EIR Daily Alert Service, MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2018

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2018

Volume 5, Number 115

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

EDITORIAL

This Time of Epochal Transformation Cries Out for Lyndon LaRouche’s Ideas

June 10 (EIRNS)—For strategic clarity—and also for your enjoyment—look at the world, for the moment, through the eyes of the British Empire. Over the last week, the following developments occurred, indicating that the British Empire’s worst nightmare is taking shape.

1) President Trump—clearly feeling his oats with the Robert Mueller operation sinking rapidly and turning instead into a “Spygate” which is seeing many of Britain’s key assets exposed and on their way to jail—has announced he will meet with Russian President Putin, possibly in Vienna.

2) President Trump kicked over the G7 chessboard and said he wanted Putin back in the meetings, because “we’re looking for peace in the world. We’re not looking to play games.”

3) Italy’s new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte seconded Trump’s call for Russia to rejoin the G8. Trump announced that he will be meeting with Conte in the White House soon.

4) Conte survived the British Empire’s attempted coup d’état in Italy, and came into office talking about banking separation, i.e. Glass-Steagall. The last thing that the British want is for Conte to discuss this with Trump.

5) Chinese President Xi Jinping organized the entire Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit around the universal ideas of Confucius, to create a “world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.”

6) India-China tensions are diminishing, as they discuss joint economic development and security concerns—despite Britain’s every effort to drive a wedge between them. Even India and Pakistan will be participating in joint military exercises for the first time ever, under SCO sponsorship.

Seen through the eyes of the British Empire, this does indeed add up to their worst nightmare. The Four Powers agreement among China, Russia, India and the U.S., that Lyndon LaRouche has long called for as the key strategic alliance needed to shut down the British Empire once and for all, is rapidly taking shape.

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in her keynote address to the International Schiller Institute conference “Dona Nobis Pacem—Give Us Peace, Through Economic Development” in New York City on June 9, drew out the significance of the current moment of epochal transformation:

“I’m actually very optimistic about the situation. I think there is the absolute possibility that we will, in the very near term, see the emergence of a completely New Paradigm of civilization. Because already now the majority of nations are all gathering around the idea that there is the one humanity which is of a higher order than national interests and even geopolitical confrontation. Never before has the contradiction and the openness of the fight between the New Paradigm and the old paradigm been more obvious than right now….

“You have a new model of win-win cooperation, of acting in the interest of the other, of respect of the sovereignty of the other country, of non-interference, of respect for the different social system of the other country, and of the idea to be united for a higher purpose of the one mankind.  Now that policy, which is the result of China’s New Silk Road policy, which has now been on the table for almost five years, which has developed the most incredible dynamic ever.  It is the largest infrastructure project in history, and it is already clear this will define the new rules of the world….

“This is actually the vision of my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, who already in 2007 demanded that the three countries—Russia, China, and India—absolutely must work together to counter the evil influence of the British Empire as it existed at that time. In 2009, at the Rhodes Forum of the Dialogue of Civilizations, he demanded that the only way the world would get out of its present condition would be a four-power agreement among the United States, Russia, China, and India….

“The New Silk Road must be built on the most fundamental ontological, epistemological and metaphysical conceptions of all traditions. For China, this means the Confucian principle of self-perfection and life-long learning, and ennoblement of the character; of harmony in the midst of differences. For India, this means the Vedic concept about how the cosmic order must give the rules for the political life on Earth….

“European civilization, of which America is a part, has a lot to contribute in terms of its own humanist traditions.  One of the most important conceptions of this is the new thinking which was introduced by Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th century—the coincidentia oppositorum, the coincidence of opposites; which means that human creativity and the human mind is able to create a higher order in which all differences are vanishing….

“But a time of such epochal transformation is also the best time when ideas matter.

“And I can only say that the ideas of my husband Lyndon LaRouche, who has been working on these kinds of conceptions of a just new world economic order for more than half a century, as a matter of fact, probably more like 75 years, or even longer than that; but now they’re being influential…. The many, many scientific conceptions he revived, in terms of the 2,500 years of European civilization: A lot of these things are now coming into being, because you have some powerful countries which are actually realizing them and working in this direction.

“So, the power of ideas is absolutely crucial, and we are very fortunate, that, while I’m not diminishing the dangers which are still there; also the possible danger of a big war is not by far eliminated; but I want people to have the optimistic sense that we can experience not only in our lifetime, but in the very near future, a completely different kind of a world, if we activate ourselves and if we fight for it.”

NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Xi Jinping Invokes Spirit of Confucius for SCO To Create a ‘World That Enjoys Lasting Peace’

June 10 (EIRNS)—From his opening remarks at the June 10 banquet welcoming the international delegations to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in China, Xi turned to Confucius for the profound and poetic concepts needed to orient the next stage of SCO activity—and the world. After stating that it was a pleasure to receive his guests in Qingdao, Shandong Province, Xi said, as reported by Xinhua:

“Shandong is the home province of Confucius and birthplace of Confucianism. An integral part of Chinese civilization, Confucianism believes that ‘a just cause should be pursued for the common good,’ and champions harmony, unity and a shared community for all nations, Xi told the guests. Its emphasis on unity and harmony has much in common with the Shanghai Spirit, namely, mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development, he said. ‘The Shanghai Spirit’s focus on seeking common ground while setting aside differences and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation has won widespread international endorsement and support,’ the Chinese President said.”

And later in his official remarks to the summit, titled “Carrying Forward the Shanghai Spirit To Build a Community with a Shared Future,” President Xi began his remarks:

“In this lovely season of June, I am delighted to welcome all of you to the picturesque city of Qingdao for the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Over 2,500 years ago, Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, had this to say: ‘What a joy to have friends coming from afar!’ It is therefore of special significance that I host my distinguished guests in Shandong, the home province of Confucius, for a summit that will chart the future course for the SCO.”

Xi also invoked the ideas Mencius, a follower of Confucius, in the same speech:

“Mencius, another ancient Chinese philosopher, aptly observed, ‘When Confucius looks down from the peak of the Dongshan Mountain, the local Kingdom of Lu comes into view; when he looks down from the peak of Mount Tai, the whole land comes into view.’ At a time when the world is undergoing major developments, transformation and adjustment, we must aim high and look far, and keep pace with the underlying trend of both the world and our times to push for more progress of human civilization.”

Xi Slams Zero-Sum Clash of Civilizations, Urges Win-Win Just New International Order

June 10 (EIRNS)—After citing Confucius at the outset, Chinese President Xi Jinping used his keynote address to June 8-9 Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit to emphasize that “the Shanghai Spirit, a creative vision transcending outdated concepts such as clash of civilizations, Cold War and zero-sum mentality, has opened a new page in the history of international relations and gained increasing endorsement of the international community.” He said that “the pursuit of cooperation for mutual benefit represents a surging trend,” and further: “While we keep hearing such rhetoric as the clash of civilizations or the superiority of one civilization over another, it is the diversity of civilizations that sustains human progress. Indeed, mutual learning between different cultures is a shared aspiration of all peoples…. We should reject the Cold War mentality and confrontation between blocs and oppose the practices of seeking absolute security of oneself at the expense of others, so as to achieve security of all.

“We should champion equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations. It is important that we overcome cultural misunderstanding, clash and supremacy through exchanges, mutual learning and coexistence.”

Xi then turned to specific proposals for the SCO, including that China would set up a new, $4.7 billion special lending facility within the SCO Inter-Bank Consortium, to foster development in the SCO nations. He said that “the Shanghai Spirit is our shared asset” which can guide the group to “build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. To this end, I would like to propose the following:

1) “Respect each other’s choice of development paths … boost harmony and unity by seeking common ground and setting aside differences.”

2) “Combat ‘three evil forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism [and] enhance cooperation on defense security.”

3) “Build a powerful engine to achieve common development and prosperity. We should increase complementarity of our respective development strategies, continue to advance the Belt and Road cooperation under the principle of delivering shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution, accelerate regional trade facilitation, and step up the implementation of the Agreement on International Road Transport Facilitation and other cooperation documents. China will welcome all parties to the first China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November this year. The Chinese government supports building a demonstration area in Qingdao for China-SCO local economic and trade cooperation, and will set up a committee of legal services for SCO member states to provide legal support for business cooperation….”

4) Xi supported ongoing programs such as “the youth exchange camp, and secure solid progress in cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, tourism, health, disaster relief and media.” He also said that “China offers to provide meteorological services to all parties using its Fengyun-2 weather satellites.”

5) “By engaging in dialogue with the IMF and the World Bank and other international financial institutions, we can contribute our share to resolving hotspot issues and improving global governance.”

China and Russia Issue Joint Declaration after Xi-Putin Summit

June 9 (EIRNS)—A Russian-Chinese joint declaration was issued after the summit meeting held between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which specified a number of areas of strong bilateral cooperation. These include:

—“Boosting efforts aimed at harmonizing strategies, programs and measures to develop national economies and particular sectors; create favorable environment for Russian and Chinese enterprises; jointly promote big projects … and raise the level of Russian-Chinese investment collaboration”;

—“Further strengthening the Russian-Chinese cooperation in the financial sector, promoting increase of the share of national currencies in trade payments, investments and financing”;

—“Elevate qualitatively the level of coordination and mutual support in international affairs”;

—“Further build up strategic contacts and coordination between their armed forces, improve the existing mechanisms of military cooperation, expand interaction in the field of practical military and military-technical cooperation and jointly resist challenges to global and regional security”;

—“Pay special attention to ensuring global and regional strategic balance and stability, including taking into account the fact that some states, under the pretext of the so-called ‘missile threat,’ unilaterally develop missile defense systems and deploy them in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, thereby severely damaging the strategic security interests of regional states, including Russia and China, and negatively affecting the strategic equilibrium, global and regional safety and stability.”

Among the specific agreements signed between the two sides, according to Xinhua, were one between Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration, for cooperation in lunar and deep space exploration; one on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and rail transportation; and “a joint declaration on a feasibility study of the Eurasian economic partnership agreement.”

Putin and Xi also held a joint press conference after their meeting, where Xi stated that the two countries “play a pivotal role in establishing a new type of international relations and building a community with a shared future for humanity,” reported Xinhua, and that they share the intention to “pass down the concept of everlasting friendship from generation to generation.” Xi further said that “the two sides have reaped important early harvests in aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union.” Putin acknowledged that “Russia-China relations are at their best level in history.”

India’s Modi and Pakistan’s Hussain in Qingdao Each Hold Meetings with President Xi

June 10 (EIRNS)—By all accounts, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of this, their first SCO summit as full members, went very well. According to Xinhua, Xi stated that “China is willing to work with India to take the [two leaders’ April 26-27] Wuhan meeting as a new starting point to continuously enhance political mutual trust and engage in mutually-beneficial cooperation across the board, so as to push forward China-India relations in a better, faster and steadier manner.” Xi further said that “China and India have reaped quite a few early-harvest outcomes in implementing the consensus reached at the Wuhan meeting … and that the two sides should make persistent efforts to accelerate the implementation, maintain strategic communication, expand economic and trade cooperation, promote people-to-people exchanges and enhance coordination and cooperation on international and regional affairs.”

Modi’s response was in the same spirit, saying that Wuhan was “very successful and very important.” Xinhua reported that “Modi said it has further strengthened his confidence in the development of India-China relations, and will certainly be a milestone in the history of the bilateral ties. India-China cooperation is of great significance to world peace and prosperity, and the Indian side is ready to advance the bilateral relations on the basis of the Wuhan meeting. As a new member, India is ready to play an active role in the SCO, and supports China in making the Qingdao summit a success.”

Xi Jinping also met with Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain, and stated that “China will steadily promote the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) construction, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy and transportation infrastructure under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.” Hussain seconded the idea to “push ahead with the construction of CPEC,” and acknowledging that “China is a reliable friend and steady partner of Pakistan, and relations between the two countries are unshakable.”

China, Russia and Mongolia also signed an agreement on the sidelines of the SCO summit “centered on aligning China’s Belt and Road Initiative with Russia’s development strategies, especially its transcontinental rail plan, and Mongolia’s development path initiative.” The three countries agreed to launch the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor construction as early as possible.

U.S. POLITICAL & ECONOMIC

Trump Heads to Summit with Kim Jong-un: ‘A Mission of Peace,’ Aided by Many Countries

June 10 (EIRNS)—As he left the G7 summit in Quebec today, President Donald Trump told reporters that he was leaving for Singapore on “a mission of peace,” in which he would be “carrying the hearts of millions of people, people from all over the world.”

He elaborated: “We have to get denuclearization. We have to get something going. We really think that North Korea will be a tremendous place in a very short period of time…. We appreciate the working together with North Korea. They’re really working very well with us. So I say: so far, so good…. It’s very important for North Korea and South Korea and Japan, and the world, and the United States.”

Then came the typical press question of “how do you feel?”

“It’s unknown territory, in the truest sense,” Trump responded. “But I really feel confident. I feel that Kim Jong-un wants to do something great for his people, and he has that opportunity. And he won’t have that opportunity again. It’s never going to be there again. So I really believe that he’s going to do something very positive for his people, for himself, his family. He’s got an opportunity, the likes of which I think almost—if you look into history—very few people have ever had. He can take that nation, with those great people, and truly make it great. So it’s a one-time shot. And I think it’s going to work out very well. That’s why I feel positive, because it makes so much sense.”

President Trump pointed to the international collaboration which is changing the world. “I can say that South Korea, Japan, China, many countries want to see it happen. And they’ll help. They’ll all help. So this is a great time. This has not happened in all of the years that they’ve been separated by a very artificial boundary. This is a great opportunity for peace, and lasting peace, and prosperity.”

Asked if he had a clear objective for the outcome of the talks, Trump replied that there is always something “spur of the moment” in a situation like this. “Kim Jong-un is a leader who is really an unknown personality,” he said, but we’re heading in with “a very positive spirit.”

What is being started is a process, he emphasized. There is a good chance it won’t work out, but “probably an even better chance that it will take a period of time. It will be a process. The minimum to be expected, if it goes well would be relationship. You’d start at least a dialogue…. What you want to do is start that. Now, I’d like to accomplish more than that. But at a minimum, I do believe, at least we’ll have met each other. We will have seen each other. Hopefully we will have liked each other and we’ll start that process.

“And the maximum, I think you know the answer to that. But I think that will take a little bit of time.”

It Would Be Far More Meaningful To Have G8 with Russia Back, President Trump Insists

June 10 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump reported after the G7 summit that bringing Russia back into the group had been discussed at the meeting, as he had urged. “We didn’t do votes or anything, but it has been discussed. Some people like the idea of bringing Russia back in,” he said in a post-summit briefing.

Trump did not specify who took what position in the discussions, but Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had made his support for Russia’s inclusion known prior to the summit, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters post-summit that “it is necessary to seek Russia’s constructive role to help resolve challenges facing the international society.”

Trump repeated that having Russia back in the G8 “would be good for the world … good for Russia … good for the United States. I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7. I think having Russia back in would be a positive thing. We’re looking for peace in the world. We’re not looking to play games.”

Even with Russia still keeping Crimea? he was pressed. Trump was adamant: “I would rather see Russia in the G8 as opposed to the G7. I would say that the G8 is a more meaningful group than the G7, absolutely.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin agrees. Asked at a press conference with Russian journalists in Qingdao after his speech to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit how he assessed the proposal made by Trump and Conte for Russia to return to the G8 format? “Given that the purchasing power parity in the SCO is actually higher than in the G7,” Putin responded, after beginning with an invitation: let’s meet in Moscow. Russia never withdrew from the G8, he said. “Our colleagues refused to come to Russia at some point for well-known reasons. We would be happy to see everyone in Moscow, they are welcome.”

U.S. President Invites Italy’s New Prime Minister Conte To Visit

June 10 (EIRNS)—In a tweet which surely drove London and Brussels wild, President Donald Trump gave his personal support for the new Italian government after the G7 summit, announcing he will receive Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte “shortly” at the White House.

“Just met the new Prime Minister of Italy, @GiuseppeConteIT, a really great guy. He will be honored in Washington, at the @WhiteHouse, shortly. He will do a great job—the people of Italy got it right!” the U.S. President tweeted on Saturday.

Prior to the summit, Conte had fueled those imperial enemies’ hysteria with his own tweet: “I agree with President Donald Trump: Russia should go back to the G8, it is in everyone’s interest.”

Former Senate Intelligence Staffer Indicted—Watch Out, McCabe!

June 10 (EIRNS)—James Wolfe, long-time security director for the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSIC), was indicted last week on three charges of making false statements to FBI criminal investigators —a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001— about his contacts with specific reporters who have published classified material, for which he could face serious jail time. He was arrested the night of June 7 at his home, released from custody June 8, and must appear at FBI headquarters on June 11 for booking.

Wolfe was placed on leave last December, after being questioned by the FBI about his contacts with four reporters, which he denied. Last week’s indictment charges that he met regularly and clandestinely in person with some of them, communicating with others through encrypted messages, etc. One of the reporters was a onetime lover, Ali Watkins, a former BuzzFeed journalist, now with the New York Times, who had published an article on April 3, 2017 naming Carter Page as having received Russian intelligence, only weeks after SSIC had received a classified document, held under Wolfe’s custody, in which Page was named.

President Trump welcomed the arrest, commenting from Canada that “I am a very big believer in freedom of the press, but I’m also a believer that you cannot leak classified information.”

Wolfe’s indictment sent “shockwaves around Washington,” constitutional expert Jonathan Turley reported in The Hill yesterday, hitting as “a cautionary tale for many [Capitol Hill] members, staffers and journalists,” that the Justice Department has been quietly tracking down the sources of classified material appearing in the press.

The person who should be most worried, Turley wrote, is former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, for whom the leak “spells disaster.” The Justice Department Inspector General referred McCabe to a judge for possible indictment on the same criminal charges with which Wolfe is now charged, that he knowingly lied to investigators about leaking to the media.

Putin Anticipates ‘Constructive’ Dialogue with Trump—‘The Ball Is in the U.S. Court’

June 9 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Rossiya 24 TV, in which he described Trump as “a serious-minded person who knows how to listen to people and respond to their arguments. This leads me to believe that dialogue may prove to be constructive.”

According to TASS, Putin told the Rossiya-1’s Saturday News with Sergei Brilev show that he expects Trump to fulfill his election promises: “One of the promises was to improve U.S.-Russian relations. I hope that it will happen, at least we are ready for that and I think that the ball is in the U.S. court. We are ready to boost, deepen and improve relations with the United States.”

In response to Brilev’s question about possible U.S. conditions put forward that are unacceptable for Russia, Putin said that “it does not work with anyone…. One can take the U.S. decisions, including those made by the U.S. President, in different ways, they may be criticized as there are lots of things worth criticizing. However, there is one thing I have already pointed to—Trump is implementing his campaign promises.”

Putin further said: “We believe that such personal meetings are expedient and not only possible…. The only question is that the internal political situation in the United States should make it possible to do this.”

COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM

Italian Senator Bagnai Argues To Keep Community Banks out of ECB Control

June 9 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Reuters, Sen. Alberto Bagnai explained that the new Italian government is going to block a reform of credit unions (banche di credito cooperative, or BCCs) in order to protect credit.

Bagnai, who is rumored to become undersecretary to the Finance Ministry, explained that, “We have an expansive monetary policy and a restrictive credit policy, a disaster for a country such as Italy, which has not yet fully recovered and we see signals that the recovery is slowing down.”

The reform introduced by the previous Renzi government, mandates Italian BCCs to merge into three large holdings, whose dimensions are such that they will be subject to supervision by the European Central Bank (ECB). This will force them to increase their capital requirements and creates an asymmetry with German cooperative banks, which are subject to national oversight.

“As long as such a legal asymmetry is not removed, we think it is wise not to proceed with this [Renzi] reform,” Bagnai said.

The new holdings should collect €2.5 billion on the market to comply with EU oversight criteria, which could come from foreign investors. “The reform is thus creating the double damage of decoupling BCCs from the community (by becoming subsidiaries of large national or international groups) and to put in foreign hands another piece of the Italian banking system.”

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

Russian and U.S. Military Chiefs of Staff Meet in Helsinki

June 8 (EIRNS)—Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia met today with Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Finnish capital Helsinki to “discuss the situation in crisis-hit regions and possible steps to de-escalate tensions.” The Russian Defense Ministry reports that they discussed various aspects of settling the crisis in Syria, including bilateral relations and the prevention of incidents. The two emphasized the importance of prompt stabilization in Syria and touched upon ways of easing tensions and ensuring security in Europe.

They were both received by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. They also held separate meetings with Commander of the Finnish Defense Forces Gen. Jarmo Lindberg on June 7.

The last time they met was in Baku, Azerbaijan in September 2017, and they have held several telephone conversations since.

U.S. Unlikely To Support Emirates in Yemen

June 9 (EIRNS)—The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the U.S. is unlikely to respond favorably to the United Arab Emirates’ request for additional U.S. military support for an assault on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. In a series of meetings this week, Trump administration officials voiced strong reservations about the U.A.E.’s efforts to take control of Hodeidah, “according to people familiar with the matter,” the Journal reported. It states that the U.A.E. is seeking U.S. intelligence and drone surveillance flights “but U.S. and international officials worry that a major battle for the port could deepen the humanitarian crisis there and derail peace efforts.” This concern was also echoed at the State Department. “We call on all parties to deescalate and ensure continued humanitarian access to the Yemeni people,” a State Department official said June 8. “We urge against steps that would derail the UN special envoy’s ability to revive peace talks.” Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, is to present his peace plan proposal about the middle of this month.

SCIENCE & INFRASTRUCTURE

Opposition Grows to Lunatic Proposal ‘To Privatize’ the International Space Station

June 8 (EIRNS)—The Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) has joined Congress, the scientific community, the Government Accountability Office, and the international partners of the U.S. in the ISS, in opposing the administration’s proposal for NASA to stop funding the space station in 2025. The IDA, a government-funded think tank that carries out analytical research for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency, says in its report that it “is unlikely that a commercially owned and operated space station will be economically viable by 2025.” They found that the only way that it would be viable would be with substantial government subsidy, which obviously does not meet the standard definition of “privatization.” As an article by Vox Media observes, it is difficult to come up with a model that wouldn’t “encourage business managers to cut corners, potentially endangering the safety of astronauts.”

“It’s exactly the kind of ideologically-motivated, scientifically and technically ill-advised initiative that many Senators feared [NASA Administrator Jim] Bridenstine would make,” reports Vox, which is why it took seven months to approve his nomination. The Vox headline refers to privatization as “A Remarkably Terrible Idea.”

More hearings will be held on Capitol Hill, which will give Congress Members additional opportunities to voice their opposition. It is unlikely the proposal will be approved through the Congressional budget process. It is likely that there will be continued lobbying by the ISS international partners to not put an artificial and politically motivated end date on the station.

Bridenstine continues to promote privatization, proposing a “range of options” make it feasible. Two days ago, he came up with the idea that “maybe it gets split into a number of different components,” some of which could be deorbited. He did not elucidate what that would mean for the non-U.S. sections of the station, to which the United States’ international partners contribute astronauts, experiments, and tens of billions of dollars.

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