Space on the table

Issue 12 - Mar 2008


India must to look at the military uses of space technologies and be prepared with its own ASAT capabilities in case of future need.

It is in India’s interests to become an active party to the outer space disarmament agenda and to propose its own draft of PAROS. It is important for India to influence the future treaty negotiations as an insider rather than become an outsider.

In the run-up to negotiations and the eventual signing of such a treaty, the United States, Russia and China will continue to enhance their capabilities for the military use in the outer space without formally acknowledging the intent. There is still time for India to acquire, test, and demonstrate ASAT capability. But the window of opportunity will not last very long in case the United States decides—now that it has conducted a test of its own—to agree on signing of internationally verifiable PAROS and PPW treaties. PAROS and PPW can perhaps preserve the peaceful paradise of the outer space by preventing, or at least postponing, an arms race in space. It is imperative at this stage that India demonstrate its own ASAT capabilities before multilateral negotiations over PAROS take off.

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