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John McCain Blows Lid as US-Russian Sanctions Fall Apart – US Orders Russian Rockets for New NSA Spy Satellite

21st Century Wire says…

Back in October, 21WIRE reported one massive dilemma for Washington and the NSA.

Currently, the NSA’s new GPS III national security satellite is sitting in a United Launch Alliance (ULA), co-owned by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, hanger somewhere between Alabama and South Texas.

The NSA has two choices: wait three years for Jeff Bezos to develop his Blue Origins rocket engine for fellow tech mogul Elon Musk’s Space X (or through Musk’s own ‘Falcon Heavy’ project which is six years off), or get their new spy satellite up in the air now – with the help of the Russians and their RD-180 engine.

There is just one bigger problem in the background: Washington DC is meant to be leading sanctions against Russia – over the downing of MH17, which the Russians did not shoot down.

What is the common thread in all of this? Look no further in the nest of an old hawk…

Interestingly, it is Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who is closely allied to rogue militants in Kiev who, according to all available evidence, are more likely to have shot down flight MH17 back in July 2014.

mccain_angry
Despite protests to the contrary, the deal looks to be going through. Not surprisingly, McCain is going nuts (again).

Back in June, McCain unleashed a scathing rant against his fellow Republicans in Washington’s anti-Russian ‘alternative media’ megaphone website The Daily Beast, screaming at the time:

Why in the world would anyone think we would want to continue dependency on Russian rocket engines, which traces up to the corrupt mafia that is around Vladimir Putin?” McCain said to The Daily Beast. “The American people should ask a question of these appropriators: Why are you taking care of Vladimir Putin’s cronies?”

Does McCain have some financial or strategic interest in ULA’s domestic competitors who are vying for this same deal to supply rockets?

Or is the geriatric dog of war simply upset because his own Cold War-style diplomatic house of cards is now starting to collapse?

Certainly, this latest breach will send ripples back across the Atlantic as European nations currently suffering under the US-led sanctions regime will be left wondering, “what’s the point?”

Regardless, this latest debacle has only exposed another fundamental flaw in Washington’s half-baked ‘Russian sanctions’ project…

RD-180 rockets

RT.com

The US has ordered 20 additional RD-180 rocket engines from Russia, days after US Congress lifted the ban on the use of Russian engines to get American ships into space. However, the move has been lambasted by some politicians in Washington.

United Launch Alliance announced that it placed an order for more RD-180 rockets to be used by Atlas V launch vehicle, on top of 29 engines that the company has ordered before US sanctions against Russia were introduced over Crimea last year.

Under last year’s National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, the Department of Defense is prohibited from signing new or modifying existing contracts for launches using engines designed or manufactured in Russia.

READ MORE: ‘Why fund Putin’s cronies?’ McCain slams fellow Republicans for lobbying Russian space engines

The move brought a fierce response from Senator John McCain, who accused Washington of double standards, saying, “This is the height of hypocrisy.”

“How can our government tell European countries and governments that they need to hold the line on maintaining sanctions on Russia, which is far harder for them to do, when we are gutting our own policy in this way?” McCain said on Wednesday, as cited by the Washington Post.

“How can we tell our French allies in particular they shouldn’t sell Vladimir Putin amphibious assault ships as we have [told them], and then turn around and try to buy rocket engines from Putin’s cronies?”

The order placement to Russian company Energomash comes after Congress passed the fiscal 2016 budget, which includes a provision that allows the US to continue purchasing the Russian made engines. “ULA has ordered additional Atlas engines to serve our existing and potential civil and commercial launch customers until a new American-made engine can be developed and certified,” the company said in a press release. The new batch of engine deliveries would start once ULA received all of the previous order, according to ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye who said that eight RD-180 engines were received by the company this year.

To break the dependency on Russian engines, last year ULA has partnered up with Blue Origin to develop the BE-4 LOX/methane engine to replace the RD-180. Dynetics and Aerojet Rocketdyne have also offered their AR-1 hydrocarbon-fueled rocket engine as replacement for the Russian counterpart.

However, the US has realized they are unable to continue their space program without Russian assistance, according to Aleksandr Stadnik, Russia’s trade representative to the US…

Continue this story at RT.com

READ MORE MCCAIN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire McCain Files

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We are a North American and European-based, grass-roots, independent blog offering geopolitical news and media analysis, working with an array of volunteer contributors who write and help to analyse news and opinion from around the world.
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