The People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities.
We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war. We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented.
We reaffirm the importance of addressing nuclear threats and emphasize the importance of preserving and complying with our bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments. We remain committed to our Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, including our Article VI obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
In Machinia, Damon learns that the robot uprising was the result of the weapons of war simply refusing to wage war. In the article that follows, the UN is already very concerned about autonomous weapons being deployed that do not require human governance. #war, #UN
GENEVA — Countries taking part in UN talks on autonomous weapons stopped short of launching negotiations on an international treaty to govern their use, instead agreeing merely to continue discussions.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and several NGOs had been pushing for negotiators to begin work on an international treaty that would establish legally-binding new rules on the machine-operated weapons.
Unlike existing semi-autonomous weapons such as drones, fully-autonomous weapons have no human-operated “kill switch” and instead leave decisions over life and death to sensors, software and machine processes.
For more than 50 years, near space has been viewed as a vast resource to exploit with few limits. In reality, near space is a very scarce resource. While international agreements such as the Outer Space Treaty and the Registration Convention take steps to protect this precious resource, no single global body is responsible for ensuring the long-term sustainability and safety of near space.
The current surge in the exploitation of outer space means that this lack of a global framework for space sustainability must be addressed immediately, or it will be too late; near space will be cluttered and unrecoverable. We are seeing increased use of near space for tourism and other business ventures and the deployment of megaconstellations comprising tens to hundreds of thousands of satellites. And this is just the start. Last month, we witnessed a Russian anti-satellite test that left portions of near space cluttered with orbital debris. Failure to implement a global framework with an enforcement mechanism for space sustainability could severely impact the ability to fully utilize the resource in the near future.
Today near space activities are subject to disparate space sustainability requirements, generally reliant on the requirements of the object’s launching state or conditions imposed by countries in which entities have market access. Some countries have developed well-crafted requirements for at least some space objects, but others have not. In addition, except for the items covered in existing treaties, like launching state liability, there is almost no harmonization on requirements, which further jeopardizes space sustainability.
A scientist who wrote a leading textbook on artificial intelligence has said experts are “spooked” by their own success in the field, comparing the advance of AI to the development of the atom bomb.
Prof Stuart Russell, the founder of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley, said most experts believed that machines more intelligent than humans would be developed this century, and he called for international treaties to regulate the development of the technology.
That layer would be absolutely essential in trying to defend against a FOBS, that is if a defense at all is actually feasible or even strategically sound. We are not talking about a rogue state here with a few advanced ballistic missiles. China would be able to deploy dozens or even hundreds of these at once. At a certain point, kinetic defenses against such a capability become a losing proposition and a very costly one at that.
Regardless, if this report ends up being fully accurate, one thing is likely: New calls for hugely expensive missile defense capabilities will be ringing loud and often on Capitol Hill, as well as demands to do whatever possible to bring China to the bargaining table in hopes of obtaining some type of strategic arms limitation treaty.
In both cases, the language is an attempt to call forth the spirit of the Outer Space Treaty. However, as many critics have stated, the Artemis Accords suffer from the fact that they are tied to a specific space agency and program. This was certainly the basis of Rogozin and Russia’s resistance when the Accords were first announced, hence why Russia and China have come together to do the same.
In short, they have decided to establish a set of bilateral agreements that would allow others to participate in their program of lunar exploration. While it’s not clear what the long-term implications of this will be, it could possibly lead to tensions and territorial disputes down the road. After all, one of the hallmarks of the current era of space exploration is its plurality, where multiple space agencies (and commercial space) are involved instead of two competing superpowers.
But when three of the five major space powers create two competing frameworks and ask others to join them, one can be forgiven for concluding that there’s a new Space Race in town!
‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’ is a term used in arms-control circles signifying something capable of damage on a large scale and subject to international treaties. Analyst Zak Kallenborn argues in a recent study for the U.S. Air Force Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies that some types of drone swarm would count as WMD. The argument might seem like the theoretical arms control equivalent of angels dancing on the head of a pin — except that the U.S. Army is working on a lethal swarm which fits Kallenborn’s description. Watch the video for more: https://youtu.be/KLmmPnMvwNY
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There’s an additional reason why international agreement and co-operation in the outer space domain is crucial: the peaceful use of outer space, as required by the Outer Space Treaty.
In October 2020, eight countries signed a NASA-led initiative called the Artemis Accords. These included the United States, Canada, Australia and Luxembourg. Notably absent were Russia and China, who have since agreed to collaborate with each other on space initiatives.