[T]here's a European challenger to America's GPS supremacy, and after years of Euro-wrangling, the Galileo satellite constellation is about to enter its critical final phase. The European rival is deeply unnerving for the American military.
Due to be up and running in five years, and billed as the first wholly-civilian navigation system, Galileo consists of 30 small satellites...working together in a constellation.
Europe and America have clashed because America wants what amounts to a veto over Galileo in times of military need, in other words, to be able to knock out the entire Galileo system. The problem is that one of the main signals Galileo will use for its public service is the same as one the US military has also set its sights on. America claims this risks interference problems. The Pentagon also wants to be able to switch off any civil system at any time. But if it blocked the Galileo frequency, it would also be blocking its own military signal, obviously a disaster.
[P]ower is not just military power; or rather, military power depends on economic growth and political institutions.
Another line of argument is that power is diplomatic, not military: Precisely the threat posed to smaller countries by the power of the United States is encouraging them to combine against America.
This is an argument that has a special appeal to Europeans. They know that the EU is a military pygmy...However, by acting collectively and through the institutions of the postwar international order—the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, NATO—the Europeans may be able to restrain the United States. Samuel Huntington once argued that European integration was "the single most important move" as the rest of the world responded to American hyperpower and that it would ultimately lead to a "truly multipolar" twenty-first century. The fact that the United States spent weeks vainly trying to persuade France and Germany to back military action against Iraq suggests that there is at least some truth in this view.
Power...is partly about material things: guns, butter, men, money, oil. But it is also about morale. In a world characterized by the diffusion of most of the material elements of power, real power may therefore come to depend on having credibility and legitimacy. Faith cannot move mountains. But it can move men.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.