July/August Special Issue – Space: Military frontier or arms control opportunity?

By | July 2, 2019

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
John Mecklin

The Outer Space Treaty and the weaponization of space
Joan Johnson-Freese and David Burbach

Anti-satellite warfare and the case for an alternative draft treaty for space security
Daniel Porras

The focus of US military efforts in outer space should be … arms control
Lawrence J. Korb

Arms control in outer space: The Russian angle, and a possible way forward
Alexey Arbatov

A “Star Wars” sequel? The allure of directed energy for space weapons
Jeff Hecht

Other features

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

The existential threat from cyber-enabled information warfare
Herbert Lin

What really went wrong at WIPP: An insider’s view of two accidents at the only US underground nuclear waste repository
David M. Klaus


Marshall Shepherd: Connecting atmospheric science and society
Dawn Stover

Nuclear Notebook

Chinese nuclear forces, 2019
Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda

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