1ac plan Text

Download 160.03 Kb.
Size160.03 Kb.
  1   2   3


Plan Text

The United States Federal Government should increase its space policy engagement with the People’s Republic of China through transparency and confidence building measures.

Contention 1 is Space Weaponization

Current space competition between US and China generates mistrust and escalates tension

Gallagher 14 (Interim Director at CISSM and a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy, co-directs Cooperative Security Program to address the security implications of globalization by developing comprehensive transparency arrangements, August, "Rethinking U.S.-China Security Cooperation," Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/15990/rethinking_uschina_security_cooperation__082714.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y)//SZ

Application to space security. To think about how this might work in practice, consider space as a strategic realm where the United States and China currently have high mistrust and competition. Neither country can reliably protect all the satellites on which their security, economy, and quality of life increasingly depend. But deterrence is extremely difficult in this domain, and an offensive space security strategy would be extremely dangerous. This creates a pressing need for mutual reassurance that states and their citizens are not using whatever dualuse space capabilities they have in ways that deliberately or inadvertently cause harm, or create excessive risks, for others.

High tension makes space race inevitable in squo – conflict escalates into widespread destruction

Axe, 8-10-2015, David Axe is the editor of War Is Boring and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast. He has written for Danger Room, "Wired" and "Popular Science." "When it comes to war in space, U.S. has the edge," Reuters, http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/08/09/the-u-s-military-is-preparing-for-the-real-star-wars/
Quietly and without most people noticing, some of the world’s leading space powers — the United States and China— have been deploying new and more sophisticated weaponry in space. Earth’s orbit is looking more and more like the planet’s surface — heavily armed and primed for an inevitable conflict. A growing number of “inspection” satellites lurk in orbit, possibly awaiting commands to sneak up on and disable or destroy other satellites. Down on the surface, more and more warships and ground installations pack powerful rockets that, with accurate guidance, could reach into orbit to destroy enemy spacecraft. A war in orbit could wreck the delicate satellite constellations that the world relies on for navigation, communication, scientific research and military surveillance. Widespread orbital destruction could send humanity through a technological time warp. “You go back to World War Two,” Air Force General John Hyten, in charge of U.S. Space Command, told 60 Minutes. “You go back to the Industrial Age.” It’s hard to say exactly how many weapons are in orbit. That’s because many spacecraft are “dual use.” They have peaceful functions and potential military applications. With the proverbial flip of a switch, an inspection satellite, ostensibly configured for orbital repair work, could become a robotic assassin capable of taking out other satellites with lasers, explosives or mechanical claws. Until the moment it attacks, however, the assassin spacecraft might appear to be harmless. And its dual use gives its operators political cover. The United States possesses more space weaponry than any other country, yet denies that any of its satellites warrant the term.

Scenario 1: Economic Collapse

ASAT and space arms testing creates radioactive debris that increases the threat of collision

Shackelford 14 (Scott J. American Business Law Journal © 2014 Academy of Legal Studies in Business, “Governing the Final Frontier: A Polycentric Approach to Managing Space Weaponization and Debris” 16 APR 2014, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ablj.12031/full)//SZ

As mentioned in the Introduction, China performed a successful ASAT test in January 2007 that destroyed an aging Chinese weather satellite and resulted in at least nine hundred objects large enough to be tracked.[405] NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office is estimating more than 35,000 pieces larger than one centimeter,[406] making this the largest debris-generating event in history and increasing total orbital debris by as much as twenty-five percent in a single stroke.[407] Estimates show that the strike has increased the chances of catastrophic collisions from once every nineteen years to once every twelve to fourteen years.[408] The ISS is already regularly dodging fragments.[409] The Chinese took this action after years of protestations about the destabilizing effects of ASAT technology. Yet this was a single ASAT test on a nonnuclear satellite. The open question is what the security and environmental results would be in a conflict in which multiple satellites, some of which may be nuclear, are destroyed. The breakup of a single large satellite of ten tons could roughly double the amount of orbital debris now in low-earth orbit.[410] The problems associated with satellites that possess nuclear or radioactive components exacerbate the problem of space debris. In total, “[m]ore than fifty satellites with radioactive components have been launched; [and] at least six nuclear-powered satellites have had uncontrolled re-entries ….”[411] An early problem with radioactive space debris occurred in January 1978 when the Soviet nuclear-powered satellite Cosmos 954 disintegrated over Canada.[412] Estimates of the total amount of radioactive material now in orbit range are as high as one metric ton.[413]

Large amounts of debris destroys satellites and renders US space tech unusable

Blake 11 (Heidi Blake, the telegraph, 01 Feb 2011 “Space so full of junk that a satellite collision could destroy communications on Earth” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/8295546/Space-so-full-of-junk-that-a-satellite-collision-could-destroy-communications-on-Earth.html)

A single collision between two satellites or large pieces of “space junk” could send thousands of pieces of debris spinning into orbit, each capable of destroying further satellites. Global positioning systems, international phone connections, television signals and weather forecasts are among the services which are at risk of crashing to a halt. This “chain reaction” could leave some orbits so cluttered with debris that they become unusable for commercial or military satellites, the US Defense Department's interim Space Posture Review warned last year. There are also fears that large pieces of debris could threaten the lives of astronauts in space shuttles or at the International Space Station. The report, which was sent to Congress in March and not publicly released, said space is "increasingly congested and contested" and warned the situation is set to worsen. Bharath Gopalaswamy, an Indian rocket scientist researching space debris at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, estimates that there are now more than 370,000 pieces of junk compared with 1,100 satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO), between 490 and 620 miles above the planet. The February 2009 crash between a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite and an Iridium Communications Inc. satellite left around 1,500 pieces of junk whizzing around the earth at 4.8 miles a second. A Chinese missile test destroyed a satellite in January 2007, leaving 150,000 pieces of debris in the atmosphere, according to Dr Gopalaswamy. The space junk, dubbed “an orbiting rubbish dump”, also comprises nuts, bolts, gloves and other debris from space missions. "This is almost the tipping point," Dr Gopalaswamy said. "No satellite can be reliably shielded against this kind of destructive force."

The destruction of satellites threatens economic stability

Walter Tam, 2015; (Walter Tam is a Walden Doctoral Scholar at Walden University; “The Space Debris Environment and Satellite Manufacturing”; Walden University Scholar Works; http://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2659&context=dissertations)//SZ

A fifth factor relates to business economics. Space debris has the potential to damage operational space assets and reduce the expected value of space systems. The increasing risk to high-value assets, combined with high volatility typical of the satellite insurance market (Manikowski & Weiss, 2012), have implications to higher insurance premiums (P. V. Anderson & Schaub, 2014) that lead to higher operating cost. The higher cost might reduce the competitiveness of the services provided by the satellite system, thus reducing their overall value in the marketplace. Space debris poses the greatest threat to the safe operations of satellites (Gopalaswamy & Kampani, 2014). The threat extends to the global economy, in which satellite technology is a deeply embedded, critical, and fragile component of the global economic infrastructure (Horsham, Schmidt, & Gilland, 2011; Percy & Landrum, 2014). To ensure economic stability and business growth on a global scale, it would be necessary to address the space debris problem in a meaningful way. Solutions to the space debris problem could come from technical, policy, organizational, and regulatory sources (Jakhu, 2010).

And global economic decline causes extinction

Burrows and Harris - 2009 (Counselor in the National Intelligence Council, Member at the National Intelligence Council - Mathew J. Burrows, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World—an unclassified report by the NIC published every four years that projects trends over a 15-year period, has served in the Central Intelligence Agency since 1986, holds a Ph.D. in European History from Cambridge University, and Jennifer Harris, Member of the Long Range Analysis Unit at the National Intelligence Council, holds an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University and a J.D. from Yale University, 2009 (“Revisiting the Future: Geopolitical Effects of the Financial Crisis,” The Washington Quarterly, Volume 32, Issue 2, April, Available Online at http://www.twq.com/09april/docs/09apr_Burrows.pdf, Accessed 08-22-2011, p. 35-37)

Of course, the report encompasses more than economics and indeed believes the future is likely to be the result of a number of intersecting and interlocking forces. With so many possible permutations of outcomes, each with ample [end page 35] opportunity for unintended consequences, there is a growing sense of insecurity.¶ Even so, history may be more instructive than ever. While we continue to believe that the Great Depression is not likely to be repeated, the lessons to be drawn from that period include the harmful effects on fledgling democracies and multiethnic societies (think Central Europe in 1920s and 1930s) and on the sustainability of multilateral institutions (think League of Nations in the same period). There is no reason to think that this would not be true in the twenty-first as much as in the twentieth century. For that reason, the ways in which the potential for greater conflict could grow would seem to be even more apt in a constantly volatile economic environment as they would be if change would be steadier. In surveying those risks, the report stressed the likelihood that terrorism and nonproliferation will remain priorities even as resource issues move up on the international agenda. Terrorism’s appeal will decline if economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced. For those terrorist groups that remain active in 2025, however, the diffusion of technologies and scientific knowledge will place some of the world’s most dangerous capabilities within their reach. Terrorist groups in 2025 will likely be a combination of descendants of long established groups—inheriting organizational structures, command and control processes, and training procedures necessary to conduct sophisticated attacks—and newly emergent collections of the angry and disenfranchised that become self-radicalized, particularly in the absence of economic outlets that would become narrower in an economic downturn. The most dangerous casualty of any economically-induced drawdown of U.S. military presence would almost certainly be the Middle East. Although Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is not inevitable, worries about a nuclear-armed Iran could lead states in the region to develop new security arrangements with external powers, acquire additional weapons, and consider pursuing their own nuclear ambitions. It is not clear that the type of stable deterrent relationship that existed between the great powers for most of the Cold War would emerge naturally in the Middle East with a nuclear Iran. Episodes of low intensity conflict and terrorism taking place under a nuclear umbrella could lead to an unintended escalation and broader conflict if clear red lines between those states involved are not well established. The close proximity of potential nuclear rivals combined with underdeveloped surveillance capabilities and mobile dual-capable Iranian missile systems also will produce inherent difficulties in achieving reliable indications and warning of an impending nuclear attack. The lack of strategic depth in neighboring states like Israel, short warning and missile flight times, and uncertainty of Iranian intentions may place more focus on preemption rather than defense, potentially leading to escalating crises. [end page 36] Types of conflict that the world continues to experience, such as over resources, could reemerge, particularly if protectionism grows and there is a resort to neo-mercantilist practices. Perceptions of renewed energy scarcity will drive countries to take actions to assure their future access to energy supplies. In the worst case, this could result in interstate conflicts if government leaders deem assured access to energy resources, for example, to be essential for maintaining domestic stability and the survival of their regime. Even actions short of war, however, will have important geopolitical implications. Maritime security concerns are providing a rationale for naval buildups and modernization efforts, such as China’s and India’s development of blue water naval capabilities. If the fiscal stimulus focus for these countries indeed turns inward, one of the most obvious funding targets may be military. Buildup of regional naval capabilities could lead to increased tensions, rivalries, and counterbalancing moves, but it also will create opportunities for multinational cooperation in protecting critical sea lanes. With water also becoming scarcer in Asia and the Middle East, cooperation to manage changing water resources is likely to be increasingly difficult both within and between states in a more dog-eat-dog world.

Scenario 2: Miscalculation

Space weaponization increases probability for conflict – electronic jamming, nuclear control, and ambiguity all make space highly volatile

Finch 15 (James P. Finch is the Principal Director for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he previously acted as the Principal Director for Space Policy. He has held space-related leadership positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Headquarters U.S. Air Force, “Bringing Space Crisis Stability Down to Earth,” JFQ 76, 1st Quarter 2015)

**Note – ADIZ = Air Defense Identification Zone

As potentially dangerous as the overlapping ADIZs are, they are far less destabilizing than actions in space could be during a crisis. All contestants in the “great game” unfolding in Asia have fairly similar appreciations of the implications that would follow engaging military or, worse, civilian aircraft transiting their ADIZ. These understandings have been built over 100 years of air travel and were underscored dramatically in the miscalculation associated with the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983. Such shared understandings are largely nonexistent in space. Not only do nations have less experience operating in the domain, but the criticality of space systems to broader operational objectives also may create a tempting target early in a crisis. Combined with the lack of potential human casualties from engagements in space, this lack of common understanding may create a growing risk of miscalculation in a terrestrial political crisis. If not explicitly addressed, this instability in space could even create a chasm that undermines the otherwise well-crafted tenets of strategic or nuclear stability. While much has been written about how nuclear weapons contribute to, or detract from, crisis stability, space, in some ways, is more complex than nuclear stability. First, today a clear taboo exists against the use of nuclear weapons. Crossing that firebreak at any level has immediately recognizable and significant implications. Second, in the context of nuclear weapons, theorists can (at least arguably) discriminate among escalatory motives based on the type of weapon— strategic or tactical—and based on the type of target—counterforce or countervalue targeting. This was most famously sketched out in the form of an escalation ladder in Herman Kahn’s 1965 book, On Escalation. This convenient heuristic method for understanding escalation based on the target and the weapon type is arguably more complex for space. This is a byproduct of the lack of mutual understanding on the implications of the weapon and the value of the target. These factors deserve detailed consideration because they describe the playing field on which a terrestrial crisis could spiral into space conflict. Efforts to manage crises, therefore, must account for these complexities. To begin, there is no taboo against many types of counterspace systems. Starting a framework with weapon type, the threshold for use of temporary and reversible counterspace weapons appears much lower. There are documented instances of electronic jamming happening all over the world today, and the number of actors who possess counterspace weapons such as communications jammers is much higher. Given the low cost and relative simplicity of some counterspace weapons, even nonstate actors have found utility in employing them. As former Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn noted, “Irregular warfare has come to space.”8 Consequently, this type of weapon—temporary and reversible—may appear at first glance to be less escalatory and less prone to miscalculation than kinetic weapons. At the other end of the weapons spectrum are weapons that have permanent and irreversible effects. The extreme version of such a weapon would be a debris-generating kinetic kill device such as the kind that was tested by the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War and by China in 2007. These weapons are particularly insidious because they generate large amounts of debris that indiscriminately threatens satellites and other space systems for decades into the future. One additional dimension to the weapons spectrum that merits consideration in the context of crisis stability relates to the survivability of a weapon. It is commonly accepted that space is an offense-dominant domain, which is to say that holding space targets at risk is far easier and cheaper than defending them. This could lead to first-strike instability by creating pressure for early action at the conventional level here on Earth before counterspace attacks could undermine the capability for power projection. But the offense-dominant nature of the domain has implications for both peaceful satellites as well as space-based weapons. This could also create first-strike instability regarding space-based weapons since the advantage would go to the belligerents who use their space weapon first. In this way, space-based weapons may be uniquely destabilizing in ways that their more survivable, ground-based relatives are not. Adding complexity to Kahn’s heuristic, however, is the situational context surrounding the employment of counterspace systems. In the space context, strategists will have to consider weapon type, the nature of the target, and also the terrestrial context. Today’s electronic jamming has primarily been witnessed in the Middle East, where regimes have sought to deny freedom of information to their populations by jamming commercial communications satellites. The same weapon type—a satellite communications jammerapplied against a satellite carrying strategic nuclear command and control communications during a crisis could be perceived much differently. In such an instance, decisionmakers might conclude that the other side is attempting to deprive them of nuclear command and control as a prelude to escalation. Similarly, the application of permanent, irreversible force against a commercial or third party satellite would have a much different effect on crisis dynamics than mere jamming. Physically destroying or otherwise rendering inoperable such assets could raise a party’s stake in the conflict, by threatening either its power projection capabilities globally or its assured ability to retaliate against a nuclear strike. Many militaries use commercial assets to communicate with deployed forces, and a “show of force” strike against a commercial satellite could inadvertently engage an adversary’s vital interests. Simply put, the weapon, target, and context all contribute to the perceived intent and effects of a counterspace attack. Unlike in other domains, tremendous ambiguity exists regarding the use of counterspace weapons. This means that all of these variables would be open to interpretation in crises, and it should be remembered that an inherent characteristic of crises is a short timeframe for decisionmaking. When time is short and the potential cost of inaction is significant, or even catastrophic, decisionmakers tend to lean toward worst-case interpretations of an adversary’s actions. This is a clear recipe for inadvertent miscalculation.

Asymmetrical warfare in space makes ASATs prone to miscalculation, proliferation, and deterrence failure

Gallagher 15 (Nancy, interim director of the Center for International and Security Studies in Maryland, previous Executive Director of the Clinton Administration’s CTBT Treaty Committee, an arms control specialist at the State Dept., and a faculty member at Wesleyan, “Antisatellite warfare without nuclear risk: A mirage,” May 29, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, http://thebulletin.org/space-weapons-and-risk-nuclear-exchanges8346)

In recent decades, however, as space-based reconnaissance, communication, and targeting capabilities have become integral elements of modern military operations, strategists and policy makers have explored whether carrying out antisatellite attacks could confer major military advantages without increasing the risk of nuclear war. In theory, the answer might be yes. In practice, it is almost certainly no. Hyping threats. No country has ever deliberately and destructively attacked a satellite belonging to another country (though nations have sometimes interfered with satellites' radio transmissions). But the United States, Russia, and China have all tested advanced kinetic antisatellite weapons, and the United States has demonstrated that it can modify a missile-defense interceptor for use in antisatellite mode. Any nation that can launch nuclear weapons on medium-range ballistic missiles has the latent capability to attack satellites in low Earth orbit. Because the United States depends heavily on space for its terrestrial military superiority, some US strategists have predicted that potential adversaries will try to neutralize US advantages by attacking satellites. They have also recommended that the US military do everything it can to protect its own space assets while maintaining a capability to disable or destroy satellites that adversaries use for intelligence, communication, navigation, or targeting. Analysis of this sort often exaggerates both potential adversaries’ ability to destroy US space assets and the military advantages that either side would gain from antisatellite attacks. Nonetheless, some observers are once again advancing worst-case scenarios to support arguments for offensive counterspace capabilities. In some other countries, interest in space warfare may be increasing because of these arguments. If any nation, for whatever reason, launched an attack on a second nation's satellites, nuclear retaliation against terrestrial targets would be an irrational response. But powerful countries do sometimes respond irrationally when attacked. Moreover, disproportionate retaliation following a deliberate antisatellite attack is not the only way in which antisatellite weapons could contribute to nuclear war. It is not even the likeliest way. As was clearly understood by the countries that negotiated the Outer Space Treaty, crisis management would become more difficult, and the risk of inadvertent deterrence failure would increase, if satellites used for reconnaissance and communication were disabled or destroyed. But even if the norm against attacking another country’s satellites is never broken, developing and testing antisatellite weapons still increase the risk of nuclear war. If, for instance, US military leaders became seriously concerned that China or Russia were preparing an antisatellite attack, pressure could build for a pre-emptive attack against Chinese or Russian strategic forces. Should a satellite be struck by a piece of space debris during a crisis or a low-level terrestrial conflict, leaders might mistakenly assume that a space war had begun and retaliate before they knew what had actually happened. Such scenarios may seem improbable, but they are no more implausible than the scenarios that are used to justify the development and use of antisatellite weapons.

Weaponization and ASATS causes nuclear war – flashpoints with China are inevitable – outweighs probability of ground-based conflicts

Billings 15 (Lee Billings is an editor at Scientific American covering space and physics, Citing Michael Krepon, an arms-control expert and co-founder of the Stimson Center, and James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, The Scientific American, August 10, 2015, “War in Space May Be Closer Than Ever”, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/war-in-space-may-be-closer-than-ever)

The world’s most worrisome military flashpoint is arguably not in the Strait of Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Kashmir or Ukraine. In fact, it cannot be located on any map of Earth, even though it is very easy to find. To see it, just look up into a clear sky, to the no-man’s-land of Earth orbit, where a conflict is unfolding that is an arms race in all but name. The emptiness of outer space might be the last place you’d expect militaries to vie over contested territory, except that outer space isn’t so empty anymore. About 1,300 active satellites wreathe the globe in a crowded nest of orbits, providing worldwide communications, GPS navigation, weather forecasting and planetary surveillance. For militaries that rely on some of those satellites for modern warfare, space has become the ultimate high ground, with the U.S. as the undisputed king of the hill. Now, as China and Russia aggressively seek to challenge U.S. superiority in space with ambitious military space programs of their own, the power struggle risks sparking a conflict that could cripple [destroy] the entire planet’s space-based infrastructure. And though it might begin in space, such a conflict could easily ignite full-blown war on Earth. The long-simmering tensions are now approaching a boiling point due to several events, including recent and ongoing tests of possible anti-satellite weapons by China and Russia, as well as last month’s failure of tension-easing talks at the United Nations. Testifying before Congress earlier this year, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper echoed the concerns held by many senior government officials about the growing threat to U.S. satellites, saying that China and Russia are both “developing capabilities to deny access in a conflict,” such as those that might erupt over China’s military activities in the South China Sea or Russia’s in Ukraine. China in particular, Clapper said, has demonstrated “the need to interfere with, damage and destroy” U.S. satellites, referring to a series of Chinese anti-satellite missile tests that began in 2007. There are many ways to disable or destroy satellites beyond provocatively blowing them up with missiles. A spacecraft could simply approach a satellite and spray paint over its optics, or manually snap off its communications antennas, or destabilize its orbit. Lasers can be used to temporarily disable or permanently damage a satellite’s components, particularly its delicate sensors, and radio or microwaves can jam or hijack transmissions to or from ground controllers. In response to these possible threats, the Obama administration has budgeted at least 5 billion to be spent over the next five years to enhance both the defensive and offensive capabilities of the U.S. military space program. The U.S. is also attempting to tackle the problem through diplomacy, although with minimal success; in late July at the United Nations, long-awaited discussions stalled on a European Union-drafted code of conduct for spacefaring nations due to opposition from Russia, China and several other countries including Brazil, India, South Africa and Iran. The failure has placed diplomatic solutions for the growing threat in limbo, likely leading to years of further debate within the UN’s General Assembly. “The bottom line is the United States does not want conflict in outer space,” says Frank Rose, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, who has led American diplomatic efforts to prevent a space arms race. The U.S., he says, is willing to work with Russia and China to keep space secure. “But let me make it very clear: we will defend our space assets if attacked.” Offensive space weapons tested The prospect of war in space is not new. Fearing Soviet nuclear weapons launched from orbit, the U.S. began testing anti-satellite weaponry in the late 1950s. It even tested nuclear bombs in space before orbital weapons of mass destruction were banned through the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty of 1967. After the ban, space-based surveillance became a crucial component of the Cold War, with satellites serving as one part of elaborate early-warning systems on alert for the deployment or launch of ground-based nuclear weapons. Throughout most of the Cold War, the U.S.S.R. developed and tested “space mines,” self-detonating spacecraft that could seek and destroy U.S. spy satellites by peppering them with shrapnel. In the 1980s, the militarization of space peaked with the Reagan administration’s multibillion-dollar Strategic Defense Initiative, dubbed Star Wars, to develop orbital countermeasures against Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. And in 1985, the U.S. Air Force staged a clear demonstration of its formidable capabilities, when an F-15 fighter jet launched a missile that took out a failing U.S. satellite in low-Earth orbit. Through it all, no full-blown arms race or direct conflicts erupted. According to Michael Krepon, an arms-control expert and co-founder of the Stimson Center think tank in Washington, D.C., that was because both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. realized how vulnerable their satellites were—particularly the ones in “geosynchronous” orbits of about 35,000 kilometers or more. Such satellites effectively hover over one spot on the planet, making them sitting ducks. But because any hostile action against those satellites could easily escalate to a full nuclear exchange on Earth, both superpowers backed down. “Neither one of us signed a treaty about this,” Krepon says. “We just independently came to the conclusion that our security would be worse off if we went after those satellites, because if one of us did it, then the other guy would, too.” Today, the situation is much more complicated. Low- and high-Earth orbits have become hotbeds of scientific and commercial activity, filled with hundreds upon hundreds of satellites from about 60 different nations. Despite their largely peaceful purposes, each and every satellite is at risk, in part because not all members of the growing club of military space powers are willing to play by the same rules—and they don’t have to, because the rules remain as yet unwritten. Space junk is the greatest threat. Satellites race through space at very high velocities, so the quickest, dirtiest way to kill one is to simply launch something into space to get in its way. Even the impact of an object as small and low-tech as a marble can disable or entirely destroy a billion-dollar satellite. And if a nation uses such a “kinetic” method to destroy an adversary’s satellite, it can easily create even more dangerous debris, potentially cascading into a chain reaction that transforms Earth orbit into a demolition derby. In 2007 the risks from debris skyrocketed when China launched a missile that destroyed one of its own weather satellites in low-Earth orbit. That test generated a swarm of long-lived shrapnel that constitutes nearly one-sixth of all the radar-trackable debris in orbit. The U.S. responded in kind in 2008, repurposing a ship-launched anti-ballistic missile to shoot down a malfunctioning U.S. military satellite shortly before it tumbled into the atmosphere. That test produced dangerous junk too, though in smaller amounts, and the debris was shorter-lived because it was generated at a much lower altitude. More recently, China has launched what many experts say are additional tests of ground-based anti-satellite kinetic weapons. None of these subsequent launches have destroyed satellites, but Krepon and other experts say this is because the Chinese are now merely testing to miss, rather than to hit, with the same hostile capability as an end result. The latest test occurred on July 23 of last year. Chinese officials insist the tests’ only purpose is peaceful missile defense and scientific experimentation. But one test in May 2013 sent a missile soaring as high as 30,000 kilometers above Earth, approaching the safe haven of strategic geosynchronous satellites.

Nuclear war collapses vital systems crucial to human civilization

Lamrani 16 (Omar, geopolitical and security analyst for Stratfor, National Interest, “What the U.S. Military Fears Most: A Massive Space War,” May 18, 2016, http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/what-the-us-military-fears-most-massive-space-war-16248)

The High Cost of a War in Space: Increased competition in space is reviving fears of a war there, one with devastating consequences. Humanity depends on space systems for communication, exploration, navigation and a host of other functions integral to modern life. Moreover, future breakthroughs may await in space, including solar energy improvements, nuclear waste disposal and extraterrestrial mining. A war in space would disable a number of key satellites, and the resulting debris would place vital orbital regions at risk. The damage to the world economy could also be disastrous. In severity, the consequences of space warfare could be comparable to those of nuclear war. What's more, disabling key constellations that give early launch warnings could be seen as the opening salvo in a nuclear attack, driving the threat of a wider conflagration. The small satellite revolution promises the speedy replacement of disabled satellites in the event of attack — theoretically securing the U.S. military's use of space constellations in support of operations during a conflict. Small satellites are not a magic bullet, however; key satellite functions will still depend on bulkier and more complex systems, such as the large but critically important nuclear-hardened command-and-control mission satellites. Many of these systems involve hefty antennas and considerable power sources. Given that access to orbit may not be guaranteed during a war in space, the United States has also been exploring alternative ways to perform some of the core functions that satellites now provide. At this stage, high-flying unmanned aerial vehicles with satellite-like payloads offer the most advanced alternative. But considering the vehicles' vulnerability to sophisticated air defenses, their lower altitude and endurance relative to orbital satellites, and their limited global reach, this remains a tentative solution at best. Overall, the United States is getting far more serious about the threat of space warfare. Investment in new technologies is increasing, and the organizational architecture to deal with such a contingency is being put in place. In the race between shield and sword, however, there is no guarantee that offensive ASAT capabilities will not have the advantage, potentially denying critical access to space during a catastrophic celestial war.

That causes extinction

Starr 15 (Steven is the director of the University of Missouri’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program, as well as a senior scientist at the Physicians for Social Responsibility, “Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter, and Human Extinction”, https://fas.org/pir-pubs/nuclear-war-nuclear-winter-and-human-extinction/)//SZ

While it is impossible to precisely predict all the human impacts that would result from a nuclear winter, it is relatively simple to predict those which would be most profound. That is, a nuclear winter would cause most humans and large animals to die from nuclear famine in a mass extinction event similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Following the detonation (in conflict) of US and/or Russian launch-ready strategic nuclear weapons, nuclear firestorms would burn simultaneously over a total land surface area of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles. These mass fires, many of which would rage over large cities and industrial areas, would release many tens of millions of tons of black carbon soot and smoke (up to 180 million tons, according to peer-reviewed studies), which would rise rapidly above cloud level and into the stratosphere. [For an explanation of the calculation of smoke emissions, see Atmospheric effects & societal consequences of regional scale nuclear conflicts.] The scientists who completed the most recent peer-reviewed studies on nuclear winter discovered that the sunlight would heat the smoke, producing a self-lofting effect that would not only aid the rise of the smoke into the stratosphere (above cloud level, where it could not be rained out), but act to keep the smoke in the stratosphere for 10 years or more. The longevity of the smoke layer would act to greatly increase the severity of its effects upon the biosphere. Once in the stratosphere, the smoke (predicted to be produced by a range of strategic nuclear wars) would rapidly engulf the Earth and form a dense stratospheric smoke layer. The smoke from a war fought with strategic nuclear weapons would quickly prevent up to 70% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Northern Hemisphere and 35% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Southern Hemisphere. Such an enormous loss of warming sunlight would produce Ice Age weather conditions on Earth in a matter of weeks. For a period of 1-3 years following the war, temperatures would fall below freezing every day in the central agricultural zones of North America and Eurasia. [For an explanation of nuclear winter, see Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences.] Nuclear winter would cause average global surface temperatures to become colder than they were at the height of the last Ice Age. Such extreme cold would eliminate growing seasons for many years, probably for a decade or longer. Can you imagine a winter that lasts for ten years? The results of such a scenario are obvious. Temperatures would be much too cold to grow food, and they would remain this way long enough to cause most humans and animals to starve to death. Global nuclear famine would ensue in a setting in which the infrastructure of the combatant nations has been totally destroyed, resulting in massive amounts of chemical and radioactive toxins being released into the biosphere. We don’t need a sophisticated study to tell us that no food and Ice Age temperatures for a decade would kill most people and animals on the planet. Would the few remaining survivors be able to survive in a radioactive, toxic environment?

Download 160.03 Kb.

Share with your friends:
  1   2   3

The database is protected by copyright ©ininet.org 2022
send message

    Main page