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On the Edge of Earth: The Future of American Space Power

by Steven Lambakis

Availablecloth$70.00x 978-0-8131-2198-7
384 pages  Pubdate: 08/03/2001  6 x 9 x 1.125  illus

The United States has long exploited Earth’s orbits to enhance security, generate wealth, and solidify its position as a world leader. America’s ambivalence toward military activities in space, however, has the potential to undermine our future security. Many in Washington possess a peculiar regard for space and warfare. Some perceive space as a place to defend and fight for America’s vital interests. Others—whose voices are frequently dominant and manifested in public rhetoric, funded defense programs, international diplomacy, and treaty commitments—look upon space as a preserve not to be despoiled by earthly strife.

After forty years of discussion, the debate over America’s role in space rages on. In light of the steady increase in international satellite activity for commercial and military purposes, American’s vacillation on this issue could begin to pose a real threat to our national security. Steven Lambakis argues that this policy dysfunction will eventually manifest itself in diminished international political leverage, the forfeiture of technological advances, and the squandering of valuable financial resources. Lambakis reviews key political, military, and business developments in space over the past four decades. Emphasizing that we should not take our unobstructed and unlimited access to space for granted, he identifies potential space threats and policy flaws and proposes steps to meet national security demands for the twenty-first century.

Provides a wealth of details on a wide range of factors that contribute to space power. -- Air & Space Power Journal

Ought to be read by anyone interested in understanding the coming debate over space weapons. . . . Hands down the best available resource for understanding that debate. -- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Interesting and provocative. . . . Recommended for anyone interested in space policy and national security affairs. -- Choice

Provides a much needed strategic analysis that is refreshing, intelligent, and imaginative. . . .Successfully distills the essence of American space power into a manageable whole, blending sophisticated analysis with command of technical and scientific issues. -- Comparative Strategy

Will trigger public debate, generate controversy and add creatively to the policy debate. An exceptionally good job of clarifying issues and meeting the hard questions head-on. -- John D. Stempel

Offers not only skilful advocacy for the development of American space power, but also a substantial body of information upon which future strategic analyses can be built. -- Survival

A guide to the current situation and a set of recommendations worth heeding. -- Washington Times

On the Edge of Earth:The Future of American Space Power . . . reflects on America’s accomplishments in space and its strategic importance to our national security. -- CSAF Quarterly

It is one of the most important geopolitical books published in later years. --