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Outer Space

Outer Space: Weapons, Diplomacy, and Security

ALEXEI ARBATOV
VLADIMIR DVORKIN
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpj66
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  • Book Info
    Outer Space
    Book Description:

    In this era of globalization, the world is facing a host of challenging security problems -from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to international terrorism to accelerating climate change to energy security -that cannot be resolved unilaterally, especially through the unilateral use of military force. One key issue that requires urgent global attention is literally "out of this world": the military use of outer space.

    This collection of essays by leading Russian experts analyzes the current military use of outer space. The book describes the space weapons programs of various countries. It details the history of negotiations to prevent, or at least control, the weaponization of space, including analyses of the political, military, technical, and legal problems facing negotiators trying to avoid a catastrophic new space race.

    eISBN: 978-0-87003-342-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Jessica T. Mathews

    In the fifty years since the United States and Russia raced to launch the first weapons into outer space, the military, commercial, and scientific development of space has advanced at a rapid pace. While space has not transformed—yet—into a new field for armed conflict, its potential for militarization makes cooperation between nations an urgent global priority.

    InOuter Space: Weapons, Diplomacy, and Security, editors Alexei Arbatov and Vladimir Dvorkin—along with other Russian researchers from the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program—explore the strategic implications of space weapons from the Russian point of view. What is the possibility...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  7. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
    ALEXEI ARBATOV and VLADIMIR DVORKIN

    The militarization of outer space, the problems and prospects of preventing the proliferation of space weapons, and the prohibition of the use of force in and from space are not new issues, but they are more relevant than ever. More than 125 countries are currently involved in various space activities. Russia and the United States are the leaders, with France, China, Japan, Germany, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain each playing an active role. Certain newly industrialized nations (India, Pakistan, Argentina, and Egypt) are also steadily becoming more involved. At least 40 of these countries rely to one degree...

  8. PART 1: Civilian And Military Activities In Outer Space

    • 01 FEATURES OF THE OUTER SPACE ENVIRONMENT
      (pp. 2-15)
      PETR TOPYCHKANOV

      Outer space is understood as everything beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The Greek word “cosmos” is synonymous with the astronomic definition of the concept of universe. Outer space may be subdivided into near-Earth, interplanetary, and interstellar (meta-galactic) space, commonly also known as near, outer, and open space.¹ As outer space is a unique environment, it cannot be studied or utilized without first understanding its features and properties.

      The boundary between the atmosphere and outer space should lie at altitudes of 100 kilometers above sea level, as recommended by the International Aeronautical Federation at its 1960 conference in Barcelona, Spain. However, these...

    • 02 THE PEACEFUL AND MILITARY DEVELOPMENT OF SPACE: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 16-29)
      VALERY BABINTSEV

      Practical space activity is said to have begun on October 4, 1957, with the Soviet Union’s launch of the world’s first artificial earth satellite from its Baikonur Space Center, an event preceded by many years of research by teams of scientists and engineers headed by Sergey P. Korolev and Mikhail K. Tikhonravov.

      Back in early 1945, Tikhonravov assembled a group of Rocket Propulsion Research Institute experts to develop the design of a manned high-altitude rocket-propelled vehicle (carrying a capsule with two cosmonauts) for conducting upper-atmosphere research. It was decided that the project would be based on the use of a...

    • 03 SPACE WEAPONS PROGRAMS
      (pp. 30-46)
      VLADIMIR DVORKIN

      The missions and major phases of development of military and dual-use orbital support systems were described in detail in the preceding chapter. A description of space weapons development (foremost in the United States and Russia) follows below, in particular, strike systems using various basing modes and designed against spacecraft and targets in different other environments. Their development and deployment remains in various stages of implementation. If activated and pursued, they could in the foreseeable future trigger both symmetric and asymmetric countermeasures, including a buildup of strategic offensive arms that could destabilize the global political and military environment.

      In general, space...

  9. PART 2: Negotiations and Legal Regulations Governing Outer Space

    • 04 NON-WEAPONIZATION OF OUTER SPACE: LESSONS FROM NEGOTIATIONS
      (pp. 48-67)
      VIKTOR MIZIN

      In the aftermath of the successful launch of the first satellite in 1957, the Soviet leadership strove to offset a potential U.S. quest for military superiority by continuing to develop new types of military space assets in the strictest secrecy while pursuing political and diplomatic efforts in favor of the “peaceful use of outer space.” Within the framework of the campaign for “general and complete disarmament,” Moscow consistently supported the non-weaponization of outer space and advanced numerous initiatives, both at international forums and in the context of bilateral relations, advocating international legal recognition of outer space as an area free...

    • 05 CODES OF CONDUCT FOR OUTER SPACE
      (pp. 68-77)
      SERGEY OZNOBISHCHEV

      Since the beginning of the space age, the world community has developed much of the diplomatic and legal foundation for preventing an arms race in space and ensuring the security of civilian and military spacecraft and activities there. However, international diplomacy has failed to build on these accomplishments during the past decade.

      Despite its stated goal of establishing relations based on partnership, the George W. Bush administration did all it could to avoid finalizing any formal security agreements with Russia, particularly in the field of space activity—a field in which the United States had traditionally maintained a free hand...

    • 06 PREVENTING AN ARMS RACE IN SPACE
      (pp. 78-102)
      ALEXEI ARBATOV

      The enormous complexity of banning or limiting weapons in space through legal means is evident from the experience of negotiations conducted to prohibit such weaponry. Despite the Cold War ending two decades ago, the current political, military/strategic, and legal environment for such negotiations and agreements is even less favorable, for a number of reasons.

      First, the near total dismantlement of the system of international disarmament treaties, from the United States’ failure to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to its decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty at the beginning of the current decade, has adversely affected the...

  10. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 103-110)
    ALEXEI ARBATOV and VLADIMIR DVORKIN

    Humans have spent over a century mastering aviation and millennia securing the land and seas. But they have had access to outer space for only half a century, making it the newest arena for human endeavor. With physical properties that differ qualitatively from those of traditional human environments, space will prove the most difficult to develop, and by extension the most difficult to regulate.

    Thus far, applying traditional approaches to newly created instruments of war or rules on disarmament and non-use of force to outer space has produced meager results. By virtue of its novelty and unique characteristics as a...

  11. INDEX
    (pp. 111-116)
  12. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 117-118)
  13. CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE
    (pp. 119-120)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 121-121)