For immediate release: 3rd August 2004

CND Report, published today, demands ban on space weapons before it’s too late

A new report published today by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament details alarming plans to place weapons in Outer Space and explains how UK support for the US “Missile Defence” system is helping the US their stated aim of “dominance” and “control” of space.

The report, called Fighting for Space, was written by the Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and explains how the US plans to deploy the world’s first working space weapon – the experimental NFIRE – next Summer. The NFIRE is a test weapon which is being deployed under the guise of Missile Defence, yet it will supply data on the effectiveness of what the US calls “kinetic-kill technology” – a satellite based weapon capable of attacking other objects in space.

In the report CND details past cold-war attempts to deploy space weapons but more disturbingly details plans and proposals for space weapons of the future. The US, it explains, is keen to control and dominate space and to deny others access to space. This, the report explains, will provoke nuclear proliferation on the Earth and may provoke a space arms race.

Neil Kingsnorth, the report’s author, explained,

“Hawkish factions within the US are undoubtedly fervently chasing their dream of space warfare. We could see the first space weapon within a year and yet there are no rules whatsoever to control this. There are rules for guns, bombs, nuclear weapons and even rules for warfare. This threat is very real and we now need a Treaty to ban space weapons before the heavens become a battlefield.”

The report has been published as part of a newly launched campaign by CND to highlight the threat of Missile Defence and space weapons. On top of the report, lobbying work and education, CND plans to hold a national demonstration at the UK’s Star Wars base, Fylingdales, on Saturday September 25th (The first day of Keep Space for Peace Week). They also plan to walk the 70 miles between the likely next UK Star Wars base – Menwith Hill – and Fylingdales between Hiroshima and Nagasaki day (August 6th – 9th) to raise awareness of the bases and the campaign.

Kate Hudson, Chair of British CND, said,

“The reality is that Missile Defence is about control in warfare and control in peacetime. It’s about making wars like that in Iraq easier to start and easier to win. As this report explains, the US plans to use Missile Defence as an excuse to deploy weapons in space and it is time that the UK government stood up and said enough is enough. UK military bases are integral to Missile Defence and we should be stating loud and clear our opposition to space weapons, space warfare or space dominance.”

The report will be sent out to key politicians in the UK and Brussels and made available to the public.


Notes to Editor

1) More information and comment from CND Press Officer Ruth Tanner – 0207 7002350 or the report’s author Neil Kingsnorth – 01274 730795

2) A copy of the report is available from CND on 0207 7002393.