Space weapons ban proposed to US

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 5:28pm.
China and Russia challenged the United States at a disarmament debate Tuesday by formally presenting a plan to ban weapons in space — a proposal that Washington has called a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a military advantage.

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament that "weapons deployment in space by one state" — a reference to the U.S. — could cause a "new spiral in the arms race both in space and on Earth."

Lavrov's call came with an implied threat, noting that the Soviet Union caught up with the U.S. after World War II by developing its own nuclear weapons.

"Let us not forget that the nuclear arms race was started with a view to preserving a monopoly of this type of weapon," Lavrov said. "But this monopoly was to last only four years."

"Without preventing an arms race in space, international security will be wanting," Lavrov told the conference. "The task of preventing an arms race in space is on the conference's agenda. It's time... to start serious practical work in this field."

Concerns over a new arms race in space have been growing since China tested an anti-satellite missile last January, sparking a diplomatic outcry.

The United States also has its own anti-satellite programme ranging from laser cannon to satellite destroying missiles.

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 bans the build up or stockage of military weapons -- including nuclear arms or weapons of mass destruction -- in orbit and their installation on the moon, but not the shooting down of satellites.

"Weapons deployment in space by one state will inevitably result in a chain reaction. And this, in turn, is fraught with a new spiral in the arms race both in space and on the earth," Lavrov said.

The Russian minister also reiterated his criticisms of the United States's plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

"We cannot but feel concerned over the situation where ... there are increasing efforts by the United States to deploy its global ABM (anti-ballistic missile) system," Lavrov said.

"The desire to acquire an anti-missile 'shield' while dismantling the 'sheath', where the nuclear 'sword' is kept is extremely dangerous," he added.

Washington is currently negotiating with Warsaw and Prague on the possible installation of 10 interceptor missile sites in Poland by 2012 and associated radar stations in the Czech Republic.

The US says the sites are needed as part of a gradually-developing shield to ward off potential attacks by what it calls "rogue states," notably Iran.

by David edwards - February 12, 2008 - posted at www.blacklistednews.com

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 5:28pm.