Books: War in Heaven

When most of us think about the potential of outer space for future generations, we think of world communications, satellite navigation, and scientific exploration. U.S. Space Command, however, thinks about weapons. Believing that conflict in space and wars fought from space are inevitable, the president has called on the agency to weaponize outer space and thus provoke an arms race that could cost the United States trillions of dollars and could lead to the demise of the human race.

In War in Heaven, a Nobel Prize-nominated peace activist and a former U.S. foreign service officer (who helped write the Outer Space Treaty of 1967) look at the history of military uses of space and the current plans for “militarizing the heavens,” including kinetic, laser, nuclear bombardment, and anti-satellite weapons. Contrary to the claims of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that the United States faces a “space Pearl Harbor,” Caldicott and Eisendrath show that the United States itself is today the principal obstruction to passage of an international treaty banning weapons from outer space.

At a time when plans to build and deploy space weapons are on the administration’s agenda but only just becoming known to the general public, this book will help launch a national discussion of a critical issue.

War in Heaven will bring you up-to-date on the serious moves under way to weaponize space and tell you how we can act to cope with them. Once it is triggered, international cooperation for military control of space will make the Cold War nuclear standoff look tame.” – Ambassador Jonathan Dean, US Representative to the NATO-Warsaw Pact

“When the space age began, who would have imagined that someday we’d be plotting our trips using global positioning systems and satellite images? The space-age potential for improving our lives is enormous. On the other hand, what if this amazing technology were used to identify and bomb targets, an apocalyptic possibility that is already happening? The space-age potential for cataclysmic destruction is also enormous. The authors of War in Heaven make it plain: now is the time to stop weapons in space. This is one book you should read now.” – Reverend Dr. Bob Edgar, General-Secretary, National Council of Churches.

War in Heaven documents well the dangers posed to global stability by weapons in space. If we fail to heed these dangers, generations that follow us may well suffer the consequences.” – Dr. Ted Postol, Program in Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Helen Caldicott is the founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She divides her time between Australia and Washington, D.C. Craig Eisendrath is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, Development Director of the Global Security Institute and author, most recently, of Bush League Diplomacy. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Published by The New Press, 38 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013. ISBN: 978-1-59558-114-3.