Sunday, January 21, 2007

Militarization--in Space and in China

There hasn’t been a lot of blog activity on China’s anti-satellite (ASAT) test. There isn’t a lot to say about it, but it’s not as simple as it seems at first glance.

First of all, the destroyed satellite is now hundreds of pieces of space junk. This poses a problem not only to other satellites, but also manned and unmanned spacecraft. This is the immediate concern. However, there are much more serious implications.

The U.S. hasn’t tested anti-satellite weapons in over 20 years. And the main reason isn’t space rubble. If there’s another arms race, who knows what would happen. Maybe this time, democracy and freedom wouldn’t triumph. Although Bush asserts the rights to “freedom of action in space,” the U.S. doesn’t want a militarized space. 25% of satellites in space are American, commercial or military. Attacks on satellites would blind the military and bleed the economy. But wait, there’s more.

The warnings to China not to militarize space have an extra message that the media hasn’t been reporting. Basically: We don’t want a war, stop arming yourself.

The media hasn’t been reporting this, and it should be reported more. China may be the most powerful country soon. Don’t forget, China is ruled by a single-party Communist government. Chinese militarization and space militarization are both dangerous. Together, there could be problems…