The Patriot Files Forums  

Go Back   The Patriot Files Forums > Military News > General

Post New Thread  Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-09-2018, 05:25 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,092
Arrow White House race for Space Force raises questions about 6th military branch

White House race for Space Force raises questions about 6th military branch
by Leandra BernsteinThursday, August 9th 2018

WASHINGTON (Circa) ó Since President Donald Trump issued the Space Command directive in June, there has been a mix of reactions from enthusiasm to skepticism, but mostly questions about how the administration would carry out its vision.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis provided a bullet-point outline of the administration's ambitious plans to establish Space Command as an entirely new branch of the U.S. military by 2020.

While some hoped the Thursday speech would provide clarity on the path forward, the four points outlined in the plan revealed the immensity of the task that the administration seeks to undertake at breakneck speed.

"Our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already," Pence said, stressing the urgency of the new military force. "The United States will not shrink from this challenge."

There is little debate that space has become increasingly contested and congested in recent decades, with dozens of nations fielding roughly 1,500 military, commercial and scientific satellites into orbit around the earth.

Over the past decade, China and Russia have incorporated space into their military doctrines and demonstrated worrying advances in anti-satellite weaponry. At the same time, top officials at the Pentagon have warned that the United States is losing its competitive edge to strategic rivals in every domain, including space.

On Thursday, Sec. Mattis said the renewed focus on space reflects a "clear-eyed view of the future" and where the next major challenge will be. "It is becoming a contested warfighting domain and we have got to adapt to that reality."

However, it is an open question both within the military and among outside experts whether the creation of a new combatant command, a new specialized space force and an entirely new branch of the military is the right way to adapt to the challenges that clearly lay ahead in the so-called final frontier.

The Department of Defense has understood the threats and challenges in space for a long time, explained Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic Budget Analysis and former special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations. "The understanding in DOD was that standing up a new organization is not the way to solve the problem."

The outline provided by the White House and submitted by the Department of Defense to Congress outlines four components of the Space Force, each inherently complex as well as potentially costly and duplicative.

First, the creation of a unified combatant command for space led by a four-star flag officer. It will be called U.S. Space Command and it's structure will presumably be comparable to the other ten combatant commands, integrating personnel from each of the military branches to develop a space warfighting doctrine, tactics and procedures.

Second, the creation of a Space Operations Force, "an elite group of joint warfighters" who will specialize in the space domain and provide that expertise to each of the other combatant commands.

Third, the creation of an agency that will develop and field the new technologies, tools and weapons needed by the Space Operations Force. The Space Development Agency will focus on "innovation, experimentation." The White House suggested it would be able to quickly test and acquire new technologies without facing the typical bureaucratic hurdles and delays.

Fourth, the appointment of a civilian head to manage and be accountable for the Space Force as a sixth branch of the U.S. military, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space.

The administration may be making the mistake of "throwing organization at a problem rather than looking at the capabilities they need to solve it," Clark said.

In his speech, Vice President Pence said the aim of the Space Force initiative was to cut through the bureaucracy, but there are concerns that it will add to it. Already, the Air Force, Navy, Strategic Command and Cyber Command have many of the capabilities and responsibilities implied in the proposal, to say nothing of NASA. The commercial space industry is also available to fill many of the capability gaps identified by the Pentagon, potentially without the additional burden of standing up a separate Space Development Agency.

"It's hard to understate the impact of setting up a new combatant command," Clark said, reflecting on the harsh lessons learned when the Obama administration ordered the creation of Cyber Command. "The experience was so disruptive, so costly it created so much bureaucracy that we're only now, almost ten years later, getting to the point of the operational capabilities they wanted."

Another concern about the new organization is that it could potentially take away resources from other military branches, that are only now recovering from deep budget cuts over the past seven years.

Defense Sec. Mattis raised that precise concern after the House of Representatives authorized the creation of a separate Space Corps in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The House proposal, offered by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala. and Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., would have made the Air Force Space Command its own independent service. The proposal failed in the Senate, in part at the urging of Mattis who sent letters to leaders of the congressional armed services committees explicitly opposing the creation of a Space Corps as a new military service.

Peter Huessy, president of the defense consulting firm, GeoStrategic Analysis and longtime consultant for the Air Force, emphasized that the new Space Force should add to the other branches, not subtract.

"However we do it, I want to make sure the space people are whole, the Air Force is whole and the Space Force is whole," he said. "The key is, this is meant to lift space up, to make space a huge No. 1, No 2. and No. 3 priority ... but you can't cut the money the Air Force needs to help the space business, because you'll be cutting off your nose to spite your face."

It is not yet clear how the administration wants to fund the new Space Command, Space Force, and Space Development Agency. The Pentagon submitted a full report on the plan to Congress. The White House intends to release its funding request in February and anticipates Congress will authorize Space Force in its National Defense Authorization Act by the end of 2019.

Even if a Star Wars-like future is not immediately on the horizon, the creation of a Space Force has also raised concerns about the militarization of space, including space-based weapons and combat operations. There are many who argue space has been militarized since 1957 with the launch of Sputnik.

"What we're doing is keeping the commons safe," said Huessy. Russia and China were already intent on deploying additional military assets in space regardless of whether or not the U.S. formed a space comand. "There may be some blowback rhetorically about America 'militarizing space,' but if anything [our competitors] will say, these guys are serious."

Others, like John Watts a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Center for Strategy and Security, are concerned that the U.S. initiative will trigger a new, more urgent militarization of space as nations compete for dominance.

Space is already a contested domain and will continue to be in the future, he said. With the U.S. military's reliance on space-based assets for communication, surveillance and intelligence, it is also an increasingly integral part of modern war.

"It's good to be on the leading edge and get ahead of your competitors, but I think by us taking this step we are going to guarantee the militarization of space, effectively," Watts said, warning the U.S. Space Force "gives a green light" to other countries to deploy assets or additional assets.

America's top adversaries in space responded to the president's proposal months ago, specifically warning against a new, militarized space race.

China's Foreign Ministry issued a statement advising strongly against "the placement of weapons and an arms race in outer space." The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that "a military buildup in space, in particular, after the deployment of weapons there, would have destabilizing effects on strategic stability and international security."

As those countries develop ground and space-based capabilities as part of their defense strategy, both China and Russia have publicly argued that they view the use of outer space in terms of peaceful purposes. Notably, the United States, Russia and China have avoided signing on to a United Resolution committing to the peaceful use of space.


Star Fleet Command - Star Wars - Space The Final Frontier -
Lot's of money this will cost. A lot funds will be taken away from the other services who need to fight here on this world of ours. Go to the moon set up a base look at stars and count the dollars being spent. We are decades if not centuries away from space travel. Remotes we can do sending people into space seems abit premature.

Boats (and yes I'm a Sci Fi nut but we've got a long way to go and will cost a bundle.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 08-09-2018, 05:52 PM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 10,092
Thumbs up Itís a dumb idea to make Trumpís Space Force itís own military branch

Itís a dumb idea to make Trumpís Space Force itís own military branch
By: TRISTAN GREENE ó 27 minutes ago in OPINION

Vice President Mike Pence today unveiled the Trump administrationís plans to form a sixth military branch called Space Force. Itís a stupid idea.

As a major science nerd, Star Wars fanatic, and lover of the cosmos the thought of Trumpís Space Force causes my inner child to leap for joy and make weird laser sounds. But Iím not a child. Iím a grown up and a military veteran. And the US armed forces shouldnít be anyoneís fantasy factory.

Before we go any further, Iíd like to make it perfectly clear that, were this bad idea to become a reality, my criticism of the program is in no way meant to disrespect the brave people whoíve served or will serve in the military. This isnít about our nationís warriors, itís about politics.

We donít need a Space Force, plain and simple. Hereís four reasons why:

First, weíve already got one
The United States Air Force Space Command, established over 35 years ago, is headquartered in Colorado. More than 20,000 military personnel perform missions for Space Command, ranging from deploying and monitoring satellites to guarding against ballistic missiles. It seems silly to form an entirely new branch, just to cover the same duties. This isnít the same thing as when the US Army spun out the Air Force. That was to fill a total void in our countryís defense capabilities.

In fairness, Pence today said that Space Force wouldnít be built from scratch, but would instead draw upon existing infrastructure. So the question is, will the Air Force just detach Space Command and supplement it with troops and officers from the other branches, or does the Federal government plan to make the existing branches foot the bill by contributing resources from their own budgets?

A better idea would be to sharpen the Air Forceís focus and put Space Forceís budget into Space Command. Especially since, reportedly, that budget isnít going to be very high.

Itíll cost way more than $8 billion
Pence also said today that President Trump wanted to budget $8 billion dollars for Space Force over the next five years. Thatís $1.6 billion a year. What kind of bargain bin Space Force are we going for here? An aircraft carrier group in the US Navyís fleet costs almost a billion dollars a year to operate. And the construction of the Navyís newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, cost nearly $13 billion.

The Air Force, along with its Space Command, had a budget of nearly $170 billion last year. Iím not sure how much of that specifically went to its space endeavors, but Iíd be willing to make a game show guess it was more than $1.6 billion. By comparison, NASA got almost $20 billion in 2017, and it doesnít have to concern itself with national defense. My point: $8 billion is chump change for a military effort.

So what, exactly, is it that Space Force is supposed to do for pennies on the dollar compared to the Navy and Air Force budget, that those branches donít already do? Its mission canít involve a lot of space craft with a budget so small. It doesnít seem like a robust military branch, but a cheap publicity stunt.

But people die in the military every single day ó even when they arenít at war. The military, including any future Space Force, isnít a joke.

Space Force started out as a joke
Unfortunately for my narrative here, Space Force actually began as a joke. Trump was talking to Marines at Miramar (you know, the Marine Corps base where expert pilots from the Navy and Corps train to be Top Guns) about defense spending when he went off script to talk about space, quoting himself somehow:

I said, Ďmaybe we need a new force, weíll call it the Space Force,í and I was not really serious. Then I said, Ďwhat a great idea,í maybe weíll have to do that.

Iím starting to think itís not about space or the military, but about invigorating voters. As reported by The Verge, the Trump/Pence PAC just sent emails out asking people to vote on Space Forceís logo ó ahead of merchandising. And, based on the Twitter reactions Iíve seen, the public seems to like the Mars badge the most. It looks like Space Force and Trumpís plans to go to Mars are tied together ó which only makes sense politically.

Donít get me wrong I believe we need to send a manned mission to Mars. But I canít think of a conceivable reason why the military needs to be worried about going to other planets when weíre currently fighting the longest war in our nationís history right here on Earth. NASA and the private sector seem to have Mars under control.

But maybe the Trump administration has top secret information on aliens that makes a ďStarship TroopersĒ scenario likely. In that case, Iím overwhelmingly positive weíll need to spend far more than $8 billion.

The Pentagon thinks itís a bad idea
Iím not the only one who thinks Space Command doesnít need to be its own branch, the brass seems to agree. Former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James recently told listeners at the Brookings Institution she believe Space Force wasnít a good idea because:

It is a virtual certainty that it will be a huge undertaking that will consume a lot of time, effort, thinking. I do not believe we should have a separate space force. The myriad of details which people joke about, the academies, the uniforms and what not, those may seem trivial but they are details that need to be worked out.

According to a CNBC report, James said sheíd spoken with members of the Pentagonís leadership who told her that they thought it was a bad idea. She said, ďnone of them are in favor of a space force but they are stuck. The president has said it and it will be interesting to see how they now deal with it.Ē

Hopefully the adults in the Pentagon, whoíve yet to commit to creating an entirely new branch, will find a way to stow Trumpís outlandishly irresponsible scheme. Itíll waste billions of dollars reinventing the wheel ó a wheel the US Air Force already has.

And, having served in numerous capacities alongside warriors in the US Air Force, Iím quite confident in the capabilities of our current fighters to defend us from threats both here on Earth and above the clouds, and their ability to adapt as the mission requires.

And they deserve that same confidence from their Commander In Chief.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

sendpm.gif Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:02 AM.

Powered by vBulletin, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.