Donald Trump Wants a ‘Space Force,’ But America Already Has One

Jun 20, 2018

By Brandon Specktor

In a meeting of the National Space Council yesterday (June 18), President Donald Trump ordered the Pentagon to get cracking on building a sixth branch of the U.S. military called the Space Force.

This ambitious project, which Trump has been teasing for several months now, would result in the first new branch being added to the U.S. military since the Air Force was created in 1947. But what exactly will this Space Force do? Who will pay for it, when will it launch and — most important — will it involve lightsabers?

None of that is really clear yet. Since first bringing up the idea for a Space Force in March, Trump hasn’t provided many concrete details about the project, save for some philosophical talk about recognizing space as “a war-fighting domain” and assuring “American dominance” there.

While this sort of language might conjure up images of interstellar laser battles or armadas of hovering battleships, the reality of American space security is far less scintillating. According to Laura Grego, a senior scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, space security mainly involves keeping other countries away from American satellites

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20 comments on “Donald Trump Wants a ‘Space Force,’ But America Already Has One

  • So, why separate space security from the Air Force after more than 30 years? To Grego, the reasoning is not clear.

    Well, it’s clear enough to everyone else, the narcissistic old bastard wants to leave his name on something big. The redneck, star Trekkies who vote for him will love it.

  • @OP – None of that is really clear yet. Since first bringing up the idea for a Space Force in March,
    Trump hasn’t provided many concrete details about the project,
    save for some philosophical talk about recognizing space
    as “a war-fighting domain” and assuring “American dominance” there.

    I commented on the stupidity of Trump on this issue on this other thread!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2018/05/trumps-foreign-policy-looks-a-lot-like-rapture-christians-plan-to-welcome-the-apocalypse/#li-comment-232459

    Of course the big commercial development areas, are international co-operation on communications satellite systems, and on environmental monitoring and management, of Earth’s climate, weather, and resources – but these “sciency subjects” are probably of little interest to Trump!

  • We’re the last of our kind Alan. The only two people who’ve commented on the last posting (four items). Is there any point in continuing with the site?

  • That’s a bit harsh, eejit. There are quite a few of us who may not comment every day, or on every thread, but who dip in and out and contribute when the spirit moves us (and Real Life allows). To be honest, I’d include you in that number (your user name always makes me smile, which is why your comments tend to spring out at me). And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Personally, I’m just feeling Trumped out just now. What more is there to say about him? I sometimes feel as if every new comment I make about him is just a louder and more desperate and more panicky version of all the ones I’ve made before. Stick a prissy little rosebud mouth and a streak of yellow excrement on a monstrous orange ego et voilà – that’s Trump. The man is a narcissist, without a shred of intellect or decency or humanity or conscience to offset the fact. Of course he wants a space force: he’s seen Star Wars.

    What more is there to say? Though I did see a comment elsewhere that amused me: something to the effect that, since he’s launched a full-scale assault on both science and education, his Space Force will presumably have to be achieved through thoughts and prayers.

  • I agree with Marco on this. I’m in a state of burn out over the entire Trump scene. I realize that this is exactly what they want to happen but like many others here, I’m just sitting in stasis waiting for November elections to arrive.

    eejit

    Say what you want about Trump supporters but hey! Leave the treckies out of it! Treckies are good people too!

    Live long and prosper!

    😀

  • Laurie

    I realize that this is exactly what they want to happen

    It is. And for that reason, I do think it’s important to keep up the resistance. But it’s going to be a marathon, not a sprint, as they say, so we all have to pace ourselves. And no one has to do it all, all by themselves. There are enough of us to make it possible for any of us to take a much-needed breather from time to time.

  • Marco #4
    Jun 21, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Of course he wants a space force: he’s seen Star Wars.

    . . . and he’s probably already decided that all those aliens are Democrats! 🙂

  • Alan

    He only wants to build a golf course with a Trump tower there. After that he would expect the aliens to work there as maids, cooks, landscapers and caddys for cash that equals half the minimum wage. No health insurance, that’s for sure! And don’t even think about trying to spoil his view with a wind farm! – like those dastardly Scots!

    😉

  • Laurie

    And don’t even think about trying to spoil his view with a wind farm!
    – like those dastardly Scots!

    Ah Laurie. That makes me very proud 🙂

  • eejit #3
    Jun 21, 2018 at 8:11 am

    We’re the last of our kind Alan. The only two people who’ve commented on the last posting (four items). Is there any point in continuing with the site?

    I think the twitter-heads we used to see in great numbers, have all migrated to Twitter, where their one-liner assertions, produce responses from their own kind, – without all that complicated reasoned sciency stuff they can’t cope with!

  • Marco

    Haha. I knew it would! And rightfully so. My mom’s family name is Burns. I may not have the Scottish passport but I’ve got the DNA. I really would like to have that passport though…

  • Laurie

    Sadly, no one has a Scottish passport under our current constitutional arrangements. But I live in hope!

  • LaurieB #9
    Jun 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    like those dastardly Scots!

    MMmmmm!

    https://www.scotsman.com/future-scotland/tech/scotland-in-strong-position-to-host-first-uk-spaceport-1-4662079

    Scotland is in ‘a strong position’ to host the first UK spaceport and to capitalise further on commercial space activity, an MP has said ahead of a Westminster debate on the sector.

    Dr Philippa Whitford, whose Central Ayrshire constituency includes Prestwick aiport, said the second reading of the Space Industry Bill was another chance to highlight Scotland’s success in this sector, with 18 per cent of the UK industry based in Scotland and Glasgow now building more satellites than any other city in Europe.
    The bill aims to create the regulatory framework for commercial space opportunities as the turnover of space related industries reaches £14 billion. There are three sites under consideration as launch sites in Scotland – Machrihanish, Sutherland, and Prestwick.

  • That’s a bit harsh, eejit. There are quite a few of us who may not comment every day, or on every thread, but who dip in and out and contribute when the spirit moves us (and Real Life allows).

    Yep, eejit. FWIW I’m just spread too thin. I feel a need to comment more directly in Trumpland at the moment. (I’m shocked by the continued fragmentation of the Left.) I also have a rather pressured regimen of reading and trying to prepare for a return to University and that makes the pleasures of this site all too rare. Plus the need to work….

    Must do more. Perhaps if I wrote more on neuro-constructivism, I could get to be here more. I’m in some kind of ecstasy over the subject. It has such explanatory potential. I want to use it on Jordan Peterson first and his creaky old neuro-science.

    Machrihanish looks perfect for a spaceport and given that I want to retire to Tiree to write and might see the launches from there, this would get my vote…if they could get a move on….

  • I think the twitter-heads we used to see in great numbers, have all migrated to Twitter, where their one-liner assertions, produce responses from their own kind, – without all that complicated reasoned sciency stuff they can’t cope with!

    Ahhh Alan! You’ve unmasked me at last. Except that, I’ve never mastered Facebook or Twitter, or anything else except Word. Then again, I haven’t migrated either!

  • Serial lurker here – don’t despair, Eejit. There’s probably a lot of us who, as Alan said, only contribute when the spirit takes us or we simply can’t hold back from castigating the latest Trump atrocity. I dip in virtually every lunchtime and am always heartened to read yours and many of the other regular contributors insights. I’ll try and proffer more opinions in future instead of lurking behind the scenes as I completely understand where you’re coming from. The lack of discussion, feedback or other perspectives must compound the sense of futility.

    As for the spaceport, I’d vote for Machrihanish too, just so I can organise bike trips around the Mull of Kintyre when the launches are happening!

    If IndyRef 2 ever gets going, we may yet get our Scottish passports and hopefully avoid the worst of what Brexit has to offer us….

  • LaurieB #5
    Jun 21, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Say what you want about Trump supporters but hey!
    Leave the treckies out of it! Treckies are good people too!

    I think Trump is more into Star Wars than Star-Trek.

    He is already assembling his empire’s mindless clone army! 🙂

  • Alan4discussion #19

    I think Trump is more into Star Wars than Star-Trek.

    He is already assembling his empire’s mindless clone army!

    That’s as far as the analogy goes. The character of Darth Vader was a fierce warrior, whereas at the first sign of close conflict Captain ‘Bone Spurs’ Trump would fold like the baggy suits he wears to camouflage his obese carcass.

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