President Trump announced that we will form a US Space Force. As a small furry animal, I am not, to my knowledge, eligible to join such a service. However, the whole thing is interesting to me on a few levels. Of course many of the memes have been hilarious. I recommend these for starters
After enjoying a few chuckles (sounds like chirps, but that’s how weasels laugh), I went looking for serious commentary about the arguments for and against a space force, and maybe the form it would take. What I found was largely on the intellectual level of the funny memes.
Arguments against a Space Force
~ Trump is an idiot
Like most presidents, Trump probably gets many of his ideas from his staff. So any idea Trump pushes may or may not have come from him. It is entirely beside the point whether Trump is an idiot or not. In short, any argument of the form ‘must be stupid because Trump wants it and he’s an idiot’ Is sufficient to judge the speaker or writer as an idiot, not Trump. In fact, the idea of a Space Force didn’t start with President Trump. It has been around in the Air Force and Army for decades.
~ There aren’t any aliens to fight
If you think the Space Force is about aliens, you’re thinking at the funny meme level but without the funny.
~ Putting troops in space is too expensive
Right, space bases will be in space, just like air bases are in the air. Space Force is largely about satellites, which are almost entirely unmanned. Again, funny meme thinking.
~ We are not allowed to have weapons in space
That’s not what the Outer Space Treaty actually says. Nations can have weapons, just not ‘weapons of mass destruction’. So conventional weapons are just fine.
~ If we start ‘militarizing’ space, there will be a war in space and we will suffer
Alternatively, if the US doesn’t prepare for war in space but China and Russia do, then all will be hearts and flowers, right? This is thinking well below the level of the funny meme, by someone who arrogantly believes he is erudite.
~ We have NASA for that
We have NASA for civilian exploration of air and space. They occasionally provide support to military space operations, but are decidedly not the military. Space Force will be the military. This is what you hear from someone who is completely ignorant of the military’s role in space. That’s OK, because ignorance can be cured by knowledge.
~ We have the Air Force for that
Astronaut Mark Kelly stated this. One would think that, as a Navy officer, he would be aware of the decades of discussion among US Air Force and US Army officers about the need for a separate space force at some point in the future. Well, I guess nobody in the Navy was part of that discussion, or maybe paying attention to what other services think was way too much bother for a Naval Aviator.
~ We need it some day, but not yet
OK, that’s a reasonable argument. What, then, is the right time? The President thinks the time is now.
Arguments for a Space Force
~ Just as the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947, space can separate from the Air Force. Military space needs its own budget, leadership, organizations, and culture, all separate from the Air Force, to reach its full potential
~ Space is a separate and distinct medium from air, needing its own type of organizations, doctrine, etc.
~ The US depends on access to space. This is more true than most people understand. They don’t know how much of the US economy depends on precision timing (even more so than precision navigation) from Global Positioning System, which is an Air Force weapon system.
~ Space will become a contested medium (a theater of combat) as soon as some other nation attacks our satellites. China, Russia, and the US have all tested anti-satellite weapons. It’s just a matter of time.
So, do we discuss the founding of a space force based on logic and knowledge, or do we stick to memes and ignorance?
Much more on this topic coming soon. Such as, do you think they will have space suits small enough for a weasel?