Friday, March 6, 2009

ITAR - The Noose Around America's Private Space Program

http://www.newsweek.com/id/182544

The article above covers the details. It boils down to this: How can you possible expect the United States to prosper, grow and cooperate with the international space effort if we are so ridiculously hamstrung by ITAR, especially with respect to commercial satellites?

The paranoia of America is asinine. Look, if we can't track what we sell, then what the hell are we doing anything for then? It's not THAT hard to track what you sell and whom you sell it too. ITAR is killing our competitive edge.

We are losing BILLIONS of dollars in business with other peaceful nations we're supposed to "trust" because we can't sell anything to them. Ooh. It may end up in the hands of the bad guys. WAKE UP! The bad guys are going to get advanced technology from somewhere, no matter what. Trust, but verify. Open the market, let the trade flow, and keep your eyes open.

As the article states, "In 1998, the year before ITAR took effect, U.S. firms accounted for 73 percent of the world market. Two years later U.S. market share had plunged to 27 percent." Nice way to kill the economy. It's things like this, piled up over time, that have destroyed the American economy. We are the technological leader in the world. We should be profiting on that effort via international trade.

ITAR serves a purpose for military grade technology related to weapons. You don't want advanced military technology getting into the wrong hands, so that is understandable and responsible. But to inflate ITAR to include commercial satellites and private space exports is idiotic. Period.

You want a way to boost the economy real fast and for the long term? Tell your Congressional Representatives to deflate ITAR and have it focus on what it should, and not over reach its arms into the private commercial space industry. There's a hundred billion dollars back into our economy. Not bad.

1 comment:

Monsal Varga said...

Man! You're kinda of touching the points my novel is going to deal with! But I cannot tell anyone right now, otherwise it will ruin the expectations I'm trying to create.

But this ITAR thing will have a crucial part in shapping the "whys" and "whos" in my story.

And I agree with you 100%: ITAR is not helping the USA at all. But - hey! - I'm on one of the sides that is profiting on this (Europe) ;)