International Order & Conflict

A Code of Conduct for Responsible Space-Faring Nations

in Program

By Michael Krepon – Since 2002, the Stimson Center’s Space Security Project has worked to increase public awareness of the dangerous consequences of flight testing and deploying space weapons, while offering alternative approaches to enhance US and international security. Stimson calls for a “Space Assurance” posture, which would avoid dangerous military activities in space so the United States can continue to enjoy commercial, scientific, and national security benefits. No country would benefit from the testing and deployment of space weapons and all countries would suffer, especially the United States. The centerpiece of Stimson’s concept of Space Assurance is a Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations. Currently, the United States and other nations endorse and practice codes of appropriate conduct at sea, on the ground, and in the air. Activities in space do not have an analogous code. At a time when space is becoming more congested and contested, there are many benefits to be gained by reaching agreement among major space-faring nations to mitigate space debris, refrain from purposeful, harmful interference against objects in space, and implement space traffic management procedures.

Michael Krepon’s chapter, A Case Study in Policy Entrepreneurship, provides a retrospective of Stimson’s Space Security work and accomplishments.

View the complete publication here.

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