Trump Wants a US Space Force 🌌

 Photo: Marco Ugarte / AP

Photo: Marco Ugarte / AP

A new military branch

President Trump directed the Dept of Defense and Pentagon to establish a sixth military branch – the Space Force. His goal is to protect American interests by regulating commercial space traffic and managing space debris. Current military activities in space are managed by the Navy and Air Force and are centered around surveillance and defense systems.
 

Space Policy Directive-3

Trump’s space policy is based on 4 key strategies:

  1. Implementing safe infrastructure to manage the increase in space traffic
  2. Minimize the rising threat of orbital debris to all nations
  3. Regulate space traffic by leading data-sharing initiatives
  4. Grow America’s leadership in space by expanding capabilities and developing best practices

 


Pro-Space Force

National Review: Space: The New Strategic Heartland

Washington Examiner: Trump calls for new 'Space Force' military branch

 

 


Those opposed to a Space Force argue that it would be needless and increase an already inflated military budget. They state that the idea has already faced opposition in the past, specifically from Sec of Defense James Mattis. In addition, they contend that the consequences of a military conflict in space are too dire and would impact the global community. Furthermore, they claim that space defense is already within the Air Force’s scope.

Those in favor of a Space Force argue that space is quickly becoming militarized with weapons systems and that the US needs to stay ahead or risk losing influence to China. They also highlight deep space exploration for rare earth minerals as an economic advantage. Furthermore, they contend that the American economy is heavily reliant on space in the form of wireless communication and predictive weather systems.

Will we really see a Space Force?

Maybe – the creation of a new military branch requires congressional authorization. The Air Force was the most recent one created in 1947. Furthermore, the Outer Space Treaty of 1947, signed by over 100 nations, states that no nation may lay claim to an extra-terrestrial territory, which would make placing troops in space a tricky affair. The risks of militarizing space can be costly – primarily due to the inability to control debris plummeting towards Earth. Nonetheless, the regulation of space traffic and debris is vital to ensuring safety for all nations.

When your plans for space domination get carried away


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