Cover of The Politics of Space Security by James Clay Moltz
The Politics of Space Security
Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests
James Clay Moltz


384 pages.

Cloth ISBN: 9780804759144
Digital ISBN: 9780804779746

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Excerpts and More

At a time when no other country enjoys the advantages that the United States currently reaps from space, some U.S. officials argue that U.S. space defenses will be needed to protect access to critical military and civilian assets in orbit. Others argue that space should be a valuable "sanctuary" from deployed weapons and military conflict.

To inform this debate—and develop meaningful guidelines for the future—Clay Moltz has undertaken the only comprehensive study of the first 50 years of space security, highlighting the main trends in military space developments, their underlying causes, and the factors that are likely to influence their future course.

What emerges is a picture of surprising military restraint shown by the United States and the Soviet Union in space, and the inescapable conclusion that the only way forward is through a multilateral commitment to interdependent, environmentally focused space security.

About the author

James Clay Moltz is an Associate Professor on the National Security Affairs faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School. He taught previously in the Monterey Institute's Graduate School of International Policy Studies and held various positions at the institute's Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) including CNS deputy director and founding editor of The Nonproliferation Review.

"Making effective use of the secondary literature, supplemented by insights drawn from interviews with a wide range of officials and access to the relevant archives in the USA and Russia, The Politics of Space Security: Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests confirms Moltz's command of his field of study... James Moltz's book serves as a superb primer for understanding the complex and interrelated issues within the fields of space policy and security studies."

—John Berryman, University of London, Space Policy

"James Clay Moltz makes an impressive and timely contribution to security studies and ongoing policy discussions with The Politics of Space Security... Given the complexity of the subject matter and the importance of the dual forces of technology and politics, it is difficult to find fault with this thoughtful and comprehensive volume."

—David W. Kearn Jr., St. John's University, Review of Policy Research

"The intellectual scope and historical detail of Clay Moltz's study are truly impressive. He has brought to bear on a pressing issue in international security both high quality scholarship and pragmatic policy prescriptions. Professor Moltz's book is a "must read" for anyone concerned about the future sustainability of U.S. and global space activities."

—Dr. John M. Logsdon, Director, Space Policy Institute, The George Washington University

"Clay Moltz reassesses the importance of the superpowers' growing knowledge about harmful effects in the space environment especially space radiation and debris and explains how this environmental learning fundamentally shaped space security interactions during the Cold War. A truly seminal book that not only illuminates an underappreciated factor in past space security decision-making but also sheds light on how environmental learning may play a key role in overcoming challenges and improving future space security."

—Dr. Peter Hays, Associate Director, Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy

"Rarely does a book add to the literature of multiple fields as well as The Politics of Space Security. A "must read" for both political scientists and policy practitioners, as one of the few books to examine an increasingly critical space security issues through the lens of traditional political science concepts and theory."

—Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese, Chair, National Security Decision-Making Department, Naval War College

"The Politics of Space Security is actually two books in one. The first and 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 This historical account is worthwhile on its own terms, because there has been nothing comparable in the past 20-plus years, since Paul Stares' 1987 study Space and National Security."

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