The US administration is attempting to militarise space in violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty

Summary

The US administration, by creating the US Space Command and planning to create a Space Force (a sixth branch of the military), is attempting to militarize outer space in violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty,  which prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons in space and on celestial bodies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that US policies endanger world peace, violate international arms  control agreements and seek global domination.

The US Space Command and US plans for creating a Space Force are not “an attempt to militarise space”, since space is already a competitive and militarised domain, and it has been since the start of the space age six decades ago. For example, Russia has created an integrated Aerospace Force, tasked with missions including detecting and “meeting” threats from space. China’s 2015 military strategy referred to outer space as part of the new “commanding heights in strategic competition”.  Moreover, Both China and Russia are developing and deploying anti-satellite weapons targeted on US satellites which provide the information backbone of US military operations on earth.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits placing nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in space or celestial bodies. Also forbidden are the placing of military bases, weapons testing and military maneuvers on celestial bodies. The Outer Space Treaty does not ban military activities within space, military space forces, or the weaponisation of space, with the exception of the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space.

The creation of the US Space Command does not violate these Treaty provisions. There is no evidence that US plans to establish a Space Force contemplate the above-mentioned violations of the Treaty.

The main goal of establishing a Space Force is to  further centralise and elevate the responsibility to recruit, train and equip military personnel to protect American satellites from the increasing threat of Russian and Chinese anti-satellite weapons.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: US
  • Keywords: Military, Nuclear issues
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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