This all comes back to the ‘dreaded’ PNAC manifesto. I seem to remember their 2000 pennings recommending that the US military needed some beefing up with “a global network of space-based interceptors (or space-based lasers)” and asserted that “No system of missile defenses can be fully effective without placing sensors and weapons in space.”
Or to be more specific – from the PNAC document that was concocted by peace-luvin’ Machievellianists Don Kagan and Gary Schmitt in September of 2000.
CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE,” and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control.
Stomp, Stomp, Stomp.
And then there was the 2004 article where The Guardian reported “America has begun preparing its next military objective – space. Documents reveal that the US Air Force has for the first time adopted a doctrine to establish ‘space superiority’.” A blatant violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty which forbids the militarization of space.”
In my view, this is really a test of Branson’s independence – he is arguably the most hip and well respected gazillionaire on the block who started a wee record label called Virgin Records at 17 while still in school which eventually morphed into one of the world’s largest and most successful brands. I can’t see the guy who signed the Sex Pistols and sits on a committee with Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) – buckle under and cave in to American space hegemony.
If he does – I will be deeply dissappointed. I have too – blushingly admit – I hold Branson high enough that as a younger man I actually bottled a quirky note asking for a dream job and tossed it overboard towards shore while sailing by Necker Island in the B.V.I’s – with the thought he might find it on a morning stroll.
I like to think he never found it.