Environmental Warfare and US Foreign Policy: The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction
Environmental warfare may sound new to some, but it has been researched extensively in military circles for years. The first public description of weather modification techniques as a weapon of war was made on 20 March, 1974. At that time the Pentagon revealed a seven-year cloud seeding effort in Vietnam and Cambodia, costing $21.6 million. The objective was to increase rainfall in target areas, thereby causing landslides and making unpaved roads muddy, hindering the movement of supplies. (1) But interest in the exploitation of the environment for military purposes did not end there.
Air University, located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, describes itself as a “center for advanced education” that “plays a vital role in fulfilling the mission of the United States Air Force” and whose “service members must place the nation’s defense above self.” The Chief of Staff of the US Air Force tasked Air University to “look 30 years into the future to identify the concepts, capabilities and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space force in the 21st century.” The study, completed in 1996, was titled Air Force 2025. One component was of the study was a paper titled Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025. It is a chilling document. It is evident that the authors regard our environment as nothing more than a resource to be exploited for military purposes. They claim that by 2025 US forces can “own the weather” by “capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to warfighting applications.” The authors describe weather modification as having “tremendous military capabilities” which “can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never before imagined,” claiming the project would be “not unlike the splitting of the atom.” The paper goes on to discuss how ionospheric research (The ionosphere is a region of the earth’s atmosphere ranging from about 30 – 1200 miles above the surface of the earth.) is necessary to achieve goals in both enhancing US communication capabilities and as a method of disabling enemy communications. “By 2025, it may be possible to modify the ionosphere and near space, creating a variety of potential applications.” (2)
Dr. Bernard Eastlund, while working as a consultant for Advanced Power Technologies Inc. (APTI) in the 1980s, patented devices that are described as capable of “causing…total disruption of communications over a very large portion of the Earth…missile or aircraft destruction, deflection or confusion…weather modification…” (3) These patents were based on the ideas and fundamental research of Nicola Tesla (many of his ideas were stolen by US corporations). Some of Eastlund’s patents were temporarily sealed under a US Secrecy Order. APTI and Eastlund’s patents were quickly purchased by E-Systems, a company that is home to many retired and currently employed CIA agents. In 1993 E-Systems received $1.8 billion in classified contracts. Raytheon, the fourth largest US defense contractor and third largest aerospace company, currently holds the patents. (4)
In light of the above, it is significant to know that since the early 1990s the US Air Force has been sponsoring the world’s largest ionospheric modification project called HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program). HAARP, located in the remote bush country of Gakona, Alaska, is a small version of the antenna discussed in the Eastlund patents. APTI initially won the contract to build HAARP. Eastlund feels that the current version of HAARP, although the largest ionospheric heater ever built, is not yet powerful enough to bring the ideas in his patents to fruition, “But,” he says, “they’re getting up there. This is a very powerful device. Especially if they go to the expanded stage.” (5) What they have done to date is definitely a necessary first step in the overall objective. Eastlund says, “The military was interested [in his patents] because, in the event of a Russian nuclear attack on the United States, an Alaskan site would be under the path of the incoming warheads.”(6) HAARP is currently a part of the ongoing Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), popularly known as “Star Wars”. (7)
A 1990 internal document obtained by Popular Science describes applications of the HAARP project as “Creating a “full global shield” that would destroy ballistic missiles by overheating their electronic guiding systems as they fly” and for “manipulating local weather.” (8) The word “local” was used because some 150 international treaties prohibit “weather warfare”. (5) However, Pravda reported: “the works continued anyway, despite the signed document. It was simply conducted under the disguise of scientific research or the development of double-purpose technology.” (9)
HAARP is presented as a harmless scientific project, but The Washington Post reported that a growing number of physicists and others in the scientific community are becoming increasingly skeptical. A “small group of American physicists, some of whom have aired complaints in scientific journals…fear HAARP may not simply be the benign research experiment advocates describe, but possibly phase one of a secret US military program that could be seeking ways to blow other countries’ spacecraft out of the sky or disrupt communications over large portions of the planet.” (6) Richard Williams, a physicist and consultant to the David Sarnoff laboratory in Princeton alleges HAARP constitutes “an irresponsible act of global vandalism.” He and others fear a secret second stage where HAARP would “beam much more energy into the ionosphere. That could produce a severe disruption of the upper atmosphere at one location that may produce effects that spread rapidly around the Earth for years.” (6)
In 2002 the website globalresearch.ca reported that the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs and Defence Committee expressed concern that “Under the HAARP program the USA is creating new integral geophysical weapons that may influence the near-Earth medium with high-frequency radio waves…the significance of this qualitative leap could be compared to the transition from cold steel to firearms, or from conventional weapons to nuclear weapons.” The deputies demanded an international ban on large-scale geophysical experiments of this sort and sent the appeal to President Vladimir Putin, news outlets, scientific groups, the UN and others. The article went on to say that the HAARP program “will create weapons capable of breaking radio communication lines and equipment installed on spaceships and rockets, provoke serious accidents in electricity networks and in oil and gas pipelines and have a negative impact on the mental health of people populating entire regions.” (10)
Dr. Nicholas Begich, co-author of the book Angels Don’t Play This HAARP, depicts HAARP as “a super-powerful radio wave beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere by focusing a beam on them and then heating them. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything – living and dead.” This ability allows for better communication with submarines and wide-area Earth-penetrating tomography (similar to radar) that can be used to locate underground missile sites, bunkers and oil reserves. Through his research he has come to the conclusion that HAARP has the potential to jam global communication systems, change weather patterns over large areas, interfere with wildlife migration patterns and negatively affect human health. It is also capable of potentially triggering targeted floods, droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes. (11)
Dr. Rosalie Bertell, author of Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War and founder of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health, while writing on the background of HAARP says, “It would be rash to assume that HAARP is an isolated experiment which would not be expanded. It is related to fifty years of intensive and increasingly destructive programs to understand and control the upper atmosphere… It would be rash not to associate HAARP with the space laboratory construction which is separately being planned by the United States…The ability of the HAARP/Spacelab/rocket combination to deliver very large amount of energy, comparable to a nuclear bomb, anywhere on earth via laser and particle beams, are frightening…The project is likely to be “sold” to the public as a space shield against incoming weapons, or, for the more gullible, a device for repairing the ozone layer.” (12)
Michel Chossudovsky, professor of economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, says that “there are very clear statements by the US Air Force to the effect that weather modification technology is available, HAARP is fully operational and could be used in actually military situations. It is evident weather warfare does constitute an instrument of the Air Force, they even identify the scenarios of its use.” He said his interest in the topic was sparked by the fact that it is possible to change climate and disrupt electricity over large areas of the Earth, effectively destabilizing portions of the globe and paralysing national economies. This can be done without the enemy even knowing the source of it. The health and economic prosperity of entire regions could potentially be devastated through climatic manipulations without the deployment of a single troop or the firing of any munitions. It is naïve to assume that those who ordered the development of the nuclear bomb would not want total control over this technology. Chossudovsky says HAARP can act as a “weapon of mass destruction” because it can destroy industry, infrastructure, agriculture and cause loss of life. He questions whether HAARP should be used at all since it has “global and environmental implications” and because it affects the electromagnetic field of the Earth. (13)
In September 2003 the website globalresearch.ca reported that a scientist who works in ionospheric research expressed concern that the 14 August, 2003 blackout might have been “a secret government test” that served multiple purposes including “fulfilling requirements for sophisticated warfare and security response.” The author poses the question: Could a secret HAARP experiment have caused the blackout? This article was based on a number of facts that seemed oddly coincidental given the circumstances. For example, the power went out a few minutes after the closing bell on Wall Street and a few minutes after HAARP was turned on that day. The power grid that was affected was not the vulnerable California grid. The data that would show where the effects of HAARP were directed, by providing a picture of the ionosphere, were not posted on the day of the blackout. He also commented on the possibility that the HAARP heaters were directed at the power grid’s bottleneck while the grid was operating near full power. “The sudden presence of electromagnetic energy could easily force an unexpected increase in the power flow which could in-turn cause a critical failure such as the one seen on August 14, 2003…The only requirement to achieve geographic precision is that geomagnetic activity be minimal such as it was on the day of the blackout.” There was also a short test conducted shortly before 4pm. The author says such a test would serve the purpose of “showing the researchers exactly where the beam would focus itself given the current conditions, and would be a necessary step before executing such an experiment.” The author describes how experiments of this sort would be an “ideal way to test possible military applications of the instrument…of course, this would need to be tested in a controlled environment where the effects could be thoroughly analyzed (such as on our own soil)…this was an excellent homeland security response test.” He concludes by saying “Although it may sound like an episode of the X-files, the facts are clear; HAARP is an ionospheric warfare tool, it is capable of focusing it’s electromagnetic energy at long distances, it was turned on right at the time the event began, and such a scenario would serve multiple national security interests simultaneously with minimal economic impact.” (14) Michel Chossudovsky, by conferring with other well-known scientists, was able to conclude, “this man knows the facts. He can read and analyse scientific data and is well informed on the impact of the HAARP program.” Although the article does not amount to proof, Chossudovsky feels that the author’s statements should be taken seriously and investigated. (13, 14)
The HAARP program was scheduled for completion in 2002 and full-scale testing had started by early 2003. While there is currently no conclusive proof that HAARP has ever been used for weather manipulation, there have been numerous reports describing very unusual weather and environmental conditions throughout the world in recent years. In January 2003 Yuru Solomatin, secretary of the Ukrainian Committee for Economic Policy, writing in Pravda reported “A lot of specialists and scientists believe that unpredictable natural disasters and several … catastrophes that struck Europe and Asia in the summer of 2002 might have certain global reasons that caused them all.” He posits “a possibility of secret geophysical weapon tests. Those tests were either secret or unauthorized… [Many] specialists and scientists believe that a special American program HAARP is one of those developments.”(9) Chossudovsky says, “Even though we do not have clear-cut information on particular climatic occurrences, when there are very unusual weather patters that are occurring, which cannot be explained by greenhouse gas emissions, we cannot exclude the possibility of man-made climatic manipulations, based on our understanding of climate.” (13)
A primary objection to weather modification for military purposes is that its use is indiscriminant and civilians will inevitably be affected. Furthermore, the research necessary to achieve these goals is dangerous. According to Bertell, HAARP can make “long incisions in the protective layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.”(7) As with the Manhattan project, scientists working on this massive military project simply are not able to determine for certain whether or not their activities will cause irreparable damage. Nor do they seem to care. In 1971 Science published an article titled Modifying the Ionosphere with Intense Radio Waves in which the authors describe the development of radio wave beaming technology for ionospheric modification that has long been “a desire for researchers.” This new technology now allows them to conduct research without the “associated complications” of a laboratory. They now have a “plasma laboratory in the sky.” (15)
There is a dire need for this technology to be closely monitored by multiple independent scientific bodies (it currently is not) and, if it must be used, needs to be used in such a way as to be beneficial to life on earth. It could be used to increase food supply, repair the ozone layer or reduce damage to civilian populations frequently affected by adverse weather conditions. Sadly, current military agendas appear not to give much weight to these possible beneficial uses of the technology.