March 29, 2005


Plans by U.S. to Dominate Space Raising Concerns: Arms Experts Worried at Pentagon Push for Superiority (Walter Pincus, March 29, 2005, Washington Post)

Arms control advocates in the United States and abroad are expressing concern with the Bush administration's push for military superiority in space.

A series of Pentagon doctrinal papers, released over the past year, have emphasized that the U.S. military is increasingly dependent on space satellites for offensive and defensive operations, and must be able to protect them in times of war.

The Air Force in August put forward a Counterspace Operations Doctrine, which described "ways and means by which the Air Force achieves and maintains space superiority" and has worked to develop weapons to accomplish such missions.

On March 1, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed a new National Defense Strategy paper that said the use of space "enables us to project power anywhere in the world from secure bases of operation." A key goal of Rumsfeld's new strategy is "to ensure our access to and use of space and to deny hostile exploitation of space to adversaries."

The Pentagon is developing a suborbital space capsule that could hit targets anywhere in the world within two hours of being launched from U.S. bases. It also is developing systems that could attack potential enemy satellites, destroying them or temporarily preventing them from sending signals.

Michael Krepon, president emeritus of the Henry L. Stimson Center and an arms control official in the Clinton administration, said the United States is moving toward a national space doctrine that is "preemptive and proactive." He expects the Bush administration to produce a new National Space Policy statement soon that will contrast with the one adopted in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.

"We adopted the traditional U.S. position of being a reluctant space warrior," Krepon said of the Clinton position. "Space was to be used for peaceful purposes, but if someone messed with us, we couldn't allow that to happen. But it was not our space policy preference."

Krepon last week attended a conference in Geneva organized by the Chinese and Russian governments on preventing an arms race in outer space.

Few things in life are more certain than that an "arms control expert" will side with the enemy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 29, 2005 7:59 PM

arms control expert is just a name for America Hater

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 29, 2005 10:06 PM

Preventing an arms race in space.
Only if you define a race as one party doing what they wish while the other two watch.

Posted by: Mike Daley at March 29, 2005 10:41 PM

Henry L. Stimson was Secretary of War. Funny choice for this institute's name.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 30, 2005 10:45 AM

Bring out Walter Mondale.

Posted by: Senator No Star Wars at March 30, 2005 1:16 PM