The EU launched their first test satellite in a new system intended to be a direct European competitor with the US controlled GPS (Global Positioning System). Unlike GPS, which is controlled by the US military, the EU's Galileo system will be civilian controlled. Part of the complaint raised by the EU is the military's ability to scramble the GPS signal during critical periods in war time. (Spiegel: First Step Towards a European GPS Competitor).
Emphasising the EU's disgruntlement with GPS, EUSA spokesman Franco Bonacina said,"Galileo is made in Europe by Europeans. If the Americans want to scramble GPS, they can do it whenever they want." I have some bad news for you, Mr. Bonacina. In time of war, if we need to scramble GPS for security purposes, you can rest assured that we will also scramble Galileo.
Having Galileo in civilian hands is troubling at best since it effectively puts a pinpoint targeting system in the hands of our enemies. The US GPS system has the ability to randomly offset the accuracy of the signal made available to civilians, thus ensuring a high degree of accuracy to the military without giving the same degree of accuracy to our enemies. That safeguard is not built into the Galileo system.
What the Europeans must realize is that the Galileo system as designed poses a military threat to US operations, and therefore it will be necessary to counter or neutralize that threat. Whether or not they intend it as such - and I believe it is intentional - Galileo is a bone of contention amidst an increasingly antagonistic undercurrent to US and European relations. I have said in several posts that I believe the EU will ultimately replace the Soviet Union as a US adversary. The Galileo system is just one more step in that direction. What will be most interesting will be the EU's reaction the first time it becomes necessary to disrupt the signal for military reasons. It's only a matter of time before that happens.
Technorati: politics news EU EUSA Galileo GPS
IceRocket: politics news EU EUSA Galileo GPS