Inhibition of an Arms Race in Outer Space

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1 Inhibition of an Arms Race in Outer Space Introduction Jinseong Joo The exploration and use of outer space shall be for peaceful purposes and should be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries and recalls the obligation of all States to observe the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations regarding the use or threat of use of force in their international relations, including their space activities - United Nations A/55/558 Resolution Ever since the development of modern technology, nations have gained interest to develop further technology in outer space and even to weaponize outer space. This is mainly due to the high potential of outer space to provide benefits to. As a result, many nations began to launch satellites to outer space for various purposes. Thanks to the launchings of satellites, long distance communication, weather forecasts, identification of crops, land usage, detection of pollutant/pollution, the internet, and television have been able to be developed. However, there is one potential danger of launching the satellites: many member states have the possibility of using satellites as weapons and intelligence sources. They have the capacity to decide to launch armed satellites which can be weapons as detrimental as the nuclear weapons. Satellites can be used to threaten and attack other nations; hence, they have brought about competitions between many different nations. In addition, due to the fact that countries cannot claim national sovereignty in outer space has fueled this arms race between the nations. Therefore, member states all need to cooperate with one another to inhibit the arms race in outer space, and to utilize satellites for peaceful purposes that will bring benefit to all mankind. International actions have been taken to resolve this issue. The United Nations has submitted and passed many resolutions, and has taken many actions to resolve the issue of inhibition of arms race in outer space. Yet, much more effort will be needed. Background Information Military Satellites Satellite (that is referred to in this paper) is an object that has been sent to space to collect data and information or to function as earth s communications system. There are many types of satellites; these include military observation satellite, communication satellite, weather satellite, research satellites, and etc. Usually arms race in outer space occurs with one major type of satellite which is the military satellites. Roughly 4,000 military satellites have been successfully launched into the outer space. Half of them can specifically be used for military purposes and

2 others have the possibility of being used for military purposes. Military satellites have prominent function of surveillance and reconnaissance. Those satellites can accurately picture earth s surface and find out what other nations are doing with their military or people. In addition, they have the capability to send a signal over long distances to aid control, order, and management of the military. It is obvious that militaries need precise and accurate determination of location for security. This can be satisfied through the utilization of military satellites. Therefore, nations are endeavoring and competing with one another to launch better and more precise military satellites to outer space. Cold War The issue at hand is deeply related to the Cold War due to the fact that it fueled arms race in outer space between the United States and the USSR. Cold war, in general, means state of warfare that does not involve any military actions but are shown through economic or political actions of nations. However, in this case, it is referring to cold war between the USSR (Soviet Union) and USA (United States of America). The Cold War began shortly after the World War II ended. To be simple, the Cold War was a struggle between two ideologies: Capitalism and Communism. It involved economic and political competition, espionage, arms race such as the space race. The Cold War fueled the Soviet Union and USA to develop their satellites. During the Cold War, Sputnik, the first artificial satellite in the entire history, was launched by the Soviet Union in At that time, no one knew what satellites exactly did; however, the political leaders were aware of the fat that if the Soviet Union had the capacity to launch a satellite, then they would have the ability to launch nuclear bombs (on USA). As a result, the citizens in the United States began to pressure the government to develop satellite technology. Unfortunately, the first attempt of the United States to launch its satellite failed. After this tragic incident, the United States established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration which is also known as NASA. This competition between the USSR and USA began to spread out into a space race as well. Space Race Space Race is one of the main factors that initially caused the Arms Race between member states. The Space Race began with the Cold War which was initiated in 1950s, obviously between USSR and USA. The Space Race began with launching of first artificial satellite, the Sputnik. By the April of 1961, USSR sent the first human, Yuri Gagarin, to space. This incident fueled the United States to develop their technology to be able to send humans to the outer space. At the same year as the first human was sent to the space, John. F. Kennedy made a firm and public declaration saying that a man from United States would land on Moon within that decade. This statement came true when Apollo 11 was launched by the U.S on July 20 th of Neil Armstrong, the first man to land and walk on the moon, from United States successfully made lunar expedition. Despite the fact that the USSR was the first nation to send artificial satellite and human to the space, they never succeeded in lunar expedition; in fact, they have failed 4 attempts to send humans to the moon. After the successful launch of Apollo, the first Space Race between Soviet Union and United States was considered to be ended. However, the

3 second space race is continuing among many countries such as Russia, USA, China, Europe, Japan, India, Israel, and etc. Impacts of the Arms Race in Outer Space An arms race in outer space can bring many benefits to nations due the fact that it can enhance the country s science developments; however, arms race in outer space can bring numerous harmful impacts to many nations. First of all, an arms race can cause tensions between nations. If tensions grow, it can result in a situation similar to the Cold War or more global competition; as a result, an arms race in outer space can result in international discord. An arms race not only causes international disharmony, but it also causes economic, social, and environmental problems. Economic instability can be derived from one nation s vast investment in an arms race. Due to the fact that an arms race in outer space requires enormous amount of funding, it cuts one nation s economic budget that can be invested in other fields. This economic budget cut can cause social disorders because it can promote unemployment since the budget that will be used for efficient developmental program will not be properly used. Furthermore, since the development of the satellite, which is one crucial component of arms race in outer space, is necessary, fuels in the atmosphere can cause an immense environmental issue. Thus, in order to hinder these by products that come from arms race in outer space, prevention of an arms race in outer space is essential. International Actions/ UN Involvements Outer Space Treaty The Outer Space Treaty, established in 1967 with the agreement of United Sates, USSR (Soviet Union), and United Kingdom, is a treaty that is largely based on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies. The treaty on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies derived from resolution 1962 which was adopted in General Assembly of United Nations. The Outer Space Treaty provides guidelines regarding international space law. The treaty emphasizes the fact that the exploration of outer space should be beneficial for all mankind and nations; moreover, it should be for peaceful purposes. In addition, it claims that one nation cannot claim national sovereignty in outer space. Over 100 nations have signed and ratified to this treaty (green in the picture); moreover, 26 nations have signed the treaty, but have not yet ratified to this treay (yellow in the picture). It is a crucial treaty that will aid and assist in preventing an arms race in outer space. The General Assembly The United Nations is striving to improve and facilitate the inhibition of the arms race in outer space. In fact, the United Nations General Assembly first committee Committee on

4 Disarmament and International Security, is submitting annual resolutions regarding the prevention of arms race in outer space. Annually, the resolution on this topic is passed with a majority votes; however, the United States of America and Israel has been abstaining for most of the times. Most of the resolutions on this issue try to emphasize the necessity and importance of 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Furthermore, the United Nations has recently passed a resolution, which was submitted by Russia and China, regarding establishment of transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space. This transparency and confidence-building measures will be an effective measure in building relationship and trust among nations who are concern with this matter. Furthermore, the United Nations General Assembly has passed many resolutions, including GA/DIS/3371, A/RES/39/59, and A/RES/43/70, to inhibit and prevent the arms race in outer space. Conference on Disarmament Possible Elements for a Future International Legal Agreement on the Prevention of the Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects was published in Based on this paper, China and Russia made a draft treaty for a ban on weapons in outer space. These papers can be a crucial step in solving this issue; however, United States is continuing to reject these papers. United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is an office in United Nations that ensures cooperation between member states to promote the peaceful use of outer space. It carries out decisions made by COPUOS (United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space), and it originally was an ad hoc committee established to serve COPUOS on December 13, United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) This committee was formed in 1959 with the agreement from United Nations General Assembly to monitor cooperation between many nations and the utilization of outer space by member states. This committee consists of 67 member states. It has two-subcommittee, which discusses different issues regarding outer space. It has annual meeting in Vienna; moreover, their determinations are carried out by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee on Special Political and Decolonization This committee has a high potentiality in solving this issue due to the fact that this committee is place where member states can exchange and share information with on another regarding development, use, and exploration of outer space. In this committee, member states are striving to use and explore outer space for peaceful purposes.

5 Nations Involved United States Although the United States of America seems to be one of the major countries to support this issue, their actions have shown otherwise. Whenever Russia and China have submitted resolutions and papers to resolve this issue, USA chose abstention with their votes. Despite the fact that the resolutions suggested cooperation between member states, transparency, and confidence-building program, USA has disagreed to follow these. In addition, the United States published documents claiming that it will be putting weapons in the space meaning it will militarize outer space, and it has already positioned a missile defense system in space. United Kingdom The United Kingdom is one of P5 nations that support inhibition of arms race in outer space. Since the establishment of 1967 outer space treaty, it has been full a supporter of the treaty. In addition, it has voted for the resolution that was submitted by the United Nations General Assembly. Russia In February of 2008, Russia and China submitted a paper to the Committee on Disarmament. The paper won favor of many member states and passed. From their actions, it is crystal clear that Russia is implementing methods and suggesting different steps to inhibit arms race in outer space. Russia claimed the fact that if all states observe a prohibition on space weaponization, there will be no arms race. Additionally Russia and China joined a treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space. From these acts, it can be shown that Russia is strong advocator of this issue, yet we must also note the fact that Russia still embarks on programs to enhance its space program and military. The outward appearance of Russia has taken on this issue should be viewed with skeptical eyes. China China is firmly opposing the arms race and weaponization of outer space. It has determined to support the implementation of transparency system among the nations. Not only that China is actively working to prevent arms race in outer space, but China is also the cosponsor of the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space. From those actions taken by China, it is clear that China is endeavoring and striving to stop arms race in outer space. Yet, just like Russia, the outward appearance that China has taken on this issue should be viewed with skeptical eyes. Israel Israel, along with the United States of America, is one of the countries that seem to stand side on the opposition side of this issue of the inhibition of arms race in outer space. It has always either abstained or voted against the resolutions that were submitted on this same topic. In addition, Israel has been planning programs to launch satellites into space. Possible Solutions

6 To begin with, as continuously mentioned in this paper, it is clear that the formation or establishment of a new committee, treaty, conference, or organization is highly unnecessary. There is no need to create a new organization due to the fact that there are many organizations that already exist. Therefore, the solution to inhibit arms race in space is to encourage and urge nations to sign, ratify and follow treaties such as the 1967 Outer Space treaty and to support already existing organizations. Furthermore, enforcement of a transparency system, with consensus and agreement of all member states (so that national sovereignty would not be an issue), that reveals current status of member states outer space development, would be effective way to inhibit arms race in outer space. Transparency systems will allow for other nations to see the current activity of all member states space activity and thus reduce competition with other nations as well as any suspicious activities. Lastly, from the previous resolutions submitted by the General Assembly and Committee on Disarmament, it is important that many member states are advocators of the inhibition of an arms race in outer space. Timeline 1958 United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs was established 1959 United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was established 1966 United Nations General Assembly adopts resolution 2222(XXI) and establishes Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies Outer Space Treaty, which is based on Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies, was established under the agreement of United Kingdom, USSR (Soviet Union), and United States of America 2002 Possible Elements for a Future International Legal Agreement on the Prevention of the Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects was published 2005 Resolution on Prevention of Outer Space Arms Race passes with one abstention, one vote against, and 160 votes for this resolution contained solutions regarding transparency system, confidence-building program, and cooperation between nations The General Assembly came to consensus to initiate a Group of Government Experts (GGE) to monitor transparency and confidence building measure proposed in 2005 resolution July 2012 the Group of Government Expert began its job Glossary Outer Space

7 Area right beyond earth s atmosphere whose outer layers is thermosphere Transparency System It is a system where government or organization should report all the information to certain organizations or groups Weaponization of outer space: placement of certain devices, in outer space, that has destructive and detrimental capability. Satellite An object which has been sent into space in order to collect information or to be part of a communications system Arms Race It is situation in which two countries or groups of countries are continually trying to get more and better weapons than each other

8 Works Cited "OUTER SPACE TREATY." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, n.d. Web. 23 Dec Billings, Charles E. (1973), "Barometric Pressure", in Parker, James F.; West, Vita R., Bioastronautics Data Book (2nd ed.), NASA, Bibcode1973NASSP P, NASA SP-3006 "United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs." Outer Space Treaty. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "Military Satellites, Communication & Spy Satellites: Learn More about the Purposes of Military & Spy Satellites." Bright Hub. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "Satellite History." Satellite History. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "Satellites in the Developing World." MIT's News Office. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "Satellites." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 23 Dec "History in Focus." The Cold War and the Early Space Race, an Article from. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "The Cold War & Space Race." The Cold War & Space Race. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "The Second (2nd) Space Race: Rating the Nations." The Second (2nd) Space Race: Rating the Nations. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "The Second Space Race." The Second Space Race. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec Barbree, Jay, and NBC News. "After the Shuttle: NASA Gets Set for Second Space Race." Msnbc.com. Msnbc Digital Network, 15 May Web. 23 Dec "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies - Main Page." Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies - Main Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "PREVENTION OF OUTER SPACE ARMS RACE, MEDITERRANEAN SECURITY AMONGISSUES, AS DISARMAMENT COMMITTEE APPROVES SEVEN MORE TEXTS." UN News Center. UN, 25 Oct Web. 23 Dec "Key Issues: Space Weapons: The Basics: Weaponization of Space." Key Issues: Space Weapons: The Basics: Weaponization of Space. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "PREVENTING OUTER SPACE ARMS RACE WOULD AVERT GRAVE DANGER; POSSIBLE NEWVERIFIABLE BILATERAL, MULTILATERAL AGREEMENTS NEEDED, SAYS DRAFT TEXT IN FIRSTCOMMITTEE." UN News Center. UN, 20 Oct Web. 23 Dec "UNOG - The United Nations Office at Geneva." The United Nations in the Heart of Europe. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec

9 "China Always Firmly Opposes to Weaponization Of, Arms Race in Outer Space: Envoy." China Always Firmly Opposes to Weaponization Of, Arms Race in Outer Space: Envoy. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "Outer Space." Critical Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "PREVENTING OUTER SPACE ARMS RACE WOULD AVERT GRAVE DANGER; POSSIBLE NEWVERIFIABLE BILATERAL, MULTILATERAL AGREEMENTS NEEDED, SAYS DRAFT TEXT IN FIRSTCOMMITTEE." UN News Center. UN, 20 Oct Web. 23 Dec "China Opposes Arms Race in Outer Space." - People's Daily Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "Arms Race in Outer Space." Arms Race in Outer Space. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec "United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs." United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec

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