A special guest has been invited for our last get together before this year's summer vacation. We are looking forward to a very interesting and up to date informal presentation on a theme which is bound to create a very good discussion. Join us and bring your expertise for this special dialogue over a good beer and a pub treat.
Please reply with your confirmation at your earliest convenience.
Date Wednesday, June the 18th, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Clocktower Pub on 418 Richmond Road. The upstairs room.
Special guest: Dr. Dale Armstrong
Topic: Space is not a Sanctuary ; Anti-Satellite weapons are a reality" (see info below and attached)
Canadian Space Society, Ottawa – June 18, 2014
Space is not a sanctuary; anti-satellite weapons are a reality.
At the beginning of the space age, the United States relied upon the general acceptance of a sanctuary narrative of outer space, in order to help support its reconnaissance activities over the Soviet Union. A crucial problem with the concept of sanctuary was that as space became increasingly militarized, the narrative outlived its usefulness. Advancing technology, verification issues, and the Anti-satellite paradox made it impossible to preserve space as a sanctuary. The turning point appears to have occurred in 1976.
As such, it was a surprise that George W. Bush's abrogation of the 1972 ABM Treaty produced a resurgence of 'anti-space weapons' discourse, echoing the debates of the Reagan years. In fact, the rhetoric was largely political hype aimed at stopping missile defence. What had happened was that activists, lobbyists, and think tanks attempted to meld scary images of space weapons into their campaign against missile defence. What they were unaware of was that advances in science, technology, and strategy during the 1990s—coupled with proliferation in the 2000s—had rendered their arguments irrelevant. This was reinforced by the Chinese ASAT test in 2007:
Today, thanks to the Chinese, just about everyone realizes destructive ASAT testing is stupid. As for 'space weapons,' the most prominent lobbyists have now changed course, and are now parroting the more cautious aspects of U.S. military space policy in an attempt to regain their lost credibility.
Dr. Dale Armstrong - Strat-Logic Consulting
Dale Armstrong completed a doctorate at Carleton University, where he focused on the geopolitics of space weapons. His dissertation examined the political fallout associated with the American decision to abrogate the ABM Treaty. He is currently writing about the Chinese/Russian efforts to ban weapons in space and, as well, the proposed International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. Dale is also involved in a new project that examines the policy issues associated with space debris.
In his spare time he is an avid Mars observer, and is more than willing to discuss observational astronomy with anyone who shares that interest.