I may say something about this at greater length later, but time grows short so for now let me simply note that the Bush administration today’s signed a policy committing the United States to unilateral hegemony over outer space. This seems like a fairly peripheral concern at the moment — there’s no pressing space-based threat. At the same time, one imagines that countries like Russia and China aren’t going to be thrilled with this idea. Coincidentally enough, right now we’re trying to secure a higher level of Russian and Chinese cooperation over North Korea, which is a fairly pressing issue. So was it really necessary to announce this just now? Does the White House even think about that kind of stuff — the idea that we should set priorities and try to avoid pissing people off over third-tier issues right when we’re potentially on the verge of accomplishing something important?