Anti-Satellite Weapons, Deterrence and Sino-American Space Relations

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Event Series: 
Friday, February 7, 2014 - 12:00am-1:30am (ended)
223 Moses Hall
Michael Krepon, Co-Founder, Stimson Center, Washington DC

The United States and China are competing more intensely in space and at sea.  China has become the third country to explore the surface of the moon, and aims for a human moon landing within a decade.  Washington and Beijing are also ramping up their military capabilities in space.  Both will become increasingly dependent on satellites and have demonstrated the ability to damage or destroy them.  What happens in the global commons is likely to determine the future of Sino-American relations.  The Obama administration is ready to sign a code of conduct for responsible space-faring nations; Beijing isn’t.  Tangible cooperation would contribute to common understandings and thus reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and surprise. At the same time, both sides are also likely to enhance their offensive and defensive capabilities to seek military advantages as part of their overall space strategies. How much will the United States and China cooperate in space?  And how dangerously will they compete?

Michael Krepon, the co-founder of the Stimson Center in Washington DC, will discuss the opportunities and obstacles facing the US and China in outer space over the next decade.  He worked previously at the Carnegie Endowment, the State Department, and on Capitol Hill.  In addition to his recent monograph—Anti-Satellite Weapons, Deterrence and Sino-American Space Relations—that serves as the basis for this lecture, Krepon’s books include Better Safe than Sorry: The Ironies of Living with the Bomb; Space Assurance or Space Dominance: The Case Against Weaponizing Space; Open Skies, Arms Control and Cooperative Security; Commercial Observation Satellites and International Security; and Cooperative Threat Reduction, Missile Defense, and the Nuclear Future.  Krepon also has two weekly blog posts on www.armscontrolwonk.com.

Co-sponsored by the Institute of East Asian Studies.