China and Russia have proposed an updated UN treaty to ban space-based weapons amidst fears the weaponisation of outer-space could prove disastrous. But why does the US government, which has the world’s largest military, continue to block it? If the weaponisation of space is not stopped, the dangers to humanity will be huge, with cosmic consequences.
The Chinese and Russian governments submitted a joint treaty to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on June 10 calling for a total ban on outer-space weapons. The treaty is an updated version of an earlier 2008 draft presented by the two countries, and is aimed at preventing an arms race in space. However, the US government refuses to support it.
Although the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 is already in effect, which prohibits the placement of nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction in orbit, this treaty does not ban the placement of conventional weapons in outer space. This has led to the current concerns of an outer-space arms race as nations secretly build up space-capable weapons systems.