Art of Peace: Dissuading China from Developing Counter-Space Weapons   [open pdf - 420KB]

Alternate Title: INSS Occasional Paper 60

"This paper assesses the viability of applying dissuasion towards the development of offensive counter-space (OCS) systems by China. As a relatively new defense policy and certainly one that has never been explicitly applied previously, the paper delves into the characteristics prescribed by recent US planning documents to develop a strategy that more appropriately addresses current security concerns. Implicitly, dissuasion is intended to prevent future arms races with China through well-placed US actions that channel adversarial efforts in a direction desired by Washington. Several things become clear during this investigation. First, very little scholarly work exists discussing the concept of dissuasion and the mechanisms used to formulate, implement, and execute it as a defense policy. Second, while an admirable attempt to lessen the need for more costly policy options such as deterrence and defeat, dissuasion will not prevent China from developing counter-space weapons, especially since ground-based jammers that target satellite links have already proven effective. Third, the best chance of dissuading China's efforts to acquire space-based OCS systems is through international treaties and laws."

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