If It Makes America Weaker, Obama Is All For It: Saying No To Space Based Weapons?

by John Hawkins | January 26, 2009 9:58 am

In his rush to leave gaping holes in America’s security that our enemies can exploit, Obama is moving on from coddling terrorists we’ve captured, to banning Americans from pursuing the future of military technology[1],

President Barack Obama’s pledge to seek a worldwide ban on weapons in space marks a dramatic shift in U.S. policy while posing the tricky issue of defining whether a satellite can be a weapon.

Moments after Obama’s inauguration last week, the White House website was updated to include policy statements on a range of issues, including a pledge to restore U.S. leadership on space issues and seek a worldwide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites.

This is extraordinarily foolish because space based weaponry, at a minimum, has the capacity to trump every conventional weapon on the planet. For example, imagine the power of being able to fire a laser beam from space that could demolish a building or kill a person, while your opponent had no capacity at all to immediately strike back.

Now, imagine the Chinese or the Russians being the only ones on the planet with that capacity. Is that a happy thought?

How would you like to have China on the phone, negotiating with some U.S. President and telling him that they could kill him, with the push of a button, no matter how many secret service agents were around him?

You think they would never do that because it would mean war? Maybe — but, Saddam Hussein tried to assassinate George Bush, Sr. and it didn’t mean war. Would we really risk severely damaging our economy, losing tens of thousands of lives, and spending a trillion plus fighting the Chinese over something like that? Those are certainly the questions the Chinese will be asking themselves if they get space based weapons first.

Building space based weapons is expensive and technologically difficult. There are very few nations that are capable of even working productively on them right now and we’re one of them. In fact, given the state of our space program we are probably farther along than anyone else. Should we give up that edge and allow these other nations to catch up with us?

The reality is, whether they sign a treaty or not, other nations are going to work on space based weapons. So, the real question becomes: whom do we want to have those weapons first? Some day, some nation is going to be the first to have effective space based weapons and I think it should be us.

  1. banning Americans from pursuing the future of military technology: http://uk.reuters.com/article/burningIssues/idUKTRE50O15X20090125

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