Space Force is the new Space Race

People often say history repeats itself, and in this case it seems to be true with a new race to the moon underway but of a different kind. The American armed forces are the most powerful militaries on the ground, in the air and at sea. The Trump administration seeks to include space into those dimensions. As technology improvement rates continue at exponential speeds since the 1960s, it is no longer a matter of if, but when does a nation hold space dominance. The main reason behind developing a space force is to obtain space field supremacy, protect satellites, spacecraft and transport important data. By 2030, Todd Harrison from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies explains that if a nation like China were to challenge the US in a war, one of its first strategic moves would be too intercept transmissions or even terminate satellites. This is due to satellites playing such a vital role in modern warfare. They are responsible for sending information to armed forces around the globe and engaging with bombs and missiles to precisely destroy their targets. China’s space race already began in 2007, when the Republic first used a ballistic missile to destroy its own old weather satellite orbiting 861 km above Earth. China’s space program is connected with its military and in 2015 the People’s Liberation Army added a Strategic Support Force in part to direct entirely all of militaries space-related proficiencies which America is observing closely.

Currently, a mixture of all armed force branches is responsible for all tactical measures that involve space from the US. Therefore, the new sixth branch of military would have the goal to integrate all space commands into one system. This comes at a very high budget with expectations in the billions of dollars. According to the Pentagon’s fiscal 2019 budget request their Air Force gets more than $11 billion for its space programs. Which are the bulk of the Defence Department’s unclassified national security space programs. Yet, the U.S has a budget over four times that of China’s. Insinuating that America is the clear favourite to obtain the strongest force. Howard McCurdy, a professor at American University in Washington, D.C suggests that the world may witness another space race to the moon but that of a different kind. Arguing that whichever nation establishes a military base on the moon first will hold an early advantage and only aid expansion. In order to begin commencement of a space force Trump will have to go through Congress. Which hasn’t created a new branch since 1947. Although not having the power himself, Trump has had several talks and meetings with the National Space Council which have focused on legislative proposals and executive actions. Ultimately, Trump loves power and a space force brings just that on a whole new level.

Aidan Green

Advertisements