Thursday, May 13, 2004

STAR WARS. WHY NOT?

In a recent post titled 'It looks like an arms race to me' Pogge comes out strongly against the American Ballistic Missile Defence plan and Canada's potential involvement in it. The two most pertinent points from the post are as follows:

First, Pogge writes,

"I don't see how anyone can claim that current American policy doesn't amount to an arms race. It's just that part of American strategy is to prevent anyone else from getting into the game."

Frankly, this seems like a pretty sound foreign policy to me. If the U.S is so strong as to prevent other nations from developing weapons and attacking it, and if we're allied with the United States then it would seem that both the U.S and us are relatively safe. Actually, it seems like this strategy has been working pretty well for the past fifty years.

Pogge then follows up with,
"Nor do I see how anyone can claim, a [Defence Minister] Pratt does, that the weaponization of spcae is something we don't have to think about, even as we consider cooperating with the United States on a missile defence program whose budget is being used to develop weapons that will be deployed in space."

I completely agree. I think the weaponization of space is an issue and that the defence minister is simply trying to duck it. What Pogge, nor anyone else I have come across seems to ever expain adequately however is why the weaponization of space would be inherently bad.

If it is possible for us, with the U.S, to gain a strategic advantage in national self defence by placing weapons in space why would we not?

Further, why should we automatically assume that there should never be weapons in space? If humans are going to be in space there is going to be human conflict in space. It would be nice to assume that space will be some utopian realm of peace and harmony but the history of human progress and expansion does not seem to bode well for those hopes. The only reason there are not currently weapons in space is because there is little human presence in space. Where humans go they take weapons, because weapons are necessary for self defence. It makes no sense to say that there should never be any weapons in space simply becasue there are none there now or out of a mistaken belief that weapons are inherently bad.

There are still reasons to oppose the current rush towards the BMD. The fact that the system doesn't work is the primary one. I may also still be convinced that there should not be weapons in space but the argument is going to have to be better than 'because it's space.'

Posted by Matthew @ 1:25 AM