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Effectiveness of International Agreements in Space: A Virtual Think Tank (VITTA) Report

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Technical Report

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NSI Team Boston United States

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The expert contributors divided nearly evenly on whether international space agreements can provide protection to space assets. While all contributors agreed that international agreements create norms of behavior, they disagreed on whether these norms create restraints on state behavior that will hold in a crisis. The contributors who did believe that international agreements could provide protection also maintained that focusing on prohibited activities, such as the generation of space debris, rather than prohibited technologies, increased the enforceability and verification of effective international space agreements as well as mitigated the dual-use problem. In short, their argument was that with regard to dual-use technology, ultimately it does not matter what states build, it really only matters how they use what they put into space. The expert contributors were nearly evenly split on whether international agreements can effectively protect high-value space assets in time of crisis or conflict. Twelve experts affirmed the effectiveness of these agreements, whereas the eleven other experts dissented from this view.

Subject Categories:

  • Space Warfare
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Government and Political Science

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