Space: March 16, 2001


The UN abandoned efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty banning weapons from space on 18 Feb after the US refused to participate. The Bush Administration, echoing the arguments of the previous Clinton, Bush (Sr), and Reagan Administrations, insisted that there was no "space arms race" and no need for a treaty. The US also insisted that any conceivable US program for orbital weapons would employ only those weapons able to destroy ballistic missiles in flight, and would be unable to attack targets on the ground. Russia and China have protested sharply, insisting that US orbital weapons will inevitably be capable of attacking ground targets.--Stephen V Cole




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