U.S. Considers Russian Request to Install Satellite Monitoring Stations

The only thing more alarming than Russia wanting to install monitoring stations within the United States itself is that the U.S. government is actually allowing for it to be considered.

If history has told us anything during the Obama administration’s second term in regards to big changes, is that this has a good chance of being allowed via executive order, effectively bypassing congress and the constitution itself. They’re letting the lion into the sheep den.

The Obama administration continues to review Russian proposals to install up to six monitoring stations on U.S. territory for its satellite navigation system, despite strong opposition in Congress.

In May 2012, Russia made a formal request to install base stations in the United States to monitor its Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS.  Kenneth D. Hodgkins, director of the State Department’s  Office of Space and Advanced Technology, told a space navigation and timing advisory board meeting last Thursday that “U.S. officials have requested more information through discussions led by State in coordination with executive branch departments and agencies.”

Hodgkins added, “Based on the ongoing discussions, the original Russian proposal has evolved and is currently under review within the U.S. government.” He did not provide additional details on changes in the Russian proposal. The Federal Aviation Administration and NASA “initially expressed interest in acting as hosts” for the Russian monitor stations.

The Pentagon and CIA fear the monitor stations would help Russia spy on the U.S. and improve the accuracy of GLONASS, a system designed to rival the U.S. GPS satellite navigation system.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., on Nov. 19 introduced an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that prohibits the construction of foreign ground stations in the U.S. unless the Defense secretary and the director of national intelligence certify that the construction of the stations would not be used to gather intelligence or improve the accuracy of any foreign weapons systems.

“I am deeply concerned about the Russian proposal to use U.S. soil to strengthen its GPS capabilities,” Wicker said. “These ground monitor stations could be used to gather intelligence. Even more troubling, these stations could actually improve the accuracy of foreign missiles targeted at the United States,” he added.

Full article: U.S. Considers Russian Request to Install Satellite Monitoring Stations (NextGov)

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