WASHINGTON – The United States should create its own space military force, President Donald Trump said in impromptu statements that could change the course of US space policy.
But it is not that we will soon see ray weapons in orbit, experts say, some of which pointed out that a space military force could make it difficult for the Earth’s orbit to be a peaceful place.
Noting that his national security strategy “recognizes that space is an area for fighting wars, such as air, land and sea,” Trump said at the San Diego Infantry Corps base that he is considering “a space force “similar to the Air Force, the Army or the Navy.
Trump said at first that he was not serious when he mentioned the concept, but “then I told myself ‘what a great idea, maybe we have to do it.'”
This is more about increasing tracking and cybersecurity than about fighting in orbit, said Sean O’Keefe, who served as administrator of NASA and as secretary of the Navy during the George W. Bush administration.
Trump’s own secretary of defense and the secretary of the Air Force spoke emphatically against such a measure when lawmakers advocated for it last year, O’Keefe said. You can give the army more help in space without going through the huge expense and organizational change, he added.
It could be a bureaucratic nightmare, said O’Keefe, who is currently a professor at Syracuse University.
He said some people could argue that a space force “would jeopardize the sanctity of considering space outside the confines of armed conflict.”