State Department Backs Off Controversial ASAT Test Ban Proposal

The USS Decatur fired an SM-3 interceptor missile from a point off Kauai, hitting the mid-range target's simulated warhead 100 miles above the Earth

The Obama administration is shelving a controversial arms control initiative that would ban destructive tests of anti-satellite weapons following opposition from the Pentagon over concerns the ban would limit U.S. space activities, according to defense and congressional officials.

The arms control plan, first disclosed by the Washington Free Beacon last month, was confirmed by Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, during a House subcommittee hearing last week. Gottemoeller said interagency talks were held on pursuing an agreement that would impose a moratorium on destructive testing of anti-satellite weapons.