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[] Wired: Europ"aische GPS-Alternative Galileo offenbar beschlossen,

"A credible European rapid-reaction force still remains a question mark"

"second major European attempt in the last year to try to distance itself f=
rom the United States"

Wem gilt eigentlich die RAND-Studie =FCber einen m=F6glichen Herausforderer=
 der eigenen hegemonialen Stellung, etwa in f=FCnfzig Jahren? (The Emergenc=
e of peer competitors,



Europe Gives Go-Ahead to Galileo=20
By Steve Kettmann=20
8:20 a.m. March 18, 2002 PST=20

A surprise decision over the weekend by European Union leaders to fund an a=
lternative to the United States Global Positioning System satellite network=
 could shape up as a critical event for Europe's future as a technological =

As recently as January, backers of the $3.2-billion system, called Galileo,=
 counted its chances of moving forward in the face of U.S. opposition at vi=
rtually nil. They said a December letter from U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defe=
nse Paul Wolfowitz to all 15 EU defense ministers, arguing against Galileo,=
 had effectively stymied the project.=20

"Galileo is almost dead," a spokesman for the European commissioner in char=
ge of the Galileo project said at the time.=20

But at last weekend's EU summit in Barcelona, leaders decided to reject U.S=
. pressure and go ahead with a program that could dramatically boost Europe=
an tech industries. Unlike the U.S. GPS, which uses signals from orbiting s=
atellites to pinpoint geographical positions within 36 meters, the Galileo =
system of 30 satellites orbiting at a height of 15,000 miles -- expected to=
 be operational by 2008 -- promises accuracy within 1 meter.=20

"Galileo's reliability means you could think of using it to navigate planes=
 anywhere in the world, not just in the main air corridors, or right into l=
anding paths, for example," Paul Murdin, an authority on space, told London=
's Guardian newspaper. "You could also use it to trace members of staff ins=
ide a building -- though that would not necessarily be popular -- or provid=
e extra guidance in the street for blind people."=20

This marks the second major European attempt in the last year to try to dis=
tance itself from the United States. Meeting in July in Bonn, Germany, Euro=
pean leaders helped persuade an international gathering to move ahead on th=
e Kyoto Protocols on global warming, despite U.S. opposition.=20

Analysts said at the time that the move, widely seen as a major surprise, w=
ould never have taken place without the strong stance President Bush took a=
gainst Kyoto, galvanizing supporters of the controversial, flawed initiativ=

The surprise vote on Galileo has much more concrete ramifications, includin=
g what it means for Europe in developing its own rapid-reaction military fo=
rce to take action in trouble spots independently of the United States. As =
recent U.S. military campaigns have demonstrated, precision-positioning dat=
a is a prerequisite for any sophisticated military action.=20

A credible European rapid-reaction force still remains a question mark, as =
recession-bound European economies struggle to find money for defense spend=
ing. But Galileo could provide Europe with an important sense of self-confi=
dence and also produce jobs.=20

As French President Jacques Chirac told the International Herald Tribune, f=
ailing to move ahead on Galileo "would lead inevitably to a vassal status, =
first scientific and technical and then industrial and economic."=20

French leadership was reportedly key to pushing forward approval of funding=
 for Galileo, but the weekend meeting failed in its attempt to reach agreem=
ent of major economic reforms to make Europe's economy more competitive wit=
h the United States.=20

"I am resigned to thinking that perhaps we will never reach the level of th=
e United States," Wim Duisenberg, the president of the European Central Ban=
k, told Spain's El Mundo.=20

But given the need for consensus between diverse governments and constituen=
cies before the European Union can take any action, the slow pace of econom=
ic reform comes as little surprise. That's why observers in Europe see unex=
pected developments like the Galileo decision as mattering as much as more =
highly publicized decisions on economic restructuring.=20

"Equally important for the European construction are other resolutions like=
 the unblocking of the Galileo navigational satellite system ... which will=
 be a reality toward the end of next year," Spain's El Mundo wrote in an ed=
itorial Sunday.=20

The move is sure to make an impression on other countries looking to see wh=
ether Europe can act on its repeated expressions of concern over what many =
European leaders have called U.S. unilateralism. Earlier this year, Turkey'=
s representative to NATO, Onur Oymen, openly questioned the depth of that c=

"The important thing is to have an awareness that if the European Union wan=
ts to have its contributions to European defense, they have to spend money =
for that," he said. "I can't say that the Europeans are reluctant in improv=
ing their militaries, but whether their budgets are enough for that, it's a=
n open question."=20

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