The act of discussing the national differences concerning the timing, the intensity, the durability, and the character of economic proves to be almost an impossible task for political historians but not for Liah Greenfeld. She once again attempted repeating her influential earlier research that stress on nationalism in this essay The Spirit of Capitalism Nationalism and Economic Growth.

Greenfeld attempted to assemble comparative histories of England, some countries in Europe and United States. This article basically summarizes what she says in her book with the same title that states that Nationalism is the result when people subjected to a common political authority turn out to share a consciousness of belongingness to a distinctive sovereign community.

In her earlier book like Transcending Nations Worth, she explored the issue of the timing and form of nationalism as the cause for the distinctive subsequent political orientations in Europe and United States. But in this article, Greenfeld tries to argue that parallel changes in consciousness can cause people to overturn millennia of suspicion as they commit themselves to what can be called a belief in economic growth as something desirable and natural. The reason for this is the fact that their identification with the nation spurn shared dignity, relative equality and efficacy among whole citizen of the nation.  There is then a willingness to undertake an economic effort whose outcome depended on the efforts of others.

The changed beliefs, according to Greenfeld enable sustained economic growth in country to country. Greenfeld denies, though prudently, that nationalism can cause reorientation to economic growth wherever it may occur. Greenfelds article self-consciously puts nationalism against Webers Protestant Ethic, though retaining Webers theory of general causal logic. Greenfeld, in order for her argument to gain credibility, she did international comparisons that showed that the sequence of nationalism-belief change-economic growth can happen both within countries and across them. The within-country aspect calls for a demonstration that national consciousness did change whole populations commitments to ones countrys economic activity, and from this sustained growth is fuelled.

The article also implies that both nationalism and economic commitment eventually can transform a country like the United States. She argues also that this necessitates brushing off objections that economic growth in the Netherlands and elsewhere either preceded or caused growth in England.
In reading this article of Lian Greenfeld, the readers are needed to ask only three main questions regarding the research and pedantic lecture of Greenfeld about Nationalism and economic Growth.
First is the question whether the treatment of individual countries enough to describe their experiences with so called nationalism vis--vis economic growth.

The second question is whether within-country and cross-country sequences truly correspond to the arguments logical requirements set by Greenfeld

And lastly, do the so called proposed causal processes hold up to empirical and logical scrutiny
Regarding the first question, this is caused by Greenfelds overly concentrated discussion on ideological transformation that historically intelligent readers will continue to find themselves unexplained information. The second question, on the other hand, is brought about by the dismissal of early developing of Netherlands as something like a special pleading. And the third question is stirred by the unresolved mysterious connection of national awareness and the awareness for national economic growth.

Reaction Paper Teleology of the Nation-State.

The topic of the reading is the travel to China of the fifty one Japanese from different domains of Japan after the diplomatic ties of the two countries involved became formal. The main argument of the author is whether or not each Japanese sailor had self-interest on the voyage. In addition, various Japanese sailors were thinking of what they could give to the nation-state while they were in Shanghai, China. However, it was also evident that most of the sailors experienced problems while on travel. Some of them were sick and others find it hard to contribute to the nation-state they represent which is Japan. Another problem that besets the sailors is dying away from home. There were unlucky fishermen who died and as well as three Japanese who lost their lives because of dysentery. The cadavers of those who died during the trip were cremated because it is difficult to bring them back to Japan because of extreme heat. Moreover, there is a clarion call for the nation-state Japan brought about by the travel to Shanghai, China. The effects of expansionism must be viewed as a huge factor of Western assault. Without careful preparation on the part of Japan, the fate of China would also happen to the nation-state.

In addition, the author also exposed the fact that Japan does not have a modern centralized state during the 1850s. Besides, there was no national treasury, national army and national taxation. There is no appropriate structure of government that would make the country resemble others. Since there was no foreign ministry, the people who handled the foreign affairs were referred to as barbarians. This situation was changed when Japanese sailors reached Shanghai, China. They were able to learn many things in the country and were mindful of expansionism and the development of the nation-state.

Essentially, we can understand that there are dynamic changes because of the formal diplomatic ties between China and Japan. With that, the main question is Is there modernization involved in the process The radical changes in Japan might be explained in the process of modernization or even with Westernization. In the article, it was explained that due to the influences of countries like China, Korea, and even European countries, Japan was able to develop its structure of government. Later on, Japan had national taxation, national currency, banks, stocks, bonds, and commercial endeavors. Not all Japanese sailors may be successful of the trip to China, but it opened myriad possibilities for the country to have a glimpse of other countries and earn a single fame as nation-state called Japan.   

Public Event Report.

A week ago, I attended one of the regular sessions of my City Council. Accordingly, I learned that every week, the council holds regular sessions at around nine in the morning on Wednesdays, and in some occasions on Thursday around two in the afternoon when there is sufficient business. The sessions are held inside the Council Chambers of the City hall,  which such sessions are only limited to a few public  spectators. Fortunately, I was one of the few people who were allowed to witness that weeks session.

The flow of the session basically included (1) Pledge of Allegiance (2) the Chairs reminder to the public (3) approval of minutes (4) submissions of documents and agenda revision (5) committee reports (6) special presentations and reports (7) public invitation to be heard (8) public hearings on any matter and ordinances on second reading (9) introduction and reading by title of ordinances for first reading (10) general business (11) comments (12) remarks (13) recording of the meeting and (14) adjournment. The items discussed in the session I attended included budgets, committee proposals, and reading and assessment of policies.

During my observation and discussions with some of the regular spectators, I learned that every week a list of items is gathered before the City Council. These items will accordingly compose the Council Agenda, which will be taken up for the following weeks sessions. In addition, I observed that each Council member acts as the Citys liaison or representative to several organizations and committees. For that reason, I was able to understand that the city is governed through a commission form of government seeing that there is no city manager, but only a commissioner-in-charge for each of the committee available in the city.

In sum, attending city council meetings is very interesting and informative as it provides information, answers to questions and clarifies important issues not only to the public, but also to the City Council. This type of public event indeed provides a setting for discussions between the leaders of the city and the public regarding specific policies, projects and programs, which are very important in a democratic government.

Secretary Napolitano.

Upon reading your post, THE DEPARTMENTS FIVE RESPONSIBILITIES of 8 June 2009 and many of the replies posted below it, I have gathered the following thoughts to address what seems to be a big area of contention.  In your own words one goal is to help provide  employers with the most up-to-date and effective resources to maintain a legal workforce (DHS Leadership Journal, June 8 2009, Retrieved 4Jan 2010 from.
From the same source come complaints regarding a lag in responsible handling  of legal and high-skilled immigrant requests. 

One possible solution is to alleviate some of the high volume of requests the department has to handle from low-skilled immigrant candidates by lessening the demand for low skilled work within the United States.  Already in place in counties and municipalities across the country are work-force agencies and job-placement agencies that local and state welfare agencies use in their own assessment of potential and continuing clients.  These agencies do a big business helping to place those on Temporary Assistance from the government in appropraite jobs.  Much of the time these agencies must show that a client has made certain measurable attempts at gainful employment so that the client can continue receiving temporary government assistance.  A marriage or situational pairing of employer requests for immigrant workers and local citizens needing assistance and jobs seems a low-cost, little-new-bureaocracy attempt at solving or lessening this problem.  The access to a legal workforce the department is providing is not a pool of legal immigrants in this case but a pool of job-seeking citizens.  The logic seems common-sensical, if there are citizens searching for work and employers searching for reliable employees then the two groups could solve each others problem.  The local welfare departments are allowed access to DHS lists of employers needing employees and the task of presenting the employers with a line of employable citizens falls to the local agencies.  There should be no decries from local agencies as their goal is to employ the citizens and this gives them one more method to achieve this goal.  If businesses can more efficiently find employees than fewer requests should be directed to your department and allow more man-hours to be available for other duties.  It is acknowledged that reems of paper can be written about the pool of candidates available on the welfare roles but that discussion is not relevant here.  We have a large legal workforce already petitioning a government agency for help and DHS has a large volume of requests for employees. 

Change is always difficult and one way to lessen the whiplash associated with it in this case is to first make lists available to both sides.  Lists detailing who needs workers and who needs work.  Allow local agencies to attempt to reconcile the two.  This should allow local agencies to weed out workers who dont want work and initiate protocols to motivate them or stop their assistance and allow employers to initiate procedures for soliciting and screening workers for the tasks they need completed.

Thank you, Madame Secretary, for your consideration and please contact me with any questions.   
Per revision request 4jan09
Explanation of memo.

When it comes to immigration, we need to facilitate legal immigration while we crack down on those who violate our nations laws. A few weeks ago, we issued new guidance to our agents in the field to focus our efforts on apprehending criminal illegal aliens and prosecuting employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. At the same time, we are committed to providing employers with the most up-to-date and effective resources to maintain a legal workforce. This new focus is drawing widespread praise--from law enforcement to the business community--because it addresses the root cause of illegal immigration.

The above is an excerpt from the secretarys post.

She is expanding the enforcing our immigration laws piece of her 5 point plan.

I have basically argued that to help enforce our immigration laws, DHS can marry requests for legal immigrant workers with existing job seeking citizens who are seeking government assistance through local welfare agencies.  This will free up DHS man-hours to effictively deal with high-skill requests for immigration and shorten the process time for green cards to be issued.  Indirectly, this could also help lower the demand for workers and help stem the tide of illegal immigration, but this was not discussed due to the 1 page restriction.

Cited in the essay is the secretarys words and many posts by anonymous posters who were upset about how hard it is for upstanding immigrants to get legal citizenship.  This is what I noticed as a huge outcry on the site and is what prompted the direction of the essay.

Philips versus Matsushita.

Charles Darwin is famed for stating the theory of survival for the fittest when he said that in the struggle for survival, the fittest win by adapting best to their environment. Darwin may not have had N. V. Philips (Netherlands) and Matsushita Electric (Japan) in mind but their situation truly depicts a struggle for economic survival. Although facing similar financial challenges, the two companies are fundamentally different.
Structure, strategy, values and systems of both organizations reveal the basic differences that were initially responsible for their individual success and later, losses. The two competing organizations are at cross roads where the decisions made will either take the individual organizations towards profitability or continued loss and possible financial ruin.
While Philips employed a global organizational portfolio, Matsushita concentrated its operations in Japan. However, both organizations are now facing continuous loss of profitability in spite of spirited efforts from their top managers. Philips has had seven chairmen since the late 1960s that have employed various tactics in an effort to turn around the organizations fortunes with little success. On the other hand, Matsushitas financial woes started in 1992 when the Japan economy took a plunge, throwing the organization into cost containment mode. Since then, the organization has had two changes of top leadership but little change in the losing trend.
Van Reimsdijk and Dr. Rodenburg both served as C.E.O.s of Philips in the early and late 1970 respectively. Their approach aimed at reorganizing the matrix structure by giving product division (PD) managers more control over the production process. Despite Dr. Rodenburgs efforts to simplify management by appointing single management, the power struggle between PD and national organizations (NO) persisted. Needless to say, the organizations profits continued in the downward trend.
In spite of continued shift of power to the PDs and cost cutting measures by Wisse Dekker, the profit margin was still minimal. Van der klugt took over in 1987, shifting the company headquarters to Amsterdam and downsizing the staff in various units. This not only earned the company further losses in legal action suits but also most of the management lost their jobs.
Jan Timer took over from Dekker in 1990 and embarked on a plan to make the managers accountable financially as well as expanding the company operations that were still profitable. During this time, no new innovations were carried out due to limited skilled staff and low morale among the workers. When Cor Boonstra took the mantle in 1996, he sold most of the company assets, moved production units to low wage countries and he was able to announce a 24 net assets return.
Equally troubled, Matsushitas top management was struggling to keep the organization afloat as the countrys economy went through a recession. Akio Tanii under whose leadership the organization was operating had to stop the expansion programme that they were undertaking and concentrate on cutting down costs. However, the measures had come too late and the problems only intensified as the company declared losses in 1992.
Taniis resignation in 1993 paved way for 56 year old Yoichi Morishita who concentrated on downsizing the organization and decentralization of workers. Morishita also sold off the American based entertainment company MCA at a price that earned the organization a further loss of 1.2 billion dollars. As the recession continued, so did the companys profit less trend.
   In spite of radical restructuring and massive cost cutting measures by top management of both organizations, the struggle to turn around the profits still continues. It is apparent that recent changes in the global financial market have forced multinational companies to rethink their strategies in order to survive. Philips and Matsushita are no exceptions as indicated by the restructuring that has been carried out in both companies.
Since the two organizations begun restructuring, no huge advances have been made in terms of profit. Could there be a better way of doing business that will ensure a return to profitability for both companies
At the turn of the century, both companies appointed new leaders to usher their respective organizations into a new beginning. Matsushitas president Kunio Nakamura and Gerard Kleisterlee C.E.O of Philips Company have the previous leaders experiences to evaluate and learn from as they move their organizations into the future. Nakamura inherited a more streamlined and decentralized organization as well as increased competition for their market share.
On his part, Kleisterlee had to contend with shareholders who could not understand why the company was still making losses after the improved performance by Boonstra. The actions taken by Kleisterlee in 2001 include the closure of European plants and trying to reduce the operating costs of the plants that are still operational. Meanwhile, Nakamura has embarked on an integration approach and destruction of the product division structure that was built by the founder of the company.
What are the options available to the two competing companies in the twenty first century It is apparent that the strategies that made the two companies successful in the past can only be an encumbrance in the present market situation. For instance, Philips structure and management style was wasteful and lacked effectiveness in cost management. On the other hand, Matsushita had a more centralized structure that led to fewer innovations abroad. These are few examples of the approaches that are now outdated.
Matsushita therefore needs to change from its traditional purely technology based approach to a customer based one. Decentralization of operations must also be carried out extensively since the model on which the company was founded is no longer useful. However, Philips should concentrate more on branding products and marketing processes since innovation is no longer viable for this company. The C.E.O. should also consider merging the product divisions in order to reduce wastage. In addition, the company management should make each division head responsible for their operations profits.
Change can be hard to follow through but the rewards that the two companies stand to reap more than compensate for the difficulty. Survival in the jungle of global business requires constant reinvention and re evaluation of strategies without which a business would perish. Matsushita and Philips have to make changes that would ensure their chances of survival.

Relationships between Philips and Matsushita and their key stakeholders
A stakeholder is a term used to refer to an individual, company or group who has direct or indirect interest in a business. Philips and Matsushita are businesses whose activities affect a number of stakeholders, for example, employees, suppliers, various governments and their customers.
Philips had for a long time developed the tradition of caring for the needs of its workers. According to Bartlett, in 1912, 10 of the companys profits were set aside for the employees. In fact, until the Boonstras massive job cuts in the late 1990s, employees of Philips always felt secure knowing that their jobs were for life. The restructuring that was carried out led to lots of job losses at Philips, a reversal of the trend set by the founding members of the company.
Matsushitas employees were not so secure either since their performance dictated their relationship with the top management who maintained active supervisory role in every aspect of their operation. In fact, managers operating overseas were advised to keep meeting targets set by the company management or risk losing their autonomy through the appointment of supervisory managers from the headquarters in Japan. In this regard, when Matsushita acquired the Motorola plant in the US, the company suffered a major setback when the American technical team resigned in protest due to the perceived highly centralized operational techniques.
By incessantly striving to perk up relations with its shareholders, Philips has integrated a disclosure guideline and adheres to an active investor relations approach. However, the company has had to contend with pressure from some of its share holders who are not satisfied with the slow pace of reform within the company. Shareholders at Matsushita Company are equally involved in the key decision making processes in the company. Noteworthy is the shareholders meeting that was held before a change of name to Panasonic was adopted. Until 1992, the profits generated by Matsushita gave a good return to the shareholders but afterwards, the downward spiral became a major source of concern.
The consumers of products of Philips and Matsushita have benefited a lot from the competition that has existed between the two companies for centuries. The benefits include superior quality products and fair prices as each company tries to outdo the other. For example, the company manufactured the audiocassette but its Japanese competitor mass produced it in time to capture a lion share of the market. The increased volume enabled Matsushita to reduce prices by 50 and improve quality. This tilted the consumers to their favour.
Host countries and governments
Creation of jobs in the host countries has been a major boost to the local communities. Philips draws a majority of its employees from its host country as opposed to Matsushita whose top management has always been headed by a person from the Japan central office. Pressure from host countries has seen an improvement in this situation but the company still maintains a Japanese supervisory manager in all its interests abroad. In fact, the subsidiaries mainly function as mere implementers of decisions originating from the headquarters in Japan.

How far and in what ways are differences in these relationships likely to produce differences in the two organizations responses to the global strategic challenges after 2001
Barnett is of the opinion that the pressure from shareholders has forced Philips to rethink its strategies with regards to their operational mode. It appears that the only option for Philips is to concentrate on what it does best - innovation and marketing, and outsourcing manufacturing operations to other more capable organizations. The company has already started to outsource some of its mass production interests such as mobile phones and television sets.
The organization framework of Philips had long ceased to give the company a competitive advantage and the stakeholders have moved in to streamline the company. The power struggles between PD and NO had been a major cause of delays in policy implementation and delivery of products into the market. This has always played in favour of the Japanese competitor. In order to simplify the operations of the company, Philips is likely to close down some of its facilities all over the world and remain with strategically placed ones. Boonstra started the process during his reign as the C.E.O. in the late 1990s and shifted manufacturing plants to countries with lower costs of production.
Employee relations
Matsushitas response to its relationship with shareholders is likely to change some of its ways of doing business, especially regarding the supervisory role of the central company. Already there are indications that this change in management process is being implemented. President Toshihiko Yamashita initiated a programme meant to increase the number of locals heading various key positions in an effort to offset the pressure from host governments and to increase sales. Subsidiaries abroad were also given the freedom to sell products of their choice and this paid off with increase in sales. The localization will enable the companys subsidiaries to function as autonomous entities hence increasing innovations and initiative on the part of the management.
Philips has to boost employee morale after the large scale job cuts that demotivated many of them. In addition, training of staff must be done since innovation had all but stopped in most of the facilities due to lack of experienced personnel.
Following the failure to concentrate on consumer driven innovations, Philips lost a big market share to Matsushita. The company should now concentrate on developing strategies aimed at winning back most of the market share by anticipating consumer needs and providing for them. In addition, the company would do well to speed up the introduction of new innovations into the market to avoid being upstaged by its competitors as it happened in the past.
There has been a sharp decrease in domestic demand for Japanese electronics as well as unfavourable environment for export due to a strong yen. These factors have together with stiff competition from other Asian competitors led to a fall in product prices. Nonetheless, the company cannot give up the production line or compromise on quality because this will only result in loss of consumer confidence. The only alternative is to cut production costs by reducing the workforce and moving the production facilities to other low wage countries.
Both companies have undergone major changes since their inception several decades ago. This is largely due to the global business environment which has undergone various transformations that call for a strategy shift in the way organizations conduct business. In order to remain relevant, stakeholders must ensure that the companies are steered in the right direction and by the most qualified persons.

Exploring the changing ways in which Philips and Matsushita was able to control and coordinate their international operations between 1982 and 2001.What can be learnt from these examples about the processes of evolution in organizational configurations.

Philips was founded in 1892 in Eindhoven, Holland as a family enterprise comprising of a father and his two sons. Gerard Philips and his father concentrated on the production of light bulbs while Anton, his brother, handled the sales. Eight years later, the company had evolved into one of the largest producers of light bulbs in Europe. From inception, the companys management structure maintained a two part design comprising a commercial and a technical manager.
As the company grew, it maintained one line of production as Gerard relied on his technological ability to invent better products. By 1899, the company was too large for Holland and an export manager was hired to facilitate sales in the international markets. Although the production line remained in Holland, sales organizations were formed in foreign countries. General Electric and Philips entered into a trade agreement in 1919 that effectively apportioned North America to General Electric, Holland to Philips and the rest of the world remaining a free trading zone.
Philips went into product diversification at around this time by producing radios, X-ray and vacuum tubes. During the great depression, the company evaded high tariffs by constructing factories in Holland for these products. Philips sought to protect its interests during the war in the 1930s by shifting most of its assets to England and North America. This worked in favour of the facilities transferred in that they became autonomous entities during the war and learnt to function without the control of the parent company. This translated to higher sales as the NOs were able to read and respond to the markets in their specific countries.
Innovation was Philips main advantage in the market as eight laboratories were set up all over Europe and the US. The NOs grew more powerful as they continued to emulate the founders management structure of combining a technical and commercial team. However, with the creation of the Common Market in 1960, the existence of independent units had to be restructured to reflect this new reality.
Unfortunately, due to the power struggle between the NO and PD, the company failed to respond on time and lost to other competitors who took advantage of the Common Market. Over the next three decades, the company has tried to reinvent itself as successive C.E.O.s formulate various plans to recapture its lost glory.
Van Reimsdijk and Dr. Rodenburg were at the helm in the 1970s and they established International Production Centres (IPCs) in an effort to stop the power struggles and simplify the management structure. Dr. Rodenburg also abolished the double management style and replaced it with a single manager. However, this did not lessen the power struggle. From 1982 until 1987, the companys downward trend continued despite the continued efforts of the subsequent C.E.O.s to tilt power structure in favour of the PDs. Trimmer was the next C.E.O. on board who attempted to restructure the company. He spearheaded vigorous cost cutting measures that included staff downsizing and selling off of non profitable ventures. Three years later, he expanded the software and multi media sectors but this was not successful because the company lacked the technology and personnel to pull it through.
In 1996, Boonstra, who many saw as an outsider, took over and effected further job cuts while reducing the number of Philip companies worldwide. By focusing on the revolution of digital technology, he was able to attain his goal of 24 return on assets.
Matsushita on the other hand, was established some years after Philips. With 100 yen, Konosuke Matsushita founded a sockets producing company that expanded and diversified rapidly to include other electronic products. In 1932, to mark the companys 14th anniversary, the founder introduced a corporate plan that would be implemented by every generation in 25 year portions. In breaking away from Japanese business ethics, Konosuke created several divisions, each responsible for its own profit margin. This created an atmosphere of competition that further spurred the companys growth. The managers were under pressure to perform well or be sacked
Matsushita took advantage of technological innovations from Central Research Laboratories (CRL) which they marketed very fast hence beating the other competitors in the market. Trade liberalization in the 1950s and 1960s enabled Matsushita to penetrate the overseas market in its campaign to compete in the global market. Arise in production costs in its native country forced the country to move some of its facilities to countries with cheap labour. The company increased its presence in the West in the 1970s but it was the invention of video cassette that led to the growth of the company in the 1980s.By building its production capacity, the company was able to market lower priced, superior products hence out-competing the other producers like Philips.
In the early 1980s, the host countries pressure on the company to localize their operations made Matsushita to increase the number of locals in top positions of the company. The sales subsidiaries also got to choose the products to sell depending on the local markets. This led to higher sales and profits. The company continued making profits and expanding their operations until 1992 when the Japanese economy plunged into recession that forced the management to start cost cutting measures. From 1993 to 2000, the company chairmen concentrated on selling interests that were considered non productive and reorganizing the staff structure. But little effort went into downsizing the companys bloated workforce.
In 2000, Nakamura took over as chairman and disbanded the product division and introduced production centres that would cater for multiple products. He also transferred key functions from the headquarters to centres abroad and gave employees the power to make decisions based on consumer needs.
Lessons learnt from the two companies about evolution processes in an organization
Tradition versus change
By hanging on to the founders organization structure, both companies made profit as long as the market favoured them but started losing when market dynamics changed. The moment changes that matched the market were effected, the companies recorded profits. This shows that every organization must be flexible in a changing global environment.
Centralization versus Decentralization
Philips was able to survive the war by shifting some of its important assets to other countries this enabled them to spread the risk. However, Matsushita Company failed to move important facilities to other countries, hence, when Japans economy went into recession, the company was greatly affected. Risk should be spread in order to mitigate unforeseeable disasters.

Structural Comparison of Independent Movements.

An independent movement is an association that seeks to govern some territory on its own without much interference by the government. The main aim of an independent movement is to give the citizens a feeling of freedom and autonomy while undertaking their activities. To achieve this objective, those who are seeking the independence will use any method that will fulfill their ambitions. These may include peaceful, political as well as rebellious and revolutionary methods. This paper seeks to determine the structural comparisons of independent movements in Greek and Belgium while comparing economical, political and ideological views as well as the structural similarities of the two European countries. In addition the paper will analyze the nation building process by looking at the factors that enhanced or inhibited the process in the two countries.
Economic development and the nation building process in Belgium and Greek
Greek war of independence
Having served in the militia for some time,Georgios Karaiskakis recognized the oppression that was practiced by the Greece government. In this regard he formed the Greek war of independence in 1821 and became its leader in movement in order to give the Greek people more stable government. Another reason as to why Greek revolution was undertaken was to make Greek independent from the Turkish rule. It is worth noting that Greek came under the rule of Turks after Ottoman Empire took over the country following the collapse of the Byzantine rule. In their effort to gain independence, the Greeks formed several secret movements such as the Filiki Eteria, which was the first group to attack Ottoman Empire. However the revolts of this group were stopped by the Ottomans (Clair and William 1972).
Greek war for independence was funded by individuals who came from wealthy families. This is due to the fact that they were able to sacrifice their finance without putting much damage on their own economic situations. It is imperative to note that the war was fought by peasants who were armed with all forms of crude weapons including scythes, arrows and clubs. The growth of the economy in Greece was not very stable during its initial years after the infrastructural destruction that was experienced during the violence. In addition, after independence there was many political challenges which confronted the nation and which were not conducive for economic development. Language played a big role in the independence wars. Until the late years of the 19th century, Katharevousa language was the official language used in education, officially used in administration and literally works. Within the same time, Demotic language, was widely accepted and spoken within the region. Demotic gained even more acceptability. For instance in the 20th century, it was widely used as the basic mode of written literature. This eventually resulted to a conflict between the two languages especially in their application in the education sector. This conflict continued until the Greek military group which was referred to as junta was overthrown. Demotic language was officially declared the basic mode of communication in 1977. It was widely used in education and administration. Back in the 18th century however influential merchants emerged and they generated wealth which they used to build schools. Today Greece has emerged as one of the country with strongest economic performance with tourism as the major foreign exchange earner. The country has also been identified for having the most industrious people in Europe. On the other hand for almost two centuries Belgium was a technologically advanced country with strong industrial growth.
Nation building process in Greek
After independence Greek nation building process was very slow based on the fact after the fall of Ottoman Empire a lot of wealth was taken by Turkish during their rule. Similarly most of the Greeks were replaced by Armenians in the various economic sectors such as banking and in the manufacturing. This left the Greeks citizens with little disposable income and hence very low contribution in the nation building process.
The Nation of Belgium
In the first half of the 20th century the people of Belgium were mainly Rexists. It is during this time when they were fighting for the moral renewal of the Belgian society so that it could conform to the teachings of the bible. The Rexists supported Hitler and his Nazis and when Nazi in Germany fell so did the Rexists in Belgium. Today however, many of the people are either conservatives or socialists even though the land is surrounded by capitalist nations. The parliament consists of senate and the chamber of representatives. The compulsory voting policy ensures that every Belgian eligible to vote does so and therefore voting process records high turn outs. Belgium politics are based on the cultural orientation of the communities. From 2000 to 2007 the country managed to achieve economic and monetary goals to great extend. The government has also been involved in shaping democratic processes especially in young democracies like in Africa. The Belgium Federal State authority has jurisdiction in matters of law including justice system, military and home security systems like the federal police force and social security apparatus, energy and technology, monetary and economic policy among other important roles. There are several organizations and business entities that are controlled by the government but there also exists privately owned companies. The government has total authority in critical areas of public interest like public health systems, home affairs and international relations. In Belgium, there are geographically determined boundaries of regions that are based on peoples cultural orientation. These regions have authority in fields that can be broadly associated with their territory. Cultural and linguistic alignment is one of the determinants of the territorial boundaries, with people sharing the same cultural background inhabiting particular regions. Nevertheless, Belgium is a peaceful country with its people interacting freely with each other and with foreigners. The country is cohesive and political ideological forces are not based on culture or language but are shaped by both conservative and socialistic affiliation. It is therefore easier to entrench nationalism in a nation with a diverse culture by letting the people identify with the state which motivates them to pull in a particular direction.
Belgium nationalist movement
Belgium nationalist movement was as a result of the need to protect the culture, language and history of the Belgian people. This was after Dutch was declared a national language by William 1, who was the king of Netherlands during that time. The movement was organized by a number of nationalists, intellectuals as well as groups. Some of the nationalist included Philip Blommaert, Jan Frans Williems, August Snieders, Karel Lodewijk and Prudens van Duyse.An example of the group which was involved in the movement included Nationalists Students Union which was also referred to as Studentenvereniging.
Role of Elites in building Belgium
After independence, the Belgium elites declared that the national language was French. In this regard they ensured that communication in courts and in working places was all conducted in French. This was done in order to get rid of Dutch from the country. With the Capital city based in Brussels, the elites who were speaking in French occupied the city. This was where the government ministries were based and hence it resulted to creation of employment opportunities for most of the Belgium citizens. In this regard it is evident that the due to regular income that the citizens were exposed to, their purchasing power improved leading to an increase in demand and hence higher production of goods and services by the economy. The increased demand for goods resulted to an increase in number of industries which was a good indicator of national building process (Mama, 2008).
 Political Comparison of Greek and Belgium colonial foreign policy and the desire for independence
Greek political ideology
After the London protocol the Greeks elected Loannis as their first governor of the independent republic. However, following his assassination in 1843 the king was forced to give the people a constitution and a representative assembly. The infighting between the king and the prime minister tore the country into two opposed factions during the First World War. In 1965 Greece experienced political turmoil after the king dismissed a protagonist of the centrist government this resulted to a coup that was aided by the American Government. In 1975 a new constitution was installed following a democratic referendum which abolished the monarchy. After the restoration of democracy in Greek, two-party system was dominated by the liberal-conservative New Democracy and the social-democratic Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement. Greece joined NATO in 1980 and was assimilated into the European communities in 1981. Since their joining the European Union, the countrys economic performance and international relations have changed for the better. This is despite the unions tight conditions which Greece had to comply with before being formally accepted. The membership has stabilized leading to more economic development as well as social and political development. There have been widespread improvements of the infrastructure as well as unprecedented rise of the standard of other sectors such as tourism and service-delivery sectors. The performance of the economy is good and it is expected to grow even further in the coming few years.
Political face of modern Belgium
The Belgian revolution of 1829 resulted to division based on religious inclination. These divisions were the catholic and the neutral Belgium. Belgium has had both constitutional monarchy and democratic system of governance since the ascension to power of king Leopold the first. The 19th century was characterized by religious forces that led to the formation of the catholic political party and the liberal forces lad to the formation of the liberal political party. Other parties also came into existence like the Belgium labor party which was formed in the last years of the century. In 1913 Belgium was invaded by Germany and the war spilled to their colonies in Africa. The conflict was resolved later by the League of Nations. Germany invaded the country again in 1940 and occupied it for the next five years when it was liberated through the intervention of its allies.
The constitution of Belgium was written and enacted into law in 1833 soon after the country gained independence from the kingdom of the Netherlands. Since 1831 when Belgium regained independence it legislative body comprises of both a democratic parliament and a constitutional monarchy. In the 19th century the catholic party and the liberal party were the dominant parties in Belgium until the emergence of the Belgian party. Belgium joined NATO as a founding member together with the Netherlands and Luxembourg. It was also a founding member of the European community, an organization which is currently referred to as European Union. The country has a senate which has forty elected politicians and a chamber which has 21 members who are appointed by three community parliaments. The king is the head of state but has fewer duties assigned to him. He is responsible for appointing the prime minister who in turn forms the government after the approval by the chamber of representatives. The office of the king is constitutional and he is meant to hold the position for life thus making his or her position ceremonial and symbolic. The federal government is made up of the prime minister and the ministers and together they make the council of ministers. Besides these there are also the regional and community governments, the legislature as well as the provincial and local government.
Political and religious Ideology of Greek
The Greeks saw ottoman Turks as inferior and they were always nostalgic of the good old days of the ancient and glorious Greece and the more they thought of it the more they longed for it. They believed that it was their own orthodox Christians (the Russians) with power who would free them form Ottoman. Religious enlightenment and recognition played a big role in this ideology. Though the atrocities were committed on both sides the war was popular with the Christians and many foreign volunteers who even joined the war in support of Greece. The ideology of the Greek people today is Orthodox Christianity. After the fall of the Hellenistic Empire which had bred the Hellenistic rationality the orthodoxy Christianity was born. This ideology tries to rationalize Christianity.
Based on the above discussions, it is evident that independent movements in Greek and Belgium have played a key role in shaping national identity and the nation building processes. Basically, the two states were liberated from repressive colonial powers by revolutionaries through the political movements. However, even after democratic governments were later put in place there are several other challenges that have emerged and must be addressed. According to my view, governments should enhance nationalism by providing good leadership on social, economic and political fronts. In the same way politician high level of transparency should be emulated by political leaders. This can only be achieved by putting in place a proper constitution that provide checks and balances on the roles of leaders and which caters for the needs of the citizens. Although governments have played minimum roles in building early nationalism in the Greek and Belgium, it is very clear that to enhance nationalism further in a global society, Governments must get involved by formulating policies that are aligned to national objectivity and international sensitivity. 

Wealth of nations a critical study.

Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute very rightly said, The Wealth of Nations changed our understanding of the economic world just as Newtons Principia changed our understanding of the physical world and Darwins Origin of Species. Adam Smiths theories and inferences have completely changed the way the world economy functioned. And, The Wealth of Nations is the biggest evidence for the same.

The basic theme of the book revolves around the invisible hand that guides individuals to their deeds. This when simplified means that the consequences of any action of pursuing ones needs or wants are unknown. Smith writes,
By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
Book 1 of the Wealth of Nations talks about the causes of this improvement in the productive powers of nature, and the order, according to which its produce is naturally distributed among the different ranks and conditions of men in the society. He talks about division of labor and how it helps in improved productivity. He also states that one can be decided to be rich or poor only by the amount of labor he can purchase. .
In Book 2, Smith explains the nature of stock, the effects of its accumulation into capitals of different kinds, and the effects of the different employments of those capitals. He explains how the nature of the labor adds to the value of the manufactured good and how it decides it as well. He also talks about the stock lent is always considered as capital by the lender.
Book 3 records how the rural progress in Europe couldnt take place because of rapid industrialization. In fact, he writes, all for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
In Book 4, Smith attacks politics of the government which prevented industrialization and flourishing of the rural economy. He condemns government interference in the economy and irrelevant taxes and tariffs which create inefficiency and high prices of goods. Smith writes,
      It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society.
Smith in Book 5 postulates or lays down four maxims of tax, which are proportionality, transparency, convenience, and efficiency. This book deals with the revenue of commonwealth. In the earlier books, Smith argues about the economy for individual. It is the first time he talks about sovereign or commonwealth.
Smiths theories in Wealth of Nations had a huge impact on the Western world. Prior to Smith, such an extensive work on economics was unquestionable. Many nations have adapted Smiths policies and have gained innumerable results from the same. The U.S is one such example. Smiths work has established economics as a science. In Smiths own words, The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.

Human Security in Sierra Leone From the Narrow Approach Perspective.

The start of the twenty-first century was marked by renewed global concern with a concept of human security that has challenged the very core of the traditional security paradigm. The renewed security agenda endeavors to approach security more inclusively in a way that encompasses not only the State, but the region, society and the individual. Within this paradigm, the individual or the society has become the nexus of its concern, and the lens through which policy is formulated and implemented.
The security of any nation around the world is a direct function of the security of its own citizens. If a nation can succeed to offer security and protection to her people, then the nation will be secure.
Policy has for a long time failed to deal with armed conflicts in West Africa and civil wars have found an incubator to brood (Goldmann, 2005).
The Narrow Approach to Human Security
The main contention in this theoretical debate centers upon whether (and, if so, how) to narrow the concept of human security into a workable definition. For the most part, this debate has coalesced around two rival definitions. First, there are those who define human security broadly as freedom from want, understanding the concept as more than safety from violent threats  such as poverty, disease and environmental disasters (Owen, 2004, p. 375). And second, there are those who define human security more narrowly as freedom from fear, whereby human security is understood as freedom from violent threats only (Owen, 2004, p. 375).
Lloyd Axworthy is a popular proponent of the wide conception of human security, who in his former role as Canadian foreign minister (1995-2000) was an instrumental figure in bringing about Canadas Human Security Program (Floyd, 2007). Axworthy (2004, p. 348)
Although conflict, particularly civil war, continues to harm, the impact of environmental disasters, communicable disease, and poverty are often far greater. The urgency of these many threats, coupled with a policy vacuum, creates a critical need for the development of human security science and governance solutions.
Krauses view is fairly representative of the narrow approach to human security.
Krause (2004, p. 367-368)
Human security ought to be about freedom from fear not about freedom from want  for two reasons. The first is a negative one the broad vision of human security is ultimately nothing more than a shopping list it involves slapping the label human security on a wide range of issues tha thave no necessary link. At a certain point, human security becomes a loose synonym for bad things that can happen, and it then loses all utility to policymakersand incidentally to analysts. Second and more important, it is not clear that anything is gained by linking human security to issues such as education, fair trade practices and public health.
MacFarlane and Weiss (1994, p. 278)
If security means most simply an absence of threat to fundamental values, obviously it includes threats not merely to life, but also to property and livelihood, as well as to fundamental human rights.
Thus, proponents of a more comprehensive vision argue that in addition to politico-military security, there are three other fundamental rights (MacFarlane and Weiss, 1994)
Economic securitythe right to benefit from the fruits of economic growth
Environmental securitythe right to a productive and sustainable ecosystem
Legal securitythe rights of individuals to legal protection and to participation in democratic processes.
Floyd (2007, p. 40)
Generally speaking human security is the idea that the individual is at the receiving end of all security concerns, whereby security is understood as freedom from want andor freedom from fear.
Arms Control in West Africa
Arms control efforts in West Africa has nothing to do with nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction or to heavy conventional weapons. For West Africa, the gravest security threat lies at the crossroads of the threat posed by the proliferation, availability and indiscriminate use of small arms. Broadly speaking, small includes self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, sub-machine-guns, assault rifles, light machine-guns, manportable firearms and their ammunition, light artillery guns and rockets, and guided missiles for use against armored vehicles, aircraft, or fortifications.
The threat posed by these weapons goes beyond its traditional focus on external military threats to territorial and political integrity of States. At least for the region, these weapons have fueled a number of intrastate and local conflicts -- killing, injuring, and displacing millions of people, primarily women and children in Sierra Leone and facilitating State collapse.
To what extent has the Narrow Approach promoted Human Security in Sierra Leone
Some continue to resist such an expanded definition of security. But analyses of the origins of conflict clearly indicate that economic privation and assaults on basic political and civil rights frequently cause or contribute to war and violent civil strife. At a minimum, approaches to the resolution of political and military confiicts, if their effects are to be lasting, must take into consideration these broader economic, environmental and social issues.
Smith (2005) sees the concept of human security has been important in linking the study of conflict and security to economic development.  Connection between economic under-eveloment and security.
The durable resolution of conflict, consequently, goes well beyond peacekeeping and political settlement (MacFarlane and Weiss, 1994). As in the case of Sierra Leone, it has to include restructuring political institutions as well as resettlement and demilitarisation. Beyond this, given the frequent connection between security problems and the economic and social condition of war-affected populations, conflict resolution that fails to address structural economic issues is unlikely to endure (MacFarlane and Weiss, 1994).

How effective are the instruments and methods being used Is there a shift from national security to human security
the practice of security changed. Thus, whereas during the Cold War the state was more or less universally accepted as the referent object of security, in the decade following the end of the Cold War the role of the state had become increasingly challenged by the recently emerged New World Order of the 1990s (Floyd, 2007).
Traditionally, the focus has been on the ability of sovereign states to guarantee their internal and external physical security. The theoretical justification for this focusand for the primacy of the state as a subject of international lawis that the state aggregates, protects and promotes the interests of its individual citizens. As such, the security of the state is the security of the human beings comprising it.
Surely the individual himself is in no position to provide for his own security, for how should an individual claimlegitimize his own right to survival Thus, logically, the provision of human security can only be guaranteed by a larger entity such as society, the state, or some global institution, with as the Copenhagen School puts it security action  usually taken on behalf of, and with reference to, a collectivity (Buzan et al., 1998, p. 36). Consequently, Buzan (2004, p. 370) states
If the referent object of human security is collectives, then the job it is trying to do is better done by societal or identity security.  Reductionism in security thinking eliminates the distinctiveness of international security being about interaction among social collectivities. While a moral case for making individuals the ultimate referent object can be constructed, the cost to be paid is loss of analytical purchase on collective actors both as the main agents of security provision and as possessors of a claim to survival in their own right.
However, there is a substantial body of empirical evidence to suggest that in many instances, the state employs its monopoly of force and power to deny the rights of its citizens and to appropriate their resources in order to preserve itself (Floyd, 2007). Arms proliferation to Sierra Leone risked the lives of the very people the State was supposed to protect. UN reports show how weapons are illicitly exported, transported with the connivance of government officials in many countries and smuggled into war zones (ref).
In the quest for security, states can degrade the security of their own populations.
Moreover, the multiplication of the types of actors on the world stage (states, global corporations, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations, transnational and sub-state political and social movements) is being combined with deepening economic, cultural, and environmental interdependence.
the referent object has shifted to the sub-State level. According to Human Rights Watch, over 50,000 people were killed in the Sierra Leonean conflict, with over one million people being displaced. The very nature of the conflict - intra-state -made the civilian population deliberate targets in these conflicts. A significant proportion of the civilian population were exploited and controlled in order to sustain the conflict (ref). The conflict in Sierra Leone was characterized by the systematic and widespread perpetration of all classes of gross human rights abuses against the civilian population.
Humanitarian intervention by independent trans-national actors, supra national and sub-national identities challenged the State autonomy and sovereignty. International civil society and trans-national actors responded to the demand factors of small arms control including community development, youth programming and peace building. The regional body, ECOWAS, made a conscious decision to respond to the humanitarian crises by sending in a peace-keeping force to restore order in the society.
While the State autonomy was compromised, the national boundaries hardly disintegrated despite the social disintegration. Sierra Leone and its boundaries were still intact and State boundaries were recognised by ECOWAS member States, the African Union and United Nations. Nevertheless, what is seen to be existentially threatened and that have a legitimate claim to survival was the individual and societal well being. The above factors have challenged the State as the dominant referent existentially threatened so far as arms control is concerned in Sierra Leone.
How or by what means is security provided
Some of the approaches that have taken there such as demobilization, disarmament and reintegration into society of former child soldiers are analyzed with a view to evaluate their success rate.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) approved a three-year moratorium on the production, procurement, and sale of small arms and light weapons for the sub-region. Nevertheless, rebels and the government continues to obtain weapons illegally via countries such as Liberia and Burkina Faso, while the government of Sierra Leone received substantial weaponry from the United Kingdom (ref).
Jolly and Ray (2007, p. 457)
policy as well as academic discussions in the post-ColdWar era continued to prescribe numerous permutations of the same cocktail ofmilitary force and financial aid to address questions of national security. Experiences of Iraq, Israel and Sri Lanka and much of Sub-Saharan Africa suggest that security needs to be conceived as a much broader issue than merely a matter of defence and the use of armed forces to enforce peace.
Discussion and Conclusion
The State is the dominant form of political organization. Internally, it defines and protects the life, liberty, and property of individuals and groups through the creation of political and socio-economic order. Externally, it protects the rights of its citizens from the harmful actions of other States and non-State entities (Khong and MacFarlane, xxx).
By virtue of the social contract between the State and its citizens, the individual still remains the nexus of concern to national security. Key issues have fallen through the cracks as traditional security failed at its primary objective to protect the individual.
According to McRae (2001)
security is a single continuum, and is protected and enhanced by a series of interlocking instruments and policies.the old instruments are neither discarded nor superseded-they become integral to a new, more comprehensive approach centred on the protective welfare of civilians.
Proliferation and misuse of small arms in Sierra Leone has reaffirmed collective individuals or society as the nexus of its concern, and the lens through which policy is formulated and implemented.
The logic of security involves high levels of interdependence among the actors trying to make themselves secure. All the sectors have distinctive patterns and roles, but will remained inseparable parts of complex wholes. When it comes to arms control in West Africa the individual (Society) remains the dominant referent object existentially threatened. In this case practice has preceded theory.
Jolly and Ray (2007) conclude that broader definitions of human security are operational for both analysis and policy making. Limits to define a core of high-priority concerns with human security can be set after exploring the concerns of people in specific situations rather than before.

War in Space The Future of Warfare.

In his Star Wars speech last spring, Ronald Reagan suggested that instead of deterring nuclear attack exclusively by threatening nuclear retaliation, the U.S. should build a kind of electronic shield to intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reach our own soil. Last week that grandiose sci-fi vision moved closer to becoming U.S. policy. Reagan and his National Security Council approved in principle a five year, 21 billion plan to begin more rapidly developing an arsenal of space weapons, in particular orbiting ray guns that would fire intense beams of energy at enemy missiles. Said Edward Teller, the father of the H-bomb and one of the plans most enthusiastic advocates I dont see a sliver of an argument why we shouldnt bend all our will to develop protective weapons with all possible haste. Indeed, he says, it may well be a turning point of history.

Time Magazine, 12 December, 1983 (Andersen, Hannifin,  Redman)

Through his landmark speech of 23 March 1983, President Ronald Reagan inaugurated the work on a space-based defense system that could render Soviet Unions nuclear weapons powerless against the United States. It was named the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Reagan promised security through building super weapons and positioning them in outer space. Reagan envisioned an invisible defense shield that would cover the entire nation against any kind of missile attack from across the ocean. The SDI would primarily involve space-based as well as ground-based laser weapons (both of which would fall under the category of space weapons) that would neutralize any missiles directed toward America. The SDI satellites would be able to track an enemy missile from liftoff, thereby providing a layered defense capable of intercepting the missiles in flight at boost and postboost stages as well as along various points along their midcourse.  At each stage enemy weapons that slipped through the previous stage would be targeted. A comprehensive defense cover in the sky was envisaged to protect the American soil even if the USSR launched its entire nuclear arsenal against the US at one go.

The Road to SDI

Over three decades of dedicated research and developments led the way to the emergence of SDI in the early 80s. Ballistic missiles were originally developed by the Nazi Germany during the final years of the Second World War. Hitler used several V-2 ballistic missiles against London and other places in England during the later months of 1944, with moderate success. London was completely helpless against these powerful weapons launched directly from Europe. In the post-war world, the existence of such ballistic missiles necessitated the development of anti-ballistic missile weaponry.

Many military scientists who worked for the Nazi Germany or who escaped from its clutches found sanctuary in the United States and began working for American government projects. Werner Von Braun, who headed the team that would eventually land man on the moon, is the most well-known of these scientists. The Hungarian scientist Edward Teller too was among the exodus of scientists from the Nazi Europe to America. He would later become famous as the father of the H-bomb. Teller would also go on to play a significant role in the initiation of SDI.

The notion of a comprehensive laser defense strategy first sprang up among the scientists of the Manhattan Project which produced the first atomic bomb in 1945. It was taken up in earnest by Teller who laid the conceptual foundations of the technology that would underpin SDI. He was instrumental in establishing Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA, in 1951-52. Teller had information that the USSR was capable of building a shield against nuclear missiles and was concerned that the US does not lag behind. Subsequently US intelligence findings corroborated Tellers assertions about the USSRs sophisticated anti- ballistic missile capabilities and in response the US initiated its own ABM (anti-ballistic missile) system. The US government began to spend heavily in developing ground-to-air intercepting missiles. An ABM called NIKE-ZEUS was developed. During President Kennedys tenure, the research into nuclear anti-missile systems resulted in Operation Starfish In July 1962, the US blasted off a nuclear bomb from a Pacific Ocean atoll and detonated it in space. This event gave a boost to the secret work on SDI.

By the mid 60s scientists at Livermore saw interesting breakthroughs in laser engineering. Such successful research results helped Livermore to receive ample funds from the White House. General George J. Keegan was then the head of US Air Force Intelligence and he formed a CIA group in association with Teller.

In 1967, Teller invited the then governor of California, Ronald Reagan to Livermore. The exposure he received to the latest defensive technologies during his visit probably left a deep imprint on Reagans mind. In these technologies he would have seen a way out of the deadly stalemate that prevailed between the superpowers, which was indicated by the term MAD (mutual assured destruction). 

In the late 1960s, the US was working on an ABM system known as the Sentinel, whose objective was to thwart any intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from China. In the early 70s Sentinel was transformed into the Safeguard system, which was deployed in 1973 to protect nuclear missile silos at Grand Forks, North Dakota, but was deactivated a few months thereafter.  The deployment of the Safeguard system alarmed the Soviet military, although they had their own Galosh ABM system. This situation resulted in the initiation of talks between the two superpowers concerning ABM systems. Negotiations were held with a view to place restrictions on the development and deployment of ABM systems, which led to the 1972 ABM treaty. But since President Nixon had insisted that an ABM treaty was not possible unless the Soviets agreed to place certain limitations on their offensive capabilities, the Interim Agreement of Offensive Missiles was also signed.

Despite such negotiations, the Pentagon continued to be keen on ballistic weapons research and development. Teller had the backing from the Pentagon, but his work needed more political commitment. He gathered a group of people from defense and intelligence communities to lobby for more military focus on BMD (ballistic missile defense) program. Teller also used evidence gathered by Air Force Intelligence to convince President Jimmy Carter of the magnitude of the impending threat from the Soviet Union. However, he could not get his way with Carter.

In the following years, Teller was associated with two think tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Hertz Foundation, which were also involved in raising funds for laser beam research. Certain businessmen friends of Ronald Reagan were members of these groups and through them Teller found access to President Reagan. Teller convinced Reagan of the feasibility of a nation-wide Astrodome defense against nuclear missiles. The SDI, half-mockingly nicknamed Star Wars, became policy 23 March, 1983, though amidst a great deal of controversy and opposition. Tellers long-held dream became the new American reality.

Twenty Years later, in a 2003 commemoration event, George Shultz, secretary of State under President Reagan would acknowledge the critical role played by Edward Teller  in the development of SDI. According to Schultz, though the idea of SDI was greeted tepidly by the science community, Teller lent strength to President Reagans proposal (Johnston, 2003). It has to be noted though that Tellers vision was much more grandiose and explosive  involving reliance on space-based nuclear weapons platforms and charged particle beam weapons which would generate beams by funneling detonated hydrogen bombs  than that proposed by Reagan. Teller also believed in hydrogen-bomb driven X-ray lasers and thought it was possible to build such weapons which could deter up to 10,000 nuclear warheads plus dummies at a time. Although it is possible that President Reagan bought Tellers imaginative war games scenario in its entirety, he had to considerably tone it down to make it seem less like a pipedream, and more acceptable to the Congress and the public.

Unfeasibility and Other Concerns

Although Reagans SDI plan was not as grand and spectacular as Teller would have wanted it to be, the broad concept of SDI had to overcome much resistance from before its inception. One or two years before Reagans speech, when the possibility of SDI began to be seriously considered among the members of the Hertz Foundation, it turned into an issue which had both proponents and opponents. While one group led by General Daniel Graham favored deployment of a space shield over the US depending the extant technology, another group headed by the former deputy secretary of defense, Karl Bendetsen, believed that the technology was not yet ready and therefore emphasized the need for much more preliminary research. Both Karl Bendetsen and General Daniel Graham, along with Edward Teller, soon found their way into an inner circle of presidential advisors known as the Kitchen Cabinet. The voice of opposition, Bendetsen, was present in this group itself, but Graham was the head of High Frontier organization which promoted space-based missile defense, and he spared no efforts in pushing BMD.

While it was easier to convince Reagan of the prevailing crisis, which resulted from the increasing vulnerability of US ICBMs to Soviet aggression, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Council had a number of reservations on this matter. However, the chief of naval operations, Admiral James D Watkins, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff became an ardent supporter of SDI, and he played a considerable role in allaying any misgivings Reagan may have had about SDI. But the JCS in general did not believe in a total ballistic missile defense solution and did not propose funding for it. When Reagan promoted SDI publicly, he did not do it after due confirmation from the JCS. It has been generally perceived that Reagans own enthusiasm played a more important role than anything else in bringing SDI into life. SDI is usually considered as Reagans idea, driven by him single-mindedly despite many objections and much opposition, and despite a glaring lack of consensus in the military circles on the feasibility of such an ambitious and costly program. BMD technology has had a long history behind it but President Reagan not only embraced it zealously but held on to it tenaciously after announcing it to the nation.  As such the SDI began to be perceived as Reagans pet project and came to be pummeled from many quarters for its overly exotic and quixotic nature.

Senator Ted Kennedy, who thought Reagans ideas were reckless fantasies, was prominent among the political opposition. Congress was reluctant to fund the SDI program and cut back on several of the demands of Reagans administration. SDI did not come cheaply, some estimates tagged the SDI program with a price of 300 to 500 billion over a 30-year deployment period. These monetary aspects contributed significantly to the unpopularity of SDI.

A team of scientists who formally assessed Reagans proposed program found many problems, some apparently insurmountable, with it. Although SDI was not intrinsically unachievable, these scientists believed that practical concerns made it unfeasible in the foreseeable future. Ironically, Hans Bethe, the scientist who led the Union of Concerned Scientists that opposed SDI, was a close colleague of Edward Teller and had earlier worked with him in developing both the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb. To Bethe, feasibility was not the only issue but also the vulnerability, since he insisted that the SDI would be as difficult to build as it would be easy to destroy. Further, Bethe stressed, it could be easily rendered useless if the enemy used hordes of dummies and decoys to overwhelm the system.

Bethe and his team also expressed grave forebodings that whether the Star Wars program succeeded or not in its entirety the intention of making space the new theater of war could lead to the development of highly effective anti-satellite weapons. In fact, the first true space weapon to be tested by the American military after the advent of SDI was an anti-satellite missile. In our times when the whole electronic telecommunications infrastructure on earth has grown highly dependent on satellite networks, these earth-orbiting bodies are indeed more likely to become very easy prey for aggressive strikes. Some of the opponents of the SDI also rightly envisaged the seriousness of the threat of space debris resulting from disintegration of satellites. Deudney (1983) of the Worldwatch Institute felt that the Archduke Francis Ferdinand (whose assassination triggered the World War I) of the Third World War could be a reconnaissance satellite accidentally hit by piece of space junk. 

Despite the considerable scientific and political opposition mounted against it, SDI research took off and by 1986 was on a high pitch. The debate on SDI raged in 1987. While there was no dearth of critics, the SDI program also garnered many supporters who hailed it as a visionary strategy. It was acclaimed for holding the potential to blaze a new trail in US strategic thinking, and spurring a creative new phase of weapons development. The Pentagon indeed demonstrated several promising results, although a full-scale implementation was still a distant goal. The US invited Great Britain, West Germany, Italy and Israel to collaborate in the SDI RD work. Although President Gorbachev of the USSR sought to slow down the work on SDI in exchange for sizeable cutbacks in Soviet nuclear arsenals at 1987 summit at Iceland, President Reagan did not show much interest in the offer.

SDI was seen as violating or being close to violating several US-Soviet agreements of the past, including the Outer Space Treaty of 1968 and the ABM Treaty of 1972 the latter specifically required each of the superpowers not to develop or deploy ABM systems that were ground-based, air-based or space-based. Reagan sought to gain an upper hand over the Soviet Union through the SDI program, but many analysts feared that SDI would only accelerate the arms race and severely destabilize the delicate balance of power that existed during the Cold War dtente period before Reagan. However, Reagan and his supporters argued that an escalation of arms race would tax the weakening Soviet economy beyond the breaking point and could bring about the USSRs economic collapse, while the US was in a position to bear the huge budget deficits the SDI program would generate.

The new arms race between the superpowers did not really have a chance to begin since the Soviet Union came apart all by itself over the next couple of years. Around this time Reagans presidency too came to an end. The thrust for SDI program relented significantly, although funds to the tune of 4 to 5 billion dollars went into developing space weaponry every year since then.

In the end, the critics proved right but Reagan and other SDI-supporters did not prove wrong altogether. Despite the steady flow of huge sums of money that went into the Star Wars program for some considerable time during the Reagan administration, a system effective against the full force of a first strike could never develop, the SDI could never materialize in the way it was originally conceived. It simply did not have adequate time and money that such a gigantic, long-term project required. Regardless, many interesting and useful military innovations emanated out of the research carried out under the umbrella of SDI.

In the decades after Reagan, the program itself was modified and renamed several times to better adapt to the real world. In 1993 the Clinton administration scaled down the SDI considerably and restricted it to ground-based non-nuclear program, while George W Bush again brought focus on it and made it into a strategic priority. In the 2000s, research on space-based weaponry began to thrive once again, not only in the US but at a global level, with Europe, Russia and China actively engaged in the pursuit of military advantage offered by space.

However, owing to the literally outlandish nature of the space wars scenario, feasibility issues continue to dog even the much more realistic present-day descendants and spin-offs of the original Star Wars program. Even in our day as it was back then there are those who believe and proclaim that fantastic results can be achieved if sufficient money and resources are channeled into the developing of space wars technologies, while there are many who remain unconvinced not only of the technical feasibility of these highly advanced futuristic weapon systems, but of the whole rationale behind SDI.  

Space Weaponry

SDI forever changed our notion of outer space

SDI was always premised on a vision of space as a technologised theatre of war. In the hands of a techno-enthusiast like Edward Teller, SDI was configured as a space-based technological extravaganza with few limits. In SDI space became a dynamic arena through which our technologies would move, in which our weapons would be placed, and across which our wars were to be waged. (Mellor 2007)

Space wars is all about very advanced and sophisticated weapon systems. Although Teller favored particle beams as being the most potent space weapon, laser technology has been the key to militarization of space. A laser source essentially produces intense and concentrated light energy that can travel over very long distances. The study of lasers was pioneered in the 1960s and 70s at Lawrence Livermore and other places. Based on the prediction of a new process called stimulated emission by Albert Einstein in 1917, A. Schawlow and C. H. Townes built a device in 1958. Laser devices developed rapidly over the next two decades, providing the backbone for the SDI research of the 1980s and the later years. SDI focused on three kinds of laser systems for both ground-based and space-based weapons. All these three systems use chemicals as lasing mediums hydrogen fluoride (HF), deuterium fluoride (DF) and chemical oxygen iodine (COIL) (Possel, 1998). The excitation of atoms during the chemical reactions powers the energy of the laser. 

In a hydrogen fluoride laser system atomic fluorine reacts with molecular hydrogen and the reaction produces excited hydrogen fluorine molecules that can emit laser beams of wavelength around 2.7 and 2.9 microns. Hydrogen fluoride laser is the most likely candidate to be used for a space-based laser program. This system can be used only above earths atmosphere since an HF laser emitted from ground would be absorbed by the atmosphere. SDIO (Strategic Defense Initiative Office) successfully demonstrated that the megawatt power source needed to induce the HF reaction is workable in the space environment. HF laser system can produce beams of power and quality that match the specifications made in SDIO plan in 1984. SDIO has later turned into BMDO (Ballistic Missile Defense Organization) and continued its research on this system.

Deuterium fluoride laser operates in the same pattern as a hydrogen fluoride laser, with the hydrogen isotope, deuterium, interacting with fluorine atoms. But since deuterium has more atomic mass than hydrogen, the laser beams produced in this reaction are of a longer wavelength, ranging between 3.5 to 4 microns. The longer wavelength creates both an advantage and a disadvantage, the DF laser can be transmitted better through the earths atmosphere, but larger optical surfaces are required to shape and focus the beam. Mirrors and lenses are integral part of any laser system and are essential in intensifying and focusing the laser beams. The Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL), built by TRW Inc., is a prime example of deuterium fluoride laser. In 1996, used in conjunction with the SEALITE Beam Director, a MIRACL system successfully shot down a rocket at the White Sands Missile Range.

The chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) works in a different manner than HF and DF lasers. First a lasing action is produced by the chemical reaction of chlorine and hydrogen peroxide, but the energy of the excited oxygen atoms in this reaction is then passed on to iodine atoms. The excited iodine atoms are responsible for generating a beam at a wavelength of 1.3 microns. This is shorter than that of HF and DF lasers and is advantageous in that it requires much smaller optics than the other lasers. Further, its unique properties allow it to pass through the earths atmosphere with lesser loss than the HF laser. This laser is used in the Airborne Laser aircraft of the US Air Force, which is simply a modified Boeing 747 with a COIL placed in its rear. The unique advantages COIL offers have made it the most promising candidate in the RD work on space-based lasers.

Over the years, many experiments have also been conducted in SDI program to perfect the mirroring equipment used in these laser weapons. Some of these are HPTE (High Precision Tracking Experiment), RME (Relay Mirror Experiment), and LACE (Low-Power Atmospheric Compensation Experiment) which was used to evaluate adaptive optics.

Besides the laser weapons, the SDIO has also given serious consideration to Tellers particle beam weapons. Particle beams are much more destructive than laser beams. In 1989, a neutral particle beam (NPB) accelerator was tested aboard a rocket, which demonstrated that particle beams would operate as expected in space. The problem however lies in powering these particle beam accelerators. Teller advocated the use the detonation of H-bombs to power these weapons, but this was not acceptable to Reagan. So far, however, a suitable alternative power source has not been found. Although even a conventional power station is capable of powering a particle beam weapon, researchers are on the lookout for much more compact power sources that can be easily deployed in space.

Teller also believed in the efficacy of X-ray lasers which would again be powered by H-bombs. The critical advantage of X-ray lasers over chemical or optical lasers is that a nuclear detonation could be used to power numerous laser emitters simultaneously whereas optical lasers are capable of shooting only one missile at a time. Despite this advantage, X-ray laser systems did not feature prominently in SDI research as the nuclear power source posed a fundamental problem. Interestingly though, just days after Reagans Star Wars speech, a test was conducted to assess the feasibility of X-ray lasers. Known as the Cabra event, this underground experiment did not yield satisfactory results. Reagan did not share Tellers enthusiasm for the X-ray lasers but perhaps owing to their spectacular nature, X-ray lasers which can shoot to annihilate their targets in massive explosions caught the public imagination and they were often associated with SDI, albeit wrongly. The X-ray laser program however continued on the sidelines and though a feasible X-ray laser weapon has not been produced, this research proved beneficial in generating many innovations in non-military fields such as medicine and material science.

Both laser beam weapons and particle beam weapons fall under the category of directed-energy weapons and these have been the primary focus of SDI, but the program has also invested in the more conventional mass-to-target weapons such as the Hypervelocity Rail Gun. SDI conducted CHECMATE (Compact High Energy Capacitor Module Advanced Technology Experiment) in order to improve the performance of these guns which fire projectiles onto their targets. These guns are high-tech versions of conventional mortars and can deliver rapid fire as well as multiple firings of up to hundreds of simultaneous shots. SDI also worked on Brilliant Pebbles, a small satellite that can deliver a slew of hyper-kinetic mini-missiles. Brilliant Pebbles is considered one of the major successes of SDI program of the 80s.

All these shooting weapons have to work in coordination with high-precision sensors. SDI carried out numerous sensor experiments that involved visible light as well as ultraviolet, infrared and radio frequencies. At the height of the SDI program in the 1980s sensor capabilities were investigated extensively through systems such as BSTS (Boost Surveillance and Tracking System), SSTS (Space Surveillance and Tracking System), Brilliant Eyes which was used with Brilliant Pebbles, and Delta 183 which used the satellite Delta Star to perform experiments.

The US government also invested in developing planes that can fly directly to space such as X-33 and the highly classified Blackstar spaceplane. These have not succeeded yet so far as public knowledge goes but may have achieved the orbit unknown the media and the public. In a recent interview, one of the authors of the 2007 fiction Space Wars, William B. Scott (2009), affirmed that

some may dispute it, but the Black Star system exists and has flown. Whether it can achieve orbit and wasis used exactly as weve depicted in Space Wars is strictly an educated guess

SDI emerged in the Cold War era with the objective of dealing with the Soviet nuclear threat. Today we live in a very different world where a full-fledged nuclear war is not a very likely scenario, although a terrorist nuclear strike is within the realm of possibility as well as a nuclear assault from North Korea or some other rogue regime. Today we live in the age of the Internet and other sophisticated electronic technologies that are heavily reliant on telecommunication satellites. And although weapons with effective nuclear deterrent capabilities are still being developed, anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons are already a reality.  

Direct Ascent ASATs can launch medium-range ballistic missiles that can directly reach the lower earth orbit (LEO). However, communication satellites usually cruise in the much farther geostationary earth orbit (GEO). Even small air-launched missiles or kill vehicles can hit LEO satellites, but hitting an object in GEO requires much more powerful launch vehicles. Further, making these missiles accurately reach their mark thousands away miles away in space is still a technological challenge. A Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) hit-to-kill interceptor was successfully used by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in 2008 to destroy a derelict US spy satellite in LEO.

LEO satellites can also be damaged or destroyed by ground-based laser beams. It is also possible to direct laser beams from ground stations onto high-altitude aircraft or even to transfer mirrors placed on a satellite which would the redirect the beams toward their targets. Another method of attacking satellites is through co-orbital ASATs. These are microsatellites that could be launched into the same orbital path as the target satellite. Here they can tail the target and inflict damage upon it in several ways through emitting high-powered microwaves, or jamming the radio frequencies, showering tiny bullets, or smashing themselves into their targets. At the speeds with which orbital bodies move around in space, even a relatively minor impact can inflict major damage.

The Present Global Scenario

Today we are witnessing a potential arms race between over a dozen countries as regards space weapons. Along with the US and Russia, China and some European countries too are increasingly turning to space to address their national security needs. Though NASA has been generally spared from miring itself in military projects, ESA (European Space Agency) is at present poised to make contributions to European defense. This is another sign that a vehement space arms competition is rearing its ugly head.

Medium-range ASATs that can affect LEO satellites are possessed by about a dozen nations and more powerful launch vehicles needed to hit GEO satellites are possessed by eight countries. At the very time of writing this, a news item appeared which announced Indias foray into the ASAT club

India, it appears, is now on the verge of entering the rare domain of space wars. Indian scientists at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are working on a weapon system to eliminate enemy satellites operating in low-earth orbits. The move to create this satellite killer appears to have been prompted by a similar anti-satellite test conducted by China in January 2007. 

Chinas employing an ASAT against one of its own satellite in 2007 created waves. It was perceived as a major wakeup call for all space-faring nations, though the US had not been exactly sleeping on this. But it is true that the Chinese experiment and the media coverage it received finally shattered any illusions anyone may have had about space being a sanctuary.

Months before the Chinese test, in September 2006, it was found out that China had been secretly testing its ASATs which could blind or dazzle US satellites. Jeff Kueter, President of George Marshal Institute, considered it a wakeup call and tone of his article (2006) titled The War in Space has Already Begun is very foreboding. Coming in the wake of such shocking revelations, the open Chinese ASAT test of 2007 raised grave concerns for the US, as well as Chinas neighbor and long-time rival India and other countries.

Since the 1991 Gulf War, the US military satellites have played a crucial role in real time in all the various armed conflicts America got involved in. Because satellites and other space assets are seen as keys to American military might, giving it a definitive high-ground advantage, American space assets could be particularly attractive and easy targets for potential aggressors. Since the 1990s the US has entered into the domain of what can be called as high-tech warfare, and it is only natural that the various services rendered by military satellites from intelligence and reconnaissance to communications, positioning and navigation have become integral to the American style of sophisticated warfare. Going beyond the indispensable support role, American space assets have also assumed an active role in that they are integrated with weapon systems while destroying the targets.  But all this increased technological capabilities in and through space means increased vulnerability which has to be reduced by implementing proper defensive steps.

If the Chinese ASAT would ever target an American asset, it would definitely become a new Pearl Harbor. The Third World War would most probably be fought with space weapons, or at least satellites and space weapons would feature prominently in the global battlefield should another world war ever occur. In order to be prepared to face any eventuality of unprovoked aggression, the US has to take every care not to neglect aspects of warfare that are associated with outer space. Being the worlds top superpower currently, it is imperative that the US military establishment secure its dominance in arena of space of too. At the same time Russia and China are acting as heavy counterweights to the US, eagerly allocating more and more resources to exploit the military utility of space.

This situation has prevailed for the better part of this decade, although it intensified only in the last couple of years. All this time, the US has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to use space for military purposes in order to stay ahead of the race. The DODs space policy clearly states that

Space is a medium like the land, sea and air within which military activities shall be conducted to achieve U.S. national security objectives.

Ensuring the freedom of Space and protecting U.S. national security interests in the medium are priorities for Space and Space-related activities.

For many years now, the US Air Force (USAF) has a space directorate which is in charge of two space squadrons, the 76th Space Control Squadron and the 527th Space Aggression Squadron. The space force component of the US military falls under the overall control of United States Space Command.

In 2002, the US Administration released a national security policy paper which stressed on the need for innovation within the armed forces and experimentation with novel concepts in warfare. To maintain technology supremacy, the paper states, it is necessary to dominate the space dimension of military operations. This effort encompasses the ability to defend the homeland, conduct information operations, ensure U.S. access to distant theaters, and protect critical U.S. infrastructure and assets in outer space.

In 2002, the US also withdrew from the ABM treaty, thereby eliminating any legal obstacles impeding US research on space-based devices that are critical to its National Missile Defense program.

In 2006, President Bush authorized a new national space policy that attributes key priority to space in US military operations. This now unclassified policy document affirms The United States considers space capabilities  including the ground and space segments and supporting links  vital to its national interests. (OSTP, 2006) One worrying aspect of the declarations made in this policy is that the US government explicitly opposes the emergence of any legal regimes which may impair the rights of the US to conduct activities in space for U.S. national interests.  But if the US is so blatantly antagonistic to any possible agreements to place control and restrictions on arms buildup, it is clear that Russia, China and other nations will follow suit, and the space frontier could become the new Wild West.

The space-technology rivalry among the space powers is very much escalating. In 2000, China unveiled a bold and ambitious 10-year space program which is, among other things, geared to foster the improvement of military space systems. As the world moves into the second decade of the twenty first century, rapid technological developments are making advanced space weapons accessible to several countries. The effectiveness of such weapons is being rapidly enhanced.

A 1995 USAF report entitled New World Vistas Air and Space Power for the 21st Century famously predicted that in the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict. The word fielding in this context means countries getting these advanced weapons into their possession, either through purchase or indigenous development. We have seen this happening for so many years now. Karl Grossman who publicized the above-quoted statement in his 1999 UN address made a passionate comment on it saying, The arming of the heavens is what we faceunless we stop it now. Ten years on, we can see that this arming of heavens has gone unimpeded, causing dismay to many people concerned about the future of civilization and humanity.

While Chinas rapid rise as space power is a cause for concern to many, an even bigger phenomenon is the straining of ties between Moscow and Washington in the recent years. Only days after the Chinese ASAT test of January 2007, the Czech Government offered a military site to harbor the Pentagons missile shield system. Perceiving this as a threat, Russia vowed to bolster its intercontinental missile arsenal. In February 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a vehement attack on US foreign policies at an international security conference. He bitterly denounced the overweening role the US is playing on the world stage. He went so far as to say that the US has overstepped its borders in all spheres, bringing war, ruin and destruction to the world.
In May 2007, Russia successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile  the RS-24  which it claimed can penetrate American missile defenses, those already in place as well as those of the future.  One can see in these developments a recrudescence of the Cold War rhetoric and a Cold War-style arms race. Furthermore, Sino-Russian cooperation has been on rise in the recent years and it is not difficult to notice a trend toward polarization of the world, resembling that of the Cold War period.

Outer space has been steadily growing in prominence from a general military and strategic perspective in the past 20 years of the post-Cold War world. We are already witnessing the signs of a new arms race which can severely disrupt global stability and undermine prospects for international security in the coming decades. The perplexing challenge of our times is that while undeniably there is a need to put in place adequate defensive mechanisms at a national level, at the wider global level the US has the responsibility to see that peace prevails and commerce thrives so as to ensure a better world for the future generations.

Efforts toward Peace

The age of space warfare is about to dawn on mankind but there is a deplorable absence of international norms that can restrict the deployment of weapons in outer space. However, as long as the US remains averse to the formulation of any international agreements concerning the restriction of space weapons, much headway cannot be made in filling the serious legal deficit that exists in this sphere. Certainly no one wants a wild proliferation of space arms, but if no country is stepping forward to make sacrifices in this direction the world order is bound to be stuck in an impasse. Only the US can and should take the lead in the attempt to curb proliferation of space weapons, by showing willingness to make certain sacrifices of its own.

A heartening aspect to this rather worrisome state of affairs is that the space powers, including the US and China, have time and again expressed a commitment to peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of all humanity. There is an obvious dichotomy between the commitments to peaceful and military uses of space, but hope for mankind ultimately rests on the former superseding the latter. In theory it is possible to place binding limits on the extent of the implementation of space technologies without unduly jeopardizing the economic and strategic interests of the individual states involved. But this can be achieved only in a situation of international cooperation and dialogue. It is of vital importance to the future survival of human race to develop a fair and practicable space law regime which can stay ahead of space warfare technologies.

An international consensus has to be forged with regard to the use of space weapons, under the aegis of the UN.  But since the concerned nations do not seem to make any moves on their own toward assuring peace, the only way to get them do it would be to bring pressure upon them through a rising tide of public opinion. The dangers of arms race in outer space should be widely promulgated through public forums and media. However, unfortunately, since much of the work on space weapons happens secretively there is very little public awareness regarding the deadly menace posed by space warfare and its imminent reality. This situation can be ameliorated though if a good number of scientists and concerned authorities come out on their own initiative to educate the public about some of the dangers looming on the horizon as far as space warfare is concerned.

It is in everyones interests to see that communications and other services rendered by satellites are not disrupted thereby causing not just inconveniences but chaos in the society. A majority of telecommunication satellites as well as a number of other meteorological, broadcasting, and remote sensing satellites move in GEO, whereas current ASAT capabilities are by and large limited to targeting LEO objects. However, future research can easily render the GEO bodies as vulnerable as LEO bodies are today. While satellite hits could be tempting to any nation or group that is in possession of ASATs, we must be aware that even an isolated attack on a single satellite could soon flare up into the Third World War. The stakes are indeed very high.

Even if a skirmish in the outer space were to be contained by means of diplomacy and negotiation, it would have already done a huge damage. In fact, the Chinese ASAT test itself has ended up in creating some considerable mess up there. Space debris is becoming a pestilential problem in the orbital space of the planet, and the ASAT tests would only add to the junk already floating around earth, gravely jeopardizing all satellites, the International Space Station and other scientific space expeditions. It is true that the space around earth is a very vast place, but at the same time even a tiny metal sliver can become a powerful bullet just by virtue of its extraordinary velocity and can rip things apart on impact with an orbiting functional body. And if such a collision were to happen at a sensitive spot, the entire orbiting body can be rendered dysfunctional.  We must also remember that unlike on earth, it is very difficult or simply impossible to repair any damage done to an orbiting body.

Even one war in space will create a battlefield that will last forever, encasing the entire planet in a shell of whizzing debris that will thereafter make space near the earth highly hazardous for peaceful as well as military purposes.

The future of humanity is greatly dependent upon the knowledge we gain and the possibilities we create through space exploration. However, the increasing presence of nasty space debris is going to make LEO unusable. America has so far pioneered human space exploration, it would be very ironical if our nation has to become responsible for seriously hampering scientific space endeavors in the future. 

The United States is facing a set of tough choices on the one hand there is a need to step up space wars research and development in order to stay considerably ahead of the competition from potential enemies, on the other hand being the worlds dominant super power it is its responsibility to ensure that the future generations do not inherit a war-ravaged or post-apocalyptic world. This situation is somewhat similar to the one that prevailed during the Cold War times too, but today we live in a vastly more complex and dynamic world, and unless the powers of the world make wise choices we may not see fortune favoring us in the way it did during the long Cold War decades. The world emerged out of the Cold War relatively unscathed, but it would be the height of folly to again leave the issue of survival of human race to pure chance. The need of the hour is a rigorous and effective space law.  The reality and scope of a war in space makes harmony and understanding among the nations all the more needed. If we dillydally now on efforts to ensure global peace, we may one day soon find the planet earth knocked out of its orbit or simply reduced to space debris.