The increasing militarization of space will lead to future space wars being “inevitable,” according to Russian military experts. With several countries moving to place military hardware in space or create anti-satellite defense weaponry, the fact that there is no multinational agreement or treaty in place to ban modern weapons from Earth’s orbit could pose a problem for world peace in the coming years, perhaps even precipitate World War 3. And with Russia and the United States moving toward gaining an advantage in space, the dangers of a military confrontation — at least in outer space — become more and more likely.
Sputnik News reported this week that military experts are warning that there is a new kind of space race going on that involves the militarization of space, a race that will most likely eventually push Russia and the U.S. into a space war. In this version of the space race, the usual adversaries (Russia, the United States, and China) are in a heated sprint to develop strategic communications satellite systems, defense-capable orbital systems, and even satellites systems that attack other satellites. And as Russia appears to be the leading militarization actor-nation on Earth (as documented by the Inquisitr), although China and the United States (and, by extension, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) have been augmenting their respective military forces as well, the U.S. seems to have taken a more aggressive stance with working towards militarizing space.
In fact, the U.S. is the odd-man-out in space relations. Whereas Russia and China have called for an agreement since 2008 (during the George W. Bush administration) that prohibits the deployment of weapons concerning outer space, and Russia has for years invited the U.S. to join in a space-weapons-ban treaty, the U.S. has failed to do so. Although President Barack Obama promised during his 2008 presidential campaign to work toward better space relations with Russia concerning weaponry, there has been no progress in that regard during his presidency.
Military expert and observer Viktor Baranets told Radio Sputnik in an interview: “The current situation in space is that no satellites are protected, no matter at what orbits they are. The reason is that alongside with development of space systems, the U.S. is running on all cylinders developing space weapons.”
As these matters go, the Inquisitr reported on a recent annual meeting of U.S. Army generals in Washington where they collectively voiced concerns of the increasing militarization of space and the weapons-capable orbiting hardware being worked on by both Russia and China. The generals warned that unless the U.S. made efforts to maintain a technological advantage — or at least remain on an equal footing — concerning space, the pace of Russian and Chinese expansion in the arena would see one or both countries seizing the advantage in just a few years.
So Russia is not standing idle, as the U.S. Army generals noted. Baranets pointed that out as well.
“Russia has its own plans too. I think that if Washington keeps ignoring Russia’s calls for the demilitarization of space, the so-called ‘combat cosmonautics’ would become reality.”
The space race to militarize space could very well endanger the entire planet, according to the military expert. Without a demilitarization treaty and/or safeguards in place, a unilateral advantage in space — or the perception of a nation gaining such advantage — could easily spark World War 3. Worse, future weapons systems could potentially be used to fire at targets on Earth.
Baranets proposed that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty between the U.S., the U.S.S.R. (the former Russian-dominated union that disintegrated in the early 1990s) and the United Kingdom be revised. In its present form, the document is a legal framework for international space law, and it includes the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit. But the framers of the treaty had no inkling at the time where the advances in communications and weaponry would take the world in the next five decades.
“The treaty should be revised as soon as possible,” Baranets noted. “This will prevent militarization of space. Now, space is becoming a place for effective strikes against the enemy.”
And with World War 3 becoming a constant headline topic regarding the degeneration of favorable relations between the U.S., Russia, China, and/or several other actor-states around the planet, a treaty to safeguard against a future space war could ameliorate some of the mounting tensions here on Earth.
[Featured Image by edobric/Shutterstock]