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Weaponizing Outer Space

By Freya Tulloch

On the 18th of June, President Trump announced a new branch of the US military, a US “Space Force,” costing an estimated $12.9 billion in its first five years [1]. Technological advancements and the use of operation satellites have created a global system where our dependence on the stability and security of outer space is pivotal. We rely on space for communications, transport, banking, weather forecasting and arms control verification [2]. American literary journal,Ploughshares, identifies two key threats to the outer space domain: space debris and space as an arena of warfare [3]. The space environment is gradually becoming infiltrated with more and more assets, therefore the risk of assets colliding with orbital debris has significantly increased [4]. As for the threat of space being used as a battleground, incidents have occurred such as the deliberate jamming of satellite signals, as well as the development of ground-based anti-satellite weapons and dual-use precursor technologies [5]. The militarization of outer space poses significant risks not only to countries but also to the security of the entire global system.

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