Space has been militarized for over four decades. Should it now be weaponized? This incisive and insightful book argues that it should not. Since the cold war, space has come to harbor many tools of the tactical warfighter. Satellites have long been used to provide strategic communication, early warning of missile launch, and arms control verification. The U.S. armed forces increasingly use space assets to locate and strike targets on the battlefield. To date, though, no country deploys destructive weapons in space, for use against space or Earth targets, and no country possesses ground-based weapons designed explicitly to damage objects in space. The line between nonweaponization and weaponization is blurry, to be surebut it has not yet been crossed. In Neither Star Wars nor Sanctuary, Michael E. O'Hanlon makes a forceful case for keeping it this way. The United States, with military space budgets of around $20 billion a year, enjoys a remarkably favorable military advantage in space. Pursuing a policy of space weaponization solely in order to maximize its own military capabilities would needlessly jeopardize this situation by likely hastening development of space weapons in numerous countries. It would also reaffirm the prevalent international image of the United States as a global cowboy of sorts, too quick to reach for the gun. O'Hanlon therefore asserts that U.S. military space policy should focus on delaying any movement toward weaponization, without foreclosing the option of developing space weapons in the future, if necessary. Extreme positions that would either hasten to weaponize space or permanently rule this out are not consistent with technological realities and U.S.security interests.
"This is a well-written, tightly argued case for a measured and pragmatic US policy towards the future military exploitation of space. It is hard not to agree with his overall thesis and this slim volume is a major contribution to a rational debate about the future of military space." --Jeremy Stocker, Center for Defense and International Studies, RUSI Journal, 6/1/2005 "Neither Star Wars nor Sanctuary is a very sensible book, sucessfully charting a middle ground between the poles of the space weapons debate." --John M. Logsdon, Space Policy Institute at The George Washington University, Joint Force Quarterly, 1/1/2006