Outer Space: Cloaked by a fog of peace

Jessica West Analysis and Commentary, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

In his book On War, published in 1873, military analyst Carl von Clausewitz said, “War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.” Contemporary military theorists and planners still find this idea of the “fog of war” relevant.

Time to ban debris-generating weapons tests in space

Jessica West Analysis and Commentary, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor, Space Security

Orbiting our planet are thousands of satellites that support military operations as well as critical civilian and commercial infrastructures that provide essential services for humans all over the world. These satellites are unprotected and can be seriously damaged by even the smallest piece of orbital shrapnel or debris. And in space, the danger is ongoing, because the debris stays in orbit.

From safety to security: mapping the normative landscape in outer space

Jessica West Featured, Multimedia, Space Security

This map is a visualization of the existing normative landscape in outer space. Created from detailed coding of 90 space governance documents and additional expert feedback from an online survey and global series of workshops, it identifies the prevailing values, documented activities, and prescribed behaviours that currently influence practices in space.

From Safety to Security: Global Workshop Series Report

Jessica West Featured, Reports, Space Security

In November 2020, global space experts were invited to participate in a series of regional online workshops to identify priorities and possible next steps in the development of norms related to space-based military capabilities and activities.

Joint Statement on Outer Space

Jessica West Featured, Ploughshares Monitor, Research in Action, Space Security

This statement was drafted on behalf of civil society by Project Ploughshares Senior Researcher Jessica West. Dr. West presented it to the United Nations General Assembly First Committee for Disarmament and International Security on October 13, 2020.

Report: From safety to security – extending outer space norms

Jessica West Featured, Reports, Space Security

As part of a wider research project that is mapping the normative landscape in outer space with the aim of informing the further development of norms related to space-based military capabilities and activities, we invited global space experts to participate in a survey that was open from May 15 to June 10.

Space Security Cooperation: Changing Dynamics

Jessica West Featured, Research in Action, Space Security

The security of outer space is a cooperative endeavor to achieve a shared benefit. Yet, while cooperation is essential for space security, it is often fraught. This chapter examines the logic for cooperation as an approach to space security, including supportive governance mechanisms, and traces the impetus and evolution of such efforts over time, marked by struggle to overcome strategic competition.