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Operation Lunar Freedom

Greg Scoblete warns against abandoning the solar system to our enemies:

Newt Gingrich’s pledge to build a permanent U.S. base on the moon has come in for a lot of mockery and criticism, but most of it strikes me as extremely naive.

If the U.S. retreats from the moon, it will leave a dangerous vacuum that will inevitably be filled by powers that are indifferent, if not hostile to our interests and values. Without a stabilizing lunar presence, Iranian influence would no doubt expand (I needn’t remind you of the dangers of Iran’s lunar ambitions or the incipient celestial Shia crescent). Our failure to stand by the moon would also send a damaging message to other planets that the U.S. is not willing to see through the commitments made by earlier administrations. Mars, Venus, Jupiter would all start hedging their bets.

Don’t forget the vital interplanetary shipping lanes that would become vulnerable in the absence of a “forward-leaning” American lunar policy. The U.S. should also make clear that it is not going to tolerate any spheres of influence in the celestial sphere. If America declines and turns away from its national mission to bring freedom to the moon, we will see a solar system dominated by Russia or China.

Unfortunately, we are almost at a point where arguments U.S. hegemony are as far removed from securing the national interest as Gingrich’s idea of a lunar colony is from reality.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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