President Donald Trump has just ordered the Department of Defense to create the Space Force, as the sixth branch of the US Military. The biggest question everyone is asking, is will this force be established with peaceful intentions, and what is the purpose and mission of this ‘space force’?
All you need to know can be summed up by this quote via the BBC:
“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Mr Trump said at the White House.
It’s evidently clear from these words alone, what the true purpose of this force will be. Some may say it was obvious when it was announced that the force is intended to be a part of the Military, that obviously this was a militarized force, however not all militaries are intended for aggression. Some genuinely are designed as defense forces, whereas some “Defense Forces” are actually aggressive invaders.
It is not the establishment alone of a military space force, that is alarming, with space being the obvious next frontier for mankind, it seems inevitable, it is the brazen way in which its purpose is described.
Russia too, for example, has a military space force, as part of her Aerospace Forces, however, President Putin has not, for example, declared so openly that its purpose is to achieve ‘Russian dominance’.
This is not the first time President Trump has mentioned the creation of a Space Force. Trump floated the idea of creating the Space Forces in March.
Let’s just create a Space Force…why not?
It must be said that it was shocking and very alarming how casually he spoke of creating a new military branch, while speaking to Marines, according to sources:
The president described how he’d originally coined the term as a joke, while discussing U.S. government spending and private investment in space. “I said, ‘maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’ and I was not really serious. Then I said, ‘what a great idea,’ maybe we’ll have to do that,” Trump told the crowd of Marines.
While many Americans admire Trump for his bluntness and non-politically correct nature, and that is one matter, but it is perplexing why so many people confuse undiplomatic, casual, and unprofessional behavior as a positive thing. Trump even joked that the US “may even have a Space Force”, but that they should just create “another one”.
Leaders should be strong, stoic, and sober, very responsible, and when they speak, it should be calm, sternly and seriously but not harshly, yet never silly. The language used there sounds unbecoming of one with the authority to wage war, yet Trump makes no illusions that the purpose of this branch is war, saying:
“Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” Trump told a an audience of service members at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Trump’s own people opposed the idea
Just eight months ago, Trump’s Secretary of Defense James Mattis opposed the idea of a space force, in an official letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. Mattis wrote the following concerning the “Space Force”:
“I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts,”
It is noteworthy, that the object of Mattis seems to be primarily with regards to the financial and logistical effects a space force would have on the US Military at the time of his letter. His opinion may or may not have changed, yet he did not seem opposed on fundamental grounds.
Objections were raised just now on similar grounds by Senator Nelson of Florida, according to the NYT:
The creation of a sixth branch of the military to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard would require congressional authorization and approval. Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, who is on the Senate Commerce Committee overseeing the nation’s space program — and who once spent six days in space — said that the president’s order lacked the support of the generals who would be required to carry it out.
“Thankfully the president can’t do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart,” Mr. Nelson said on Twitter. “Too many important missions at stake.”
It must be understood that Trump still requires congressional approval before a space force can be created. As with his immigration policies, there will likely be a great abyss between him creating a new military branch on a whim, to Washington actually implementing it. We will have to see.
Space was, and remains at this moment relatively unmilitarized, at least one place where man is not yet fielding, even if he is testing, new ways to destroy himself. Mankind needs fewer ways of destroying himself, as, so far, we have proved we are more than capable of doing just that on earth.
We don’t need to demonstrate our stunning lack of self-preservation in space, and creating a Space Force will contribute to that.
Congratulations Human Race, in one tremendous leap backward for the doomsday clock, we are on a fast track to militarizing space. Let’s just hope no one decides to create the Death Star next, in the name of security and counter-terrorism.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.