Why the United States Should Begin Working Towards Space Arms Control

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

SWF Washington Office Director Ms. Victoria Samson and Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden have published a new article in the December edition of Arms Control Today arguing that it is time for the United States to return to its historical role and propose additional legally binding measures to enhance the security and stability of space, including space arms control, as part of a more holistic approach that includes voluntary measures as well.

The article discusses the current threats to space security and stability, including the proliferation of counterspace capabilities and the increase in anti-satellite testing, and why addressing them is critical for U.S. national security. The article then examines several recent voluntary and legally-binding multilateral efforts and why they failed to fully address these security challenges. Finally, the article discusses the major issues that will need to be resolved to enable a future legally-binding agreements, such as verification, equitability, and ensuring that such measures enhance U.S. security. Ms. Samson and Dr. Weeden argue that while resolving these issues will require significant time and investment, the United States should start laying the groundwork now to help ensure safety, stability, and security of outer space for the future.

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Last updated on December 4, 2020