Two Years After the ASAT Test Ban: A Realistic Assessment

May 10, 2024

Global Security Review

Two years have passed since the United States announced a unilateral ban on the testing of destructive anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. The ban was announced on April 12, 2022, and hailed as a first step towards establishing a norms of responsible behavior to further the ideal of sustainability in outer space.

Several states, including many that do not possess nor intend to deploy such a capability, made similar proclamations. The People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and India, however, refused to make the pledge. The US also sponsored a resolution, which was a lead-in to the Open-Ended Working Group on Reducing Space Threats, led by the United Kingdom and supported by the US. With the blinding effect of celebration subsiding, a more reasoned look at the drawbacks and weaknesses of the ban is in order.

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