Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III, A War Game Scenario

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9780765313829: Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III, A War Game Scenario
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William B. Scott is a retired Rocky Mountain bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and a former U.S. Air Force flight-test engineer. He served with the National Security Agency and as aircrew on nuclear sampling missions. Michael J. Coumatos is a former U.S. Navy test pilot, the former U.S. Space Command director of wargaming, and a former National Security Agency counterterrorism adviser. With the help of bestselling author William J. Birnes, these renowned experts have joined forces to grippingly depict how the first hours of World War III might play out in the year 2010.

Coumatos and Scott take the reader inside U.S. Strategic Command, where top military commanders, space-company executives, and U.S. intelligence experts are conducting a DEADSATS II wargame, exploring how the loss of critical satellites could lead to nuclear war. The gamers don't know that the war they are playing has already begun, miles above them, in the lifeless, silent cold of space. Jam-packed with the actual systems and secret technologies the United States has or will soon field to protect its assets, Space Wars describes a near-future nuclear nightmare that terrorists will relish but politicians prefer to ignore. In a quieter, more peaceful time, Space Wars would be an exciting work of fiction. But with the United States now at war, Space Wars is all too real.

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About the Author:

Michael J. Coumatos is the former U.S. Space Command Director in charge of wargames and a former National Security Agency counterterrorism adviser.

William B. Scott is the editor-in-chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology and a nine-year U.S. Air Force veteran who served as aircrew on nuclear sampling missions.

William J. Birnes is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Day After Roswell and Worker in the Light.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter OneDEADSATS3 APRIL 2010/IN ORBIT, 200 MILES ABOVE EARTHThe first shots were silent.No incendiary blast of explosives. No bombs exploding over a battlefield. No dramatic flash of a nuclear fireball to signal the onset of high-tech combat. Only a silent, single burst of electrons.High above the Earth, drifting noiselessly in the black deep freeze of orbital space, a multimillion-dollar satellite simply died, a casualty of tiny but critical electronic circuits that failed when bombarded by a surge of electrons, exceeding the microprocessors’ design tolerances. There was a brief protest of overload, a signal, then silence.The spacecraft’s final, automatic “Mayday” call—a short-burst scream that something was amiss in orbit—consisted of an innocuous stream of digital ones and zeros. Beamed to a ground station hundreds of miles below, that critical few-millisecond transmission of encrypted, coded blips would mean nothing to a casual observer. But it was the only clue that trained spacecraft engineer-detectives would receive. In its last electronic gasp, the satellite had done its part. Now its human creators would decipher the mystery, assigning meaning to brief, terminal spikes in receiver temperature measurements and power supply output voltages and currents. Nothing new there. Engineers and technicians had done that before, hunched over computer terminals in windowless rooms scattered across the U.S. mainland.But this time, it would be several days before those on the ground could decode the subtle, sinister messages of those last digi-words from EarthView-4 and relay their chilling conclusions: the first shots of World War III had been fired.4 APRIL 2010/STRATEGIC COMMAND HQ/OMAHA, NEBRASKAUnited States Air Force General Howard Aster frowned, yet nodded. “Continue your briefing, colonel. We’ll get into the ‘hows’ and ‘maybes’ later.” Interruptions from the civilians scattered around the room irritated him, and he was anxious to get back on track. He had been dreading this precise moment for months, the time when his recurring space nightmare would become hard reality.As commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, Aster occupied a high-backed leather swivel chair at the head of a long, carrier-deck–like table lined by his uniformed military staff, several gray-haired vice presidents from three commercial satellite companies, a squat and very round National Security Council representative, and J. D. Hart, a NASA technical troubleshooter. Behind them, lining the walls of a large STRATCOM headquarters conference room, sat and stood a multitude of lower ranking officers and civilians. An odd mix of people and skills, Aster thought as he scanned the crowd.One of only a handful of four-star generals designated America’s “Combatant Commanders,” the Air Force officer wielded considerable power within the U.S. military’s chain of command. Today, though, he was simply an aging former fighter pilot trying to understand jargon tossed about by an ad hoc group of staff officers, consultants, and corporate executives assembled to assess what was quickly turning into a technological nightmare. At least that’s what Aster hoped it was. Because if what was happening hundreds of miles above the Earth’s surface was not just a collection of random events, but something engineered by intelligent design, Aster knew he’d soon find himself in a world of shit.At the opposite end of the table, Army Colonel Jim Androsin, a tall, thin, ramrod-straight officer, stood beside a big-screen, high-definition display that dominated an entire wall. He leaned over the long table, tapped the keys of a notebook computer, and the huge screen displayed a computer graphic of multiple satellites drifting above a crescent of blue-marble Earth.“To recap the situation, sir,” Androsin continued, “three Trans-America Satellite Company—TransAmSat, if you will—spacecraft have experienced technical problems over the past month, and a fourth had a similar anomaly early this year. TAS-5, a comsat, is the latest casualty. It appears to have a faulty battery that will force the company to shut off several transponders about one hour every day for a month during the spring and again in the fall.”“Why’s that?” Aster interjected.“Those are the solar transitions, general,” responded Jack Molinero, a conspicuously well-fed TransAmSat vice president in a poorly fitting pin-striped suit and food-stained tie. His taut white shirt flowed over his belt as he slumped in a chair trying to compose his thoughts. The tired-looking company vice-president ran TAS operations. And, today, Jack was obviously not a happy man.“In essence,” he said, “there won’t be enough sunlight hitting the solar arrays each day to keep our remaining good battery charged up through the night portion of each orbit. So, we off-load the power system by selectively shutting down some of the least-critical transponders. We intentionally ‘brown-out’ the satellite.”Aster barely nodded his thanks and motioned with an eyebrow for Androsin to continue. Although he had been on the job as STRATCOM chief for a little over a year, the general was still getting up to speed on the finer points of this space business. As a fighter pilot, he had spent his entire career below 50,000 feet. Space, so-called Information Operations, and missile defense were new games for him—and for a lot of other people in this room, too, he realized, glancing at the faces turned toward the colonel. Back in the early 2000s, STRATCOM had been reconstituted, absorbing the old U.S. Space Command, and was subsequently assigned a host of additional responsibilities. On top of its traditional nuclear-deterrence role, the command’s bulging portfolio had been a handful for his predecessors, a fact he appreciated more each day.Although rumors claimed that Aster had been in the running for the Air Force’s vice chief of staff slot, the service’s top general had asked him to take over as the nation’s number-one, four-star “space warrior.” Obviously, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had already given his approval, or the USAF chief would never have offered him the job. Aster had jumped at the joint-command opportunity, preferring to remain close to front-line operations and as far from Washington, D.C., as possible. Two previous tours in the Pentagon had bred a strong dislike for things political, and it showed, despite attempts to conceal it. Because he knew it showed, he finally stopped trying to play the game. He was a warrior, not a politician.Evidently, he hadn’t irritated too many on Capitol Hill, though. After several meetings with the Joint Chiefs chairman, the secretary of defense, a slew of congressional staffers, and even the president himself, Aster’s confirmation had breezed through the Senate without a hitch. The Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman’s only proviso had been that Aster remain in the critical STRATCOM job a full four years. That was the same as pointedly telling him: “You’ll retire in the job. This is the end of your military career.” That was acceptable, though, because he was now on the cutting edge, leading the nation’s most powerful combat forces. And his unofficial title—“Chief Space Warrior”—underscored the reason Aster had jumped at an opportunity to command STRATCOM. He was acutely aware that space was the new high ground of military matters, a theater of war. Now, his was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to help shape the battleground of the future, a rare opportunity for any military commander.Unfortunately, as he stared at the table of officers and experts, listening to their somber, highly technical discussions, it was becoming increasingly obvious that the future had already arrived like a hungry wolf pounding on the front door with a vengeance. U.S. space assets were dying in orbit at an alarming rate, a pace well in excess of coincidence. And, for the moment, nobody understood why or what to do about it.When Aster was a freshman, or “dooley,” upperclassmen at the Air Force Academy had nicknamed him “Steve Canyon” thanks to his cartoon-like square jaw and blond hair. Aster was no longer that same young man. Today, the tall, prematurely white-haired STRATCOM general leaned forward, the weight of the world on his back, trying to assimilate all that the Army colonel was describing. He fought to keep his mind on the conversation in the room, but it drifted back.Too tall to fly fighters, huh? He half smiled at the memory. What the hell did they know? Somebody had told him that nonsense as soon as he’d begun flight training as an Explorer Scout, while still in high school. Even the senator who’d interviewed him during his Air Force Academy application process had told him he probably couldn’t fit into a sleek fighter. “Better think about bombers or transports, son,” the senator had advised.But Aster had tossed off the advice of all naysayers. Good thing he had, too. There was nothing like flight in a powerful, single-seat fighter, cruising thousands of feet above the Earth, snapping your craft into a steep bank and watching the horizon go vertical through the canopy, then pulling the stick back until g forces threatened to crush your body, trying to drive your butt through the ejection seat. Nothing like it. And nothing like nudging your fire-control radar’s target-designation box over a hard-turning Iraqi MiG’s red icon, hearing the growl of the missile-locked tone in your helmet’s earphones and squeezing off an AIM-120 air-to-air radar-guided missile. Bad guys could run, but never fast enough to outrun an AMRAAM.But that seemed a lifetime ago. Human voices intruded on the memories, pulling him back to the present. A buzz of techno-babble indicated the group was still trying to reason through whatever was killing America’s eyes and ears in sp...

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Book Description St Martin's Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Michael J. Coumatos, former US Space Command Director in charge of war games and a former National Security Agency advisor, and William B. Scott, editor-in-chief of "Aviation Week & Space Technology" and a nine-year Air Force veteran, collaborate with William J. Birnes, host of the History Channel's "UFO Hunters", to imagine how the first six hours of World War III might play out. The authors take the reader deep inside the top secret facility that houses America's Strategic Command in Omaha, where US military commanders are playing a nuclear war game. They don't know that the war they are gaming has already begun - in space. Financed by Iran, a rogue Russian scientist destroys military surveillance and communications satellites with an intense particle beam. Soon the United States will be completely blind, allowing the Iranians to launch a nuclear-tipped Sahab 4 missile into the soft underbelly of Europe. It's a race against time. Chock full of the actual technologies and strategies the United States will have to use to protect their near-space assets, "Space Wars" describes a near-future nuclear threat that puts us all in the terrorists' nuclear sights.In a more quiet time, "Space Wars" would be an exciting work of fiction. But the United States is at war, and the most frightening thing about Space Wars is that it's all too real. Seller Inventory # AAV9780765313829

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