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Report: The Growing Complexity of Space: Implications for Security Instability (LOP 2022)


Here are the key points of the report “The Growing Complexity of Space: Implications for Security and Stability”:

  • Space became strategically important during the Cold War as enabled reconnaissance and early warning of missiles. The U.S. and showed restraint in space due to its fragility and connection to nuclear deterrence.
  • After the Cold War, satellites enabled conventional operations, making space assets both militarily advantageous and vulnerable. More countries and private companies are now active in space.
  • Space is increasingly congested with satellites and debris, raising the risk of collisions. It is contested as some states develop anti-satellite weapons. It is competitive as more actors satellites and develop rival positioning systems.
  • Diplomacy seeks to limit threats in space but faces challenges due to differing interests and the dual-use nature of most space . Some support a space weapons ban but verification poses difficulties. Norms of responsible behavior are being pursued.
  • relies heavily on space assets and international cooperation in space. Space capabilities are deemed critical for Canada's defence but also face vulnerabilities. Canada is modernizing defence capabilities and involved in deterrence frameworks like NORAD and NATO that rely on space.
  • Canada aims to promote norms of responsible behavior in space. It works in diplomacy to keep space peaceful but recognizes defence preparations are needed in case deterrence fails.


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