Accelerating Weaponization of Near Earth Space: 1960 to the Present.
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson quipped in 1961: "Control of space means control of the world."
The United Nations 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in 1963, since ratified by 98 states and additionally signed by 27 states, clearly sets limits to the militarization of space in Article IV: "Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner."
The Outer Space Treaty also condemns any "propaganda designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, and considering that the aforementioned resolution is applicable to outer space."
In 1996, US Space Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Joseph W. Ashy, fanned his space defense policy cards flat out on the table in Aviation Week and Space Technology: "It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen. Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but — absolutely — we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space. That's why the US has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday — ships, airplanes, land targets — from space."
In 2001, shortly after 9/11, the Bush administration withdrew the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and vastly increased the missile defense budget in 2002, the same year his administration's Quadrennial Defense Review defined: "A key objective … is not only to ensure US ability to exploit space for military purposes, but also, as required, to deny an adversary's ability to do so."
Following up at the 2003 US Air Force Association Los Angeles symposium, Pete B. Teets, US Air Force Undersecretary, declared: "Space is the ultimate high ground. Our military advantage there must remain ahead of our adversaries' capabilities, and our own doctrine and capabilities must keep pace to meet that challenge. … We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from space. Nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities." He went on to emphatically acclaim: "The United States wields airpower more effectively than any other fighting force in history precisely because it has embraced these three principles: We jealously gain and maintain control of the air even though others may try to deny us that control. We aggressively apply airpower in every conceivable manner to achieve our war-fighting objectives, from global vigilance to global reach to global strike. We proudly and actively support and nurture a culture of airpower professionals. We do all this better than anyone else.
We must do the same in space! If we do not pursue control of space, then someone else will. If we do not exploit space to the fullest advantage across every conceivable mode of war fighting, then someone else will. If we do not develop a new culture of space professionals- a new form of war fighter- then someone else may do so first, with dire consequences awaiting our first engagement with such an adversary. Our success at wielding airpower has come with a realization that we need to do it before- and better than- anybody else. Let us do the same for space."
In 2006, the United States Air Force Space Command Headquarters website breviloquently advertises its mission to the world online in bold blue type: "To defend the United States of America through the control and exploitation of space." And the current US Space Commander-in-Chief Gen. Lance Lord has voiced his vision for US Near Earth Space policy: "Space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny. Space superiority is our day-to-day mission. Space supremacy is our vision for the future.
US Air Force Undersecretary Pete B. Teets already made it clear that space culture is a cornerstone for the US Space Command and a budget priority. The Hon. Pete Teets understanding of space culture is that "If we do not develop a new culture of space professionals- a new form of war fighter- then someone else may do so first." Would it not seem plausible that without the democratic check-and-balance that an appropriate cultural counterweight from the arts would serve in raising public awareness for other courses for space culture to take, little would stand in the way of the election by the US Defense Dept. to continue a space culture policy bent on the pride that total military domination of space would instill. And is it not equally plausible that such a policy may spark the insurgency of a space arms race?"