Back in March of 2008, my old boss prompted me to start a new thread in the Space Warfare Forum on whether President Obama might de-weaponize space. Here’s what we wrote then:
Not to overstate the obvious, but space is already weaponized. Not, perhaps, in the form of constantly orbiting weapons platforms, but then again we haven’t seen many proposals for those, have we? But in the form of dedicated platforms necessary to our national defense, space is weaponized. And in the form of recently demonstrated anti-satellite capability that challenges the Senator’s “unproven missile defense systems” line — and that we argued elsewhere were already evolving — the use of weapons in and near space is here today, and probably here to stay.
Fast forward to this weekend, and Reuters reports that “Challenges loom as Obama seeks space weapons ban.” But their article doesn’t seem to consider the already existing uses of space systems to enable terrestrial warfare, instead mentioning that two “officials” said “it was difficult to define exactly what constituted a ‘weapon’ because even seemingly harmless weather tracking satellites could be used to slam into and disable other satellites.”
That example seemed to me to be poorly chosen, but the Reuters folks apparently liked it.
In my follow-up SWF entry, I related what I told my best friend the last time I spoke with him:
I hope President Obama, when he took his first briefings on the very real threats facing us, sat up a little straighter and began to take his responsibility to protect this nation a little more seriously. I hope.