How much military power does Elon Musk wield?
Ukraine’s military communications were left largely dependent on Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite communications network after Russia destroyed one of the country’s data centres. But according to a new Musk biography the US billionaire may have temporarily restricted Ukraine’s access to Starlink to prevent an attack on Russian warships near the Crimean peninsula.
Don’t hand our future to a capricious billionaire
Biden must take the reins, Politiken demands:
“This episode shows how grotesque and untenable it is that the world has granted a rich man power over the space and airspace of a sovereign and war-torn nation state. Only one thing can be done now: put an end to this! ... Do we want to put our shared security and the fate of world history in the hands of an unpredictable American billionaire? NO. This is an extremely critical infrastructure that Joe Biden should immediately put under regulation and control according to fixed rules and not according to the megalomaniac whims and financial interests of Elon Musk.”
Abrogating government responsibilities not a good idea
The Independent fumes:
“Not that long ago it went without saying that there should be no ‘unelected officials’ in a democracy. ... The American people — and for that matter, the Ukrainian people — have never consented to be governed by Elon Musk, yet it is clear that is precisely what is happening. Musk’s vast wealth and immense corporate holdings coupled with Western democracies’ apparent disinterest in research and development over the past several decades — a responsibility abrogated to the private sector beginning with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher — has put us in the position of needing to depend on the goodwill of corporate benefactors and (hopefully) benevolent billionaires.”
Invest in the right technologies
In view of its upcoming budget debate France should weigh up carefully which defence expenditures are a priority, defence expert Guillaume Lagane advises in Le Figaro:
“The Elon Musk affair should make us think about the dependence of our defence on large private groups. ... We must certainly take care in our investment decisions, because the ‘fog of war’ in Ukraine, with the use of drones and satellite communications, shows that the nature of conflicts is changing very rapidly. So the debate about the construction of a second French aircraft carrier, which is expected to cost around ten billion euros, continues.”