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Space as a Strategic Asset

Eve Lichtgarn writes a review of Joan Johnson-Freese’s book, Space as a Strategic Asset. Below is an excerpt of the review, originally published in The Space Review:

The core problem with US space policy, Johnson-Freese emphasizes, is America’s unrelenting militarization and weaponization of space. “While the rest of the world seeks to increase its ability to use space assets for information linkages required for economic growth in a globalized world, the United State sees much of the technology they are seeking as militarily sensitive and, consequently, is trying to stop its spread. That initial clash of ambitions is further exacerbated by the parallel emphasis the United States places on expanding its space superiority to space dominance.” Fear and national security issues have made the US inherently nervous about “dual-use” technology such as satellites, lasers, and GPS, which have military and civilian applications. Johnson-Freese points out that, initially, the US deliberately inserted timing errors into transmissions to downgrade the accuracy of nonmilitary GPS receivers with the intent of discouraging foreign military exploitation of the technology. However, the unintended result was to motivate foreign entities to develop their own GPS systems.

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