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Report: Economic Impact of Arms Race in Space

A Call for Changes in U.S.

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By: Secure World Foundation

Nov. 3, 2008 - The present U.S. policy of space dominance could transform outer space into a military battleground points out a just-issued report from Economists for Peace and Security.

The report, Space, Security and the Economy, focuses on the Bush administration's outer space policy that asserts the right to deny any nation access to space if its actions are "perceived" to be hostile.

This policy, the report explains -- together with other actions such as withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and the ongoing development of weapons intended to attack objects in space -- could lead to the deployment of weapons in space. Furthermore, if the U.S. positions weapons in space, other nations are likely to pursue the same action and spur an arms race in space.

No one, the report concludes, can prevail…and all stand to lose in an arms race in space.

Impact on U.S. economy:

The newly issued report is sponsored by the Arsenault Family Foundation.

This report is both highly significant and timely, noted Cynda Collins Arsenault, President of the Secure World Foundation.

"Understanding the key role that space already plays in our lives, as well as its impact on our economy, is a first step in working towards developing solutions for the secure and sustainable use of space," Arsenault said. "We can no longer seek solutions in isolation in our interconnected world but must rely on globally agreed upon measures."

Space, Security and the Economy underscores other negative consequences from an arms race in space, such as impacting the scientific and commercial uses of space. In particular, private investors are unlikely to place additional resources at risk in a vulnerable area of potential military conflict, the report observes.

The report calls for changes in the policy of space dominance, greater transparency in military space spending, and detailed information about government and commercial space activities.

Among other consequences would be negative effects on the economy and the growing scientific and commercial uses of space. In particular, private investors are unlikely to place additional resources at risk in a vulnerable area of potential military conflict.

Greater transparency needed:

The report by Economists for Peace and Security (EPS) calls for changes in the policy of space dominance, greater transparency in military space spending, and detailed information about government and commercial space activities.

Space, Security and the Economy is co-authored by Richard Kaufman, a member of the board of directors and a vice chair of Economists for Peace and Security; Jeffrey G. Lewis, Director of the Nuclear Strategy and Nonproliferation Initiative at the New America Foundation; and Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, a Senior Research Scientist at the Space Policy Institute of the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

Areas discussed in this new report include: military and commercial uses of space, military budget trends and key technologies, problems in tracking military space spending, as well as trends and developing patterns in the space economy.

Economists for Peace and Security is an organization of economists, other social scientists, and citizens concerned about issues of peace, conflict, war, and the world economy.

To view the report, go to:

http://www.epsusa.org/publications/papers/spacesecurity.pdf

 

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