U.S. President Donald Trump has made ‘Make America Great Again” his mantra. Now it seems he isn’t satisfied with making America First on earth. He also has his sights set on outer space.
CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.
“It’s not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” the president recently said. “We must have American dominance in space.”
With that, Trump ordered his military to begin work on the possibility of creating a new, sixth branch of the U.S. military called ‘Space Force’. Former U.S. astronaut Leroy Chiao openly wonders what the United States hopes to accomplish.
“What are you gaining by creating a space force? What problems are you solving?” Chiao said.
Right now, the United States Air Force is responsible for military efforts in outer space. Chiao believes there is no reason to create a “Space Force” if dominance is the goal.
“I would argue that the assets and capabilities of the United States through the Air Force are already the preeminent space power,” Chiao said. “What are you gaining by creating a separate Space Force?”
He also said there is no question that all nations with space programs are developing space-based weapons. Chiao points out there is a 1967 Outer Space Treaty, that mandates missions to space be limited to only peaceful purposes.
The Trump administration is now talking about testing weapons or conducting military exercises in space, or worse, making it the next battlefield.
“I would be very shocked and unhappy if we were to go and throw away some of the treaties we have that would control the spread of some of the weapons that we have in space,” Chiao said.
Other U.S. presidents have toyed with the idea of creating a military arm for space, most notably Ronald Reagan back in the 1980’s. He wanted to develop an anti-missile system dubbed “Star Wars”.
However, this isn’t science fiction, and it’s becoming serious drama. China and Russia both have strong space programs. Russian leaders are worried about Trump’s latest push. They say U.S militarization of space is a “path to disaster.” They’ve vowed that if the United States pursued this avenue, it would be met with a Russian “tough response.”
Keith Cowing explains what a US ‘Space Force’ would mean
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg spoke to Keith Cowing about President Donald Trump’s proposed U.S. ‘Space Force’. Cowing is the editor of NASAWatch.com. He’s also an astrobiologist and former rocket scientist.
Ian Christensen discusses US military ambitions in space
CGTN’s Rachelle AKuffo spoke with Ian Christensen, director of Private Sector Programs at Secure World Foundation, about the impact of military advancements in outer space.