From Forrest Landry’s essay:

Did you know that if we Earthlings did set up a colony on Mars, that the two cultures would eventually diverge over time simply because of communication constraints?

This means that it is also the case that the technological development paths of the two planets will eventually diverge significantly too.

This divergence would eventually reach a point where each planet, cannot ever actually truly track which types of weapons of mass destruction that 'the other world' could potentially have developed and use against their own world.

They each would not know about the other, what specific forms of the total harm that the other could likely cause. They could only know that each had the full capability, at any moment, without any warning, and with no possible defence, to completely and utterly destroy their own world (total ecocide).

This inevitably leads to an unstable 'assured destruction' situation. One or the other of those planets will for sure take the '1st strike advantage' and thus totally annihilate the other.

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The maximum distance between Earth and Mars is only 22 light minutes, so any new public technology will be known by the other planet within around 22 minutes, and any secret technology will be known within the time it takes a spy to find it (same as on Earth) + 22 minutes. I don't see a 22 minute technology gap causing the problems the article claims.

Turned off at the start with "did you know that" followed by a prediction which is, on the face of it, wrong.  Bozo bit was not un-set with the "simply because of communication constraints" reasoning - this won't be simple, and communication constraints can be, at most, a contributing factor not the primary cause.

And it didn't get better with more (misleading or simply wrong) words about how it might play out.  It's not even interestingly wrong - most of these concerns apply today at the political-unit level, when communication technology and ease-of-travel is pretty darned good.

Planetary defense is simpler than a planetary attack as a fleet of weapons approaching a planet will be visible in advance. As a result, there is no first strike advantage in interplanetary war. 

At least, assuming current technologies with nuclear missiles. Maybe near-light-speed kinetic weapons will be unstoppable as well as directed explosions of multigigatone nukes. 

Nanotech also favors defenders as the whole surface will be covered with nanobots and secret replication is impossible.

You don't need a fleet of spaceships. One spaceship could throw thousands of nukes from distance (like meteorites) so that they all reach different parts of the planet at the same time. Add thousands of decoys; the defenders will not be able to shoot down all of that.

If the attack is against Earth, you could instead throw thousands of capsules containing highly contagious deadly airborne virus, releasing the virus in the atmosphere.

Or both. Throw the virus first, the nukes two days later. People will bring the deadly virus to nuclear shelters.

I still think that space attack is taking longer time - than missile attack during a nuclear war on Earth, and thus anti-ballistic missile systems of the future will be even more effective in its stopping; including space lasers. Incoming spaceship will be visible for days or even months.

Therefore, the only winning strategy is to make the attack spaceship either invisible or moving with very high speed. It is contradictory requirements as getting the spaceship to the high speed requires a lot of energy (or time if gravitational maneuvers are used). 

However, planetary defense is simpler than planetary attack as a fleet of weapons approaching a planet will be visible in advance. As a result, there is no first strike advantage in interplanetary war.

At least, assuming current technologies with nuclear missiles. Maybe near-light speed kinetic weapons will be unstoppable as well as directed explosions of multigigatone nukes. 

Nanotech also favors defenders as the whole surface will be covered with nanobots and secret replication is impossible.