Space Power Interests

Space Power Interests

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Space Power Interests

Space Power Interests

Read FREE!

Synopsis

"In this unique volume, an international cast of leading scholars from several disciplines offers a comprehensive assessment of the current status of space-based weaponry. Regional and technical experts offer their analysis of the major powers' special interests in space and also examine the broader issues of ICBM proliferation, testing, monitoring, and verification as well as possible opportunities for cooperation between states with a stake in space power." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Peter Hayes

In this book, we ask the simple question: can the world avoid the proliferation of long range missiles in forthcoming decades? In part, this question arises because many medium and small states are industrializing rapidly, implying the equally rapid diffusion of basic technological capabilities required to exploit space -- including booster rockets known as space launch vehicles (SLVs). In many respects, SLVs are identical to intercontinental ballistic missiles. Which states then might seek to acquire independent SLV capability, and of these states, which might have the requisite financial means and technological prowess to pursue this option?

Gaining an SLV capability, however, is only one route to achieving de facto intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technological capability. Others-as shown in Table 1 -- are indigenous missile production, modification of purchased missiles, outright purchase of missiles, purchase of warheads avoiding need for a local development program, overlapping SLV and missile programs, and underlying each of these paths, the necessary financial wherewithal.

Five sets of actual or potential missile proliferating states may be identified by applying these missile proliferation technology paths to observed proliferation activity, as is shown in Table 2. (As is evident, there are no cases as of 1993 of states buying warheads of mass destruction; and, by definition, all these states found proliferation to be affordable. By implication, the same applies to states posited to proliferate long range missiles in 2000 and 2010.)

In Table 3, a scenario is shown in 2010 as to which pathways various states might have travelled to obtain long range missiles. In this view, the SLV route is likely to be a critical pathway for states pursuing a long range missile capability -- especially in Asia with its many latecomers to industrialization -- given the enhanced controls on the more direct routes to producing, modifying, or buying long range missiles, combined with the value of independent access to space for wealthy states. Yet of the seven prospective ICBM-capable states in this region, only two (China and Japan) are formally committed to the Missile Technology Control Regime (or MTCR), itself an informal arrangement.

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