October 19, 2006
MAY AS WELL GET NON-PROLIFERATION RIGHT IN SPACE:
Space off limits to hostile nations: U.S (MARC KAUFMAN, 10/19/06, Toronto Star)
U.S. President George W. Bush has quietly signed a new National Space Policy that asserts his country's right to deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests."
The policy also rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space.
The document characterizes the role of U.S. space diplomacy largely in terms of persuading other nations to support U.S. policy, encourages private enterprise in space and emphasizes security issues.
"Freedom of action in space is as important to the United States as air power and sea power," the document, a revision of the U.S.'s previous space policy, asserts in its introduction.
Non-democratic nations should even be denied their own satellites.
MORE (via Tom Morin)
Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority: U.S. Says Shift Is Not A Step Toward Arms; Experts Say It Could Be (Marc Kaufman, 10/18/06, Washington Post)
National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said in written comments that an update was needed to "reflect the fact that space has become an even more important component of U.S. economic, national and homeland security." The military has become increasingly dependent on satellite communication and navigation, as have providers of cellphones, personal navigation devices and even ATMs.
The administration said the policy revisions are not a prelude to introducing weapons systems into Earth orbit. "This policy is not about developing or deploying weapons in space. Period," said a senior administration official who was not authorized to speak on the record.
Nevertheless, Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank that follows the space-weaponry issue, said the policy changes will reinforce international suspicions that the United States may seek to develop, test and deploy space weapons. The concerns are amplified, he said, by the administration's refusal to enter negotiations or even less formal discussions on the subject.
"The Clinton policy opened the door to developing space weapons, but that administration never did anything about it," Krepon said.
He says that like it's a good thing... Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2006 8:03 AM