Michael: In a Galaxy Uncomforatbly Close to Home
With the Pentagon seeking to deploy weaponry in space with little or no public debate or notice, we have to face the fact that our military-industrial complex has become a law unto itself. As I have written previously, the Neo-Cons now dominating political leadership of the Pentagon are willing to circumvent a decades-long understanding against deployment of space-borne weaponry under the cover of sleazy semantic arguments about defensive and offensive capabilities. The Pentagon has been homing in on the target of making space the next militarized theatre of warfare for several years now, and are preparing to pull the trigger.
Those intent on launching a new arms race are acting for the benefit of narrow corporate interests, and have cynically seized upon 9/11 as a universal justification for their short-sighted and rapacious policies. But there is more than one way to create security. It seems the Neo-Cons reflexively and automatically favor preemptive war, domination, superior fire-power, and the overwhelming ability to annihilate one's foe as the means to create security: they seek the security of knowing all possible foes are neutralized. But strength can be used against you, superior firepower doesn't always assure victory, and today's enemy may be tommorrow's ally while today's ally may become your worst enemy. In a dog eat dog world, only the meanest dog survives. Is that the world we want our children to inherit? Can we even afford to act in such a atavistic fashion when the very existence of humanity and the web of life on earth hangs upon the outcome of the struggle between our instictual belligerence and the angels of our better nature? We must take risks in seeking peace, just as we take risks in waging war.
There are better ways to assure the peace, proven by decades of experience to work more reliably than naked force alone. Collective security, international coalition and consensus building, and mutual guarantees and inspection provide a path to the goal of security in outer space that is cheaper, more fair, and brings more stability than rushing to the high ground with the biggest weapons we can find, and hoping to hold it against all comers. Instead of blundering headlong into a future where outer space is a perilous place, and we live every day with hostile weapons parked high above our very homes, we should seize the opportunity to expand the restriction on weapons contained in the Outer Space Treaty. We can fashion the universal desire for peaceful co-existence in space into comprehensive ban on weaponizing space that protects our interests now, and preserves the options of our wiser descendants tomorrow.