Moon Mastery: National Security Problems.
In a previous article, we discussed macroeconomic change from moon mining. Here, we want to talk about the changes in military advantage with lunar technology. We’ll be focusing on 3 countries, being the USA, China, and Japan and what they stand to lose or gain.
Now, to get to the moon and sustain a mining base there, you need to master the skies. You need to have powerful satellite technology, anchoring yourself between the earth and moon. The satellite technology is going to involve large bases that regulate mining transportation.
Of course, if you can keep a floating base 100,000s of KMs in air for mining, then you can keep weapons there too. Thus, expect for missile satellite missile technology to be widespread then.
Reaching the moon enables you to place those missile bases there too! Instead of just having to keep them in air, wasting a lot of fuel, why not build a lunar base? Why not put MACH-20 missile on the moon too?
Yes, MACH-20 missiles (20 times the speed of sound) do exist (1)…
The distance between the moon and earth is 384,400 KM. If you would fire a MACH-20 missile from moon to earth, it would take 15 minutes for it to hit target.
That’s not bad at all, especially if you’re aiming for enemy satellites during a war…
And satellites as we all know aren’t just about missile firing. Satellites are sources of geographical intelligence. Not having satellites to monitor enemy movement is akin to blindness today…
The Threat to the US: Loss of Territorial Advantage.
The USA is the world’s current superpower. It’s the world policeman in layman’s terms, having a bit geographical advantage for help.
That advantage would be the surrounding 2 oceans. The USA is surrounded by the Atlantic to the East and Pacific to the West. This makes it extremely hard for foreign militaries to attack the US, without exhaustion.
Thus, the only way to threaten the US is through air and space. If you can master the sky, the US will see you as threat. This threat source applies also to the moon.
If other countries establish lunar bases first, the US will be in a serious problem. This could effectively render any satellite technology for the US useless. The first military to reach the moon has a great military advantage in aerial and space combat.
Thus, the US is going to struggle a lot from space pressure when conducting foreign policy.
Besides space pressure, there’s also the problem of the ocean borders. You see, the USA is currently the controller of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. With the Pacific, control is necessary to guard itself against Chinese or Japanese expansions.
If either China or Japan get to the moon 1st, the USA might struggle to keep control of the Pacific. This is naturally dangerous for its ambitions as a world superpower…
Chinese Space Ambitions: Control of the Pacific Ocean and Indian
A lot of those well-read on space laws will cite the Moon Treaty at this point. The Moon Treaty in a layman’s terms claims that any space object belongs to humanity as a whole. The moon is usually included here.
Of course, this treaty has been ratified many times, with China joining the fold. China in fact has a lot to gain from landing on the moon beyond Helium-3 energy. The moon could be its leverage point for developing anti-satellite technology (2). This is a first step push towards owning the Pacific.
The US obviously isn’t staying silent on this. The previous source shows that there are coordination efforts between US and Chinese space programs to avoid conflict.
Regardless, this doesn’t deny the existence of a competition…
China does need any military advantage it could get for a Pacific expansion. It also has a desire to gain control of the Indian Ocean, for economic reasons.
Gaining control of both gives China control over Taiwan (4). Control of the Pacific means the US can’t interfere with Taiwanese interests.
The Harm Coming to Japan…
Then there’s Japan. Leverage over Japan is possible through both seas…
Control of the Indian Ocean allows China to control the oil import routes to all West Asia. This could put Japan in a tight spot, where China could break Japan’s economy with an oil route block.
China could basically control Japan’s oil supply. This is dangerous for Japan, where in 2012, 83% of its oil came from the Middle East (3). Most of that oil gets transported through the Indian Ocean.
China on the moon means the US or Japan cannot block Chinese expansions. Japan cannot stop the pressure with its own satellite technology. The US could find itself in a dangerous position if it cannot control the moon.
Shame that no one’s operating by the Moon Treaty anymore, right?
You Can Also Put Nukes on the Moon Too.
That is a possibility. After all, you’re not heading 384,000 KM into space to setup grenade launchers…
The moon can actually act as a safe base to help non-nuclear countries expand their nuke arsenal. The US did try doing that before, so why wouldn’t Japan and China too? (5).
Japan would definitely benefit from acquiring a nuke program…
Gaining economic benefits from the moon is not going to be easy. Our nations will be greatly shaped by the ability to capitalize on the moon’s resources. This include conflict over moon territory, and the race there.
The US has a lot to lose with its superpower position if others take over the moon. Japan could be pressured to be a satellite economy for Chinese interests. China, a country with a resource shortage, has the most to gain from moon expeditions.
Major energy producing nations will drown from moon mining. The political landscape of earth can drastically change with a true lunar race.
Of course, getting to the moon has to be civil for the most constructive results. While there will be a race, we hope it won’t be bloody. The bloody consequences after all aren’t going to be fought on the moon. They’ll have to be fought here on earth…
Hope you have enjoyed this five part series on future Moon exploration and potential please comment and feedback.