Joan Johnson-Freese argues that the race for space weapons and
the U.S. quest for exclusive or at least dominant ownership of
strategic space assets have alienated the very allies that the
United States needs in order to maintain its leading role in space
exploration. Taking a balanced look at the issues that have
contributed to the decline of America's manned space program, such
as lack of political support and funding, Johnson-Freese offers not
only a critique but also a plan for enhancing U.S. space security
through cooperation rather than competition.
She begins with a brief overview of the history of international
space development through four eras: before Sputnik, the
space race, after Apollo, and globalization. Then she focuses on
how policy changes of the mid-1990s have changed the nation,
examining why the United States has grown obsessed with the
development of space technology not just as a tool for
globalization but as a route toward expanding an already dominant
arsenal of weapons. Johnson-Freese claims that these policy choices
have greatly affected the attitudes and actions of other countries,
and in the fight to achieve security, the United States has instead
put itself at greater peril.
Johnson-Freese explains complex technical issues in clear,
accessible terms and suggests a way forward that is comprehensive
rather than partisan. America is not the only country with space
ambitions, but it is unique in viewing space as a battlefield and
the technological advancements of other nations as a dire threat.
Urgent and persuasive, Space as a Strategic Asset
underscores the danger of allowing our space program to languish
and the crucial role of cooperation in protecting the security of
our country and the world.
Subjects: Political Science, Technology, General Science
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