Space Force. It’s in the news. What comes to mind when you hear those words? Immediately I hear the Star Wars theme in my head, the Best of Battlestar Galactica music (which I am listening to as I write this :-), or Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Let’s brush up on this issue so we can draw our own conclusions on this proposed branch of the military.
First, the U.S. Constitution provides for the establishment and funding of armies (Article 1, section 8, clause 12). Congress would have to approve any spending to establish a Space Force (as the music playing in the background comes to a crescendo 🙂 The President is the Commander in Chief of all armed forces (see Article 2, section 2). So, in order to have a Space Force, the Constitution must be followed in implementing this branch of the military.
Second, let’s look at the pros and cons of a national Space Force. Those who agree with the establishment of a Space Force cite these reasons, among others:
-China and Russia have already established such a force.
-We would be a modern, efficient military.
-The USA now has enough seasoned space officials to lead a Space Force.
-A Space Force would only have space as its focus, not other branches of the military unrelated to space.
-Those who maintain space vehicles have a different technical skillset than aircraft maintenance that is needed.
-Space is no longer an unexplored domain. There are other countries and commercial enterprises involved in satellite operation, therefore, we should be on the forefront of this new frontier.
Those who would argue against a Space Force do so for some of the following reasons:
-A Space Force costs too much money.
-Integration, rather than separation of this branch is the way to go. Space professionals should be integrated with warfighters.
-Our Space Force would be very small (smaller than the Coast Guard).
-Space Force would be behind computers, not in combat as other branches of the service are doing. This could be a source of friction.
-The perception of other countries is that we are warmongers, ready to do galactic battle.
-A more holistic, interactive approach to space would better serve our nation than a segmented military force.
What are your thoughts about a Space Force? Is it necessary? Can we afford it? Can we afford not to have it?