International Security in Space: Presidential Leadership and the Future of Outer Space

Brian Denny


This work juxtaposes the history and current state of America’s involvement in militarizing outer space against the peaceful ideals that frame the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which was dramatically shaped by the United States and the space race mentality of the Cold War. This work seeks to shed light on the actual objectives and intentions of American outer space policies, past and present. Attention is focused on the influence of the office of the president and the prevailing attitudes towards the weaponization of space that seemingly contradict the peaceful ideals set forth in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

By analyzing the early years of American space exploration, a distinct pattern of American exceptionalism can be seen. This pattern, when viewed in light of more recent American space policies that have consistently chipped away at the international agreements concerning the weaponization of outer space, clearly predicts the eventual withdrawal of the United States from the Outer Space Treaty in favor of strategically unilateral defensive posturing.


space, history, Cold War, militarization, weaponization

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