Possible Types of Weapons
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Space without Weapons
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Brand new Book. Nearly eight years since initiating combat operations in Afghanistan, the United States and our allies are witnessing first-hand the difficulty of denying sanctuary to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Similar to the Mujahideen in the Soviet-Afghan War, today's insurgents are leveraging mountainous terrain and international borders to survive against a superpower's counterinsurgency efforts. As the United States prepares to shift focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, it behooves us to incorporate lessons learned from the Soviet-Afghan War in order to adequately shape our force and equipment, evolve counterinsurgency tactics and doctrine, and integrate the elements of national power to deny insurgent sanctuary. I chose to study the Soviet efforts to deny the Mujahideen sanctuary because I believe sanctuary denial is a critical requirement for our success in the current fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Determined to stabilize the rapidly deteriorating political-military situation in its newest client state, the Soviet Union conducted a coup de main modeled after successful interventions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia The Soviet leadership believed that ". Failing to appreciate the will of the Mujahideen to resist foreign invaders, the Soviets miscalculated the nature of the war into which they entered. Instead of simply providing security, logistics, and combat support for DRA forces fighting the Mujahideen, the conventionally structured, trained, and equipped 40th Army assumed the lead against a determined guerrilla opponent in some of the most rugged terrain on earth.
The Soviets properly identified sanctuary as a critical requirement for the Mujahideen to wage a successful resistance, but never effectively deprived the insurgency of this requirement. The Soviet Union failed to deny sanctuary to the Mujahideen because it deployed an inadequate force to Afghanistan, but more importantly, it proved unable to counteract international support for the insurgency.
Seller Inventory APC Published by Great Western Publishing. About this Item: Great Western Publishing. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. Seller Inventory GI3N Published by Independently Published About this Item: Independently Published, New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since Seller Inventory IQ There are numerous ways our space assets could be disabled or destroyed.
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One likely threat to U. Such attacks could constrain the usefulness of our existing satellites or reduce our ability to put new satellites into orbit.
But such ground attacks would probably, at worst, only diminish our ability to use our space assets, since the data transmitted from orbiting satellites could in most cases be rerouted to other receiving stations on the ground, and since our launch systems are somewhat redundant. Of more concern is the possibility of attacks that directly destroy or damage satellites, since they cannot at present be replaced quickly, easily, or cheaply. Without a reorientation of the way it acquires space hardware, the United States faces substantial barriers to repairing or replacing damaged satellites.
The Chinese test in January demonstrated what is known as a direct ascent anti-satellite capability, wherein an object, presumably a missile, is launched from Earth or from an airplane in flight at a target overhead in space. The missile slams into the targeted satellite and the energy created by the collision of two fast-moving objects destroys both.
Another technique to destroy satellites involves co-orbital ASATs, which are placed into orbit where they wait for a period of time before they are sent to destroy their target. Other space-based ASATs could, in theory, disable satellites from a distance using directed-energy weapons — lasers, particle beams, or high-energy radio-frequency weapons — although none of these has yet been deployed on platforms in space.
Another type of threat to space assets is high-altitude nuclear detonation.
Dr. Michael O'Hanlon
An enemy could arm a missile with a nuclear warhead, launch it, and explode the warhead in space. All satellites within the line of sight of the explosion would be destroyed or rendered ineffective immediately, with the effects dissipating with distance from the explosion. Most U. China certainly has the missile and nuclear capabilities required to conduct such an attack.
North Korea apparently lacks the missile competence, and Iran probably does not have either the missile or nuclear know-how — as of this writing. Needless to say, this most extreme measure would likely be attempted only in times of acute international crisis. But even aside from destroying or damaging satellites, there is a multiplicity of ways space systems can be disrupted so as to preclude their use. The electromagnetic transmissions between satellites and the ground can be jammed that is, blocked or drowned out or spoofed that is, imitated with fake signals that appear legitimate.
Military and commercial satellite users have ways to prevent some jamming attacks, and encryption can protect against spoofing, but these remain realistic concerns. Open-source reporting has cited examples of incidents, both intentional and unintentional, that have impacted space capabilities. T he debate over what to do about security challenges in space is both old and new. It has returned in the months since President George W. Bush reopened the possibility of space-based missile defenses and issued a new national space policy, and since the Air Force began discussing broader uses of space for military purposes.
Any serious discussion of policy options must begin by moving beyond a tired lexical dispute. But it is too late: space is already militarized and weaponized. The militarization of space — the use of space for military purposes — began with the launches of the first American and Soviet military satellites nearly five decades ago. The weaponization of space, too, has already happened. While there are currently no orbiting anti-satellite or missile-defense systems in part because arms control activists for years prevented the development of either , there are satellites in space that are an integral part of weapons systems here on Earth.
Setting aside such semantic quibbling, the real challenge now facing the United States is how best to deter, deny, and dissuade the Chinese, and other emerging space powers, from hostile actions in space. One approach would involve diplomacy and international discussions. For some time, arms-control advocates have been pushing for agreements to ban weapons in space. As one arms-control advocate told the Washington Post , the Chinese were responding to U.
The policy of a certain country [i. Outer space is the common heritage of mankind and [the] weaponization of outer space is bound to trigger off [an] arms race in outer space, thus rendering outer space a new arena for military confrontation. Existing treaties allow actions to protect and defend national interests in space.
Article IV of the Outer Space Treaty forbids signatories including the United States and China from placing nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on the Moon, and prohibits the testing of weapons, conduct of maneuvers, or construction of fortifications on the Moon and other celestial bodies. Since October , when the treaty went into force, nearly every U.
During successive administrations of both political parties, the National Security Council has interpreted the treaty as not barring the deployment of space-based missile defenses or other systems to perform space-control missions. Work to draft new treaties continues apace. China and Russia have been spearheading international efforts to construct a framework to govern space.
Conference on Disarmament calls for formal negotiations to prohibit the placement of weapons in orbit or on celestial bodies.
Related Neither Star Wars Nor Sanctuary: Constraining the Military Uses of Space
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