If we aren’t careful, space could end up controlled by a totalitarian empire, warns Johns Hopkins University political scientist Daniel Deudney in his new book, “Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Ends of Humanity.”
Specifically, Deudney warns against the increase of militarization of space and colonization without thought for political consequences. Nations including China and Russia are already beginning to weaponize space with energy weapons and anti-satellite missiles. That’s according to the Pentagon, last year in a report in CNBC.
The U.S. is also involved in the weaponization of space and a U.S. Air Force commander has even previously proclaimed that space weapons should be used against ISIS.
“If we want to be more agile then the reality is we are going to have to push decision authority down to some lower levels in certain areas the big question that we’ve got to wrestle with … is the authorities to operate in cyber and space,” General David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, told USA TODAY.
This is despite such actions being forbidden under the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty established in 1967, for any nation to weaponize space. Additionally, the “Space Preservation Treaty” in 2005, states that countries won’t seek to weaponize space.
Deudney’s book lays out six threats to humanity, with the most important being the military use of equipment needed to terraform other worlds. Deudney concludes, according to The Space Review‘s analysis of his book, that we should abandon any hope of settling space until peace on Earth is achieved and we can explore responsibly.
In a review of Deudney’s new book about his concerns, University of Leicester international relations lecturer Bleddyn Bowen contends that Deudney’s assertions might be a touch morbid. However, he says that Deudney makes a compelling argument that space exploration poses several overlooked perils to our future.
Without agreeing with everything Deudney said, Bowen says that his warning should serve as an important counter to space exploration’s techno-utopian coating.
The main thing to take away from all this information is as Seattle-pi wrote in a 2015 article, “Weapons in space put the world at risk,” especially if they are run unsanctioned unbeknownst to Congress and even the President of the United States by Military Industrial Complex Aerospace corporations. It’s quite literally a threat to National Security and American sovereignty, as space is the final frontier as Neil Armstrong said. However, as Deudney warns, it could also be turned into a battlefront which will give rise to a space empire.
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