Prevention of an Arms Race in Outerspace
April 4, 2002
The architecture of arms control and disarmament agreements is under challenge. Direct challenges to existing and pending treaties these days are in fact part of a larger pattern – the undermining of security, environmental, and human rights regimes. Against this background, the prevention of an arms race in outer space is not only an arms control issue. It is also crucial for averting the erosion of international rule of law.
Recent US action, including withdrawl from the ABM Treaty is adding to the perception that law and policy regarding both outer space and international security are at critical junctures. Before 2001, the ideas presented in Vision 2020 and the Long Range Plan of the US Defence Dept were often dismissed as the fantasy of a marginal few ”who had consumed too much Star Trek.“1 But these were precisely the plans and visions that informed the Rumsfeld Commission, whose conclusions are now driving US space policy.
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