Donald Trump is not the first U.S. president to want to militarize life beyond Earth. But that is a bankrupt approach, believes Jonathan Marshall.
By Jonathan Marshall
Special to Consortium News
When Donald Trump declared it was time to Make America Great Again, he didn’t just mean here on Earth. As he directed the Pentagon in June to create a new branch of the armed services devoted just to space warfare, Trump declared, “It is not enough to have an American presence in space.We must have American dominance in space.”
Not waiting for an ambivalent Congress to act, the Defense Department reportedly plans in coming months to create a new U.S. Space Command, Space Operations Force, and Space Development Agency to manage everything from war-fighting in outer space to developing and launching military satellites.
A draft of a Pentagon planning document states that the capabilities unleashed by this new structure will help “deter, and if necessary degrade, deny, disrupt, destroy and manipulate adversary capabilities to protect U.S. interests, assets and way of life.”
Previous official critics of a new space service, including Trump’s own Air Force secretary, Heather Wilson, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, almost invariably raised only bureaucratic objections rather than deeper questions about the merits of turning space into a battlefield.