According to US Presidents and the Militarization of Space, 1946–1967, three American presidents in succession shared a fundamental objective of preserving space as a weapons-free frontier for the benefit of all humanity. Between 1953 and 1967 Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson all saw nonaggressive military satellite development, as well as the civilian space program, as means to favorably shape the international community’s opinion of the scientific, technological, and military capabilities of the United States. Sean N. Kalic’s reinterpretation of the development of US space policy, based on documents declassified in the past decade, demonstrates that a single vision for the appropriate uses of space characterized American strategies across parties and administrations during this period.
Significantly, Kalic’s findings contradict the popular opinion that the United States sought to weaponize space and calls into question the traditional interpretation of the space race as a simple action/reaction paradigm. Indeed, beyond serving as a symbol and ambassador of US technological capability, its satellite program provided the United States with advanced, nonaggressive military intelligence-gathering platforms that proved critical in assessing the strategic nuclear balance between the United States and the Soviet Union. It also aided the three administrations in countering the Soviet Union’s increasing international prestige after its series of space firsts, beginning with the launch of Sputnik in 1957.
SEAN N. KALIC is an associate professor in the Department of Military History at the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds a PhD from Kansas State University.
This book serves students and general readers seeking a single source that provides in-depth coverage of the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War. Beyond the reference entries, the book contains primary documents that cover the key events, people, and issues that emerged during Russia's revolutions and Civil War. These documents give readers a more detailed understanding of how the Bolsheviks used calls for greater "democracy" to gain support for their revolution, how the Bolsheviks used terror and control as means to maintain their power once the Bolshevik Revolution took place, and why the Bolsheviks believed such extreme measures were needed. Also included is a chronology of major events from 1890 through 1923 and a bibliography that serves as a starting point for more directed research.