We asked Charles Pea, senior defense policy analyst at the Cato Institute, to explain why he thinks putting weapons in space is a bad idea.
So far, U.S. military spacecraft are used only for gathering and relaying information. There are indications, though, that the Bush administration plans to "weaponize" space. The clearest signal came in January 2001, even before the new president was sworn in, when a commission chaired by now-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared that the United States is more dependent on space than any other nation and "must develop the means to deter and defend against hostile acts in and from space." Failure to protect U.S. satellites, the commission warned, could lead to a "Space Pearl Harbor."