Book outline, Moltz, The Politics of Space Security (Winder)

1.      'State the unity of the whole book in a single (at most a few) sentences

a.       (Review) Moltz writes as his “main conceptual argument” that “environmental factors have played an influential role in space security over time and provide a useful context for considering its future.”

2.      'Enumerate its major parts in order and relation

a.      'Outline the parts

b.      Moltz’s first two chapters look at how other analysts have understood space security and set forth an alternative explanation that stresses a growing awareness of the environmental consequences of actions such as

                                                              i.      the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space in the early 1960s, which created electromagnetic effects that interfered with satellite operations in both the short and potentially the longer term,

                                                            ii.      and the kinetic destruction caused by antisatellite weapons, which could create long-lived debris in heavily used orbits.

c.       U.S.–Soviet/Russian interactions in space between 1958 and 2000 as alternating between

                                                              i.      “military-first” phases, during which the emphasis in both countries was on developing military space capabilities,

                                                            ii.      and “diplomacy-first” phases, during which the emphasis was on creating bilateral and multilateral agreements on good behavior in space, including a number of space-related treaties.

                                                          iii.      He characterizes the fundamental relationship as one of “strategic restraint.”

                                                          iv.      Moltz concludes, supporting his emphasis on environmental security, that over this 40-plus–year period “the two sides gradually accepted mutual constraints on deployable weapons in return for safe access to the space environment for military reconnaissance, weather forecasting, tracking, early warning, and a range of civilian uses.”

d.      last sections of the book contain a thoughtful analysis of various perspectives for understanding the concept of space security and their application to understanding the current situation and future prospects.

3.      'Find important words and “Terms”

a.       (Review) space security – “the ability to place and operate assets outside the Earth’s atmosphere without external interference, damage, or destruction,” there is a “compelling logic to the exercise of military restraint.”

b.      Space nationalists have their roots in political realism, great-power rivalry, and the lessons of the Cold War. This camp argues that conflict in space is inevitable and nations, particularly the United States, should take steps to secure their advantage in space through largely unilateral and military means.

c.       The global institutionalists, on the other hand, are grounded in idealist political theory and see space as an arena for peace and international cooperation, with strong support for international legal regimes and bans on weaponization.

d.      The other two schools take more nuanced, centrist positions.

e.       Technological determinists see technology, not politics, as the driving factor in space and foresee scientific cooperation and the theory of the public good as driving forces toward more cooperation and constraining conflict.

f.       Social interactionism agrees with many of the goals of global institutionalism but sees soft tools, such as rules of the road and voluntary efforts, driving actions in space instead of binding legal regimes.

4.      'Find the propositions in the most important sentences of the book

a.       all nations active in space should exercise such restraint “because of their shared national interest in maintaining safe access to critical regions of space.”

b.      For example, it is in the common interest to avoid actions that create space debris and threaten the environment of outer space, such as the January 2007 Chinese test of an antisatellite device or the February 2008 U.S. destruction of a reentering National Reconnaissance Office satellite.

c.       the space environment is, as Moltz puts it, “too valuable to be used for war.”

d.      (Review) The debate over space weaponization should come down to three things: security, safety, and sustainability.