Swashbuckling military action in outer space occupies a hallowed place in American popular culture. But in the 1980s, fiction and reality fused in the form of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, a “pipe-dream” of a missile defense program. Now, President Trump’s announcement of a US Space Force has brought militarized space fantasies back to the forefront. That’s why in the July/August issue of the magazine, we unpack the current state of global military competition in space.
And there’s much more in this issue: Cyber-enabled information warfare as an existential threat; climate literacy in the United States; a look at what really went wrong with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant; a disturbing look at American views toward a preemptive nuclear attack on North Korea; and a new Nuclear Notebook that focuses on the Chinese nuclear arsenal.
Here’s what you need to know:
SPECIAL ISSUE – Space: Military frontier or arms control opportunity?
Introduction: Why Star Wars should remain a cinematic fantasy
The Outer Space Treaty and the weaponization of space
Joan Johnson-Freese and David Burbach
What do Americans really think about conflict with nuclear North Korea? The answer is both reassuring and disturbing.
Alida R. Haworth, Scott D. Sagan, and Benjamin A. Valentino
Chinese nuclear forces, 2019
Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda
Not a subscriber to the Bulletin’s online magazine? Sign up here.