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Space weapons have been debated intensely in the past. The latest instance of prominent debate is over their use for ballistic missile defense. But this is not the only possible role for space weapons, and that fact raises a further concern: What if an adversary were to develop such weapons? Could one? Why would it? It is time for broader public discussion of the issues. Before deciding to acquire or forgo space weapons for terrestrial confict, the United States should fully discuss what such weapons can do, what they will cost, and the likely consequences of acquiring them. The authors of this report seek to aid this discussion not by arguing for or against space weapons but by describing their attributes, classifying and comparing them, and explaining how each might be used. The authors also explore how a nation might decide to acquire such weapons and how other nations might react.
the Air Force recognizes that any further use of space will be driven by national policy, international events, ... and threats.... However, the nation will expect the Air Force to be prepared to defend U.S. interests in space when necessary.
Since then, the topic of full exploitation of space for national security has become prominent in current congressional interest. A national debate on space weapons seems near.
In preparation for that debate, this report is intended to provide a common vocabulary and common expectations of the possibility, utility, legalities, and limitations of using space weapons in terrestrial conflicts. This report defines and classifies these weapons, describes their different attributes, and explains how they might be used. It explores ways in which the United States and other countries could decide to acquire such weapons. It also explores the ways they could be acquired.
The study was sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Programs (AF/XP). The result should be of interest to a wide audience interested in the military use of space and national security space policy.
Project AIR FORCE
Project AIR FORCE, a division of RAND, is the Air Force federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for studies and analysis. It provides the Air Force with independent analyses of policy alternatives affecting the development, employment, combat readiness, and support of current and future aerospace forces. Research is performed in four programs: Aerospace Force Development; Manpower, Personnel, and Training; Resource Management; and Strategy and Doctrine.
Excerpted from Space Weapons Earth Wars by Robert Preston Dana J. Johnson Sean J. A. Edwards Michael D. Miller Calvin Shipbaugh Copyright © 2002 by Robert Preston. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|Ch. 3||Space Weapons Kinds and Capabilities||23|
|Ch. 5||How Might the United States Acquire Space Weapons?||67|
|Ch. 6||How Might Others Acquire Space Weapons?||85|
|App. A||Space-Based Directed-Energy Weapons||109|
|App. B||Kinetic-Energy Space Weapons||131|
|App. C||Natural Meteoroides as Weapons||173|
|App. D||Ballistic Missile Defense Countermeasures||185|