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Space Warfare and Defense: A Historical Encyclopedia and Research Guide.

Space Warfare and Defense: A Historical Encyclopedia and Research Guide by Bert Chapman. ABC-CLIO ( .com), P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, California 93116-1911, 2008, 403 pages, $95.00 (hardcover), ISBN 978-1-59884-006-3.

Space Warfare and Defense covers a range of topics, from Project Corona to the Brilliant Pebbles Program to a listing of the most recent published literature on the military use of space. Asst. Prof. Bert Chapman, a government information librarian at Purdue University, deserves commendation for authoring this impressive work, which fills a gap in space-warfare scholarship. This significant and comprehensive treatise provides layman and expert alike a voluminous amount of data, both historical and contemporary, on space weapons and their development.

The book's 10 chapters are divided into two parts, the first beginning with a chronology of momentous dates in the history of space warfare. This leads to in-depth coverage of US military space policy through key space programs and weapons development from the Eisenhower to the Bush administrations. Also included is a little-known and surprising plan proposed by the US Army for establishing a moon base by 1966. Additionally, this part enlightens readers on US military space programs and the development of space weapons, from the Manned Orbiting Laboratory of the 1960s to the present YAL 1A Laser Project. Each particular data entry commences with the historical background of each system or program and concludes with remarks on its current status.

The author then delves into the space weapons programs of Russia, China, and the European nations, tracing the programs' roots from the post-World War II period through the Cold War to the present day. The final chapter of part 1 tackles some of the international and US laws on space such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Communications Satellite Act, and the Moon Treaty, among others.

The second part constitutes another gem, offering an overview of various US Department of Defense agencies, think tanks, and foreign research institutions concerned with space warfare. It covers their activities, latest publications, and online addresses.

Well written and researched, Space Warfare and Defense is supported by a number of photographs and supplemented by a 17-page glossary. Each chapter provides a list of further reading and online references on the subject. The book will serve as a valuable primary resource for researchers, space enthusiasts, policy makers, employees of space agencies, officers either currently on staff with space commands or NASA or awaiting assignment, and individuals seeking information about the relationship of space to national security.

Cdr Mark R. Condeno, Philippine Coast Guard

Palawan/Manila, Philippines

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Author:Condeno, Mark R.
Publication:Air & Space Power Journal
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2010
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