Trump is being mocked in many quarters for today’s seemingly offhand suggestion to create a Space Force:
In a speech to military personnel in San Diego bookended by digs at former political opponent Hillary Clinton and the media, President Trump proposed a new branch of the armed forces, which he offhandedly named the “space force.”
“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” said Trump. “We may even have a ‘space force’—develop another one—space force. We have the Air Force. We’ll have the space force. We have the Army, the Navy.”
Omitted from Trump’s list of armed forces branches were the Coast Guard and (presumably comprising a large part of the crowd at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar) the Marines.
Trump continued by noting that the concept of a space force was one he both thought up and had previously dismissed. “I said ‘maybe we need a new force. We’ll call it the space force.’ Not really serious,” he told the crowd to mixed laughter, “And then I said ‘What a great idea. Maybe we’ll have to do that.’ That could happen.”
Actually, this is not at all an exotic or stupid idea … it’s been floated in military circles for decades. Several years ago I published a reprint of a public domain USAF thesis called Ten Propositions Regarding Space Power. by M.V. Smith as a tip of the hat to the better known Ten Propositions Regarding Air Power by Philip Meininger. It sold remarkably well for public domain, and I had a Chinese publisher write to ask me if I wanted to sell the rights. I declined, of course, but I drew the conclusion that space power and Space Forces are around to stay.
This news story does makes me wonder what briefings Trump is getting about black space spending…