Management of Operations at Pine Gap

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by Desmond Ball, Bill Robinson and Richard Tanter 24 November 2015 The full report is available here. NAPSNet Special Report I. Introduction The management of operations at the Pine Gap facility has become increasingly complex as the functions of the station have expanded, the number of agencies involved has grown, and the demands of a wider […]

Nuclear War and Daily Life


by Peter Hayes November 17, 2015   Most of the time, nuclear weapons and nuclear war are out-of-sight, out-of-mind. For one day, millions of Americans were reminded that they live in the edge of nuclear chaos. A Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile fired on November 7 from offshore Los Angeles set ordinary folks abuzz all the […]

Landmines: The Never-Ending War

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by Olly Terry & Yang Subin of Seoul based NGO Peace Network November 10, 2015 This essay was first published by Peace Network on October 22, 2015.   I. Introduction The recent landmine explosion on August 4th, that maimed two young South Korean soldiers, served as a stark reminder that the Korean War hasn’t formally ended. […]

끝나지 않은 전쟁: 한반도의 대인 지뢰 문제와 대책

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올리 테리, 양수빈 (평화네트워크) / 2015년 10월 Subin Yang recently received her B.A in International Studies with concentration in Asian Studies from Ewha Womans University, Seoul. She is currently an intern at Seoul based NGO Peace Network. Her interests are the interaction of women and militarism in East Asia. Olly Terry is a research associate at Peace […]

Nautilus Peace and Security Network – 29 October 2015

DETERRENCE: Atomic amnesia: photographs and nuclear memory
GOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY: Tokyo sidesteps elected officials in Okinawa, offers direct subsidies to Nago district
AUSTRAL PEACE AND SECURITY: Introduction to Rebecca Gordon, How the U.S. created Middle East mayhem

Japan’s Bid to Become a World Leader in Renewable Energy

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by Andrew De Wit 26 October 2015 II. Introduction The present article argues that the LDP’s green-energy proponents aim at revitalizing local economies through renewable energy, growing strategic sectors of the economy, bolstering national security (especially energy security), enhancing resilience in the face of natural and other disasters, as well as dealing with the threat […]

Mongolia’s Future Energy and Economic Development: Today’s Complex Choices Will Have Long-term Ramifications

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“Perhaps no nation has at the same time both more diverse options for its energy and economic future and the potential to make those options reality than Mongolia.

“It will be up to Mongolian leaders, however, to make the difficult choice of a future direction for the Mongolian energy sector, a choice unique to Mongolia in the potential diversity of directions that are plausible for this sparsely-populated nation with a growing economy and many resources, but not, in general, dissimilar to the choices that many nations now face as they seek more climate-friendly energy paths.”

Nautilus Peace and Security Network 15 October 2015

Deterrence: A frightening thought: China erodes America’s submarine advantage
Governance: In S. Korea, historical distortions Abe could only dream of
Austral Peace and Security: We should bomb Syria because…? (part 2)

The SIGINT Satellites of Pine Gap: Conception, Development and in Orbit

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Pine Gap’s initial and still principal importance to the United States lies in its role as a ground control and processing station for geosynchronous signals intelligence satellites. Nine geosynchronous SIGINT (signals intelligence) satellites have been operated by Pine Gap over the past 45 years. That role has grown as the satellites and their associated ground systems have developed in size, capacity and range of applications far beyond what was envisaged half a century ago – or understood by the host government that accepted the base at that time. During the ground station site selection process in 1966, one of the main criteria was that the horizon angle from the floor of the selected location and over the surrounding hills ‘should not exceed six degrees’. From Pine Gap’s latitude of 23.80° S and longitude of 133.74° E, this would allow connectivity (for both command and control and for data reception) with satellites stationed as far west as 60° E (or as far east as 153° W if ever required). The stations of the current three Orion SIGINT satellites controlled by Pine Gap make possible the collection of a wide range of signals across more than half the surface of the planet outside the polar regions – every continent except the Americas and Antarctica, and every significant region of contemporary US military concern. There is now just one US highly integrated geosynchronous signals intelligence satellite system, with comparable satellites operated by Pine Gap and Menwith Hill, with much greater capacities and much more focussed military roles than their Cold War equivalents.