The U.S. defence strategy in outer space: A plan in which no one wins

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

On June 18, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released a public summary of its updated Defense Space Strategy. Making public the military’s approach to space is a critical transparency and confidence-building measure (TCBM), enhancing the security of the space environment for all actors. As many states fail to provide such information, the United States should be applauded for this …

Space Force: Why we’re watching the Netflix parody

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

The new Netflix parody series Space Force, starring Steve Carell, is currently #1 on the platform in Canada. We at Project Ploughshares are watching, too. On June 2, with our colleagues from the Centre for Peace Advancement, we hosted an online social event to watch the first episode. Inspired by U.S. President Trump’s call in 2018 to establish a Space …

A New Survey Seeks The Input Of Global Experts On Space Norms

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

How do we think that this body of rules and accepted behaviours and attitudes—this normative landscape—can be strengthened and extended to fill in critical gaps, particularly in relation to military and security activities? What tools would encourage responsible behaviour to become the norm? What would a future governed by the best possible assembly of norms look like?

Public tip lines: The enemy of resilience

Jessica West Featured, News

Too much medicine is bad for us. So is too much public surveillance, even when it is supposed to protect us from harm. Certainly, surveillance and detection of a disease are critical to its containment. Disease must be tracked and then containment measures such as physical distancing and quarantine must be monitored and enforced. In the face of the current …

Public health is on our minds: Here’s how it applies to outer space

Jessica West Featured, Space Security

The number of threats to the security of outer space is growing. Reports on global counter-space capabilities released at the end of March by the Secure World Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies indicate that the range of capabilities that can interfere with and even destroy satellites is increasing, as is covert on-orbit activity. New initiatives such as the U.S. Space …

Containing COVID-19, together: it’s time to reinvest in collective security

Jessica West Featured, News

Addressing the world on March 23, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire in response to the deadly spread of COVID-19. Noting that it “attacks all, relentlessly” but inflicts the most harm on the most vulnerable, he asserted that we must “put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” While the …

Looking ahead: Trends shaping space security in 2019

Jessica West Featured, News, Space Security

The world has entered a Second Space Age, marked by an intensification of our interactions and reach into outer space. A core part of the international Space Security Index project, managed by Project Ploughshares, is to look holistically at how states, companies, and people around the world access and make use of this domain. Looking to the year ahead, five …

Trump just announced the creation of a Space Force. Should we be concerned?

Jessica West Americas, Featured, News, Space Security

On Monday, U.S. President Trump was due to sign Space Policy Directive-3 on space traffic management. This was exciting to those of us who work on space governance, if not to many others. Then Trump announced that he would create a Space Force – a new branch of the U.S. military – and pointed to the chairman of the Joint …

America first: What the U.S. National Security Strategy means for arms control in outer space

Jessica West Americas, Featured, News, Space Security

The new U.S. National Security Strategy promises to put America first, raising critical questions about the future of alliances and economic partnerships, as well as about how the international community will handle challenges such as climate change that require concerted cooperation. Perhaps more troubling are the implications for arms control in a strategy that emphasizes “peace through strength.” In particular, …

Under Stress: Space Security in 2017

Jessica West News, Space Security

The annual assessment of the security of outer space released at the United Nations last week warns of mounting stress from a combination of rapid technology change and geopolitical tensions.  Space Security Index 2017 tracks developments and activities related to four indicators of the security of outer space – environmental sustainability, access to and use of space, technologies for space …