The idea of creating a “Space Force” is not actually Trump’s. It’s the brainchild of Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama’s 3rd congressional district. Rogers is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Force Subcommittee. He managed to include language last year in the defense authorization bill calling for the creation of a “Space Corps” within the Air Force, like the Marine Corps is part of the Navy.
The proposal went nowhere, however, because the language was stripped during negotiations on the defense bill with the Senate. Plus, the Department of Defense opposed the idea. It still does. Somewhere along the line, Trump got all giddy about the idea and instructed Mike Pence to run with it, which is what he did earlier today. But it’s a really dumb and wasteful proposal. It is not a serious one, because Congress doesn’t want it, Secretary of Defense Mattis doesn’t want it. The Air Force doesn’t want it.
Why? Because it would simply create another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy within the Pentagon and siphon off money from actual programs. The Air Force already has a huge space bureaucracy called US Space Command (Spacecom), which was established under the Reagan administration in 1985 to institutionalize the use of space by the US military. What Trump’s Space Force would seek to do is already being done.
This is nothing more than Trump being Trump by trying to claim credit for someone else’s idea and make it look as if he’s doing something brilliant, important and unique—none of which is true. It’s Trump attempting to attach his name to something that sounds neato torpedo… kind of like Reagan and Star Wars. He wants to be seen as Buck Rogers.
Republicans and conservatives like to talk about how they’re so against Big Government. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this Space Force thing is classic Big Government thinking. It demonstrates a shallow thought process that lacks for truly inspirational and visionary ideas for what the United States should be doing in space. Of course, private space entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson do not lack such inspiration and vision. They and others leading the so-called “NewSpace” movement within the commercial space industry are already light years ahead in this regard.
It is these space entrepreneurs who will come closer than anyone to recreating the spirit and excitement of Kennedy’s challenge to land on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. It won’t be NASA, and it certainly won’t be Trump. This kind of stuff is for big boys and serious money. Stick to your Wall, man. Maybe Mexico will eventually pony up.