By Mike Moore
The Washington Times
March 6, 2008
For more than 25 years, the United Nations General Assembly has been on record, nearly unanimously, favoring a ban on all space-related weapons. The United States has oppsed such a treaty.
Last October, for example, former New York Gov. George Pataki, a U.S. public delegate to the world body, explained America’s position. Though the United States is fully committed to the “peaceful uses of space,” he said, it believes “discussions regarding the merits of treaties to prevent the so-called ‘weaponization’ of outer space would be a pointless exercise.”
Every presidential administration since the early 1980s has taken a similar position. And yet, while asserting there is no need for a treaty, the United States has been actively developing both the doctrine and hardware needed to “control” space in a time of conflict and — possibly — to place weapons into orbit.
Peter B. Teets, then Air Force undersecretary and director of the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates intelligence-gathering satellites, presented the classic rationale for such a policy in 2002: The U.S. military needs space for “collection of all kinds of intelligence, precision navigation and… for weapons delivery, communication and transmission of information to users worldwide.”