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Space Arms Control Speech

Would a ban on space weaponry be verifiable? It seems intuitively obvious to me that the answer is "no."

I think that this is a key point:

The President's Space Policy highlights our national and, indeed the global, dependence on space. The Chinese interception only underscored the vulnerability of these critical assets. Calling for arms control measures can often appear to be a desirable approach to such problems. Unfortunately, "feel good" arms control that constrains our ability to seek real remedies to the vulnerabilities that we face has the net result of harming rather than enhancing U.S. and international security and well-being.

I always trust hardware over paper and good intentions.


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Robin Goodfellow wrote:

The space warfare debate almost always annoys me because there are so many very vocal people, even at high levels of government, who are basically clueless about it. Space warfare is not new, it's not going away easily, and it's not going to stop being an issue if we unilaterally disarm. Every nation on Earth with the capability to launch exo-atmospheric sub-orbital rockets has the ability to improvise some level of anti-satellite weaponry. Every nation on Earth with the capability to launch orbital satellites has the ability to develop crude but highly effective anti-satellite weaponry on short notice. Every nation on Earth with the capability to launch nuclear armed ICBMs has the ability to create enormously effective anti-satellite weaponry (through exo-atmospheric nuclear explosions) on extremely short notice.

Add to that the fact that several nations (Russia, China, the US) have already developed and deployed highly effective anti-satellite systems. And that anti-satellite technology has a multi-decade heritage. And that far and away the most common variety of space craft and space launch vehicle are nuclear warhead reentry vehicles and ballistic missiles. When you look at the facts on the ground, or in space as it were, you begin to realize that the idea that we do not currently live in an era where space is militarized is more than a little naive. Some folks can't accept that and want to live in a fantasy world with alternate facts and alternate history. Responsible folks should accept reality and decide what to do for the future.

Carl Pham wrote:

Hmmm. "Gun-free" zones in orbit. That's worked real well down here on the planet's surface, hasn't it?

BTW, Rand, your new blog hosting software/system sucks like a Hoover. The blog looks like shit and loads slower, and the comments handling is utterly upgefucked. You should ask for your money back.

Rand Simberg wrote:

You should ask for your money back.

If I'd paid anything for it, I certainly would.

I hope to get things fixed in the next week or so.

FC wrote:

You get farther with a kind word and an EKV...

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Very good and interesting article, evidently the "foggy bottom" part of the US Department of State does not reach all the way to space and we're all better off for it ^_^

Alan S. Blue wrote:

The definition of "Space Weapon" pretty much means that everything can be a space weapon, doesn't it?

A random comsat is still a large chunk of material with manuvering thrusters. If the controller decides they're going to attack the space station with it - voila, "Space Weapon".

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 5, 2008 10:56 AM.

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