered the Jetsons Era for good. First there were those 3rd generation cell phones that let you see the person on the other side. Now, I find out that Israel is preparing to fight in space.

Israeli Air Force Commander Elazar "Slim" Shkedy told the second Ilan Ramon Annual International Space Conference in Herzliya that China's missile test, which successfully brought down one of its own satellites two weeks ago, has ushered in a new Star Wars era. Israel must make immediate plans to protect its space assets against attacks.

"Battle in space is on our agenda, whether we want it there or not,” Shkedy said. “Within five to 10 years this will sadly be very relevant. There may be those who would seek to harm our forces in space, as they would our forces on land and at sea. We could face this reality in a high-intensity conflict in the future."

Forces in space? High-intensity conflict? Turns out, the Israeli Air Force changed its name last year. It's now called The Israel Air and Space Command.

As far as I knew, Israel had one little satellite in space that moved so slowly, it could only manage a single photograph of Iran's nuclear facilities every four days. Shkedy makes it sound like we have whole battalions up there building a Death Star. We can't stop Kassam rockets, but we're preparing to battle Imperial fighters traveling at warp speed?

Well, it turns out Israel spends $50 million a year on its "space program." And the Space Command is working on creating "sophisticated ground-based and airborne laser systems." I think it's time to appoint George Lukas as the new Defense Minister. At least he understands this stuff. Just don't let him write any more movies. Another boring Star Wars film could start a world war.


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