Meyer, Paul. 2016. "Dark Forces Awaken: The Prospects for Cooperative Space Security". Nonproliferation Review 23(3-4), June-July 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10736700.2016.1268750.
International cooperation on outer space security has fluctuated over the past decades, marked by periods of common endeavor and relative stability as well as times of destabilizing developments and rising tensions. The UN Group of Governmental Experts’ 2013 consensus report on Transparency and Confidence Building Measures, with its rich menu of measures and promised new levels of cooperative security conduct by states, was a diplomatic high-water mark. Regrettably, subsequent negative developments threaten to reverse the cooperative trend the report espoused. These developments include the introduction (by Russia and China) and rejection (by the US) of a revised draft treaty on the Prevention of Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT); the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a divisive resolution on “No First Placement” of space weapons; the failure of the EU to gain support for its proposed Code of Conduct; and escalating strategic tensions. This paper analyzes the reemergence of these “dark forces” as to their implication for multilateral diplomacy and suggests several remedial actions to preserve space security.
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