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Monday, September 29, 2014

ENTEROVIRUS D68: TEXAS AND DELAWARE AFFECTED - 40 STATES TOTAL NOW

ENTEROVIRUS D68 (EV-D68) NOW IN 40 STATES:  TEXAS AND DELAWARE LATEST

From mid-August to September 29, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 443 people from 40 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 40 states are (Newly added states are listed in BOLD type): 
Alabama
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
This indicates that at least one case has been detected in each state listed but does not indicate how widespread infections are in each state.
CDC is prioritizing testing of specimens from children with severe respiratory illness. Of the specimens tested by CDC lab, about half have tested positive for EV-D68. About one third have tested positive for an enterovirus or rhinovirus other than EV-D68.
In the upcoming weeks, more states will have confirmed cases of EV-D68 infection.
  • The primary reason for increases in cases is that several states are investigating clusters of people with severe respiratory illness, and specimens are still being tested for EV-D68. It can take a while to test specimens and obtain lab results. That’s because the testing is complex and slower, and can only be done by CDC and a small number of state public health laboratories. As the backlog of specimens is processed, the number of states and confirmed cases will likely increase. These increases will not necessarily reflect changes in real time, or mean that the situation is getting worse.
  • Some of the increase will be from new EV-D68 infections since people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall. We are currently in the middle of the enterovirus season.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

UKRAINE: U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE MAKES VISIT TO UKRAINE / MEETS PRES POROSHENKO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 27, 2014
News Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883



Fulfills Request of President Obama to Meet with Senior Ukraine Officials and Push for Needed Reforms to Improve Business Climate

Today Secretary Pritzker completed her visit to Ukraine, where she met with key government officials, including President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, and business leaders to discuss the Administration's commitment to the country. As America's chief commercial diplomat, the Secretary's trip focused on the challenges facing American companies in Ukraine and what they need to do to implement the necessary reforms to improve the business climate, attract private capital, expand opportunity, and strengthen the economy, both now and in the future. Her message to leaders in the country was clear: sustainable economic growth is the gateway to long-term political stability for the people of Ukraine, and the United States is here to help.

Secretary Pritzker continues her trip with stops in Poland and Turkey with members of the President’s Export Council (PEC). In both countries, she will meet with senior government officials and with American companies seeking greater and deeper access to their markets. The following is a statement from Secretary Pritzker during a news conference upon conclusion of her visit to Ukraine.

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you Ambassador Pyatt – you are doing a terrific job representing the United States in Ukraine at this pivotal moment.

This morning I was very moved to walk on the Maidan and see what sacrifice the people of Ukraine are prepared to make to achieve their democratic future. Since the outset of the current crisis, President Obama has been clear that Russia must respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including by ending its occupation of Crimea and withdrawing all of its military forces from inside Ukraine.

President Putin’s actions are hurting both the Russian and Ukrainian economies. President Obama and I have been very focused on this crisis for many months – and we will continue to be. During that time, we have witnessed the incredible courage of the Ukrainian people – from the Maidan to the Donbas – and of Ukraine’s new leadership in Kyiv.

The United States has a stake in helping Ukraine build an independent, stable and prosperous country that benefits all its citizens, which is why President Obama asked me to lead a U.S. government delegation to Kyiv.
We are here to learn more about the particular challenges facing Ukraine’s economy and to convey our thoughts about how to stabilize Ukraine’s financial situation, improve the business climate here, and develop the conditions for future growth.

We have had productive discussions with President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. We also met with a number of dynamic, young Ukrainian entrepreneurs and representatives of American companies currently in the market, visited the oldest Jewish Synagogue in Kyiv, toured Babi Yar and walked the Maidan with Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

It has been a remarkable visit. We have been encouraged by what we have all seen and learned, but the fact is that Ukraine faces significant economic challenges that its leaders are working to:
  • Stabilize the financial system;
  • Fight corruption;
  • Build a more efficient and accountable bureaucracy;
  • Balance the books;
  • Incentivize innovation;
  • Reform the energy sector; and,
  • Allow agriculture and industries with strong potential to maximize their productivity.
These steps are going to be hard, but they can change the future of your country. In particular, seeing decisive action on anti-corruption now is important. We certainly hope to see the anti-corruption legislation that is currently in the Parliament passed before the coming election. The business community inside and outside Ukraine are watching to see if this can get passed now. Passing this legislation is an important signal that the commitment to reform is real.

As someone who spent 27 years in the private sector, I understand the conditions that are required for someone to start a business or make an investment – and I believe that if Ukraine succeeds in implementing these reforms, this market could present phenomenal business opportunities.

President Poroshenko’s Strategy 2020, which he unveiled this week, presents an ambitious vision of what Ukraine’s economy can be. But to achieve these goals, it is essential that Ukraine take steps now.

Implementing that vision could build an economy that supports broad based and sustainable prosperity for all Ukraine’s citizens. As conditions here improve, the U.S. Department of Commerce can help showcase the historic investment opportunities that these changes could represent and bring the American private sector to this market.
On a more personal note, this is my first-ever visit to Ukraine. I am the great-granddaughter of Nicholas Pritzker who emigrated from Ukraine to the United States 133 years ago in search of prosperity and security. I shared the story of my family with President Poroshenko.

My family has been blessed to live in a country – the United States -- that allowed us to start businesses and fulfill our dreams.

I know that if Ukraine – a country with great human capital -- follows through on these reforms, this economy will present opportunities for Ukrainians to fulfill their dreams right here at home. The United States is committed to building deeper commercial ties between our nations and to building a stronger Ukrainian economy.

Friday, September 26, 2014

MAC / LINUX: CRITICAL - VIRUS MAY AFFECT NATIONAL SECURITY / POWER GRID

Alert (TA14-268A)

GNU Bourne-Again Shell (Bash) ‘Shellshock’ Vulnerability (CVE-2014-6271, CVE-2014-7169)



Original release date: September 25, 2014 | Last revised: September 26, 2014

The UK’s national cyber-security response team, Cert-UK, has issued an alert to all government departments stating that the Shellshock flaw carried the “highest possible threat ratings… for both impact and exploitability”. The US National Cyber Security Division gave it a score of 10 out of 10 for severity and a complexity rating of low – meaning it is easy for hackers to exploit. Cert-UK added that it should be “assumed” that many government computers and other devices would be vulnerable to the bug, adding: “This will inevitably include organisations that are part of the critical national infrastructure.” Many industrial control systems, from power plants to traffic light systems, rely on Bash software to function. 


Systems Affected

  • GNU Bash through 4.3.
  • Linux and Mac OS X systems, on which Bash is part of the base operating system.
  • Any BSD or UNIX system on which GNU Bash has been installed as an add-on.
  • Any UNIX-like operating system on which the /bin/sh interface is implemented as GNU Bash.

Overview

A critical vulnerability has been reported in the GNU Bourne-Again Shell (Bash), the common command-line shell used in many Linux/UNIX operating systems and Apple’s Mac OS X. The flaw could allow an attacker to remotely execute shell commands by attaching malicious code in environment variables used by the operating system [1](link is external). The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about the GNU Bash vulnerability.

Description

GNU Bash versions 1.14 through 4.3 contain a flaw that processes commands placed after function definitions in the added environment variable, allowing remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted environment which enables network-based exploitation. [23]
Critical instances where the vulnerability may be exposed include: [4(link is external)5(link is external)]
  • Apache HTTP Server using mod_cgi or mod_cgid scripts either written in bash, or spawn GNU Bash subshells, or on any system where the /bin/sh interface is implemented using GNU Bash.
  • Override or Bypass ForceCommand feature in OpenSSH sshd and limited protection for some Git and Subversion deployments used to restrict shells and allows arbitrary command execution capabilities. This data path is vulnerable on systems where the /bin/sh interface is implemented using GNU Bash.
  • Allow arbitrary commands to run on a DHCP client machine.

Impact

This vulnerability is classified by industry standards as “High” impact with CVSS Impact Subscore 10 and “Low” on complexity, which means it takes little skill to perform. This flaw allows attackers who can provide specially crafted environment variables containing arbitrary commands to execute on vulnerable systems. It is especially dangerous because of the prevalent use of the Bash shell and its ability to be called by an application in numerous ways.

Solution

Patches have been released to fix this vulnerability by major Linux vendors for affected versions. Solutions for CVE-2014-6271 do not completely resolve the vulnerability. It is advised to install existing patches and pay attention for updated patches to address CVE-2014-7169.
Many UNIX-like operating systems, including Linux distributions and Apple Mac OS X include Bash and are likely to be affected. Contact your vendor for updated information. A list of vendors can be found in CERT Vulnerability Note VU#252743 [6].
US-CERT recommends system administrators review the vendor patches and the NIST Vulnerability Summary for CVE-2014-7169, to mitigate damage caused by the exploit.

References


Revisions

  • September 25, 2014 - Initial Release
  • September 26, 2014 - Minor Revisions

KERRY: UNDER U.S. LEADERSHIP, WORLD WILL DEFEAT ISIS (AGENDA)

Under U.S. Leadership, World Will Defeat ISIS


Op-Ed
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Boston Globe
September 26, 2014




The United States has long faced threats from a lethal brand of terrorism that perverts one of world’s great religions. We have been relentless in targeting Al Qaeda and its affiliates, but the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, now poses a profound and unique threat to the entire world.

What we are confronting is nothing less than a violent extremist enterprise. It has employed violence, intimidation, and genocidal brutality to impose its will across large swaths of Syria and Iraq. The Islamic State controls more territory than Al Qaeda ever has, which means it has access to money on an unprecedented scale to finance its mayhem.

With American leadership, the world is responding with a unity that shows these criminals that we will not allow them to divide us or force their nihilistic vision on helpless people, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or nationality. On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the gross abuses carried out by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

There is a vigorous international debate under way about what it means to destroy the Islamic State, about how effective and resilient the growing coalition will be, and about how the strategy will unfold in the coming months.
Here at home, I understand why Americans are weary about US involvement in the volatile Middle East. People are right to ask tough questions, and we have a responsibility to answer them.


I am proud to work for a president who asks questions before using military force because, after all, I remember the words of the conservative Edmund Burke: “a conscientious man would be careful how he deals in blood.”
Let’s start by explaining what this fight is not. It is not a clash of civilizations. Muslim scholars are outraged about the Islamic State’s brutality and perversion of Islam, calling its savagery deviant and heretical. Sunni and Shiite alike have joined forces against this outrage. The coalition represents a unified response, as evidenced by the remarkable and unprecedented participation of five Arab countries in the air strikes in Syria. And that’s just the beginning. There is a role for every nation, from helping to dry up outside funding and stopping the flow of foreign fighters to taking direct military action and providing humanitarian assistance.

This is not the prelude to another US ground war in the Middle East. President Obama has said repeatedly that US ground troops will not engage in combat roles. He means it. I volunteered to serve and fought in a war I came to believe was a mistake. I take that lesson seriously. This will not be another one of those interventions.
Finally, this campaign is not about helping President Bashar Assad of Syria. We are not on the same side as Assad — in fact, he is a magnet that has drawn foreign fighters from dozens of countries to Syria. As the president has said, Assad lost legitimacy a long time ago. We are embarking on an important effort to train and equip vetted members of Syria’s opposition who are fighting the Islamic State and the regime at the same time. By degrading the Islamic State and providing training and arms to the moderates, we will promote conditions that can lead to a negotiated settlement that ends this conflict.

So how do the United States and the more than 60 countries that have joined the effort so far succeed? Military action is a key component of the campaign. The Islamic State rules at the barrel of a gun and the blade of a knife, and that’s the only language its adherents seem to understand. But as the president said, America is not in this fight alone. Iraqi and Kurdish troops are fighting on the ground now, and over the months the moderates in Syria will become a more effective force as we provide training, equipment, and military advice.

But our strategy is broader. One important step is reducing the number of foreign fighters flocking to the black flag of the Islamic State. These foreigners, including many from the United States, pose an immediate danger on the battlefield and a longer-term threat if they are allowed to return to their home countries. So every country must detect and disrupt the recruitment by the Islamic State, because keeping fighters from making it to the war is more effective than taking them out after they arrive. And every country must increase its vigilance in monitoring those who return from the battlefield.

We must work to strangle the Islamic State’s funding. The Islamic State has reaped millions of dollars from its sales of pirated oil, extortion rackets, and illegal taxes on businesses in the territory it controls. Ending its taxes and extortion will require winning back territory, but the world can act now to dry up the black market for the oil the Islamic State is smuggling across parts of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The illicit oil provides a large share of the Islamic State’s financing for its terror and there are forceful steps we can take to disrupt it.

The evil that the Islamic State represents is not something that Iraq or the region can take on alone. We face a common threat and it requires a common response. Acting together, with clear objectives and strong will, we can protect the innocent, contain the danger, and demonstrate that our ideals are more powerful than those who seek to impose their warped beliefs at the point of a gun. The Islamic State is odious, but it is far from omnipotent — it will be defeated.

ENTEROVIRUS: 8 NEW STATES ADDED TO LIST BRINGING TOTAL AFFECTED TO 38 STATES

ENTEROVIRUS D68 (EV-D68) TRACKER - 8 NEW STATES ADDED

From mid-August to September 25, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 226 people from 38 states with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The 38 states are (NEW STATES ADDED ARE IN BOLD TYPE):
Alabama
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Utah
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
This indicates that at least one case has been detected in each state listed but does not indicate how widespread infections are in each state.
CDC is prioritizing testing of specimens from children with severe respiratory illness. Of the specimens tested by CDC lab, about half have tested positive for EV-D68. About one third have tested positive for an enterovirus or rhinovirus other than EV-D68.
In the upcoming weeks, more states will have confirmed cases of EV-D68 infection.
  • The primary reason for increases in cases is that several states are investigating clusters of people with severe respiratory illness, and specimens are still being tested for EV-D68. It can take a while to test specimens and obtain lab results. That’s because the testing is complex and slower, and can only be done by CDC and a small number of state public health laboratories. As the backlog of specimens is processed, the number of states and confirmed cases will likely increase. These increases will not necessarily reflect changes in real time, or mean that the situation is getting worse.
  • Some of the increase will be from new EV-D68 infections since people are more likely to get infected with enteroviruses in the summer and fall. We are currently in the middle of the enterovirus season.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

THANK YOU CAPTAIN

RESPECT


TERROR SCENARIO HITS D.C. STADIUM

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 24, 2014) -- Imagine this scenario: fans are enjoying a packed sporting event, then suddenly they hear an explosion and hundreds fall ill from a sarin gas attack. Local responders are overwhelmed; the military is called in to assist.

That scene was played out Tuesday, at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium here, as Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region practiced for a mass casualty event with local emergency services and federal responders, as part of Capital Shield 2015.

The purpose of the training is to ensure a swift and effective interagency response if an emergency were to occur in the nation's capital, according to Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the commanding general of Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region.

"What we don't want to do is have to react in a disaster -- man-made or mother-nature made -- where we're figuring out how to work together for the first time in a true emergency," he said. 

While the military was created to fight and win the nation's wars, he said, under emergency authority it can work in the homeland at the request of local, state or federal authorities. 

"Ultimately it's about helping the American people. Even if a Black Hawk helicopter is meant to carry troops into combat, we can use it to move civilian casualties, again, if requested," he said.









At the exercise, two Army helicopters from the 12th Aviation Battalion transported members of the Marine Corps' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force to the site.

It was the first time this Marine Corps force worked with the DC Fire Department in a decontamination training exercise, Buchanan said.

At the stadium, mock victims lay on the sidewalk, people and mannequins were crumpled in stadium seats and actors remained motionless strewn on the floor. Emergency responders in protective gear assessed the situation; victims were evacuated and sent through the decontamination lines. 

The Capital Shield exercise, which is held annually, is specialized for the Washington, D.C. area, Buchanan said. 

More than 40 federal, state, and local agencies are taking part in the multi-day, multi-location exercise, which continues through Thursday. Other Capital Shield training sites included Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Lorton, Virginia.

"The bottom line is, what we really want to do is save people's lives, and so cooperation is extremely important," Buchanan said. 

Members of the District of Columbia National Guard's 33rd Civil Support Team were among the responders at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

Cooperation among entities and readiness are paramount in responding quickly and effectively to emergencies, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Ebbert, the commander of the 33rd Civil Support Team.

"Our role is to support the civilian responders, primarily District of Columbia Fire and EMS, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department. We provide support to our federal partners within the District of Columbia," he said.

"It's a unified effort," he said.

While the DC National Guard works with local authorities on special events such as the State of the Union and inauguration, Capital Shield is truly unique, he said.

"It's not often that we get to do a full-scale exercise and have all the participants from all the interagency players," Ebbert said. 

Staff Sgt. Tanisha Mercado, with the 33rd Civil Support Team, felt that the training was a success.

"Of course there is always going to be some hiccups and things that we need to work on, but very minor stuff. I think everyone felt comfortable, felt confident and that's always the important part," she said.

Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, which is based in at Fort Lesley J. McNair, here, is a regional subordinate of U.S. Northern Command. It is responsible for defense support of civil authorities and incident management in the National Capital Region.

OBAMA: SALUTES UNITED NATION DIGNITARIES AS PRAISING U.N. WORKERS / PEACEKEEPERS

SALUTE PROTOCOL:  BROKEN AGAIN?

September 25, 2014


After catching some serious flak on issuing a "Latte Salute" to his Military personnel departing Marine One, today, we see another salute-gone-wrong during President Barack Obama's speech at the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA).

Yes, this is actually him, but no, he is not intentionally "flipping the bird" to Foreign Minister Lavroff from Russia (at least we don't think so).  Full speech offering thanks to U.N. workers, U.N. Secretary Ban Ki Moon as well as U.N. Peacekeepers and Medical personnel who have recently been deployed to West Africa and the Middle East.

We might just suggest, to be slightly more careful with the gestures.


SEARCH FOR MISSING MALAYSIAN FLIGHT MH370 CONTINUES

SEARCH FOR MISSING MALAYSIAN FLIGHT MH370 CONTINUES

The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines 370 will extend further south from the previously identified priority search area. The extension was decided after "recent refinement in the analysis" revealed a "greater certainty" about the specific point and time that the aircraft veered from its original flight path towards south into the Indian Ocean, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau or ATSB said in its Web site.



According to the bureau's statement, refined analysis produced a "better understanding of the parameters within which the satellite ground station was operating during the last flight of MH370." With this progress, "latest assessment of the highest priority areas" will most likely "extend south of the previous 'orange' priority area."

Underwater vehicles searching for MH370 are also being mobilised, according to ATSB. GO Phoenix was already equipped to endure harsh sea and weather conditions. The vessel left Jakarta on Sept 23 for "calibration area" and is estimated to arrive at the designated search area by Oct 1. The vessel is specifically tasked to conduct underwater search for 20 days before sailing to Fremantle for resupply.

Fugro Discovery had also been furnished and had started its voyage from Durban, South Africa to Australia. It is expected to disembark for new equipment and its mission crew will be in Fremantle by Oct 2. The Fugro Equator, the vessel that is currently conducting survey in the search area, will also be used as a search vessel, following the completion of the bureau's "bathymetric" review. The vessel is expected to conclude its survey by Oct 30. Fit-out work and all necessary tuning for these vessels are being jointly funded by Malaysia and Australia.

Australia is leading the search for the missing MH370 at the request of the Malaysian government. The underwater search of the defined 60,000-square kilometre zone priority search area is expected to take up to 12 months to complete - this excludes weather conditions that could hamper operations.  Over 41,300 square kilometres of the ocean floor of the high-priority search was already analysed and mapped. All data obtained by the surveying vessels are processed by Geoscience Australia to ensure safe and effective deep-water search.

SOURCE:  INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES - AUSTRALIA

SPACE WARS: CHINA / RUSSIA SEEKING TO DESTROY U.S. SATELLITES - CHINA TESTED MISSILE ALREADY

Ensuring the Long-Term Sustainability and Security of the Space Environment


Remarks
Frank A. Rose
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Capital Section, Army Navy Country Club
Arlington, VA
September 25, 2014



Introduction
Good afternoon. Today, I’d like to discuss a vital interest of the United States, as well as the entire global community: ensuring the long-term sustainability, stability, safety, and security of the space environment.

This audience is not one that needs to be convinced of the importance of the space environment to our national security. We all know very well that space assets are integral to our national security, as well as that of our allies and coalition partners.

For over five decades the global community has been inspired by humanity's space endeavors and reaped the benefits of the use and exploration of outer space. Some may take these benefits for granted so we must educate the public about the consequences if the space environment were to become unusable.

Outer space is a domain that no nation owns but on which all rely. Today the outer space environment is becoming increasingly congested from orbital debris, and contested from man-made threats—such as debris-generating Anti-Satellite systems—that may disrupt the space environment, upon which we all depend. The world’s growing dependence on the globe-spanning and interconnected nature of space capabilities mean that it is more important than ever for all citizens to understand that irresponsible acts in space by one entity can have damaging consequences for all. Therefore, it is essential that all nations work together to adopt approaches for responsible activity in space in order to preserve this domain for future generations.

In my remarks today, I would like to cover two aspects in regard to ensuring the security and sustainability of the space environment: first, the risks and dangers to space systems from debris generating anti-satellite or ASAT tests; second, the role of international diplomatic initiatives in protecting the long-term sustainability and security of the space environment.

Threats to Outer Space

Let me start with the risks and dangers. On July 23, the Chinese Government conducted a non-destructive test of a missile designed to destroy satellites in low Earth orbit. Despite China’s claims that this was a missile defense test; let me assure you the United States has high confidence in its assessment, that the event was indeed an ASAT test.

And China is not the only one pursuing these capabilities. As Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted in his February 2014 congressional testimony, "Russian leaders openly maintain that the Russian armed forces have antisatellite weapons and conduct antisatellite research."

The United States believes that these threats, which include the continued development and testing of destructive anti-satellite systems, are both destabilizing and threaten the long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment including all who benefit from outer space including the scientific, commercial, and civil space communities. Indeed, thousands of pieces of debris from the 2007 Chinese ASAT test continue to endanger space systems—as well as astronauts—from all nations, including China.

On the security side, ASAT weapons directly threaten satellites and the strategic and tactical information those satellites provide, and their use could be escalatory in a crisis or conflict. They also pose a direct threat to key assets used in arms control verification monitoring, command and control and communication, and warning and attack assessment. A debris generating test or attack may only be minutes in duration, but the consequences can last decades and indiscriminately threaten the space-based assets of all space-faring nations, and the information from space upon which all nations depend. On the civil space side, there have been numerous examples of the need to raise the orbit of the International Space Station due to a conjunction with a piece of debris from the 2007 Chinese ASAT test. And just as these systems threaten our national security space systems, they can threaten the civil satellites that are so essential to our everyday lives like weather satellites.

Multilateral Efforts toward a Stable and Sustainable Space Environment

Given these threats and the current era where dozens of States and nongovernmental organizations are harnessing the benefits of outer space, we have no choice but to work with our allies and partners around the world to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space environment. We also must speak clearly and publicly about what behavior the international community should find both acceptable and unacceptable. Over the past few years, the United States has worked to support a number of multilateral initiatives that seek to establish “rules of the road” for space that are both in the national security interests of the United States, and will further the long-term stability and sustainability of the space environment.

Just last year, I served as the United States expert on a United Nations-sponsored Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) study of outer space transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs). The GGE report which was published in July of last year and agreed to by China and Russia endorsed voluntary, non-legally binding TCBMs to strengthen stability in space. The GGE recommended that States implement measures to promote coordination to enhance safety and predictability in the uses of outer space. The GGE also endorsed “efforts to pursue political commitments, for example, a multilateral code of conduct, to encourage responsible actions in, and the peaceful use of, outer space.”

This International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities is another important multilateral initiative. Among the Code’s commitments for signatories is to refrain from any action which brings about, directly or indirectly, damage, or destruction, of space objects and to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, the creation of space debris, in particular, the creation of long-lived space debris. The Code could also help solidify safe operational practices, reduce the chance of collisions or other harmful interference with nations’ activities, contribute to our awareness of the space environment through notifications, and strengthen stability in space by helping establish norms for responsible behavior in space.

Lastly, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) is also doing important work to move forward in the development of new international long-term sustainability guidelines. U.S. experts from the private sector as well the federal government have played a leading role in the COPUOS Working Group on Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, including key contributions from AIAA experts on space technical standards. These efforts contribute to the development of multilateral and bilateral space TCBMs. Exchanges of information between space operations centers also can serve as useful confidence building measures.

Multilateral diplomatic initiatives contribute greatly to defining acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in space and therefore are key components of the United States deterrence strategy. In addition, if we are serious about maintaining the space environment for future generations, we must support such measures that promote positive activities in space and further the creation of norms which dissuade countries from taking destabilizing actions such as the testing of debris-generating ASAT systems. By working with the international community, we can, and must, advance the long-term sustainability and security of the outer space environment for all nations and future generations