Friends and Colleagues,
Recently, Vice-President Pence announced President Trump's latest Space Policy Directive, calling for the creation of a "Space Force".
Space is a "warfighting domain", said Pence, quoting Trump. We must "prepare for the next battlefield", to "defeat a new generation of threats".
"It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space," said the VP, again quoting Trump. "We must have American dominance in space." He went on to claim that our "adversaries" are "seeking to disrupt" and "challenge American supremacy" and asserted that, in space, "peace only comes through strength."
He concluded by saying that God is on our side when it comes to the militarization of outer space: "We will do so with that other kind of faith as well. . . . [E]ven if you go up to the heavens, 'even there His hand will guide you, His right hand will hold you fast.' And He will hold fast this great nation in the great beyond."
What Pence and Trump have failed to mention is that there is another way forward, a peaceful way, a way that is available for all of humanity at this pivotal moment in our history. That way is the international framework of laws that is called for by the Moon Treaty.
The Moon Treaty has been proposed by the United Nations and adopted by 22 countries, but not the United States. It calls for the peaceful use of outer space and prohibits any one country from extending its sovereignty to the Moon or any other celestial body. It requires countries to create an international framework of laws for the "safe and orderly" development of space resources, and mandates that the benefits of space exploration and development be shared with all countries, no matter how small or technologically advanced.
The Space Treaty Project ( HYPERLINK "http://www.spacetreaty.org/" _blankhttp://www.spacetreaty.org) has been created to promote adoption of the Moon Treaty by the United States and other countries. It's mission is to restore hope to humanity by providing an alternative to the wars, violence, and neglect that have plagued our history.
You can help by signing the petition calling for the Senate to ratify the Treaty. More information at spacetreaty.org, where you will also find links to the full text of the Treaty and to the book Major Tom, a novel that explores the current issues in space law in the context of a race to establish the first permanent human settlement on the Moon. You can support the Space Treaty Project by purchasing a copy or by making a donation via the Could Forest Institute (via link at website). Even if you don't, please take time to read the petition and consider signing.
Thank you very much for your interest and support. When I began writing Major Tom early last year, most people were not aware that the militarization of outer space was a possibility. It is now almost a certainty unless we act to stop it. There will be only one time when humanity leaves its home planet, one chance to establish a pattern that will ripple far into the future. We can either join together with other nations to explore and develop outer space peacefully, or we can follow the path of nationalistic "dominance" and turn space into a "warfighting domain".
Written by Dennis O'Brien of the Space Treaty Project