The following is republished without comment:
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Space: Flexing military muscle
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Seattle's generally blue voters, some with "Bush to Mars" bumper stickers, and the Bush administration may agree on something after all. The administration has done about all it can to militarize Earth.
Now, the White House is letting it be known that it is considering a policy shift that would lay the groundwork for seizing military superiority in space.
In the dry words of a New York Times report, the new policy would be "a substantial shift in American policy." Substantial and alarming.
The Air Force told The Times it isn't seeking authorization for putting weapons in space. But it wants an explicit presidential directive that would apparently lead to a policy of U.S. superiority in space-based weaponry, both offensive and defensive.
Since the mid-20th century, there has been broad international agreement on making space a peaceful frontier. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left a plaque after mankind's first moon landing: "We came in peace for all mankind."
Any change in policy would provoke international opposition and competition, perhaps from traditional allies. But it could well be seen as fitting, and logically extending the administration's 2002 national security strategy emphasizing global dominance. The question is how far the United States wants to take its dominance.