Remember Donald Trump’s stupid space force idea? Well, it is happening. On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence week, announced: “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.” Time to make Battlestar Galactica a reality.
“As President Trump has said in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space, and so we will,” Pence said in an eerie, war-mongering speech that described outer space as “crowded and adversarial.”
The Pentagon and Department of Defense haven’t actually created Trump and Pence’s beloved Space Force because that would require Congressional approval. Instead, they are launching the United States Space Command, which will develop space war-fighting tactics, train an elite group of service members in space warfare, and create a new, joint agency to buy satellites and other technologies, among other initiatives, Pence said. He called for Congress to create a new branch of the military, the space force he so deeply desires, by 2020.
The military isn’t so keen on this idea, according to the Los Angeles Times:
Trump’s idea for a futuristic space service has raised deep concerns among some military officials and senior Pentagon commanders, especially in the Air Force. They fear losing responsibility for space and the nearly $8.5 billion of its budget that now goes for building and launching satellites, along with other space systems.
What exactly are we gonna be dominating out there? Asteroids? Cylons? The aliens that embrace Jodie Foster’s character in Contact, the only space movie I truly remember loving? Or will it become another way to annihilate poor black and brown people across the globe as Elon Musk scurries over to Mars?
It’s a question that the president can’t answer. “Trump has never explained at length why he favors creation of a space force as an additional military service, but the concept often draws loud cheers at rallies,” the Los Angeles Times notes and speculates on what a space force might look like:
If designed like the other military services, a space force would be responsible for training and equipping personnel for warfare in space but would not engage in combat. Instead, its personnel would be assigned to the space command the Pentagon is proposing or to existing combat commands.
Maybe his space force is not meant to fight anything; perhaps it’s just another way for Trump to mark his territory.