Jeffrey Richelson has written the first comprehensive history of this vital program, tracing its evolution from the late 1950s to the present. He puts Defense Support Program operations in the context of world events--from Russian missile programs to the Gulf War--and explains how DSP's infrared sensors are used to detect meteorites, monitor forest fires, and even gather industrial intelligence by "seeing" the lights of steel mills. These satellites, reveals Richelson, detected Iran's test firing of a new missile in 1998 and even provided clues to the cause of the TWA 800 disaster.
Drawing on many previously classified documents and on interviews with key participants, Richelson provides a wealth of new information: the use of DSP for detecting intermediate-range missiles, false alarms generated following the attempted assassination of President Reagan, the controversial U.S.-Australian DSP partnership, and the role of DSP in Desert Storm. He describes the Slow Walker and Fast Walker programs used to detect aircraft for the U.S. Navy and spacecraft for the Air Force Space Command. And he offers insights into the controversey over what kind of system will eventually replace DSP.
No other book covers the story of these eyes in the
sky in such absorbing detail. America's Space Sentinels is a groundbreaking
account of a little-known program that has well served our defense needs
and continues to keep a steadying watch on the world. It enhances our understanding
of America's strategic position during the Cold War and the program's capacity
to respond to missile conflicts in the next century.
"A fascinating report on a little-known type of military satellite that
still has a vitally important ongoing mission to deter ballistic missile
attacks by 'rogue states' against the United States and its allies."
--Philip J. Klass, author of Secret Sentries in Space and former senior editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology
"A very significant contribution in the field of intelligence studies
that should attract a diverse readership among persons interested in Cold
War and diplomatic history, national security issues, and the aerospace
--John Prados, author of Presidents' Secret Wars
"The definitive account, providing extraordinary details of the satellites
and their ground control systems, as well as the bureaucratic politics
that have shaped the development of the system."
--Desmond Ball, author of The Transformation of Security of the Asia-Pacific Region
"Richelson knows more about these satellites than anyone outside the
U.S. government--and probably more than most inside the U.S. intelligence
community as well."
--Robert Windrem, NBC Nightly News
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