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Testimony & Transcripts
Nov 05, 2020 Three Neglected Space Issues: Laser ASATs, Cooperation with China and Russia, and Space Secrecy
Earlier this summer, NPEC and the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security held their fifth space policy workshop, “Three Neglected Space Issues: Laser ASAT's, Cooperation with China and Russia, and Space Secrecy.” Attached is the workshop report. Very little has been said publicly about the Chinese and Russian ground-based anti-satellite weapon threat. The first panel clarified this threat. Like rendezvous satellites, ground-based lasers have perfectly legitimate civilian applications. However, they also can be used to disrupt, dazzle, and destroy important military satellites. Some technical fixes against this threat are possible. It also would be desirable to have certain rules governing the operations of these ground-based systems. Devising either set of fixes, however, are not possible without discussing these matters in a more open fashion. The second panel focused on how excessive secrecy is hobbling America’s military space programs and related space control diplomacy. The details of how self-defeating some forms of secrecy are and what should be done about it were extensively discussed. Finally, the third panel focused on space cooperation with Russia and China. What is the future of such cooperation? Might more cooperation help sort out rules for military space operations or is additional space cooperation ill-advised? On these matters, the participant’s views were divided: Some thought space cooperation was the best way to promote needed space control rules; others believed it would be unlikely China would ever comply. Below is the workshop’s report. The impressive list of speakers and participants included James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers former Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Michael Gold, acting associate NASA administrator, and Simon “Pete” Worden of Breakthrough Initiatives.
Jun 30, 2020 Countering Co-Orbital ASATs: What the Winning National Collegiate Debate Team Has to Say
Due to no planning at all, a key topic of NPEC’s current research — what U.S. space arms control policy should be — was this year’s national collegiate debate topic. Slightly less accidental is who won the national competition (which includes 80 of the nation’s leading colleges and universities). Michael Cerny, Raphael J. Piliero, David Bernstein, and Brandon W. Kelley turned in the winning debate submission, "Countering Co-orbital ASATs: Warning Zones in GEO as a Lawful Trigger for Self-Defense." It's a genuine contribution to U.S. space policy. It makes the case for creating zones in space to help protect key satellites from hostile spacecraft. It builds on NPEC’s research and improves on it.  How did I find out about the competition? In late February, NPEC cohosted a debate with the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on National Security and the Law on space self-defense zones between space expert Brian Chow and Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation. Word of the private debate apparently caught the attention of the collegiate debating teams. One of the teams contacted me and volunteered to transcribe a recording of the event and shared the transcript with their colleagues.  The result is the attached winning debate submission, which reinvents space self-defense or keep-out zones as space “warning” zones. Self-defense and keep-out zones have been criticized for running astride the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits states from asserting their sovereign to appropriate territory in space. The proposed warning zones avoids this problem. Rather than being prohibitive redlines designed to trigger the use of force, warning zones are “informational” and designed to deter conflict in space. The proposed warning zones clearly recognize the increasing threat posed by co-orbital rendezvous satellite operations and suggest a useful diplomatic, legal way forward. The winning team clearly deserves our thanks and their work, our attention.  
Mar 23, 2020 Securing Our Military Satellites Against Shadowing Spacecraft
Earlier, last month, General John Raymond, Chief of Space Command operations, revealed that the Russians had launched a spacecraft that shadowed an important US military satellite. Could the Russians be angling to disable key US and allied space assets? General Raymond would not say but voiced concern. "It's clear," he noted, "Russia is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit our reliance on space-based systems that fuel our American way of life."  NPEC recently held a workshop with the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security to dive a bit deeper. General Raymond spoke to the group and before his talk, two of the world's leading experts on co-orbital shadowing satellite threats offered their view. The first expert was Brian Chow, a space analyst; the second was Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation. Both focused on whether space keep out zones and shadow spacecraft-blocking body guard satellites might help.  France has announced its desire to create such zones and build satellite bodyguard systems. The United States has yet to support such moves. Should it? In other publications, Brian Chow says yes but there are other views and they too are worth weighing. Toward this end, the transcript below of Dr. Weeden's and Dr. Chow's discussion and two of their previous published exchanges make for interesting reading. 
Mar 21, 2018 NPEC Executive Director's HFAC Testimony: Keeping the Middle East from Becoming a Nuclear Wild, Wild West
NPEC's Executive Director, Henry Sokolski, will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa at its hearing on the "Implications of a U.S.-Saudi Arabia Nuclear Cooperation Agreement for the Middle East." For a full list of witnesses and more information, click here.
Dec 08, 2015 NPEC's Executive Director Gives Testimony to House on Moderating Pakistan's Nuclear Posture
NPEC's Executive Director, Henry Sokolski, will testify on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, & Trade hearing on "Civil Nuclear Cooperation with Pakistan: Prospects and Consequences" For a full list of witnesses and more info, click here      
Nov 25, 2015 NPEC's Executive Director testifies before the Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission
Prepared testimony of NPEC's Executive Director for the Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission public session "Security and Nonproliferation Risks," on November 25, 2015. For a full list of witnesses and more information about the session click here. This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in The Nonproliferation Review, © 2016 Taylor & Francis; The Nonproliferation Review is available here. 
Jul 16, 2015 NPEC's Executive Director Gives Testimony to House Subcommittees on US-China 123 Agreement
Prepared testimony NPEC's Executive Director gave on July 16, 2015 before a Joint Hearing, "Reviewing the U.S.-China Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement," of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on Asia and the Pacific and on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. For a full list of witnesses and more info, click here.
Jul 10, 2014 NPEC's Executive Director Gives Testimony at House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing "The Future of International Civilian Nuclear Cooperation."
Testimony of NPEC's executive director as presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee's hearing on July 10, 2014, "The Future of International Civilian Nuclear Cooperation." His full written testimony is also available. See the House Foreign Affairs Committees website for additional witness testimony and a video of the hearing.  
Jan 30, 2014 NPEC's Executive Director Gives Senate Testimony on Tightening Nonproliferation Rules
Prepared testimony of NPEC's executive director to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 30, 2014, "Section 123: Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreements". For a full list of witnesses and video of the hearing, click here.
Jan 28, 2014 NPEC's Senior Researcher Testifies on Implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal
Prepared testimony of NPEC's senior researcher to a January 28, 2014 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, "Implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal." For a full list of witnesses and video of the hearing, click here.
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The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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