Afghanistan’s Security Distribution in the region
Considering the weapons and skills of the Central Asian armies that have weapons and skills of the former Soviet Union, the forces of these countries are likely to face more severe insurgent resistance. It should be kept in mind that they cannot provoke all people. At no point in the past twelve years, Central Asian countries have not been willing to join a multi-national force and have not shown interest in it. Also, the strong combination of Central Asian armies in Afghanistan would be unpleasant. For example, speculation is that the Tajik army will be deployed to Tajikistan in Afghanistan. The same will be the case with the Uzbek and Turkmen forces. In this case, they will receive a brutal response from the Taliban. In fact, the Taliban will provoke Pashtun nationalism against forces from Central Asian countries to break up Afghanistan (from the Taliban’s perspective). Pashtuns do not turn their attention to this and will target Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmens of Afghanistan. In such a scenario, Afghanistan easily falls into a full-blown civil war.
Other countries in the region that are likely to send troops to Afghanistan include Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt from the Middle East. Since people in these countries are involved with the Afghan insurgency, it is very unlikely that these countries will join the security force of several regional nationalities in Afghanistan. Middle East countries do not want to bet on deploying troops in Afghanistan. It can be very unpleasant to fight with insurgents that are being used by them in these countries, especially when these countries have not yet gone through the Arab Spring.
It is clear from the information that terrorist groups and their supporters have made a determination to horrify in Afghanistan in the coming year. The Taliban’s neglect of the Afghan government’s peace plan clearly shows that the Taliban have focused their attention on the war with the government in Afghanistan. The process of electing the National Assembly and the district councils is as important as the legitimacy of the government of Afghanistan, the failure of this process is also important for the Taliban and terrorist groups in Afghanistan. In addition, developments in the region and international affairs, such as the withdrawal from the United States of America of the program of action with Iran and the defeat of ISIL in the Middle East, have had a significant impact on increasing insecurity in Afghanistan.
The ISIL group has carried out the most deadly attacks in Afghanistan this year, and has been able to focus more attention on analysts and news outlets. But what is most worrying is that this group has turned to the massacre of a particular social group in Afghanistan to flame up the fire of sectarian strife in Afghanistan, which, if not blocked by the government, has further concerns will create. The ISIS group launched this year in Afghanistan with a deadly explosion in the Shiite section of western Kabul, killing about 69 dead and 120 wounded. The incident took place at a polling station for the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Shiite neighborhood of Kabul, which was held by ISIL.
The ISIL suicide attacks against the religious and cultural sites of the Shiites of Afghanistan are now one of the major problems and challenges of the national unity government in the security sector of this people, which has so far failed to succeed and failed. Since its inception in Afghanistan, ISIL has been the most deadly attack on its Shiite population. Following the bloodiest suicide attacks in the demonstration on the Dehmzang square, Baqer al-olum and Al-Zahra Mosque, the most bloody suicide attack took place in the mosque during the winter of last year, resulting in the martyrdom of 40 worshipers and the wounding of 90 people. Following the bitter incident, another suicide bomber struck Imam Khomeini Mosque in Dasht-e-Baruchi, Kabul, killing more than 40 people and wounding 50. Following was a suicide bombing at the Tibian Social Cultural Center, where 52 cultural activists, journalists and Shiite students, martyrs and 90 others were wounded. At the beginning of spring this year, a bloody suicide attack was carried out on the pilgrimage of the Shah Shah, and a month later, a suicide attack took place at the Tazkara Distribution Center to register for the electoral campaign, which took all of these attacks to the ISIL group. In addition to the bloody attacks that took place in Kabul, ISIL was also carrying out deadly attacks on Shiite religious sites in other provinces of Afghanistan, an example of which was ISIL’s attack on the Javadiyah mosque in Herat city, which resulted in 30 martyrs and more than 60 others were wounded.
The initial analysis is that the ISIS group is seeking revenge against the Shiites of Afghanistan because of the large presence of Afghan Shiite youth through Iran’s recruiting of the Syrian war. This reprisal has caused the religious, cultural and religious communities of Afghanistan to always be threatened by ISIS. In addition, the ISIS group ideologically views all Shiites around the world with a hostile and reprehensible relationship that the countries supporting the radical and Takfiri ideology of the ISIS group also do not ignore any inhuman attitude towards the Shiites, As a result of this Takfiri view, the Shiites of Afghanistan are more threatened and vulnerable. It should be noted that in the recruitment process by the Iranian government of Afghan refugee children in Iran for deployment to Syria and in the area of providing security for Shiite citizens in Afghanistan, the central government of Afghanistan has a major responsibility that has been very weak in this area. Is. Meanwhile, Shiites and the Hazaras have shown a glorious civilization in democratic processes like the previous election, and have not, as the most civilized social group, conducted any illegal behavior for government institutions in the center and provinces. But again, they have been deprived of their most basic citizenship rights, whose neighborhoods in Kabul are an irrefutable certificate in this regard.
But another analysis in this regard is very different from that which was raised. Based on this view, ISIS is likely to be a fake intelligence and intelligence phenomenon Pakistan and other terrorist countries use to launch specific operations and sectarian wars in Afghanistan, Ideological, is trying to hit the central government of Afghanistan. According to this analysis, the relationship between the Taliban and ISIL is very close to each other. Because the Taliban group is also using it to use any means and behavior that undermined the Afghan government. The reality is the killing of innocent people by terrorists with the intent of punishing the central government for their demands. Concerns in these cases are doubling where the central government has been weak in securing the security of Afghan citizens, especially in the area of security of the religious and cultural centers of the Shiites, which has been very weak and unobtrusive. As a result, as mentioned above, only in the capital, the statistics of the dead and wounded Shiites are much more terrible than some of the statistics and information is available.
The steps that the Afghan government has taken to protect the Shi’i centers has been to ensure the security of Shiite mosques by the Shiite people themselves. Although they suffered from lack of equipment and facilities and did not receive any training from the beginning to the last month, they were still relatively effective. Since the recent Daesh’s bloody attack on the IDS center for voting registration in the Shiite neighborhood of western Kabul was faced with intense civilian reactions. This has led the Afghan president to consider an independent security domain for the security of Western Kabul’s citizens that the news of the opening of this area has been published in the media, but the residents of western Kabul have so far not been aware of the existence of this area and I personally could not really I get the point where the area actually opened in what part of West Kabul is open and where it is.
The second major security challenge of the Afghan government is the Taliban’s terrorist and terrifying activities. Last year, in addition to the center of Afghanistan, distant provinces of the country also witnessed widespread unrest that the recent Taliban attack on downtown Farah was at the top of its domestic news.
Taliban successive attacks in Farah city and the capture of the city at the beginning of last months by the Taliban showed that the Taliban group was more integrated and more enthusiastic from its donor countries than was expected. Find out Farah’s incident is beyond the existing analysis of what is important at the national level for Afghanistan, the Taliban’s message to the people and government of Afghanistan. By the end of 1396, the Afghan government, with the consent of all political parties in Afghanistan, declared unilateral and unconditional peace for the Taliban, and considered the great concessions for Taliban readiness for the peace process. But so far, there has been no indication from the Taliban that they are prepared to accept peace. In addition, the Taliban group, with the onset of its spring strike called Khandagh, virtually showed that the Taliban are still determined by their hostility to the Afghan people and started suicide bombing wars from remote areas of Afghanistan, where the Farah incident It’s an example.
ISIL and the Taliban now cover all terrorist groups as their subdivision and become more coherent, but the Afghan government has not responded to Afghan public opinion so far. It was expected that the government of Afghanistan would be more determined to mobilize public opinion after rejecting a peace plan without the preconditions of the Afghan government from the Taliban. But on the contrary, it was a Taliban group that proved its determination in Farah.
In the war of intelligence and guerrilla warfare, without the mobilization of public opinion and forcing the enemy to go through peace through a war, the Afghan government has never been able to succeed. But due to the coherence of the Taliban group, the failure of talks between the Taliban and the Meriya without the presence of the Government of Afghanistan, the high profile of the Mola-barader in these talks, the withdrawal of US troops from the Taliban group and the role of Pakistan in the Afghan peace process, the prolongation of partisan wars could finally cost Impose a lot on the government of Afghanistan.
Indian Conventional and Strategic Arms Buildup: Implications for Pakistan
South Asia’s regional dynamic is both flamboyant and intricate. Various empires have formed, prospered, and perished over the millennia, as innumerable conflicts and struggles for control of resources spread over the globe. However, 2021 was a year of fierce weapons competition between South Asia’s nuclear neighbors, India and Pakistan, who carried out 26 missile tests. India launched 16 ballistic and cruise missiles while Pakistan tested 10 missiles with nearly identical capabilities.
As a response to the perceived inability of the Indian Armed Forces (IAF) to adequately respond to the Pakistani insurgencies, and after the failure of the Indian forces to quickly react and mobilize their forces in 2001, the Indian Army and the defense policymakers realized the lack of modernized and consistent army doctrine. This resulted in the announcement by the Indian Army in 2004 of a new limited war doctrine known as the Cold Start Doctrine (CSD).
Importance of Air Base
The importance of air superiority can be witnessed by looking at the six days of the Arab-Israeli War, in which the Israeli forces pre-empted an attack from the bases of Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, and struck the air force before the fight even began. The outcome of the war was determined during its first hours. By destroying the opposing air fleet, Israeli forces gained air superiority, and thus the Arab forces were helpless in their efforts, which eventually resulted in a humiliating defeat for the Arabs.
Indian Air-Bases: A Strategic Threat
In the contemporary era, military forces are going for weapon systems that require absolutely no time at all when it comes to striking a target. In that regard, the air force comes first for the obvious reason that its threshold is low as compared to a ballistic missile strike. Indian force deployment and employment are very close to Pakistan’s borders, from Siachen to the Rann of Kutch. In India’s most recent attack on Balakot, which took place in 2019, the air force was utilized. This clearly shows the Indian resolve to use the air force in any future blatant aggression like the one in February 2019.
The Indian air force deployment is tailor-made for Pakistan. If one analyzes the airbases/airstrips positioning and range from the Pakistani-Indo international border, the Line of Control (LOC), and the working boundary, it is quite obvious that the positioning shows the aggressive posture of the Indian Air Force. When deployed at those bases, the aircraft are the finest in the Indian military, both in terms of their quality and serviceability. When it comes to the up-gradation of the base’s facilities, this is the top priority list that is visible to everyone. In May 2021, the bases in Pakistan got priority.
The bases are positioned in such a strategy to cover every city in Pakistan, as it has no strategic depth. Pakistan’s major cities, like Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot, and even the capital, Islamabad, are within the Indian Air Force’s reach. The same goes for the areas in Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
Future Threat Scenario
Now the question arises what will happen in the future in light of past historical data? The answer to this is both simple and complex. It is simple in the context that the IAF will target Pakistan with its pre-defined strategy of naked aggression against peaceful neighbors, while the Indian Army is following a pro-active offense posture; the complex part is where, when, and how.
The IAF will utilize the war scenario created by the Indian government and Indian media after a staged terrorist attack on a civilian or military target, for which they will put full blame on the Pakistani state and security apparatus. They will try to raise the temperature to the point where the Indian civil establishment shows the world community that now enough is enough and our people are demanding a counter-strike. At that time, the Indian establishment will use its media to put blame on Pakistan and create a war-like scenario while raising tensions.
In light of that, the IAF, under the orders of the Indian government, along with the Indian army, will start attacking the Pakistani bases in the early moments of the war because if the IAF does not target PAF bases, then there will be grave consequences for the Indian army, and the Pakistani army also has additional fire support bases. The above-mentioned rationale will be the main cause of the IAF attacking the PAF infrastructure, thus undermining the national security of Pakistan. The Indian army, with the IAF, will aspire to rapid, shallow penetration of Pakistani territory, without crossing the nuclear threshold of Pakistan. The Indian military will go for a quick and short battle that will surprise Pakistan because that is the only possible strategy in their minds when talking about limited war scenarios or showing off war.
The IAF is a major threat to the national security of Pakistan in the wake of its alignment with the Indian military’s CSD. The operational exercises conducted in the past and the recent strikes at Balakot exhibit the growing role of the IAF in the Indian military offensive strategy against Pakistan. Vast parts of Pakistan are within the combat radius of the IAF’s operational fighters because of Pakistan’s lack of strategic depth.
The IAF will try to use this as an advantage to support the pro-active and offensive strategy of the Indian Armed Forces to harm Pakistan, as that would be their prime objective because of their hegemonic designs. In order to protect itself from India’s flagrant military aggression, Pakistan should take some protective measures.
In the wake of the growing IAF threat, the PAF and Pakistani government should take the following measures on an urgent basis:
- Build some new airstrips along the border with India, to balance the threat by not allowing an IAF advantage in any sector. Moreover, the building of airstrips requires less money; thus this step will not put a strain on Pakistan’s economy;
- Buy more advanced surveillance radars to detect early IAF movement.
- Purchase advanced surface-to-air missiles to create a defensive barrier;
- Go for indigenizing the modern, state-of-the-art 5th generation fighter aircraft, as buying from foreign suppliers is very expensive.
- Ask the international community to put pressure on both sides to sign confidence-building measures that will lead to peace and stability.
The audacious AUKUS submarine deal and Asia’s changing security landscape
In this exhaustive analysis, I try to spell out the impact and potential consequences of the recently-brokered submarine deal between the U.S., the U.K., and Australia on Asia’s changing security landscape.
All advanced navies of the world possess lethal submarines, powered by either diesel-electric or nuclear propulsion. These underwater warships are the most potent asset at the disposal of a naval force for maritime power projection, sea denial and sea control. Lying silently under water, they are capable of sinking surface ships, including large aircraft carriers, with torpedoes or ballistic missiles. Ever since WW-II, submarines have made its name as one of the most crucial components of maritime strategy and naval warfare. Australia and the U.K. are two key maritime nations of the world, which happen to be security allies of the United States, a country that owns and operates the largest fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in the world. Being nuclear-powered not necessarily mean being armed with nuclear warheads.
The 2021-formed AUKUS (Australia, U.S., U.K.) “enhanced trilateral security partnership” has taken cooperation between the three Anglophone countries to the next level. U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and Australia – PM Rishi Sunak and PM Anthony Albanese – in the Californian port city of San Diego on 13 March 2023, where they jointly announced a detailed four-phased plan to equip Australia (a non-nuclear-weapon state) with “conventionally armed, nuclear-powered” submarines (codenamed SSN) at least by the next decade along with strengthening cooperation in other areas such as critical and emerging technologies.
The plan would cost Canberra’s exchequer up to a whopping A$ 368 bn. (US$ 245 bn.) in total by 2055, according to reports. The detailed plan, spanning a time frame of three decades, was announced after an eighteen-month-long consultation period following the creation of AUKUS in mid-September 2021. Australian PM Anthony Albanese called the deal “the single biggest leap” in Australia’s defence capabilities in the nation’s history. If the plan goes ahead smoothly as planned, Australia will become the seventh country in the world to add nuclear-powered submarines to its navy. As the deal turns out to be a race against time, the biggest challenge is to ensure deterrence capabilities for Australia at the present, as the full benefits of the deal would take years to materialise.
AUKUS leaders believe that the deal would “strengthen deterrence and bolster stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond for decades to come”, apparently keeping in mind the exponential growth of China’s naval power in the recent past. China has built 12 nuclear-powered submarines in the last two decades, including ballistic missile submarines (codenamed SSBNs) and is continuing its ambitious ship-building spree in all fronts. As per the AUKUS plan, the first phase of the deal is set to begin as early as this year, with U.S. and British SSNs increasing their port visits in Australia along with joint embedded training of naval personnel, which will be followed by a rotational deployment of U.S. and British SSNs in the island continent.
In the remaining two phases of the deal, Washington will deliver a flotilla of three to five advanced Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines to Australia by the early 2030s, upon Congressional approval, and eventually a new “SSN-AUKUS class” of nuclear-powered submarines (SSN) will be developed in the decade that follows, for future commissioning in both British and Australian navies. With the use of nuclear energy involved, the Indo-Pacific region is abuzz with fears and concerns of an escalating arms race, even though AUKUS promises “the highest nuclear non-proliferation standard”.
Current owners of nuclear-powered submarines
As of now, only the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France) and India have active nuclear-powered attack-capable submarines in their naval fleet (see the image below). More than half of the 130 active nuclear-powered submarines in the world are operated by the U.S. Navy (67), followed by Russia (31), China (12), U.K. (10), France (9) and India (1). The rise of China’s offensive military capabilities and its naval power in particular, since the 1990s, is the single largest factor that has convinced Canberra to join hands with Washington and London to bolster its own capabilities, through AUKUS, by making use of “next-generation” British hull design and “cutting-edge” American technology.
Countries with active nuclear powered submarines (via Statista)
The AUKUS deal smartly gets away with a loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968, which allows for the transfer of fissionable material and nuclear technology from a nuclear-weapon state (NWS) to a non-NWS if it is used for non-explosive military use like naval propulsion. Such a transfer is also exempted from inspections and monitoring by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an organisation that stands for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the promotion of nuclear safety. The IAEA Director General said that he had received “separate communications” on the matter from the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Australia, as well as from the U.K. and the U.S.
Of all the countries that have reacted to the highly ambitious AUKUS project, the responses of China and Russia stands out, as they are in direct strategic competition with the de facto leader of AUKUS – the United States. While the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson remarked that the U.S. and its AUKUS allies are “walking further and further down the path of error and danger for their own geopolitical self-interest”, Russian foreign minister commented, “the Anglo-Saxon world, with the creation of structures like AUKUS and with the advancement of NATO military infrastructures into Asia, is making a serious bet on many years of confrontation in Asia”.
While Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong cities Canberra’s bid for “strategic equilibrium” in the region as the underlying factor that led to the AUKUS pact, opinions on the submarine deal, which comes at a humongous cost, are not uniform across Australia’s political spectrum. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating thinks Canberra is compromising on a proper national defence strategy to help maintain U.S. “strategic hegemony” in Asia and has also stated that the submarine deal would be ineffective in the event of a war. Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand have also shared their concerns about the risk of nuclear proliferation in the region.
As per the Bangkok Treaty of 1995, Southeast Asia is a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ). Moreover, almost all of the ASEAN member-states have deep economic linkages with China, even though they rely on the U.S. for “security and stability” in Asia. Even though some of them have disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea, like the Philippines and Vietnam, they prefer to avoid unnecessary “provocations” and try to balance their ties with the U.S. and China, amid intensifying regional rivalry between the two big powers. Australian defence and foreign ministries are expected to embark on a diplomatic charm offensive to assuage all concerns of Southeast Asian countries lying in China’s periphery.
Eyeing for balance of power
AUKUS was announced just one year after a Pentagon report claimed that China has built the world’s largest naval fleet in sheer numerical terms, even though the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) relies mostly on smaller classes of ships, while the U.S. naval strength is further multiplied by its allied navies. One of the most-overlooked events of March 2023 was the annual session of China’s ceremonial national legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), which handed over China’s Presidency to the hyper-nationalistic and revanchist leader Xi Jinping for an unprecedented third time in a row.
The newly-appointed Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang, formerly China’s Ambassador to the United States, held a press conference on the sidelines of the NPC, during which he made a significant remark that throws light on the deteriorating state of U.S.-China relations. He accused the U.S. of harbouring a “Cold War mentality” and said, “… the United States claims that it seeks to out-compete China but does not seek conflict. Yet in reality, it’s so-called competition means to contain and suppress China in all respects and get the two countries locked in a zero-sum game … If the United States does not hit the brake but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation … Containment and suppression will not make America great, and it will not stop the rejuvenation of China …”
Washington’s shooting of a suspected Chinese “spy balloon” that flew over American airspace earlier this year is the latest example of this downward spiral in U.S.-China ties. The Indo-Pacific, as a geostrategic concept and a broader maritime region, came into being as China began to flex its military muscles throughout its immediate and extended neighbourhood, where U.S. and its allies have a robust military presence.
Being part of the U.S.-led alliance system, including the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network and the recent AUKUS pact, Canberra has become a lynchpin of Washington’s evolving Indo-Pacific strategy to counter growing Chinese assertiveness and stated offensive intentions vis-à-vis Taiwan, the South and East China Seas, and also the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India. Australia is also due to the host the third in-person Quad leaders’ summit later this year.
As the “threat perception” of China in the West continues to rise day by day, the extent to which an AUKUS-centered deterrence is possible in Asia remains to be seen in the years to come.
Anti-Satellite Weapons: Risks and Regulations
Today, outer space is characterised as an increasingly congested, contested, and competitive domain. This is because of an unprecedented increase in satellites and actors operating them. 13 countries now possess the capability to launch satellites compared to only two in the late 50s. In 1959, there were only two man-made objects in outer space but as of 30th April, 2022, Union of Concerned Scientists’ database included 5,465 active satellites. The number stood at 3,372 on 31 December 2020 – indicating an increase of 62%.
The growing dependence over space-based assets for day-to-day activities, like communication, navigation, and weather forecasts etc. indicates that the numbers are likely to grow exponentially. The environment that these satellites face is not benign by any standard. The biggest threat emerges in the form of space debris which are any human-made objects in orbit around the Earth that no longer serve any useful purpose. 60 years of human activities in outer space have generated over 29,000 human-made objects of larger than 10cm, while even a 1cm object can collide with a satellite to cause damage comparable to a hand grenade. While some of the debris generation is inevitable, Destructive Anti Satellite Weapons (DA-ASATs) testing has been a leading source of debris creation – something that can be prevented.
DA-ASATs, part of the counterspace capabilities which help a state in establishing space superiority while denying the same to its adversary, are essentially missiles which either directly hit a satellite in outer space or destroy it through proximity detonations. Use of this capability generates debris in outer space and threatens sustainable utilisation of outer space for peaceful endeavours. Other non-kinetic counterspace capabilities include physical non-kinetic capabilities like lasers and High Power Microwaves (HPMs) that damage on board circuitry of satellites, electronic counterspace capabilities which affect the satellites’ communications channels and cyber capabilities which target the data.
In November 2022, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a non-binding resolution banning testing of DA-ASATs. The resolution was supported by an overwhelming majority of 154 states. The resolution was tabled by the United States (US) that had already announced a unilateral moratorium on such testing in April of that year. While the earliest demonstrations of such a capability date back to early Cold War, only four states have demonstrated this capability so far – the US, Russia, China, and India. While Russia and China voted against the resolution, India abstained from voting but expressed its preference for a legally binding treaty over self-declared moratoriums. Russia and China, on the other hand, objected to the resolution’s shortcomings over development of such a capability and lack of disarmament when it comes to states that already possess this capability. The two have also pointed out how the issue of non-kinetic ASATs was left out.
While the effort to mitigate debris-generation through banning the testing of DA-ASATs is praiseworthy, leaving out the continued possession, production, and development of DA-ASATs and more advanced non-kinetic capabilities is worrisome. In a way, the emerging trend of unilateral moratoriums and UNGA resolution is akin to establishing DA-ASAT ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ as was the case of nuclear non-proliferation regime. A taboo on testing of these technologies is likely to emerge, making it difficult for other states to enter this club. Such an outcome would be desirable if the intent was to avoid an arms race in outer space and move towards disarmament of existing capabilities. However, that does not seem to be the case.
France, for instance, joined the US in announcing a moratorium on testing of DA-ASATs – in a way surrendering its option to demonstrate this capability. However, in 2019, French Defence Minister had publicised a French plan to develop anti-satellite laser weapons stating that, ‘If our [French] satellites are threatened, we intend to blind those of our adversaries.’ Lasers and other non-kinetic means present a different set of challenges for space security. Possession of such capabilities is difficult to verify, it is difficult to establish attribution once such weapons have been employed, and their non-destructive nature lowers the threshold of use. In case of electronic and counterspace capabilities, the barriers to entry are lower and the risks of proliferation are higher. If other states with significant stakes in outer space emulate the French approach, it is only going to increase the likelihood of warfighting in outer space.
The emerging taboo on non-testing of DA-ASATs is not shared by three of the four states which have demonstrated this capability so far. Notwithstanding the American divergences with Russia and China, there is merit in the position that the latter have taken. The next step, therefore, needs to be disarmament of existing DA-ASAT capabilities and a ban on their development. Alongside, the issue of non-kinetic counterspace capabilities also needs to be addressed. Without a comprehensive approach towards space security and addressing the concerns of all stakeholders, there is no way to ensure that contestation in outer space will not escalate to undesirable levels.
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