Bush Should Jump-Start Negotiations to Ban Anti-Satellite Weapons

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the founder and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, today criticized the Bush administration for using a Navy missile to destroy a falling American spy satellite.

"The geopolitical fallout of this  intercept could be far greater than any chemical fallout that would have resulted from the wayward satellite," Rep. Markey said. "The Bush administration's decision to use a missile to destroy the satellite based on a questionable ‘safety' justification poses a great danger of signaling an ‘open season' for other nations to test weapons for use against our satellites. Russia and China are sure to view this intercept as proof that the United States is already pursuing an arms race in space, and that they need to catch up."

"It is absolutely crucial that the Bush administration get serious about preventing the weaponization of space and the development of anti-satellite weapons. The president should jump-start international negotiations to create an international ‘code of conduct' to prevent anti-satellite weapons, prevent the creation of dangerous space debris, and ensure access to space. President Bush needs to understand that since the United States relies so much more heavily on space than other nations, we have that much more to lose from a space arms race," Rep. Markey concluded.

February 21, 2008

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