gdi-2011-politics-master-file-mercury

Steinbruner fellow of the american academy of arts

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Unformatted text preview: to protect American satellites and deny the wartime use of satellites to potential enemies -- including work on lasers and whiz-bang stuff like cylinders of hardened material that could be hurled from space to targets on the ground. ''Rods from God,'' those are called. For now, such weapons remain untested and, by all accounts, impractical because the cost of putting a weapon in orbit is huge. ''It is much easier to hold a target at risk from the land or sea than from space,'' said Elliot G. Pulham, who heads the Space Foundation, a nonprofit group in Colorado Springs. Democrats in Congress, in particular, have opposed explicit authorization of space weapons programs. But John E. Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, an organization that studies military and space issues, has noted a spike in recent years in secret ''black budget'' spending by the Missile Defense Agency. The idea, he said, is, ''If you desire peace, prepare for war. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 188 Mercury Politics ***Links – Space Weapons Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 189 Mercury Politics Weapons – Unpopular – Politicians and Public Plan is unpopular – space weapons controversial Grego, Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program Senior Scientist, & Wright, Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program Co-Director, 10 [Laura and David, 2010, “Securing the Skies; Ten Steps the United States Should Take to Improve the Security and Sustainability of Space”, p. 19, http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nwgs/securing-the-skies-full-report-1.pdf , accessed 7-2-11] Stationing destructive weapons in space is without precedent. Despite research and development efforts over the years, no dedicated space weapons are known to have been deployed. This has been the case for various reasons, the main ones being that they are costly, technically challenging to develop, and unpopular with policy makers and the public. Space weapons systems are controversial Hitchens, Center for Defense Information vice president, 5 [Theresa, 9-14-5, “U.S. Military Space Policy and Strategy”, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2004_2009/documents/dv/hitchens-05_12_01_/hitchens-05_12_01_en.pdf , accessed ] What I can also say is that even if the new presidential policy blesses the Pentagon’s space warfare strategy, it remains unclear whether Congress will be willing to fund it much beyond basic technology research. Space is an exceedingly expensive place. Tofully implement the capabilities necessary to fight “in, from and through” space, hundreds of billions would have to be dedicated to developing new weapons, launching thousands of new on-orbit assets, and maintaining those systems once they are deployed. With launch costs remaining at $22,000 per kilogram, and current satellites in LEO weighing up to 4,000 kilograms, the price tag rapidly becomes exorbitant – hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars. Further, Congress is already expressing concerns about the costs of today’s Air Force space programs that have nothing to do with controversial ASAT or space-strike systems. Programs such as...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2013 for the course POL 090 taught by Professor Framer during the Spring '13 term at Shimer.

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