In This Review

Seapower and Space: From the Dawn of the Missile Age to Net-Centric Warfare
Seapower and Space: From the Dawn of the Missile Age to Net-Centric Warfare
By Norman Friedman
Naval Institute Press, 2000, 384 pp

Friedman, an appallingly prolific author, is also a gifted writer about matters technological. Even if large swaths of this book read like excerpts from American and Russian space-hardware catalogues, the sweep is interesting. Space technology played a far greater role in shaping naval warfare earlier than did its counterparts on land or at sea. From their beginnings in the 1960s, satellite reconnaissance, communications, and navigation shaped the technology and operational concepts of both the United States and the Soviet Union. The author carries the tale to the present day with discussions of antisatellite operations, the global positioning system, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as partial substitutes for space-based systems. A collection of interesting tales -- once one cuts through the acronyms, systems specifications, and buzzwords of the day.