Monday, October 23, 2006

New US Space Policy

I don't know what's more amazing to me - the arrogance behind the "new" US Space Policy, or the monumental stupidity of anyone who could possibly believe that they have either the right or the power to stop other nations from becoming space-capable.

It's not like the US has either the resources or the mandate to start yet another war - especially over gaining access to space.

Think about it for a minute - the world was not able to stop North Korea from acquiring nuclear arms - in spite of it being the most isolated nation in the world both politically and economically. It's not exactly a huge leap to figure out that the same problem exists when it comes to acquiring the technology to get into space.

As the utterly abysmal situations in both Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate, conquering other nations is damnably difficult; turning them into "allies" afterwards is even more so.

The American policy that became "visible" late last week is little more than a redeclaration of the "Wolfowitz Doctrine" for defense, only focused on space activity. The foolishness of this doctrine is obvious - the United States doesn't control the world, nor does it have the muscle to do so in any practical sense.

It's really quite sad when a government gets stuck in a mindspace where the only options that they seem willing to consider are explicitly non-collaborative. Where space travel and exploration is concerned, the cost of the technologies involved are such that we have little - or no choice - but to learn to collaborate in order to move forward. (and collaboration is a two way street)

If humankind is to successfully "take to the stars", we will not do so successfully as a series of nation-states, but only as a world united in common cause.

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