war of l'space

Is peace in space threatened?

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As an important international meeting is being held in Geneva to lay the foundations for peace in space, Star Trek-style boot noises are being heard. Washington accuses Russia and China of an arms race in space. An escalation whose major risk is the outbreak of a space conflict and what is at stake is the paralysis of all our modern observation and communication systems.
 
Dxperts from 25 countries - including China, Russia and the United States - have been meeting behind closed doors since Monday 18 March in Geneva to try to lay the foundations for an agreement on the prevention of an arms race in space. Beijing and Moscow supported the organization of this meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), which is being held until March 28 under the chairmanship of the Brazilian Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota.
 
But in a speech to the Conference on Disarmament at the Palais des Nations, UN headquarters, US Assistant Secretary of State Yleem Poblete questioned the sincerity of China's and Russia's engagement in the EGG discussions. « How can anyone believe that (Russia is) serious about preventing an arms race in space when they are the ones developing anti-satellite weapons launched from Earth? "she asked. Yleem Poblete, who works in the State Department's Office of Arms Control, also accused Moscow of trying to make lasers capable of "making the most of the nuclear weapons that are in the world". blinding or damaging satellites... ".
 
It then criticised China for developing instruments to jam satellite emissions and missiles capable of reaching "low earth orbit satellites". In view of this, " It is difficult to assess the veracity of China's commitment to PAROS. ", sliced Yleem Poblete.
 

Space forces

These verbal jousting matches are taking place against the backdrop of the decision by US President Donald Trump to create a "Space Force"; the Pentagon submitted a proposal to Congress in early March. This space force will be responsible for protecting American interests in space, which the Americans now consider to be a "battleground".

READ IN UP' : Donald Trump's America wants a space army. Issues and dangers.

The announcement has caused great concern around the world, but experts believe that the three major powers have much to lose if the current discussions fail, given the growing importance of satellite technology in civil and military affairs. The EMG meeting will only issue a report if all nations reach a consensus on its contents.
 
A consensus that has been awaited for ten years. Indeed, diplomatic efforts to forge a space treaty have been stalled for more than a decade. One of the main problems, according to the experts, is that China and Russia have so far refused to deploy certain devices in space, while the Western countries have preferred to focus on the "behaviour" or "actions" that should be limited in space.
 
Despite the rhetoric of Donald Trump, who boasts of ever-increasing defence budgets, military personnel and experts understand that overwhelming supremacy is not enough to protect a country's space assets.
 
" It is very difficult...to defend these assets alone in space.... "said Jessica West, project leader of the 2018 Space Security Index report, to AFP.
Meyer, also a former head of the intelligence bureau at Foreign Affairs Canada, told AFP that another factor that can create diplomatic momentum is that space "...is a key factor in the development of the United States.... is no longer considered a rich people's club... ». Dozens of nations, including developing countries, now have satellites, he added. Space technology - whether related to reconnaissance, mapping or navigation - has become an integral part of military and civilian life.
 

Self-defence

It is in this sense that we must understand France's decision to send weapons into space. France is indeed considering placing weapons in space in order to be able to exercise its right to self-defence in the event of aggression. « Placing a weapon in space for non-aggressive purposes is not in itself prohibited, according to our reading of the Outer Space Treaty.", explained General Michel Friedling, who heads the Joint Space Command (JSC), during a Senate hearing in February, stating that it's more like " the use that is made of it (which) may be prohibited".
To put it plainly: France, while refusing to engage in a space arms race, could, according to " le UN principle of the right to legitimate défense ", equip itself with self-defence systems, thus giving itself the capacity to react in the event of aggression from another object in orbit.
 
This new capability could take several forms. Either via equipment on board future satellites, such as directed energy weapons (lasers), microwave beams or electromagnetic pulse weapons, or via an agile space drone capable of spending several semesters in low orbits to carry out sensitive operations.
 

Space Pearl Harbour

" The major space powers are improving their capabilities and developing systems for conducting actions in space. ", hammered General Friedling. By acquiring extra-atmospheric capabilities, the armies of the countries concerned hope not only to act in space, but also to reduce the effectiveness of enemy armies on land, at sea and in the air. This is a prospect that the Bush Administration had already mentioned as early as 2001. a Pearl Harbor space hazard». In the event of a conflict involving spacefaring nations, " it's plausible that any introduction to the subject will be made up there. "explained at the end of 2018 to the Point Colonel Vinçotte, space expert at the Air Defence and Air Operations Command.
 
For Mr. Meyer, the head of Canada's intelligence bureau, governments are now faced with a question: " How are the interests of the nation best served servis ? ". " Is it by triggering a new arms race in an environment vital to global prosperity or by making efforts to make arrangements with some of your opponents potentiels ? "
Sources: AFP
 

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