25 January 2018
No Treaty Will Stop Space Weapons
By Joe Pappalardo
Popular mechanics


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is fired up. In comments to the Russian media this month, Lavrov excoriated the United States for refusing to back the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), a treaty to ban the placement of conventional weapons in space. “The United States continues nurturing plans to militarize outer space, I mean the deployment of weapons in outer space,” Lavrov said. “Which will, naturally, have very adverse consequences for problems of international security.”

The Obama administration wouldn't go for the treaty, and neither will the Trump White House. It's not hard to see why. The Air Force has flown a secretive unmanned space plane into orbit and tested hypersonic weapons that, if they ever work, could strike targets worldwide. The Pentagon has launched satellites that can maneuver to keep an eye on other spacecraft, which is a defensive move—but also could be the first step toward attacking them.

Don't be fooled by the Russian outcry, though. Lavrov’s rhetorical double-take is significant: The difference between “weaponizing space” and “putting weapons in space” is a big one. China and Russia very much want to bring war to space—on their own terms.

&"They've been building weapons, testing weapons, building weapons to operate from the Earth in space, jamming weapons, laser weapons, and they have not kept it secret," Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, said in a recent public speech in California.


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