Space Weaponization: Aye or Nay?

By Brian Weeden

The January 2007 anti-satellite test by China and the destruction of an ailing spy satellite by the United States using similar means a year later have brought renewed attention to the issue of space security. Two new books, Harnessing the Heavens edited by Paul Gillespie and Grant Weller and The Politics of Space Security by James Clay Moltz, make clear that military officials, strategists, and policy intellectuals have been arguing for half a century over whether and how space could and should be used in warfare and that the debate is far from resolved.

Harnessing the Heavens is a collection of essays presented at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s 21st Military History Symposium, held in 2006. Many of the top scholars in the field, including Roger Launius, William Burrows, Howard McCurdy, and David Spires, are featured on topics covering several of the important historical issues in the U.S., Soviet/Russian, and Chinese space programs, with a focus on military aspects.

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