The United States, Russia and China have for decades taken advantage of the ambiguities afforded by dual-use space technologies to develop systems with the potential for use as anti-satellite weapons, even while claiming not to ‘weaponise’ space. However, this has been an incremental process, without the scale, speed and level of priority that ‘arms race’ implies.
- ‘Counterspace’ capabilities will focus on degrading rather than denying an adversary’s use of space systems.
- US opposition and the dual-use nature of many relevant technologies will thwart ongoing international efforts to ban space weapons.
- Iran and North Korea are far from developing anti-satellite weapons; European countries show no interest in it.