October 26, 2009
If we really wish to enter the space age, it must be us as HUMANITY. We enter space as one race. That will never happened if we weaponize space.
I'll start with Wikipedia, as they're generally unbiased.
The military does have some non-weapon uses in space, reconnaissance, especially for nuclear arms de-proliferation,and GPS. Having a global communications network is a must, and not for purely military reasons. There are commercial interests, such as UPS knowing exactly where your package is, especially in the age of Amazon.com. But weapons in space are not a feasible option. Space is not the "ultimate high ground" because any one else can launch weapons into space. We can never hope to prevent all launches by other nations, or hope to maintain space superiority as all our budget will go towards funding maintenance, repair and replacement of our weapons platforms, which all will be outweighed by the massive expense of preventing other nations from gaining access to space. A thing which will be made difficult as those other nations have just as much a right to space as we do. Some of the weapons being researched are downright scary, considering enemy nations could put up similar weapons.
Not very informative, unfortunately, but it's hard to find an unbiased view of such projects. So in order to fill in some of the information gaps, I have three links to biased yet informative articles.
There is no need for a strong military presence in space. There are few nations at the moment who could attack is in a manner that would justify such defenses. Except, if it's a weapon, it's not defensive. Since the weapon can strike any point on the Earth, it is most certainly an offensive weapon. It's only use would be to prosecute a war far from U.S. soil, to attack enemy positions. But some would say that the only defense is a good offense. This may be true in football, or individual battles and skirmishes. But a permanent, unilateral foreign policy of full readiness for war with any nation on the planet is a policy that ultimately fails.
What would happen to a society that had weapons pointing at everyone, including its allies? That society would soon have no allies, and would be the enemy of every other nation. There is no nation on Earth, nor has there ever been, that could withstand and defeat the might of the entire rest of the world. No nation would feel secure when another nation has such power, and one of the few options available at that point would be to attempt to create a similar power (look at the proliferation of nuclear weapons. After the U.S. and U.S.S.R. attained them, [Britain just wants everyone to forget that they have nuclear weapons as well, so let's not mention it, ok?] every nation cowered in terror from the threat of obliviation. Those having or seeking nuclear weapons now are a product of that first division. Those newer nuclear nations either toadied to or tried to emulate one nation or the other, or they chafed under the enforced nuclear rule, and so sought out their own nuclear weapons.). But this would be seen as an act of aggression, and thus the one nation could and would use such a project as an excuse to use military force against the offending nation. The nation that first controls space must rule all of the world, or fear that its own strategies will be used against it. Global unity will never be achieved by hegemony or use of force. Humanity will not survive without global unity.
When you tell one populace that they cannot do what you are doing, that populace tends to get a little steamed. When you use lethal action to enforce your position, when you dominate a society, that society fights back. Look at slavery in The United Stated Of America. Or the French revolution. Or every POW camp escape. The only way the U.S. can hope to never use weapons in space once they have them is to deny all other nations access to space, and this will have to be done by force, for no nation will take that lying down. And it is too late to even attempt such a thing. And yes, those nations will use space based weapons to harm us, but that will be because we will have done so to them. If the U.S. puts one weapon into space, the U.S. must become a tyrant to the rest of the world, an untenable position. Or the U.S. must remove all such weapons and impede no one in their efforts to peacefully use space for the benefit of all mankind.
If any nation attempts to weaponize space, then they have cast a net over the Earth, trapping all of its inhabitants to its surface. We are already far too violent to share such cramped quarters, especially with our growing numbers. Add to that the threat of death from the heavens, and the stress of being prohibited to peaceful action and national growth, and Humanity will have encapsulated itself in a pressure cooker. Such heat, intensity and pressure will inevitably lead to Humanity's self destruction.
Finally, all people have equal right to space. When Yuri Gagarin first entered space, he entered it as an envoy of mankind. When Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the Moon, he was an ambassador of Humanity. All people have equal claim on the bounty of space, and no one has the right to deny any one
else of the peaceful use of space.
I have viewed the issue dispassionately, listening to arguments from both sides. I have created my own arguments and counter-arguments. I can see no logic or rationale that justifies the weaponization of space. But I feel that these peoplecan put my case far more eloquently than I can.
If we wish to enter, habitate, and use space to our benefit, we must enter space as Humanity. If we are to enter space, we must do so as one race. Or we enter space not at all.
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