Monday, August 13, 2018

Space - Washington's Rage for Dominance at Any Cost

During a June 2018 speech on immigration, Donald Trump explained one of his latest visions:

Here is a more complete transcript:

"I want to also say that when it comes to space, too often, for too many years, our dreams of exploration and discovery were really squandered by politics and bureaucracy, and we knocked that out. So important for our psyche, what’s you’re doing. It’s going to be important monetarily and militarily. But so important for right up here -- the psyche. We don’t want China and Russia and other countries leading us. We’ve always led -- we’ve gone way far afield for decades now, having to do with our subject today. We’re going to be the leader by far. We’re behind you a thousand percent.

America’s vital interest in space lost out to special interests in Washington, except, of course, for the senators and congressmen here. They would never do it. Right, Dana?

But all of that is changing. We know that. My administration is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world’s greatest space-faring nation. The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers. But our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security. So important for our military. So important. And people don’t talk about it.

When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space. So important.

Very importantly, I’m here by directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big statement.

We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force -- separate but equal. It is going to be something. So important. General Dunford, if you would carry that assignment out, I would be very greatly honored, also. Where’s General Dunford? General? Got it?" (my bold)

So, who did Donald Trump put in charge of kickstarting this groundbreaking project.  Here are some comments from the Chairman of the National Space Council/Space Force:

Here are some quotes from the Chairman:

"It is my great honor, as Vice President, to serve as the Chairman of the National Space Council.  And I’m pleased to report that President Trump has already signed three new space policy directives to reorient our space program toward human exploration, unleash America’s burgeoning commercial space companies, and safeguard our vital space assets with new space traffic management policy.

But as Commander-in-Chief, President Trump’s highest priority is the safety and security of the American people.  And while, too often, previous administrations all but neglected the growing security threats emerging in space, President Trump stated clearly and forcefully that space is, in his words, “a warfighting domain, just like…land, [and] air, and sea.

And just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States of America, under his leadership, will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield with American ingenuity and strength to defend our nation, protect our people, and carry the cause of liberty and peace into the next great American frontier.

Seven weeks ago, President Trump directed the Department of Defense “to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces….

President Trump recently signed the largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.    And that new Defense budget included new resources for two cutting-edge military communications satellites and nearly $1 billion for our space defense programs.  And today, we renew the President’s call on the Congress of the United States to invest an additional $8 billion in our space security systems over the next five years.(my bold)

And, what's the rush?  Here's Mike Pence again:

"For many years, nations from Russia and China to North Korea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind, and disable our navigation and communications satellites via electronic attacks from the ground.

But recently, our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself.  In 2007, China launched a missile that tracked and destroyed one of its own satellites — a highly provocative demonstration of China’s growing capability to militarize space.

Russia has been designing an airborne laser to disrupt our space-based system.  And it claims to be developing missiles that can be launched from an aircraft mid-flight to destroy American satellites.

Both China and Russia have been conducting highly sophisticated on-orbit activities that could enable them to maneuver their satellites into close proximity of ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems.

Both nations are also investing heavily in what are known as hypersonic missiles designed to fly up to five miles per second at such low altitudes that they could potentially evade detection by our missile-defense radars.  In fact, China claimed to have made its first successful test of a hypersonic vehicle just last week.

China and Russia are also aggressively working to incorporate anti-satellite attacks into their warfighting doctrines.  In 2015, China created a separate military enterprise to oversee and prioritize its warfighting capabilities in space.

As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already." (my bold)

In other words, according to Mike Pence, the Pentagon and the American defense sector have been sitting on their hands since China's 2007 operations to destroy one of its own satellites in space using once of its own missiles and three years since it created an enterprise to fight wars in space?  Maybe the money for the Space Force would be better spent on inventing a time machine so Washington can go back in time and start developing America's Space Force in 2007. 

If we look at another excerpt from Donald Trump's speech, we'll get an idea of who is going to really benefit from a Space Force:

"And I also have a list of some of the CEOs and chairmen and presidents of these incredible companies. Wes Bush, CEO of Northrup Grumman. Where’s Wes? Wes, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Wes. Gwynne Shotwell (President and CEO of SpaceX). Gwynne? Stand up, Gwynne. She’ll end up running for office. Right?  Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, who’s very active. Thank you, Bob. I hear you’re doing a great job.  President and CEO, United Launch Alliance. That’s a combination of Boeing and Lockheed on the Space Launch System, SLS.

I don’t like when Boeing and Lockheed get together because the pricing only goes up, but that’s okay in this case.  I don’t know. I don’t love that stuff. We’re going to have to talk about that, your joining those two companies. Oh.   Oh, boy. Look at Dennis. Dennis is so happy. I don’t like that stuff, Mike. 

Marillyn Hewson, who has done a fantastic job at Lockheed Martin. Marillyn? Marillyn. You have done.  What do you think of that merger for the space -- what do you think? Look at them; they’re sitting together. Oh. Boeing.  Oh, it’s -- no wonder we don’t get the pricing we want. Huh?

Dennis Muilenburg, friend of mine. A great guy. The head of Boeing. And, boy, have you done a good job on all fronts -- commercial, military. Both of you. What a job you’ve both done. Thank you.  Stay apart. Stay apart. Don’t get together. Stay apart."

In case you were curious, here is a list of members of the National Space Council Users' Advisory Group, taken from the minutes of a meeting held on June 19, 2018:

Note the presence of Wesley Bush, President and CEO of Northrop Grumman, Salvatore Bruno, President and CEO of United Launch Alliance (a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space and Security), Marilyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation and Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of the Boeing Company.  It is also interesting to note that Eric Schmidt, former Executive Chairman of Google and Alphabet was also in attendance.

To distract us all from the potential billions and billions (and likely trillions over the long-run) of additional tax dollars that will be flowing from Main Street America directly into the pockets of the military-industrial complex, at least we get to help choose a Space Force logo from this selection:

There's nothing like a few shiny baubles to get us to forget about all of our troubles, is there?

One last question.  Given this:

...and this: has to wonder on how many fronts can Washington keep expanding America's military with the goal of fighting and actually winning a war before it collapses under the weight of its expenditures?

Space Force - just another example of Washington's rage for dominance at any cost.


  1. America is a winner nation. We won the game and you shethole countries lost. Its as simple as that.

  2. "America is a winner nation" Not the American taxpayer. We are always the losers. The politicians and the deep state are the winners