Friday, June 12, 2020

Homeland Defense Radar System Will Not Protect Hawaii From a Nuclear Attack


Senator Mazie Hirono is Wrong and Needs a Lesson on Missile Defense: Homeland Defense Radar System Will Not Protect Hawaii From a Nuclear Attack
by Lynda Williams
After more than a year of meetings with Neighborhood Boards and local Native Hawaiian groups, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) effectively cancelled the proposed Homeland Defense Radar for Hawaii (HDR-H) by not funding it in the 2021 Pentagon budget, the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA. In addition to facing fierce local protest, MDA cancelled the 2 billion-dollar HDR-H discrimination radar system because the technology is obsolete. Rather than constructing more limited land-based radar systems, the Pentagon is planning to move missile surveillance into space with a Space Based Sensor Layer.
So why is Senator Mazie Hirono fighting so desperately to keep the HDR-H project alive? Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee that marks up its own version of the NDAA claims that “HDR-H is part of our country’s critical, layered defense. As the United States continues to confront a range of strategic threats in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, it is imperative that all Americans are protected by our ballistic missile defense system.”  These claims made in a Star Advertiser article are false on many grounds.
First and foremost, “layered defense,” the MDA strategy to defend the homeland and allies from nuclear missile attack using multiple stages of missile defense, has never been tested in real world scenarios. There is no guarantee that layered missile defense can protect anyone from a nuclear attack but since many of the layers are based in Hawaii, it actually makes Hawaii a greater target.

During first ‘boost phase’ when a missile is launched from enemy territory, the first layer of defense would be to destroy the missile near launch with drone bombs but this technology does not yet exist. Secondly, in the ‘midcourse phase,’ Ground Based Midcourse (GMD) long range interceptors launched from Alaska or California would attempt to destroy the nuclear missiles in space. If these two attempts fail, as the missile approaches its target in its “terminal phase,” medium range SM3-Block 2 interceptors launched from Aegis warships or Aegis ashore systems like the one stationed at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) would be deployed. The Aegis SM3-Block 2 interceptor was designed for short and intermediate range targets, not intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBM) so the MDA is currently trying to extend their reach ICBMs in their midcourse phase. They are currently planning to test the extended SM3 in Hawaii in 2020 to intercept an ICBM launched from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. SM3 interceptors are cheaper than GMD interceptors.
The final layer of defense would be to use Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) interceptors, also stationed at PRMF and used to intercept missiles just before they hit their targets. Radar systems like the troubled Sea based X Band Radar stationed in Hawaii and the proposed HDR-H radars are tasked with tracking the missiles but they have limited range and that is why the Pentagon wants to replace ground based radars with a space based sensor layer. Furthermore, layered missile defense can’t defend against hypersonic (at least five times faster than sound) missiles currently being developed by China and Russia (and the US) in response to US deployment of missile defense systems. The layered missile defense strategy and HDR-H - all of which has cost US taxpayers more than a hundred billion dollars are already obsolete and cannot keep Hawaii safe from nuclear attack. 
 According to the Union of Concerned Scientists “In its current form, strategic missile defense is a waste of resources at best and dangerous at worst. It is not a reliable defense under real-world conditions; by promoting it as a solution to nuclear conflict, US officials complicate diplomatic efforts abroad, and perpetuate a false sense of security that could harm the US public.”


Senator Hirono doesn’t seem to understand why HDR-H is a bad investment. She is unrelenting in her lobbying effort: “Securing full funding authorization for HDR-H was my top priority in the NDAA this year because it will help keep Hawaii safe from external threats. I will continue to advocate for its inclusion in the final, approved package.”
In this time of grave economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as unprecedented protests around the country are demanding that the government redirect spending from the police and military to more urgent social needs such as healthcare, education, and the environment, Congress must cut this wasteful, unessential, and dangerous weapon system from the NDAA. We must pursue diplomatic strategies for resolving conflict in the Pacific.
I would be very happy to give Senator Hirono a private lesson on why we must cancel HDR-H.
Sincerely,
Lynda

Please sign and share our petition to CANCEL THE HDRH! Thanks!

Lynda Williams is a Physicist & Science Educator with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (space4peace.org)




Space Alert Article on the Homeland Defense Radar - Hawaii





Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Pentagon Plans to Build a Billion Dollar Radar on Sacred Hawaiian Ground for a Missile Defense System that Doesn't Work and Will Never Work


Summary: The Pentagon is planning to build a billion dollar radar system called the Homeland Defense Radar –Hawaii (HDR-H) on Oahu, Hawaii, to track incoming ballistic nuclear missiles as a part of the US Missile Defense system. A preliminary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) names two possible locations for the 8-story-tall-by-8-story-wide radar station that would take up approximated 160-acres of land: Kuaokala Ridge, adjacent to the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station (KPSTS) which is used for tracking satellites and space debris, and two possible sites in the Kahuku Training Area (KTA) on the North shore. An Archeological Survey of the Kauokala Ridge required by The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) conducted by Keala Pono Consulting Firm, identified several sites that are of historical and cultural significance in the proposed locations including the Moka’ena Heiau located on the highest elevation on Kaena point.  The HDR-H is part of a larger constellation of missile defense radar systems covering the Pacific that will cost over $4 billion. Lockheed Martin won the contract to design and build the HDR-H. However, scientific organizations such as The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have recently claimed that missile defense has a poor testing track record and is ineffective to protect the US homeland. The final EIS is due in 2020 with construction slated to begin in 2021.

Billion Dollar Expansion of Missile Defense in Hawaii and the Pacific

The Pentagon is planning to build a billion dollar radar system called the Homeland Defense Radar –Hawaii (HDR-H) on Oahu, Hawaii, to track incoming ballistic nuclear missiles as a part of the US Missile Defense system. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act required the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop and field a “discrimination radar” to improve the defense of Hawaii from ballistic missile threats. “Discrimination” refers to the ability to distinguish actual warheads from rocket debris, countermeasures and decoys, which, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), such radar systems are not capable of doing and have never been tested for under real life scenarios. 

The HDR-H would be used to support missile defense systems at the Pacific Missile Range Test Facility (PMRF Barking Sands) on the west side of Kauai that houses an Aegis “Ashore” Ballistic Missile Defense Systems (Aegis BMD). Although the Aegis Ashore system is not currently ‘deployed’ on Kauai for use in warfare, the Pentagon is pushing to “operationalize” it. PMRF has also houses a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) used to defend against incoming short and medium range missiles possibly from North Korea or China. 

Proposed Locations for Radar Construction and Development

The Department of Defense announced the intention to build the HDR-H June 1, 2018 and initiated a scoping process for determining potential sites in Hawaii. A preliminary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) names three possible sites for the 8-story-tall-by-8-story-wide radar station that would take up approximated 160-acres of land: Kuaokala Ridge, adjacent to the Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station (KPSTS) which is used for tracking satellites and space debris, and two possible sites in the Kahuku Training Area (KTA) on the North shore. The preliminary EIS states that if the Kuaokala Ridge site is selected for HDR-H, existing facilities at KPSTS such as the Solar Electro-Optical Observatory would be blocking the radar’s view and would have to be relocated. Additional infrastructure development would also be required. 



The Hawaiian State Legislature proposed a bill (H.B N0. 1396) in 2019 to assist providing the tremendous amounts of energy required for HDR-H with renewable energy sources. The bill is in committee for further action when the legislature reconvenes next year.

Sacred Hawaiian Sites on Proposed Radar Locations

An Archeological Survey of the Kauokala Ridge required by The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) conducted by Keala Pono Consulting Firm, identified Moka‘ena Heiau in the Area of Potential Effect (APE) and recommended that it be registered with both the National and Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places. The survey also recommended protecting the Moka’ena Heiau (site 188) with a buffer zone and that access should be made available to the heiau for cultural practitioners and other interested community members. 
Kaena Point on Kuaokala Ridge has both cultural and historical significance to the Hawaiian people and is the site of several sacred sun and wind Heiaus, as described in the Archeological Survey . Historically, it was where the prophet Kaanaana first predicted that Hawaii would lose sovereignty to foreigners in the future. Situated at 1,200 ft. above sea level, this is the highest documented heiau on O‘ahu and its position affords sweeping views of the landscape and ocean. According to the survey, “the Moka’ena Heiau was especially important to the population during the time of Kamehemeha I’s impending invasion of Kaua‘i. The heiau was used as an observation point and early warning place to notify the people of Kaua‘i of Kamehameha’s movement. Following the peace treaty between Kamehameha I and Chief Kaumuali‘i of Kaua‘i, there was no longer a need to use Moka‘ena as a place to sound a warning for the Kaua‘i people. Therefore, the heiau was abandoned. Cultural practitioners shared that the heiau was, and still is, used by people of the indigenous religion, Kānenuiākea, a Native Hawaiian religion recognized by the United Nations International Association for Religious Freedom.” The MDA integrated the recommendations of the Archeological Survey into their plans as shown in this scoping posters available online.


An Archeological Survey has not yet been conducted for the KTA alternative sites and Keala Pono Consulting and DLNR did not respond to requests for information about the KTA sites. It is well documented that the Hanakaoe Burial Platform is a heiau site located in Kahuku, possibly in the project area which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973. A full survey would need to be conducted to determine if it and other sites are located in the APE.

What is Missile Defense and Why Doesn't it Work?

The HDR-H is part of a larger constellation of missile defense radar systems covering the Pacific that will cost over $4 billion. Lockheed Martin won the contract to design and build the HDR-H which is a technological spin off of their $1.5 billion Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) system being built at Clear Air Force Station in Alaska, to be operational by 2020. A third billion dollar radar system, HDR-P will be deployed somewhere in the Pacific, most likely in Japan in order to complement their recent $2.15 billion purchase of two land based Aegis “Ashore” Ballistic Missile Defense Systems (Aegis BMD), also made by Lockheed Martin.

Both the LRDR and HDR radar systems, along with the Sea-based X-Band Radar (SBX), will
support Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), the basis of $70 billion US Missile Defense System to protect the US and allies from enemy intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The “Midcourse” part of GMD means that the nuclear missile would be intercepted while it is in space on approach to its target. The MDA GMD system uses 44 ground-based interceptor missiles launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California or Fort Greely, Alaska. These interceptors are also ICBMs but instead of carrying nuclear warheads they carry “Kill Vehicles” intended to ram the nuclear warheads and destroy them in space before returning to Earth and reaching their targets.



The Pentagon claims that the new generation of LRDR and HDR-H radar systems will be able to discriminate between war heads and decoys but there have never been any tests in real-world scenarios with countermeasures and decoys. In the aftermath of 9–11, President Bush withdrew from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) which was keeping nations from deploying missile defense systems. Bush exempted Missile Defense systems from the oversight and accountability process required by other major high cost military systems. Hence there is no experimental evidence that these massive and expensive radar systems will even work when  'deployed' without testing. 

Recently, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) claimed that missile defense has a poor testing track record and is ineffective to protect the US homeland. In their 2016 report Shielded from Oversight: The Disastrous US Approach to Strategic Missile Defense the UCS states “In its current form, strategic missile defense is a waste of resources at best and dangerous at worst. It is not a reliable defense under real-world conditions; by promoting it as a solution to nuclear conflict, US officials complicate diplomatic efforts abroad, and perpetuate a false sense of security that could harm the US public.” Here is a video produced by the UCS that demonstrates the problem with US missile defense managing simple countermeasures. 


Space Based Missile Defense and Weapons

The Missile Defense Agency knows these shortcomings to the existing system land and sea based systems which has meant billions in profits for defense Aerospace contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon over the past few decades. HDR-H would also be used with a space-based missile defense system being proposed to counter hypersonic missiles currently being developed by the US, China and Russia. The US is proposing a Space-Based Missile Defense system consisting of over 600 satellites equipped with laser weapons at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to counter hypersonic missiles. Although Space Command is based on the mainland critical components to space war combat are based in Hawaii and the Pacific. Here is another video produced by UCS explaining why Space Based Missile Defense is not a good idea for planet Earth. 



Whether Missile Defense remains on the Earth or is developed in space, Hawaii will be ground zero for MD missions, though there is plenty evidence it will not be able to protect the Homeland. 

Local Government and Community Response to HDR-H

Following the false missile alert in January 2018, Hawaiian Representative and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard called for increased spending on missile defense systems in Hawaii and voted to pass the FY 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations bill that provided critical funding for HDR-H missile defense for Hawai‘i, stating  “This bipartisan legislation provides funding for the Homeland Defense Radar — Hawai‘i which will help defend against complex threats by improving the Department of Defense’s capability to intercept an incoming ballistic missile headed towards our state.” 

Amy Perruso, Hawaiian State Legislature representing District 46 recently sent a letter to the MDA director of Facilities and Deployment, Martin F. Duke, regarding geotechnical testing at the proposed sites: "Yesterday, my office sent a letter to the Missile Defense Agency about geotechnical testing at Kuaokalā Ridge. While people struggle to afford shelter and Hawaiians fight to protect the 'āina, we should ask: when it comes to the militarization of Hawai'i, when will it be enough?"
In her letter Perruso asked, 

"I am concerned about the continued loss of Hawaii's land for military purposes. Currently, our state is facing a housing shortage of over 60,000 units. Our homeless population remains the highest in the nation per capita. Most importantly, Native Hawaiians remain alienated within their homeland. As evidenced by the recent demonstrations on Mauna Kea regarding the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope, the Hawaiian community is rightly seeking to redress their historic disenfranchisement and dispossession from their ancestral lands. One must ask, When it comes to the militarization of the 'aina, when will it be enough?" 

The MDA held public meetings in June 2018 to invite members of the community to participate in the scoping process to prepare a final EIS which is expected to be done at the end of 2020. Long-time Native Hawaiian activist and Mālama Mākua founding member Sparky Rodrigues was present at a public meeting. According to Sparky:

"The USA military continues the attack and invasion of Hawaii. Another state and DLNR sanctioned abuse of conservation lands and sacred cultural sites. Desecration of Hawaii national treasures destroyed forever."

If a permit is granted by DLNR construction is slated to start in 2021, with a completion date in 2023. More rounds of public meetings will be held on Oahu in 2020 after the final EIS is released.

To get a glimpse of what the final EIS might include in regards to health and environmental risks of the HDR-H system, the LRDR final EIS was completed in 2016. The World Health Organization has a report on electromagnetic fields and public health: radars and human health.

For more information visit the HDR-H visit the MDA website: https://www.mda.mil/news/hawaii_eis.html

Full letter from Any Perruso: 


Follow Lynda on Twitter at: @atomiccabaret and Instagram @lyndalovon



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Online Resume

Lynda Williams aka Lynda Lovon aka The Physics Chanteuse
Youtube Channel     Music Videos      Blog      SRJC Webpage         Twitter 

I am a performance media artist, singer songwriter, science writer, science educator and communicator, political activist and organizer. This is a very brief resume/portfolio. My website is under construction. If you are interested in my speaking or performing, please contact me! lynda@lyndalovon.com  Thanks!


Education:  BS in Applied Math, MS in Physics

Work:
Physics Faculty: Santa Rosa Junior College, San Francisco State University, 2000-current.
Media Production Instructor, San Francisco Art Institute
Webmistress and Girl Friday to Jerry Brown, We The People 

Sample Performance & Media Works:

    The Physics Chanteuse: Science Cabaret
American Geophysical Union, Academy of Forensic Sciences, The National Association of Science Writers, Stephen Hawking Birthday Bash, Kip Thorne 60th Birthday “KipFest” at CalTech, American Physical Society Centennial Celebration, US Science Festival, Swedish Science Festival, CERN, IEEE, AAAS, AAS, INSAP, PBS. Featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Physics TodayPeople Magazine and on NPR, and To Tell the Truth.  


Starship Earth: The Search for Life, Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium,   Produced, wrote and performed an original science musical planetarium show on the evolution and meaning of life in the cosmos. Film, slide and video projection combined with live music, spoken word and song. Funded in part by the Astrobiology and the Sacred project at the University of Arizona.


Starship Earth: Future Evolution, Santa Rosa Junior College Newman Theater, Produced, wrote and performed an original science musical one-woman show on the future evolution of life on Earth and the environmental impact of humans on the biosphere. Large screen slide and video projection combined with spoken word, music and song. Funded in part by the Astrobiology and the Sacred project at the University of Arizona, and the Arts and Lectures Series at SRJC. 

Cosmic Cabaret: Political Science at VORTEX, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, toured in UK various venues. 

Science Educational Outreach:  Expanding Your Horizons

Science Media Content Producer, Science Entertainment,1986- current. Produce and perform science multimedia content and performances for stage, the internet, planetaria, CDs, and DVDs: Maxwell's Equations, Parody Violation and Cosmic Cabaret. Theater Projects include The Birth of Venus, UniLang, Cyberstein, The Physics Chanteuse and Cosmic Cabaret.

More Press Clippings




Political Activist and Organizer, Speaker and Writer







More posters, shows,  images, etc:



Original Art for first Cosmic Cabaret Show

Unilang with Pamela Consulo


The Cyberset: with Joel Kohn



The Birth of Venus with Marco Fuoco

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Space Ecology: The Final Frontier of Environmentalism

Mining Space? Space Tourism? Space Debris? ASAT Tests? Weapons in Space?

As humans venture into space to advance both commercial and government interests, it is vital that we also develop rules of the road to protect the environment and access to space for all inhabitants of the planet.  Pollution in circum-terrestrial space due to space debris is an international concern for all nations and corporations with space assets at risk and yet few binding international laws governing the protection of the space environment exist. There is also very little public oversight or participation in policy making for this booming new private business sector that enjoys tax breaks, liability indemnities and other government incentives and protections. Space-Ecology.net is an information and news outlet dedicated to environmental and public policy issues related to space development. Here are some articles I have written on space issues.  More to come! 


Natural Living Magazine


Space Alert!


Peace Review, a Journal of Social Justice, 22.1, Spring 2010