News and commentary by: Whymrhymer

On October 6th, President Bush signed and the U.S. implemented a new Space Policy. You haven’t heard much about it because, according to a Washington Post article today there was “no public announcement.” The fact that this policy was released at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday before a Federal Holiday (Columbus Day) with no announcement might indicate to those with a suspicious mind that either this was supposed to be a secret or it was something that was going to cause another public uproar. Well if it was a secret, the ‘cat is now out of the bag’ and the public uproar is likely to follow.

Who would be upset by a new U.S. Space Policy that might prevent our enemies from filling the space above our heads with weaponry? Just all the usual suspects: those who feel that every time the U.S. asserts itself as a major power or attempts to protect itself, it is being aggressive and is (God forbid!) inviting criticism from other countries.

The Post article describes the new U.S. Space Policy as a policy that:

  1. “Rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space.”
  2. “Asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone “hostile to U.S. interests.”
  3. “Emphasizes security issues.”
  4. “Encourages private enterprise in space.”
  5. “Characterizes the role of U.S. space diplomacy largely in terms of persuading other nations to support U.S. policy.”

That last one sounds suspiciously like an editorial comment to me but this IS the Washington Post and they ARE a bit Liberal.

The aforementioned critics will probably assume that this space policy will open the door to U.S. weapons in space but the administration is adamently denying that. Denials aside, the suspicious have already found a voice at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. From the Post article:

“Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a nonpartisan think tank that follows the space-weaponry issue, said the policy changes will reinforce international suspicions that the United States may seek to develop, test and deploy space weapons. The concerns are amplified, he said, by the administration’s refusal to enter negotiations or even less formal discussions on the subject.

“The Clinton policy opened the door to developing space weapons, but that administration never did anything about it,” Krepon said. “The Bush policy now goes further.”

There will be lots of ‘public and international outrage’ over this new policy as there is every time the U.S. reminds the world that it is a world power and it will not allow itself to be stepped on. Not that outrage is a bad thing, it gives us lots to blog about!

Links:

Washington Post: Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority

From the blogosphere: Bush Declares the Entire Universe US Territory The 2006 United States Space Policy document

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