Aaron Bateman

Headshot of Aaron Bateman

Aaron Bateman

Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs

Full-time Faculty


Email: Aaron Bateman
1957 E St. NW, Office #403G Washington, D.C. 20052

Aaron Bateman is an assistant professor of history and international affairs. His research explores questions that lie at the intersection of technology and international security during the Cold War. His work draws from archival collections in the United States, Western Europe, and the former Soviet Union. He has published in the fields of international relations, diplomatic history, intelligence studies, and history of technology. 

His first book, Weapons in Space: Technology, Politics, and the Rise and Fall of the Strategic Defense Initiative, investigates the origins, evolution, and enduring consequences of Ronald Reagan’s controversial missile defense program. He details the impact of the Strategic Defense Initiative on U.S. relations with Western Europe and the Soviet Union as well as the superpower arms control negotiations in the 1980s and early 1990s. His new book project explores the interplay of telecommunications and American national security strategy in the second half of the twentieth century. It focuses on how the Cold War shaped the development and evolution of global U.S. information networks for command and control of conventional and nuclear forces. 

Aaron’s work has been published in Foreign Affairs, the Journal of Strategic Studies Diplomacy & StatecraftIntelligence and National Security, the Oxford Handbook of Space Security, the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterintelligenceScience & Diplomacy, the Journal of Slavic Military Studies, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Physics Today, and War on the Rocks

Prior to graduate school, Aaron served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with assignments at the National Security Agency and the Pentagon. He has completed multiple intensive Russian- language courses in the United States and the Russian Federation.  

  • ​​​​​Cold War 
  • History of Science and Technology

  • Diplomatic History

  • Strategic Studies

PhD, Johns Hopkins University 

MA, Saint Mary’s University

BA, Saint Joseph’s University

Certificate in Russian Language, Kazan Federal University (Russian Federation)

HIST 2001/IAFF 3190 Science, Technology, & Espionage

HIST 2001/IAFF 3190 Outer Space and International Security 

HIST 6001/IAFF 6158 Science, Technology, and Global Statecraft (graduate students only)


Weapons in Space: Technology, Politics, and the Rise and Fall of the Strategic Defense Initiative (MIT Press, 2024)

Peer Reviewed Articles (selected)

“Information security in the space age: Britain’s Skynet satellite communications program and the evolution of modern command and control networks,” Journal of Strategic Studies (2024), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01402390.2023.2265072

“Secret Partners: The National Reconnaissance Office and the Intelligence-Industrial-Academic Complex,” Intelligence and National Security (2023), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02684527.2023.2219013

“Trust but Verify: Satellite Reconnaissance, Secrecy, and Arms Control during the Cold War,” Journal of Strategic Studies (2023), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01402390.2022.2161522?journalCode=fjss20

“Keeping the Technological Edge: The Space Arms Race and Anglo-American Relations in the 1980s,” Diplomacy & Statecraft (2022), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09592296.2022.2062130?journalCode=fdps20

 “Mutually Assured Surveillance at Risk: Anti-Satellite Weapons and Cold War Arms Control,” Journal of Strategic Studies (2022), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01402390.2021.2019022?journalCode=fjss20

“Intelligence and Alliance Politics: America, Britain, and the Strategic Defense Initiative,” Intelligence and National Security (2021), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02684527.2021.1946958?journalCode=fint20

Commentary (selected)

“Why Russia Might Put a Nuclear Weapon in Space, Foreign Affairs, 7 March, 2024, Foreign Affairs, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/why-russia-might-put-nuclear-weapon-space

 “Anti-Satellite Weapons are Creating Space Hazards. Here's a Way to Limit the Damage,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 21 January 2022, https://thebulletin.org/2022/01/anti-satellite-weapons-are-creating-space-hazards-heres-a-way-to-limit-the-damage/