In This Review

The Militarization of Space: U.S. Policy, 1945-1984
The Militarization of Space: U.S. Policy, 1945-1984
By Paul B. Stares
Cornell University Press, 1985, 352 pp

This is a carefully researched, well-documented account of the U.S. military space program under successive administrations. What is especially interesting is that, despite Sputnik and the advent of reconnaissance satellites, the development of antisatellite space weapons was resisted from the time of the Eisenhower Administration until the late 1970s. Indeed, Eisenhower wanted to keep U.S. activities in space "peaceful" so as to avoid a threat to reconnaissance satellites. When Soviet satellite interceptor tests became a matter of concern, the Carter Administration pursued a two-track policy of seeking to develop the technology and to ban its deployment through negotiations with the Soviet Union; thereafter, the Reagan Administration dropped arms control efforts and insisted upon testing. The author concludes that an arms race in space is now inevitable-and that a solid opportunity has been lost. This will be a valuable and important book even for those who may not share Stares' gloomy prognosis.