“The eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding…. I do not say the we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.” John F. Kennedy, speech at Rice University, 1962
Noble ideals from an era wide-eyed with optimism and aspirations. President Kennedy’s assassination ended the age of naivety. Space exploration was always about domination through military strength and maintaining the high ground. The United States over the last decades achieves what it does best; spend more money. The black budgets that are buried deep within the bowls of the Pentagon do not fund a utopia. The threat of warfare on some level never vanishes. The expanse into the universe just allows infinite space to move around the instruments for a clash of rivals. While Space Wars Will Look Nothing Like Star Wars, the prospects of attaining celestial peace are nothing but a pipe dream.
“There’s this idea connected with space that it should be used for peaceful purposes,” says P.J. Blount, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law. “And that idea extends a heightened status to space for states not to engage in these types of activities.”
That peaceful designation for outer space is based on the 1967 “Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies,” better known as the pithier “Outer Space Treaty.” It’s administered by the United Nations, and it states, among other things, that space is for peaceful uses only, and forbids placing weapons of mass destruction in orbit. It also forbids weapons of any sort on the moon. So far, the treaty has been upheld, in large part.”
The record since the New Frontier details the same old adage since human nature does not change. No Treaty Will Stop Space Weapons, is inevitable.
“Space war concerns are turning toward the tactical. In a conventional shooting war, disabling U.S. sats blunts the precision weapons and navigation systems that enable the U.S. military to operate. You can see, then, why the Chinese and Russians are very interested in banning conventional weapons in space, but not so interested in banning weapons that could blind, kill, or disable satellites from Earth.”
This kind of thinking moves the debate into degrees and types of weapons that are now accepted as a given, especially since the ending of the cold war was just a temporary cooling of tensions. With the emergence of Red China into the supremacy race, the three way space weapons deployment chase heats up.
The U.S. military never misses an opportunity to pump up the fear factor to support the case for higher defense spending. CNBC gladly provides a forum to sell the Space arms race as Russia, China emerge as ‘rapidly growing threats’ to US.
“Navy Vice Admiral Charles Richard, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command, warned in a speech at a CSIS space security conference about offensive space capabilities and weapons being developed by China and Russia.
“While we’re not at war in space, I don’t think we can say we are exactly at peace either,” the admiral said. “With rapidly growing threats to our space systems, as well as the threat of a degraded space environment, we must prepare for a conflict that extends into space.”