Russia and China last week submitted the treaty for consideration. The text is a modified version of a 2008 draft accord, the news website reported on Thursday.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Frank Rose said the U.S. government opposed the draft pact on the grounds that its terms could not be verified and because it did not cover ground-based weapons that could be fired against space-based systems.
“There is no effective verification regime to monitor compliance, and terrestrially based antisatellite systems posing the greatest and most imminent threat to space systems are not captured,” Rose said during a June 10 meeting of the international Conference on Disarmament.
China conducted antisatellite tests in 2007 and 2010 and may have carried out another assessment last year. The United States in 2008 used a missile interceptor to destroy one of its failed satellites. Russia also has suggested that it is developing antisatellite capabilities to match those demonstrated by the United States and China.
Antisatellite weapons have missile-defense applications because the same technology used to destroy a satellite could be used to target a launched ballistic missile. Additionally, the U.S. military has several satellites in orbit that provide data on missile threats around the world.
Instead of a legally binding treaty, the Obama administration supports a nonbinding “code of conduct,” Rose said.
Mark Schneider, a former nuclear-strategy official at the Pentagon, told the Beacon that “all U.S. administrations have rejected space control because there are serious definitional problems, such as what is a space weapon.”
The analyst said he also sees the China-Russia treaty as being aimed at constraining the United States and its allies’ use of satellites as missile-defense sensors.
What We're Following See More »
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified on Friday the makes and models of 12 million cars and motorcycles that have been recalled because of defective air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata. The action includes 4.3 million Chryslers; 4.5 million Hondas; 1.6 million Toyotas; 731,000 Mazdas; 402,000 Nissans; 383,000 Subarus; 38,000 Mitsubishis; and 2,800 Ferraris. ... Analysts have said it could take years for all of the air bags to be replaced. Some have questioned whether Takata can survive the latest blow."
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says 41 Secret Service agents have been disciplined in the fallout of an investigation over the agency's leak of personnel files. The leaker, who has resigned, released records showing that Oversight and Government Reform Chair Jason Chaffetz—who was leading an investigation of Secret Service security lapses—had applied for a job at the agency years before. The punishments include reprimands and suspension without pay. "Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.
Mitt Romney spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about his decision to challenge Donald Trump. “Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack. They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” Still, "I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
"A bill to help Puerto Rico handle its $70 billion debt crisis is facing an uncertain future in the Senate. No Senate Democrats have endorsed a bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while some are actively fighting it. ... On the Republican side, senators say they’re hopeful to pass a bill but don’t know if they can support the current legislation — which is expected to win House approval given its backing from leaders in that chamber."
"Congress abandoned the Capitol Thursday for an almost two-week break without addressing how to combat Zika, even as public health officials issue dire warnings about the spread of the mosquito-driven virus with summer approaching. ... Instead of racing to fund efforts to thwart a potential health crisis, lawmakers are treating the Zika debate like regular legislation, approving Thursday the establishment of a House-Senate committee to hammer out differences in their competing bills."