The Urgent Need for a United States Space Force

In June 2018, President Trump directed the Department of Defense to “begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.” The reason for a space force is simple: space is the strategic high ground from which all future wars will be fought. If we do not master space, our nation will become indefensible.

Imprimis

Correspondingly, the Defense Department and Congress think that the Air Force should build the Space Force. So far, this has amounted to the Air Force planning to improve the current Satellite Command incrementally and call it a Space Force. It is not planning to accelerate the new space economy with dual-use technologies. It is not planning to protect the Moon or travel corridors in space to and from resource locations—raw materials worth trillions of dollars are available within a few days’ travel from Earth—and other strategic high grounds. It is not planning to place human beings in space to build and protect innovative solutions to the challenges posed by the physical environment. It is not developing means to rescue Americans who may get stranded or lost in space.

In short, the Air Force does not plan to build a Space Force of the kind America needs. In its lack of farsightedness, the Air Force fails to envision landmasses or cities in space to be monitored and defended. Nor does it envision Americans in space whose rights need defending—despite the fact that in the coming years, the number of Americans in space will grow exponentially.

So what do we need to do?

With the right vision and strategy for space, America can develop the means to:

o Deliver unlimited, clean, affordable energy to every human on the planet without power lines or terrestrial power plants.

o Provide fresh water for every human without the need for aquifers or pipes.

o Build a new low-cost internet that is designed to be secure so that every human can connect, share, and learn with assured privacy and data safety.

o Defend Earth against small asteroids like the one that hit Russia in 2013.

o Develop a deterrence capability that will render ICBMs and nuclear weapons useless relics of the past.

o Revolutionize manufacturing by acquiring and deploying resources from space and in space.

o Provide a shelter in space where we can protect and preserve people, seeds, and life-saving medicines, so humanity can recover from any unexpected contamination, illness, or disaster.

o Design defense capabilities to preserve our economy, our people, and our sovereignty, and to allow our allies to defend themselves instead of sacrificing American lives.

o Reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters by managing the eyes of hurricanes and the funnels of tornados with energy from space.

To develop a proper and winning Space Force, the President and Congress should immediately enact four simple measures:

° Congress should assign the Space Force the mission to defend commerce in space and define Cis-Lunar space (Earth to Moon) as an area of responsibility in the Unified Command Plan.

° Congress should give the Space Force complete independence from the U.S. Air Force so that funds are not diverted from the former to the latter, and so that the Space Force isn’t developed as a mere support function for air power.

° The President should issue an executive order protecting the space industry from China’s predatory practices.

° The President should promote policies and strategies to maximize the contribution of the private sector, such as directing the Space Development Agency to partner with private companies to develop new space capabilities.