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325 KO Space Satellite Aff Wave 3

325 KO Space Satellite Aff Wave 3

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Published by: AffNeg.Com on Jan 08, 2009
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U.S. blocks Russian-Chinese space weapons treaty, wants to use space

Nick Cummin-Bruce, New York Times journalist, February 13, 2008, “U.N. Weighs a
Ban on Weapons in Space, but U.S. Still Objects”, New York Times,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/13/world/europe/13arms.html [Bapodra]

GENEVA — The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, on Tuesday presented a
Russian-Chinese draft treaty banning weapons in space to the United Nations Conference
on Disarmament, an idea that was quickly rejected by the United States.
Russia and China have pushed for years for a treaty to prevent an arms race in space, a
threat underlined by China last year after it shot down one of its own aging satellites.
Responding to previous American assertions that there is no arms race in space and
therefore no need for a treaty, Mr. Lavrov instead submitted a draft on “prevention of the
placement of weapons in outer space, the threat or use of force against outer space
“Weapons deployment in space by one state will inevitably result in a chain reaction,”
Mr. Lavrov warned. “And this in turn is fraught with a new spiral in the arms race, both
in space and on the earth.”
The draft treaty aims to fill gaps in existing law, create conditions for further exploration
and use of space, and strengthen general security and arms control, Mr. Lavrov said. It is
time “to start serious practical work in this field,” he said.
The White House responded to the proposal on Tuesday afternoon, saying it opposed any
treaty that sought “to prohibit or limit access to or use of space.”
Dana M. Perino, the White House press secretary, said such a treaty would also be
impossible to enforce. “Any object orbiting or transiting through space can be a weapon
if that object is intentionally placed onto a collision course with another space object,”
she said in an e-mail message. “This makes treaty verification impossible.”
Instead, she said, the White House favored “discussions aimed at promoting transparency
and confidence-building measures.”


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