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Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

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Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 12:15:31

Trump: ‘We are going to have the Space Force’
by Sandra Erwin — June 18, 2018
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President Trump and Vice President Pence kick off the third meeting of the National Space Council June 18.

Trump can order the Pentagon to create a Space Force but only Congress can make it happen.
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday threw a wrench into the Pentagon’s carefully laid out plans to analyze how best to reorganize the military’s space forces. In remarks kicking off a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump pointedly directed the Pentagon to create a Space Force as a “separate but equal” branch of the U.S. military.

“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,” Trump said. “I’m hereby directing the department of Defense and the 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.”

Addressing Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Trump said, “If you would carry that assignment out, I would be greatly honored.”

According to sources, Trump’s remarks were not off-the-cuff. He had planned to make this announcement weeks ago, and Pentagon officials had been advised the president would be directing the creation of a Space Force at the June 18 National Space Council meeting. Trump mentioned his desire to have a Space Force at four different events in recent months, and the feedback he received was mostly positive, which motivated him to get the process started sooner rather than later.

So what comes next? Congress has to rewrite Title 10 of the United States Code that outlines the roles and missions of the armed forces. “The president proposes, but Congress disposes,” pointed out Doug Loverro, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy. Loverro is an adviser to congressional committees and has been a proponent of a separate military service for space.

“Only Congress can organize the military,” Loverro told SpaceNews.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 1947 created the Air Force. The Air Force today oversees about 90 percent of the military’s space funding, programs and personnel. Conceivably the 2019 NDAA that is now going through the legislative cycle could create the Space Force, Loverro said, although Congress would have to give the Defense Department at least one or two years to execute such a large reorganization.

“General Dunford can do a lot in preparation for it,” he said. “But at the end of the day it requires Congress to create a new service.”

According to a defense official, “The Joint Staff will work closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, other DoD stakeholders and the Congress to implement the President’s guidance.”

At the White House on Monday, Trump talked about the Space Force in the context of his broader concerns about the United States’ dominance in space being challenged by China and Russia.

Although he believes the military today is dominant in space, he wants more, Trump told Dunford: “Congratulations on your tremendous success but we’re going to have far more success.”

Creating a Space Force and promoting space exploration by NASA and the private sector will be “important for the nation’s psyche,” he said. “It’s going to be important monetarily and militarily. … We don’t want China and Russia and other countries leading us. We’re going to be the leader by far.”

White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement that the president wants the Pentagon to immediately begin the process to organize a Space Force. “The president’s National Strategy for Space calls for American leadership, preeminence, and freedom of action in space, and he sees a separate service focused on space as a critical piece of that end state,” said Shah. “The National Space Council and other White House offices will work closely with the Department of Defense on successful implementation of the president’s direction.”

The president’s directive sets the stage for a contentious debate as the House and Senate prepare to hash out a final version of the 2019 NDAA. The House almost certainly will be enthused by the presidential push for a Space Force. In the past two years it has led efforts to create a Space Corps, but the legislation was opposed by the Senate and by the Pentagon.

“Last year out of a lot of frustration and a commitment to do better in space, we set up a separate Space Corps,” Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry told reporters last week. The committee feels strongly that the U.S. military has to be better prepared and equipped to dominate in space, Thornberry said. “As we get all these briefings about what adversaries are doing, our dependence on space, it’s clear that we have to do better,” he added. “Organizational changes don’t fix all the problems. But on the other hand they can sometimes help make sure space gets the kind of priority it should have, like cyber, as a domain of warfare.”

A tweet by Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat that is closely involved in space issues, suggested the president should not yet assume the Space Force is a done deal. “The president told a U.S. general to create a new Space Force as a sixth branch of the military, which generals tell me they don’t want,” Nelson tweeted on Monday. “Thankfully the president can’t do without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important issues at stake.”


I think it's a good idea, and the Air Force was definately getting too big for it's britches. But I want to quibble about one thing: There are NOT five branches of the USA Military, there are only four "armed forces" today: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. That would be because the US Marines are part of the Navy. The US Coast Guard was formerly either the Dept. of Treasury (when I was a member), later the Department of Transportation (after it was created), and still later the Dept. of Homeland Security (after it was created). If a war is declared, the USCG becomes part of the DOD in order to have a unified command structure. Additionally, sometimes the US Public Health service is called a "uniformed service", but it is definately not an "armed service".

I find myself in agreement with the idea, although I also agree with the above article that Trump cannot do this, Congress has to do so.

Original article is at: http://spacenews.com/trump-we-are-going-to-have-the-space-force/
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 14:30:51

As with all things, who is going to pay for that? Or what will be sacrificed to make that happen?
It's easy to toss out an idea that says "let's do X".

It's a very different kettle of fish to get backing, funding, resources, and actually make it happen.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 15:03:11

If one service is established with clear responsibility for space, then one result, and one motivation for establishing such a force, would be the possible economies and saving of resources that result.

If you think that the present organizations relating to space are efficient, think again. The Air Force of course has ICBMs and launch facilities such as Vandenburg AFB. But did you know that US Navy aircraft carriers have orbital launch capabilities and even anti-satellite weapons? Did you know that NASA and the NSA have capabilities that overlap and parallel the USAF and the USN and the US Army?

YES, there will now be five services sharing the Pentagon instead of four. Aside from that "administrative overhead", there is likely to be a net overall savings of resources and a synergy of new capabilities that result from combining the disparate space capabilities of the existing military space groups and the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office).
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Cog » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 15:43:29

Outcast_Searcher wrote:As with all things, who is going to pay for that? Or what will be sacrificed to make that happen?
It's easy to toss out an idea that says "let's do X".

It's a very different kettle of fish to get backing, funding, resources, and actually make it happen.


Let's not let the matter of a few trillion dollars stop us from confronting the aliens in deep space. Imagine how much tail a guy could pull in a Space Force uniform. Something in black with silver trim and medals is what I have in mind here. The contracts to build our new multi-mission fleet with lasers, particle beams, anti-matter torpedoes will make our defense industries rich.

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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 18:27:10

Cog wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:As with all things, who is going to pay for that? Or what will be sacrificed to make that happen?
It's easy to toss out an idea that says "let's do X".

It's a very different kettle of fish to get backing, funding, resources, and actually make it happen.


Let's not let the matter of a few trillion dollars stop us from confronting the aliens in deep space. Imagine how much tail a guy could pull in a Space Force uniform. Something in black with silver trim and medals is what I have in mind here. The contracts to build our new multi-mission fleet with lasers, particle beams, anti-matter torpedoes will make our defense industries rich.

Well, that's certainly a point re the uniforms. I thought our defense industries were already rich, but I suppose there's never too much profit from government programs. :)

If we weren't $20 trillion in debt (on the books) and counting, I'd be all for it IF other less than great spending were reduced to compensate. One example: weapon systems the Pentagon DOESN'T EVEN WANT, but certain folks inside the beltway insist on spending the money on, so their state "get's their share" of the defense business.

...

FWIW, my "how do we pay for that?" question applies to ALL new government program proposals from either side of the aisle. Even stuff I really like, like the various telescope programs -- cool and informative as that is, the money for it doesn't grow on trees.
Last edited by Outcast_Searcher on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 19:22:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 18:43:07

My understanding is that the Space Force would take over existing space related operations that are currently being managed by the Air Force, Navy and other agencies. It's not going to result in a whole bunch of new activities in space as some reports would have you believe.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 19:27:18

yellowcanoe wrote:My understanding is that the Space Force would take over existing space related operations that are currently being managed by the Air Force, Navy and other agencies. It's not going to result in a whole bunch of new activities in space as some reports would have you believe.

If that's the case, then we're just talking about labels and organization structure, I guess.

So that's fine UNTIL some yahoo wants to spend manymany$billions on new programs for the "space force", without reducing any other Pentagon spending.

OTOH, if it's just a reorg/naming thing, it hardly seems to be news worth reporting on, much less having the POTUS tweet about it, unless I'm missing something.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Cog » Wed 20 Jun 2018, 20:40:58

If its a space (ship) it needs to be ran by the Navy. And of course if you intend to do planetary assaults and cool stuff like that you will need Marines. Now right now we can't actually travel to other planets to assault them or aliens to shoot once we get there, but that is a minor detail.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 21 Jun 2018, 00:44:39

The whole point is to save money by reducing the redundant functionality in multiple services. The Navy for example does not need to run the GPS satellite network even though they invented it. Duplicate functions exist in NRO and military spy satellites. The idea would be to transfer all space related activities to one service, then allow it to consolidate and lay off the redundant people. This happens in civilian life all the time as corporations merge.

All of the present applications with military significance are near Earth orbit hardware that is unmanned. Pure science and deep space missions are done by NASA as a civilian activities.

If there is any present "Star Wars" anti-ICBM tech, it will be a black program at the new Space Service.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Cog » Thu 21 Jun 2018, 06:58:54

SpaceX will get the job done. The USA is going to have manned spaceflight again by next year. Then we can tell the Russians to piss off.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Cog » Thu 21 Jun 2018, 11:13:02

Not everything has to be run by the government Gasmon. SpaceX is on track to be the launcher of choice for not only the US government but governments around the world. Private enterprise will take us into the solar system not a bloated government bureaucracy like NASA. SpaceX launches undercut any other private companies already.

Your Trump hate is noted and irrelevant.

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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 21 Jun 2018, 14:52:16

It actually looks in the chart above that the Russian space program is in rapid collapse.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 21 Jun 2018, 17:48:26

Being a historian by inclination and training I can tell you KaiserJeep that the 1947 reorganization was not nearly what some hoped it would be. At the time the Army Air Corp was a branch of the US Army in the same way the US Marine Corp is a branch of the US Navy. The Air Corp saw the division away from the Army as being of maximum benefit because all of their purchasing and design plans had to go through the US Army bureaucracy and they frequently complained of being stifled by ground minded staff officers who did not know, or care, about the best choices for the Air Corp in equipment and training.

In the initial plan as formulated by Congress the proposed Air Force and existing Army officer corps agreed that the US Navy needed to be gutted. All Navy (and Marine) aircraft, ground crews and air crews would be forcibly merged into the USAF while all USMC personnel and equipment not involved with air operations would be merged into the US Army. The US Navy would have been reduced to convoy escort vessels and submarines with all carriers and large gun ships mothballed or scrapped to save funding. The 'revolt of the Admirals' lead Congress to understand a lot of constituents would be losing out under the complete reorganization because redundant Naval Air Stations and Marine Corp bases would have all been absorbed and closed as excess to needs of the USAF and Army. Congress did the politically expedient thing and made lateral transfers from the Marines and Navy to the Army and Air Force voluntary rather than mandatory (with a one time rank promotion for those who took the transfers). the Navy which became extremely air oriented as a result of Pearl Harbor spent the next decade building alliances with the Air Force by promising things like fight support of long range bombers in places they could reach but USAF fighters from the mainland could not. Still the USAF and USN had major conflict of interest in weapon procurement because the USAF wanted the biggest nukes they could carry in a B-29/B-50 bomber while the USN wanted nuclear depth charges and tactical size nukes they could carry on navy carrier launched tactical bombers to hit enemy ships or ports.

For good or ill one aircraft carrier under construction was scrapped and almost all large ships of the US Navy were either mothballed or scrapped with the exception of the Aircraft carrier fleet. Even there the WW II built fleet of 28 aircraft carriers was reduced to 18 over the next two decades and has continued to shrink now being down to a dozen.

Personally I think reorganization is very long overdue, but I expect this round to be just like the 1947 debacle driven but political interests instead of the national future. For a long time Space Command and the missile regiments of the USAF have had the same kind of procurement arguments with the upper levels of the USAF that believe in manned planes uber alles instead of unmanned satellites and missile delivered warheads.

I think a space force would be an excellent alternative to manned bombers and the ground support for laser guided weapons, but who cares what I think? With GPS targeting we can now launch a GPS guided reentry vehicle from North Dakota and target bridges or buildings in Afghanistan and hit the target dead center within 20 minutes of the go order. That is fast enough to hit a target of opportunity like the chief enemy leader without warning and before they can move away from the target. Instead of doing this however we focus on sending manned bombers with laser guided munitions that require someone to point a laser at the target and that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several days to launch depending on circumstances. Sadly this technology now makes Aircraft Carriers as obsolete as the USAF claimed they were in 1947. Anyone who believes the Russians, Chinese and likely UK/France/India can not put a GPS package on a reentry vehicle and target aircraft carriers parked at the dock is fooling themselves. On top of that even if they just go for the underway replenishment ships that deliver food, fuel and ordinance at sea they can effectively end the threat of carrier air attack in pretty short order.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 06:13:33

pstarr wrote:
With GPS targeting we can now launch a GPS guided reentry vehicle from North Dakota and target bridges or buildings in Afghanistan and hit the target dead center within 20 minutes of the go order.

The point being what?


Other than the top of your skull the point is manned bombers are an obsolete waste of resources and have been for decades. Since the 1960's the USAF has pushed the 'nuclear triad' theory that submarine ballistic missiles and land based ballistic missiles both need to be backed up with manned bombers. The idea made very little sense in 1965 and by 1985 was completely useless, but the USAF and USN have clung on to manned bomber aircraft, with all hands. Fighters are still useful for defending helicopters from enemy fighters, and helicopters are vital for scouting, search and rescue, and airborne delivery of ground forces. Fighters can also help protect your cargo planes delivering logistic support to forward areas, so having manned fighter aircraft has sound logic behind it. Bombers on the other hand are wasted resources. They were barely effective in WW II when we would send a thousand to take out a single factory in enemy territory. Bombers were shown to be ineffective in Vietnam and barely effective in the last 20 years with laser guided munitions where a ground squad shines a laser on the target for them to home in on. Lose that laser lock on and they are no more effective than they were in Vietnam. Cruise missiles and ballistic missiles have rendered manned bombers a useless waste of resources.
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Re: Trump: "We are going to have the Space Force"

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 22 Jun 2018, 11:27:08

Tanada, please allow for other scenarios of warfare than "final nuclear apocalypse". Those manned bombers you have disparaged for example are extremely usefull in conventional warfare. The Stealth bombers based in Missouri were used in both Gulf Wars. The B-52's based in Diego Garcia and Guam have seen use every few years since Vietnam, and dropped more cumulative ordinance than in WW2. The B-1's offer fast attack options and are 300mph faster than the B-52's. They are extremely effective, and today are targeted via satellite and a B-52 can launch 24 cruise missiles per plane, and a B-1 can launch 14. Although laser guided ordinance still exists, GPS guided munitions see more use. As the saying goes "Fighter pilots make movies, bomber pilots make history."

The two parts of the ground forces that are vulnerable today are surface armor (tanks and APCs) and helicopters, both of which can be destroyed by infantry forces using shoulder-launched missiles. So helicopters are being replaced with tilt-rotor aircraft with longer range and higher speeds.

Also, don't mistake "obsolete" with "ineffective". Infantry for example has been obsolete since WW1 when machine guns and tanks came into use. But infantry is the only way to occupy territory and has options unavailable to heavy weapon systems - as Heinlein noted "If somebody was so foolish as to order us to enter a city and capture all the left-handed redheads, the Mobile Infantry could do it." So we have helicopters, tilt-rotors, APCs, amphibious landing craft, and hovercraft to deliver obsolete but necessary troops to battle.

It offends my libertarian soul that the USA uses ground troops and aircraft carrier task forces and heavy bombers to project power upon other countries. However, I think there would be a lot more brushfire wars and petty dictators in the world if all we had for arms were strategic nuclear weapons. It seems to me that the only use for strategic nuclear weapons is to discourage 9 other countries from using their own nuclear weapons. Nuclear bombs and missiles seem to fit the definition of "useless" when we are confronted by the other 186 countries that don't have nukes.
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