News: Is Space Force the Future of Warfare or a Trump Administration Pipe Dream?
by Sean Singleton
“The Space Force”: a future legacy or an unnecessary burden to the American taxpayer? President Donald Trump has been taking credit for a new Space Force without outlining the scope and cost of the proposed military branch.
The United States Space Force could be an outer space military force composed of troops, with a space command headquarters on Earth. President Trump believes the next major war will take place in space, prompting him to feel the need to create this new branch.
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are not the first people to consider a Space Force. In fact, the concept has been tossed around for decades.
“In 1999, Senator Bob Smith entertained the idea, and the following year, another commission suggested making a Space Corps within the Air Force,” according to National Geographic.
Many of the components that Donald Trump and Mike Pence discussed have been implemented by other branches of our military, specifically the Air Force Space Command and the National Reconnaissance Office. More than 30,000 people work weekly in the Space Command, making the Air Force more than capable of handling space-related missions without a completely separate branch.
“[We will] be creating the Space Force to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people [and] to our nation,” according to the Trump Administration.
Although this may be true, the United States cannot legally bring weapons into space due to the Outer Space Treaty that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed along with Russia and the United Kingdom in 1967.
“These countries may not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner,” according to the treaty.
This would be a major obstacle in the creation of the Space Force.
“The United States should focus on wars that we are currently in, like cyber warfare. [We] should focus on that because it is much more of a threat to our democracy and our way of life right now than a future science fiction warfare,” says Commander Scott Kelly, an astronaut who has been in space longer than any man in history and has spent 20 years working at NASA.
Though the future is never certain, Trump’s proposal for a Space Force without a clearly defined mission, roles and responsibilities could become a waste of money when we already have deficit problems in our country.