Beyond the Cusp

September 21, 2018

America Can be a Fickle Friend

 

Sometimes we believe that the leadership of Israel is oblivious to signs and signals they should be receiving from the rest of the world. In particular, Israel has this predisposition to see the United States as the perfection of nationhood and a fast friend forever. This is a belief that reaches to almost every corner and the vast majority of individuals throughout the land. At times we have attempted to warn or at least shake these beliefs warning that the United States is not sworn to protect Israel and there is no overriding reason that they have other than electoral politics. Electoral politics in the United States have changed and changed drastically. There were early warnings of what a single election could do when President Jimmy Carter attempted to force Israel into granting the Palestinian Arabs complete sovereignty over all the lands still remaining after Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of that peace deal. Fortunately, both Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat refused this demand from President Carter and threatened to complete the deal without him in the picture. President Carter not being in the picture was unacceptable politically, thus he settled for what the two leaders had agreed. Then there has been the record since President Carter left the White House of his constant degrading remarks and efforts against Israel which have led some to think he might have a streak of anti-Semitism. We would offer to settle that posit as positive, Carter definitely has a wide streak of anti-Semitism covering much of what he does concerning Israel.

 

But the warnings were only to get worse. President Clinton had Yasser Arafat visit the White House more than any foreign leader in his eight years as President and pressured Israel mercilessly to give ever more concessions and fortunately, Arafat refused to break from his demand that Israel be destroyed. Fortunately, President Clinton was not willing to go quite that far. Then we had George W. Bush, touted as the greatest friend Israel ever had in the Oval Office, who along with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who pressed Israel into the Gaza give-away and the destruction of the lives of nearly ten thousand Israelis, some of whom are still attempting to recover. Moving right along we come to President Obama who presented Iran with the means, the path, the right and the funding to build not just a nuclear device, but to build an entire thermonuclear arsenal and the ballistic missiles and ICBMs on which to place those warheads. President Obama even gave Israel a parting present with a shot aimed at the Israeli heart with UNSC Res. 2334. This resolution would have all but denied any Israeli or Jewish claim to the Temple Mount, the Old City of Jerusalem, Jericho, Hevron, Shechem and the heartlands of Judea and Samaria, the regions where most of the history of the Jewish People unfolded. Yet the Israelis, both within the government and amongst the people continue to believe that the United States is a friend who will never act to harm Israel. We just hope that they are correct and such never comes about, but to bet your future on this is nothing short of foolhardy.

 

Allow us to delve into another act which we believe has done near irreparable harm to Israel and could become life-threatening if not countered immediately. Once upon a time, not all that long ago, Israel had developed a war-plane which she had almost begun production. Along came the United States who noted, ‘Hey, our friend, Israel, we have an aircraft very much like yours. How about we sell you ours and you scrap yours?’ Israel pointed out that theirs had a longer range, was slightly better at the kind of activities Israel required. The United States did not give up as they really did not desire this Israeli plane competing for sales in the arms markets, so they offered, ‘Tell you what, we will throw in an equal number of our other aircraft and then you will have even more planes and abilities. We will even guarantee you, Presidential promise, aircraft into eternity giving you air superiority.’ Well, who could turn down twice the planes and an eternal guarantee?’ The problem is when you tell Israel and the Jews it is an eternal guarantee, we think in terns of thousands of years and the United States not quite two-hundred-fifty years old, how do they know of eternity. So Israel received her F-16s and F-15s and now the F35s but was refused the F22s despite the fact that the United States has provided Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors F35s which kind of ruins that promise of guaranteed air superiority which the F22s would have provided. Granted, the versions of these aircraft all carry the version letter ‘I’ as the Israeli versions all have modifications which are secret (really) which allows the claim that they provide air superiority. The war-plane Israel had designed and scrapped was called the Lavi and was a beautiful aircraft to look at as well as having uncontested abilities (see picture below).

 

Lavi the Lost Dream

Lavi the Lost Dream

 

We have previously stated much of this in our previous article How Bad do Americans Want to be First in Space?, but we have no problem repeating ourselves. Oh, you’ve noticed. Well, at least that’s settled. The first thing is that Israel must no longer outsource any part of her defense industry. No more reliance on Germany for submarines, United States for aircraft, and whomever for Littoral ships. Should any one of the nations providing Israel with necessary and vital military equipment decide to no longer provide their military equipment, then there could be a dangerous and difficult to repair hole in the IDF and their war fighting capability. We will concentrate for our example on aircraft. What would Israel be able to do if in ten to twelve years, when the next generation of fighter aircraft with whatever the latest marvel designed into it becomes available, when Israel turns to the United States to purchase these marvels and the answer is not to sell them to Israel because Israel is so difficult to deal with. These aircraft are not exactly designed in a few weekends on the side, they take a few years to imagine and another couple to design and still longer to build. Basically, what it comes down to is that if Israel desires to be prepared for such an unpleasant surprise, she needs to begin working on this immediately. This is something which is of vital national defense priority level issue which likely has not even reached the debate stage. There is another reason that Israel should plan on designing her future aircraft, and it has little to do with whether or not the United States will continue providing her with aircraft, it has to do with national pride and independence from foreign influence, which can only come with defense and financial independence and not having to rely on any other nation.

 

Israel also is a sizeable recipient of United States foreign aid monies. This causes some discontent amongst American citizens who claim that Israel can afford to care for herself and the United States can use the three billion dollars or there abouts better at home. Surprisingly, this argument is not made concerning Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, South Korea and the rest. Below we have a pair of graphs, the top being Israeli GDP which will come into play, and the bottom is United States aid to Israel by year. Looking at the aid to Israel graph there is one unmistakable but unavoidable as well as remarkably obvious thing, real aid to Israel did not come into play until around the early 1970s. What is interesting about that is this was about the same time as Israel was granted a deal providing Israel would remove herself from making fighter aircraft. This has permitted the United States to have one less competent aircraft manufacturing nation which is technologically advanced and could have built aircraft which might, and probably would, have sold for less and been decent rivals to any American aircraft. This means that one would have to take into consideration how much influence the United States would have lost and sales they might have missed if Israel had built the Lavi and gone on developing even more advanced stealth aircraft and beyond. The other obvious item is that the aid has leveled out for the last thirty years plus at approximately three-billion dollars. Back in the early 1970s, Israel needed the aid money, as what the United States provided was almost equal to the Israeli GDP. Today, well, not so much as Israeli GDP means that the United States aid to Israel is but around 3.5% of her GDP. Should Israel decide to present the United States with the following deal, one can only wonder how it would play in the media. The deal is that the United States can keep its money except for providing parts as agreed for the aircraft Israel has purchased or received (simply terminological difference), then Israel would be freed to start to manufacture their own fighter aircraft and other military aircraft as they desire or see fit. Let us try and imagine the response in the media as that might be amusing.

 

 

United States Aid to Israel

United States Aid to Israel;
Note the lack of aid until Israel agreed to not produce a better F-16 style fighter jet in 1971

 

We imagine the initial reaction to be shock, disbelief and many claiming that Israel was making a huge mistake. This would be true in both national news media. The Israel Prime Minister would be recommended for psychiatric evaluation by Haaretz and others might actually agree. The American President would be pilloried by the pro-Israel lobby and given acclaim by the alt-right and far left (unless a republican and then omit far left). Congress would immediately pass dozens of legislations which would spend the three-billion dollars ten times over. Eventually, the truth of the full effect of this move would become apparent. What would the United States gain, three-billion dollars a year, a mere 10% of the annual budget and likely a mere 5% by the time this occurs. What would the United States lose, the technological alterations which Israel makes for her aircraft some of which the United States adopts in their next series, a direct line to all Israeli anti-missile software and hardware such as the Iron Dome System which has already been utilized to update and improve the Patriot Systems, a real war zone test facility as Israel was the test base for United States aircraft in an actual combat situation and numerous other items on the periphery. What would Israel lose, three-billion dollars per year, a mere 3.5% of GDP and having her aircraft designed by the United States. What would Israel gain is a whole series of what would result in wonderful things. Israel would now need to design her own aircraft, build her own aircraft and maintain her own aircraft. This would mean some very nice high-end engineering jobs and the opening of a complete new line of engineering in which jobs would be available in Israel. There would go along software design jobs and soon thereafter manufacturing jobs, and these would be well paying manufacturing jobs. This would add to the GDP lessening the impact of the lost funding from the United States, as taxes would be collected all along these new job paths. More jobs in high paying fields and well paying manufacturing jobs leads to more retail jobs, restaurant and virtually every area gains when there are more workers receiving higher paychecks. Israel would also have entry into the lucrative fighter aircraft market, the exact market which led to Israel being dependent on the United States for her aircraft. In the end, the Israeli Prime Minister would be lauded as having been a man of vision and might even ride such approval to a whole decade as Prime Minister. These are the risky kinds of bold steps which make or break people’s political careers and can make their legacy. Imagine what kind of aircraft Israel might produce with stealth so good we cannot show you a picture because it is invisible. Well, we can dream and joke, but really, what would Israel design.

 

Going along that path, we have an idea of what Israel would design as a sixth-generation fighter aircraft. The aircraft would be one third smaller than current fighter aircraft and have five times the missile carrying potential all in hidden pop-out and fire compartments. Believe it or not, it would have guns with tens of thousands of rounds which would fire at the target designated by the pilot automatically computing best-shot probabilities. The plane would easily be capable of thirty-G and maybe forty-G turns with no ill effect on the pilot, because the pilot is not in the aircraft. These stealthy aircraft would be remotely flown leaving more room for fuel and armaments and requiring less protection as there is no pilot so no armored cockpit. The plane would be controlled by a wideband light source with each plane responding only to its own frequency and coded sync pulse. Should longer-range missions be necessary, there could be a limited number of piloted versions or a special aircraft could carry numerous control pilots and fly miles behind keeping a squad of the fighters for its protection while the rest carry out missions. They could be given missions which could be flown completely without human input once the aircraft took off just as Tomahawk cruise missiles are fired except this aircraft returns after the mission. Using friend-or-foe identification, these aircraft could fly intercept missions to prevent incoming aircraft from invading Israeli airspace flying completely autonomously. Any aircraft Israel designs will have other ramifications such as development of materials and systems which could make cars safer including self-driving vehicles. This type of manufacturing might even lead to an Israeli car manufacturer who could make one limited edition high-end sports car as well as some mass produced family and midrange priced vehicles. Perhaps Israel will make the breakout for an electrically powered vehicle which charges more rapidly with sufficient range to cover all of Israel on a single charge or they could also provide charging stations spaced strategically around Israel and sell the charging systems to nations interested in the vehicle. Starting with producing an all-Israeli fighter aircraft could lead to an all-Israeli Littoral class warships and an all-Israeli submarine.

 

Why stop there? Israel could build herself a spaceport (see map with our projected site below) and join the space race. Rockets are something Israel has already developed, but she does not have a heavy lift launch craft for developing a manned space program. A spaceport, some would claim, makes too much of a high-profile target for terrorist attacks. Oh, and the Dimona reactor and the twin nuclear power stations in Haifa as well as every flight in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport are exactly what? Let’s face it, all of Israel is a high value target with the most precious being her people. Israel has announced that their nonprofit SpaceIL and the government-owned corporation Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) aim to launch a robotic lunar landing mission atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida this December. How much more pride would there be if instead of atop a foreign company’s rocket from a launch site in the United States it read from atop an Israel designed and manufactured rocket from the spaceport south of Beersheva. There would be Israelis gathering at a safe distance to watch such a launch and those unable to get there would be glued to the television sets. This would be something over which almost every Israeli would get excited. Additionally, if there was the foresight to make the spaceport with multiple launch facilities and an adjacent special runway which could land any plane carrying parts from other countries, Israel could enter into the space launch business. The different gantries could each be tailored in such a way as to fit any requirements. There could be an additional area which would be flat and very solid where those self-landing reusable booster first stages could touch down safely away from anything of value, just in case. One can never be too safe. Israel might even place a second international airport fairly close to the spaceport such that in the future there could be travel to Israel for space tourism.

 

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

 

Back from dreaming and to the more immediate. Israel needs to plan for a future where the United States either cannot or chooses not to provide any form of aid and denies Israel purchase of her aircraft. As stated above, this is something which requires planning well ahead of the event. The problem we see is the growing number of extreme left politicians and some mainstream liberal politicians who have an adversarial relationship concerning Israel. The numbers of anti-Israel, and in too many cases also anti-Semites, politicians come from both parties with the Democrat side having Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders, Steve Cohen, Gerald Connolly, John Yarmuth, Tammy Baldwin, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Michael Capuano, Andre Carson, William Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver, John Conyers, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Rosa DeLauro, John Dingell, Donna Edwards, Anna Eshoo, Luis Gutierrez, Martin Heinrich, Jesse Jackson Jr, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, James Moran, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Charles Rangel, Laura Richardson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Pete Stark, Nydia Velazquez, Chris Van Hollen, Henry Waxman as well as these on the Republican side including Steve West, Arthur Jones, John Fitzgerald, Corey Stewart, Bill Fawell. Oh, wait, we left out the newest darling of the Democrat Party from New York who believes Israel is a problem but we have doubts that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could even find Israel on a globe even now after a month of heavy duty coaching.

 

The reality is there is still more than enough anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli and anti-Zionists living on the right, mostly the far right or alt-right almost all of which, while many may support President Trump, the President does not share their hatreds but on the left, specifically the far left and the new-leftist socialist supporters there is an even larger and growing group who fit into this classification. Those on the left are more of a problem than those on the right as the right and alt-right anti-Semites, who oppose all things Jewish including Israel, are an isolated group who represent a small and very slowly growing group who are nowhere near becoming a political movement. The new-leftists, leftist socialists, and far leftists are far more of a problem because they are the future of the Democrat Party and, as much as it pains us to say this, they are the future of the United States. The education system is spitting out these programmed youth with ideas right out of Bernie Sanders early campaign points. Free everything for everyone, including but not limited to medical care, education, food, housing, guaranteed employment and a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. The rich or the government will pay for all these free things because the rich and especially the government have a never-ending supply of money and the rich got their money by cheating the poor out of their rightful money. These are the youth vote which, should they become excited about a candidate, when garnered can put somebody into the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. These are the voters who more often tend to not remember or not care enough to vote. That was then and now many of these youth are being politicized by the education system and made to feel disenfranchised as well as energized to elect those who support the same things their teacher taught them about how socialism is the best system and free things is how it should be. These are the voters who in a dozen years will rule the roost and will be choosing who runs the United States. This means that Israel had better awaken to a future without United States aid and weaponry and having to depend upon her own people and resources. That is the challenge for Israel, the challenge for the United States is to survive and do that which is best for them, and if that places Israel out in the cold, so to speak, then Israel will adapt.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 12, 2016

How Bad do Americans Want to be First in Space?

 

It has been a while since NASA and space have been much of a news item. With the cancellation of the Space Shuttle, which really did not go into SPACE Space, NASA has kind of fallen by the wayside. President Obama had set the target as Mars, an Asteroid, but definitely not the Moon; as we have “Been there, Done that.” Well, right about now being capable of getting American Astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) using an American rocket of any sort would be a step in the right direction. Many of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering where did this idea stem from. Well, I read that NASA has a plan for a space station, all American this time would be nice, in Moon orbit from which to go Mars, Moon, Asteroids, just about anywhere. They want to use this station to test some theoretical shielding systems which should protect against radiation. Yes, radiation, a real set of shields like real science fiction spaceships have. They want to power the station for correcting the orbit with, wait for it, electronic drive systems. Can you say Ion Drivers? I knew you could. Their plans reach into the 2030’s but I bet Americans do not want the race to place an orbiting station in Moon orbit or a real underground Moon Base to be anywhere near or close to the Chinese who claim they will have a Moon base by the early to mid-2030’s. My bet is knowing that the Chinese, yes, the Chinese building on American and Russian know-how, are screaming at their monitors about now, “What’s the holdup?” Well, the usual, funding.

 

Let’s talk NASA funding. Anybody have an idea on the percentage of the budget NASA used to go to the Moon, assist with building the ISS, the entire Shuttle fleet? Not the actual cost in dollars as that is too relative, the percentage? Was it 10%, 15%, 20%? Too low or too high? Well, believe it or not too high so let’s try under 10%. Was it 8%, 5%, 3%, how low would we need to go? Perhaps we should first figure out what it would be worth for the United States to build a Space Wheel with central hub serving as a dock for building any size ship for any destination desired with the ability to tow Asteroids for the metals, ceramics, gold, silver and any other necessary materials including enough water to power the entire venture and transmit power back to fixed Earth stations from space? All of this with a proper Moon Base with the vast majority of the base safely underground protected from Asteroid and Meteor strikes and the Space Wheel and Moon Base entrances all self-sealing from anything smaller than decent rock size holes and a system of lasers, both pulsed and pulse types for differing requirements which automatically fire to destroy larger or even down to as small as an inch projectiles keeping them from striking the sensitive areas where people can even live. A Space Wheel spinning at the correct speed would give five or six levels of near Earth gravity and the central hub could be used for zero gravity manufacturing which allows for perfect crystals and electronics and electronic miniaturization with precisions not possible on Earth due to gravity of the situation. Any ship build from workers based on the Space Wheel could use smaller grabber craft with ion drivers and a pulse driver to assist in gaining return velocity and stopping for fetching Asteroids for materials and resources which would pay for everything in time and give the Earth needed resources of precious metals and who knows what else would be discovered. It all is a dream but would you be willing to invest 3% or maybe, dare we suggest, 5% of the budget set aside just like military spending for NASA and other space related activities by private enterprises which could be subsidized just like General Electric, Chrysler, General Motors and the Banks but actually accomplishing something. This could be done in style at 5% of budget as NASA has rarely cleared 1% of budget.

 

Space Station Double Wheel from Stanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke 2001 A Space Odyssey

Space Station Double Wheel
from Stanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke
2001 A Space Odyssey

 

You are amazed now, right? Well, there is a reason they always told you how many billions of dollars were “wasted” on NASA and Space things, never going to Mars or propulsion systems for interstellar exploration, or a Moon Base and Space Wheel. No, it was space junk or wasted on space with nothing to show for it. Well, at less than 1% of the budget and often floating around ¾% of the budget, yes, that is 0.75% of the budget, what did you expect, miracles? Well, considering their budget you did get miracles like first men on the Moon, only people to land on the Moon, and with some effort it could be first woman on the Moon, first whatever you choose on the Moon, first Mom to Mars, first family born in space, at 5% of budget we bet NASA could wow the world again. Of course there would be one other item, NASA should be returned to their parent, the Air Force with a General running the show so as to keep things real, just a suggestion as NASA has done some boneheaded things such as crashing a Mars probe because somebody did not transfer the European specifications from meters to feet and thus the speed was grossly underestimated and BOOM! Well, no boom as Mars atmosphere would only transmit a loud clap, yes a series of loud rapid claps as it crashed into Mars way too fast for survival. We all know that many missions NASA had launched were for the Military or the CIA or other even more clandestine agencies so why not quit hiding the link and make it official, the American Military is running the space program and be done with it. Still, 5% or even 3% would seem like they hit the Lottery at NASA and the Military could now put their “black ops space items” onto NASA missions with far less argument, not that NASA ever said no that we know about, nor would we ever know such things or talk about them if we did. Alright, enough with the paranoia and back to Earth or at least Earth bound orbits.

 

Image of NASA Space Vehicle Concept Ship

Image of NASA Space Vehicle Concept Ship

 

The above picture depicts a NASA prototype of the Orion space vehicles. These would sit upon the new heavy lift rocket systems with smaller support more likely contracted out to Space X, Axiom Space, Bigelow Aerospace, Virgin Galactic or any of the literally dozens of other venture space companies. These other space companies could also place their own experiments or modules onto the Moon Base or Space Wheel as long as they would meet certain specifications as it helps if the seals fit tightly and do not leak because they were made to the wrong size. There could even be an additional wheel with set asides for such projects which required livable requirements with Earth gravity and add on space to the Space Doc built to orbit within workable distance from the Space Wheel central hub unit for anything requiring zero gravity and possibly everything inbetween using the service legs of the wheel. The hardest part, as proven by the landing on the Moon in under a decade starting from more rocket failures at launch with some of the most spectacular and impressive explosions in the early 1960s and the Moon in July 1969, America can do whatever they wish in space if only they commit to do whatever they want in space.

 

There are always those who do not believe that the Human Race must conquer space and claim it is all a waste of money. These people can be vocal while the dreamers are often the quiet sort leaving their noise for cheering launches trying to out shout the deep rumbling grumble of the first stage rocket and boosters. The supporters of active and daring space development programs, despite knowing that the ultimate fruits are not going to materialize in their lifetimes, are committed and hope to make such developments as a driver for interstellar missions become a reality before their grandchildren’s, or to be bolder, children’s lives end. The obvious secret about such grand ventures is that the sooner we, as a people, begin to venture towards these goals, the sooner we will overcome the difficulties we will encounter. NASA has developed a projected mission profile for the initial Orion Mission (see below). Their claim is they may, if all proceeds as well as expected, to have the craft orbit the Moon instead of a single trip around using a free return gravity driven return orbit just in case their craft has problems as they intend for it to return to Earth. All we can say is, “Decent start, now what?”

 

NASA Orion Flight Trajectories Including Lunar Orbits

NASA Orion Flight Trajectories Including Lunar Orbits

 

Now for our dreaming part of this article. We would like to see a spaceport launch facility built in the Negev Desert and for an ambitious Israeli space program built near the 31o Latitude (see map below). While 31o Latitude is somewhat too far north for optimum, but when your country is slightly smaller than New Jersey with largely populated northern half and a more sparsely populated southern desert, then this is perfect for a spaceport launch facility. Israel definitely has more than sufficient technological sophistication for an advanced space program and such a facility would free Israel from dependence upon other nations to launch communications and special satellites and doing so without having to proclaim their launches to the world unless required by treaties. Israel partnering with the United States on certain missions and reserving space on the space wheel for Israeli modules would be one more economical approach and building an Israel space wheel, likely smaller with a higher rotation speed, would be beyond any expectation. Israel having an operating launch facility could also allow other nations to utilize and launch from the spaceport in order to defray costs. Even a partnership with a dependable and consistent ally would be beneficial. Israel reaching into space would also serve to be deterrent to military ventures against Israel especially should Israel launch sufficient spy and mapping satellites as such craft would give early warning capability to Israel allowing early responses which could allay an attack. The secret to forging a well-ordered peaceful planet is the need to control all the high ground, that being space, and that could be something within the reach of Israel. There also exists another reason that Israel should build a spaceport capable of multiple launches in rapid succession possibly as many as six to ten rockets in a single day and perhaps a dozen to a dozen and a half per week and far more than any probable need would arise per month. Such a launch schedule potential would make Israel a preferable launch platform than Europeans or Russians currently possess or are even likely to possess. This capability would make Israel a space center which the developed space-faring world who could come to depend upon Israel thus making Israel even more intertwined with the world and thus having even greater impetus for good relations with all. As we stated, this is our dream space where we fantasize and paint pretty pictures of the future and perhaps also to work to plant a seed, an idea which grows until it has a life of its own. Once that stage is reached more than half the battle has been won. As stated above, the most difficult time is getting the idea accepted and started, once there your dream has a great potential to be realized. Israel in space, almost sounds like a Mel Brooks comedy (see video below map).

 

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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