President Trump never misses an opportunity to thrash, tarnish, and slander previous administrations, so it is no surprise that earlier today his vice president, Mike Pence, stood somberly in front of an American flag and said these words: “While to often previous administrations all but neglected the growing security threats emerging in space, President Trump stated clearly and forcefully that space is, in his own words, ‘a warfighting domain'”. Cue the confetti lined parade on 5th Avenue, the thousands of space fighters with laser guns standing in review, and the legions of spacecraft ready for deployment into the great unknown.
Space Force. That is now a thing and a phrase in our lexicon. Despite the absurdity of it all, Pence announced that Space Force will be established by star-date 2020 in a speech to the Pentagon. And just to double down on the need for said Space Force, apparently China and Russia will be our main galactic enemies, even though we currently work with them on all International Space Station related projects. So much so, that we launch our own astronauts into space via Russia’s space agency (pesky details).
According to constitutional law, however, only Congress can establish a new branch of the military. So with midterms looming it is yet unclear if the establishment of Space Force will become a platform that both Democrats and Republicans run on or against. The last time Congress established a new branch of the armed forces was in 1940 with the creation of the Air Force. In his press conference, Pence also said, “Today the Department of Defense will release a report outlining the first stages of our administration’s plan to implement the President’s guidance and turn his vision into a reality,” and that the report, “identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new Department of the Space Force.”
CNN has reported that the new Space Force will fall under the purview of the US Space Command. Pence cited the threat from Russia and China more than once and alluded to the fact that both countries are developing technologies to target US satellites. Namely laser beams and hypersonic missiles to launch attacks in space from here on planet Earth (a place the VP should return to).
This statement by Pence sums up everything we need to know about Space Force, “What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial. Today other nations are seeking to disrupt our space based systems and challenge American supremacy in space as never before.”
It would appear that the vast and infinite emptiness of space has become crowded; or the US has just ran out of countries to invade. Welcome to the age of Space Force.