U.S. Resistance to New Agreements May Spur Arms Race in Space

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The U.S. military’s plans to expand American dominance of space, including the potential development of space weapons, is likely to trigger significant responses from China and Russia. A new report published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences with support from Carnegie Corporation, details the probable reactions by China and Russia to the American military’s continued pursuit of the weaponization of space. Read the report.

According to the report, Russia would view America’s resistance to additional arms control agreements for outer space as a threat to strategic parity. Though Russia has a limited ability to respond in space, it is likely that their countermeasures would include extending the life of Russia’s ballistic missiles.

Like Russia, China is concerned that the U.S. course would destabilize the already vulnerable international nonproliferation regime. China’s options for response, as detailed by the report, include building more long-range nuclear missiles, adopting countermeasures against missile defense, developing anti-satellite weapons and reconsidering China’s commitments on arms control.

Carnegie Corporation of New York’s supports policy relevant research at think tanks, research institutions and universities to advance the further refinement and implementation of steps to reduce nuclear weapons and their proliferation risks. Read more about Carnegie Corporation’s nuclear security work.