While people who favor nuclear arms control are generally aware of the threat posed by ASATs
, they should be informed of the Administration's arguments in favor of them and the array of expert views in opposition.
There are several varieties of ASAT
weapons, such as direct-ascent, co-orbital, non-kinetic, jamming and cyber, Elleman and Toyoma explained.
In recent years, it has demonstrated the next-generation A-235 ABM system that defends Moscow and conducted multiple flight tests of the new Nudol ground-launched, direct-ascent intercept system that is thought to be focused on ASAT
(39) Under these two dangerous ambiguities, China could reason that space stalkers would be the best type of ASATs
to present the United States with two bad choices.
orbit without the limitations of ground based ASATs
that require the
The proliferation of ASATs
, horizontal and vertical, was rather limited both throughout the Cold War period and in the following two decades.
favors them over kinetic ASATS
, (64) and Russia, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom likely have DEW capabilities as well.
At the same time, these assets have become increasingly vulnerable to attack, as demonstrated by China's successful antisatellite (ASAT
) missile test in 2007.
Such a system would be able to shoot down not only ballistic missiles, but ASATs
as well as orbiting satellites and spacecraft.
To address this ASAT
imbalance, Rankine announced earlierthis month that the Department of Defense (DOD) has restructured its ASAT-development program and requested that Congress rescind its ban on the testing of ASAT
components against objects in space.
The ranks of military professionals who are skeptical about the ASAT
plan's desirability include officers whose pet projects would benefit directly from a crash development program.
States could not agree on how to confront the ongoing development of ASATs
, the dual uses of anti-ballistic missile systems, and the potential deployment of ABMs in outer space.