President Trump desires to create a 6th branch of the U.S. military- Space Force. Obviously congress would have to vote on authorization, and a lot of details would have to be worked out. According to National Geographic, the White House is currently asking for an extra 8 billion dollars over the next 5 years. The Space force probably draws many different images in a lot of different minds. I have been hearing about it for a few weeks now and thought it time to look into what it really is, and whether or not it could be a good thing for peace like vice-President Pence claims it will be. Questions over space force are nearly endless, and thus it will be appropriate to address as many questions as possible.
What would change?
The United States air-force already spends more than 7 billion dollars yearly on unclassified space systems and according to The Gaurdian, the U.S space command base in Colorado employs about 36,000 people. With the U.S. air-force overseeing some outer space operations and NASA some others – what would change? The most apparent use of a space force would be to defend American satellites and space stations from attacks, especially from missiles that can be launched into space. It also might be a precautionary move to create the separate branch. Vice President Mike Pence is quoted as saying, the U.S needs to “meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield.”
What is the President’s goals or purpose?
The President’s 2020 campaign manager sent out an email to supporters, stating that the campaign will be selling a new line of space force gear. It is very possible, that Trump cannot get space force to pass through congress before 2020… either way though the promise of space force is something he can campaign on. His slogan “Promises Made… Promises Kept” is something that can be yet another promise to the American people that they know he can keep. But what is the goal of the program itself? -That root word “Force” is important. The administration has said that it wants to bring “peace… through strength.”
Is a space force even legal?
According to the National Geographic, “international law would limit what it could do.” In 1967, The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was signed by all the major space powers (U.S., Russia, China etc.). This treaty states that no land can be claimed in space and nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction can never be placed anywhere in outer space. This does not completely limit the space force, (In 1975 Russia fired a cannon ball in space) but it could be argued helps to protect those on earth.
Could the money be better used elsewhere?
When Vermont Senator Bernies Sanders heard about the Space Force he tweeted “Maybe, Just Maybe, We should make sure our people aren’t dying because they lack health insurance before we start spending billions to militarize outer space.” Senator Sanders makes a comment that almost every Senator will make with one example or another. Is this program important enough to prioritize it over other programs? That, my friends, is a question I cannot answer for you.