Star Wars is dead
At least for now.
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent pledge to seek a ban on space weapons drew a mixed reaction from experts in the field, with some saying the president might be better off pursuing something more modest and less complex, such as a set of international rules governing space operations.
The problem I have with this concept is we haven’t even figured a way to control nuclear missiles here on Earth. In other words, although the US has been involved with numerous diplomatic treaties for decades, the problem has been with countries that have never involved themselves with those treaties. The United States and Russia decided to scale back their nuclear arsenal, Pakistan, India, North Korea, and now Iran decided to develop theirs. Just this week, Iran launched their first satellite. If Iran is more than willing to ignore international treaties and go rogue in a serious way, why does Obama assume they would honor a space weapons ban?
Reality is, they won’t. And even if we stare them down for the time being here on Earth, someone else will pursue it such as North Korea.
My fear is this ban will only allow our space technology superiority to be eroded even more than it has been. The technology is rapidly becoming available to access space. The private sector is getting there rapidly. What will we do if some terrorist hijacks Virgin Galactic with a nuclear bomb? How will we develop a Near Earth Object defense within the guidelines of a space defense ban? If we just gut the entire concept, what do we do if some rogue entity does violate our self-imposed ban and attacks our communications satellites? Do we just sit around and wait for our communications to be knocked out before we decide to develop something? And, going where no man has gone before, what do we do if there is intelligent life out there that is not so friendly? Would Obama rather have a war on Earth with inferior technology or a war in space where no innocents get hurt? And lastly, what would be defined as military or not? I mean, some satellites carry multiple capabilities. What can be used for purely humanitarian issues such as weather and disaster relief coordination could very easily carry the military function of observing ground based military movements. That folks, is a ton of data. What could be used for private sector cell phone use could just as easily be used for military use. Who would oversee and enforce that information? That’s a massive gray area that would have to be monitored constantly.
As usual, with a very liberal concept, the concept itself sounds great. We don’t war in space or on land. However, the problem is in the detail. As much as Obama doesn’t want war anywhere, many of the approximately six billion people on this planet aren’t quite as peaceful minded as he is. They’ve got ulterior motives that are much bigger than Dr. Evil. World domination does not excluse the US. We’ve got to be able to defend ourselves. These people don’t negotiate, and don’t respect treaties. If you’re not dead, they’ll just keep trying. Obama promised he would not be soft on terrorism, However, so far, he’s capitulated to everything it takes to defend the US. That’s about as soft as you can get.
And lastly, the space defense industry is huge. The last thing we need to do is gut yet another US dominated industry during a recession. I guess the can spend their time speaking about STD’s instead?
I think this is incredibly naive and borderline stupid. Tell me what you think:
EDIT: As of this date, the ban is no longer mentioned on the White House website. Guess someone got the message through just how stupid this idea was.