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The Eisenhower Administration's Road to Space Militarization

Pindjak, Peter (2011) The Eisenhower Administration's Road to Space Militarization. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The thesis examines the Eisenhower administration's decisions to use space for intelligence and military purposes. The first two chapters cover historical developments spanning the period from 1945 to 1952 as well as the first two years of the Eisenhower presidency (1953-1954). The third chapter provides a detailed analysis of U.S. space policies from 1955 to 1961. In particular, Chapter III takes a close look at the U.S. military space program as well as the prospect for space arms control. Organized chronologically, the thesis draws on publicly available documents, including declassified documents deposited at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas. By examining significant National Security Council (NSC) documents, including reports and meeting notes, the thesis presents an argument that since the very beginning, U.S. space policy included a provision for intelligence and military applications of satellites as a matter of national security. Throughout the Eisenhower presidency, the concept of "peaceful" use of outer space, which did not preclude satellites from having certain military applications, was never questioned at the NSC.The thesis concludes that space militarization could have hardly been avoided. While the Eisenhower administration initiated a space arms control debate in early 1957, the Soviet Union gradually tied the issue of space arms control to other military issues, including nuclear disarmament and the elimination of military bases on foreign territories, which turned out entirely unacceptable to the United States.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGormley, Dennis
Committee MemberMorgan, Forrest
Committee MemberWilliams, Phil
Committee MemberDunn, William
Date: 28 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 April 2011
Approval Date: 28 June 2011
Submission Date: 27 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: MPA - Master of Public Administration
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: GRAB; intelligence; reconnaissance; space; space militarization; WS-117L; COPUOS; Eisenhower
Other ID:, etd-04272011-103619
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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