Pence Advances Plan to Create a Space Force

Vice President Mike Pence gave details about President Trump’s plan to create a military force for space. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is now onboard with the plan.


Comments: 166

  1. And this expansion of the military and the military budget is important, how?

    Instead of expanding the military into space, how about we first expand internet, healthcare, and education into those parts of the country that are underserved, uninsured, and without opportunities.

  2. Yes, the VP says that expanding our industry of endless war into outer space is good, and will solve all our problems.

    Sure, let's militarize space. But why? Says the Veep, "To prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation.” Fear-mongering from an ideologically and religiously blindered, provincial third-rate unpopular governor facing defeat, who was plucked from obscurity by Trump to curry favor with Evangelicals. You want End of Days, Mike? Start zapping other nations' satellites.

    There's a way to mitigate those purported threats, and that's called diplomacy, which produces treaties, which are something about which Pence and his boss have shown they don't possess any knowledge or interest, let alone skill.

    File this with Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" gambit, and hope that's all it is: an artless attempt to borrow from the Reagan playbook to intimidate Russia and China.

    The transformation of America into a nation with an economic dependence on the industries of war and perennial re-arming for wars assumed to come -- get readymade for space wars! --is an institutional madness primarily fomented by corporate avarice and political expediency -- local defense contracts buy votes. Military might has its place on the geopolitical chessboard, but this is sheer madness.

  3. This is why I read the NYT's. Well done!

  4. @Mark Hugh Miller - I greatly appreciate your note/comments. In general they are very appropriate One comment I have is one I consider frequently. This is to note that 'Favor with Evangelicals' is a very inappropriate term. The concept regards people who are strongly anti-Christian. There are however very strongly Christian Evangelicals - as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church which has a strong anti-Republican component.

  5. The US shuttle program was always about the militarization of space. This is 2.0

    Now that the US has wiped out all of its problems - infrastructure, homelessness, climate devastation, huge debts, insane health-care system.. etc. it is time to create a 'Space Force'

    Perhaps Space Force One could carry Trump into orbit and keep him there for a few years?

  6. What a complete and total waste of money.

    Sounds like the defense lobbyists have worked hard on this one.

  7. Sixty-six and want to apply for the Space Seals. Do you think they will take me?
    Tonight’s comedians are going to have a field day!

  8. I'm predicting a whole lot of new generals getting promoted. That's really the bottom line here.

  9. OhBoy! As Alan Sherman said in re: John Glenn. Now the zany administration intends to have Spaceballs. Perhaps on one ship an alien will emerge to insidiously infect America with diseased matter causing strange thoughts leading to demise. But wait, that has already happened right here on earth in multiple locations called “rallies”.

  10. Perhaps we could fight the cyber-intrusions that we *know* have occurred and will continue to occur. Unless, of course, those intrusions have a purpose that aligns with the GOP's objectives. Just spit-balling here..

  11. Maybe the first thing the Trump should do is explain what the Space Force is needed for? Are Aliens trying to sneak in our planet.

  12. That's what the wall is for!

  13. Is this going to cost as much as St Reagan's star wars?

    Is this an effort to deploy a planetary Taj Ma Force Field to keep the hoards of illegal extra terrestrial aliens from swarming our atmosphere which Alpha Centauri is going to pay for?

    Prying minds want to know....

    /s

  14. It's unclear whether the proposal is for a new branch of the military or a division or command within the Air Force, like Spaceballs.

  15. Don't we have a treaty with Russia not to create any type of space force?

  16. So the space cadet is now in charge of giving more money to the military contractors . Horrible idea to weaponize space and open a new arena for arms race .
    Could we provide housing for homeless veterans first .

  17. We DO in fact need to pay more attention to the defense of our space assets but adding several more layers of bureaucracy is about as dumb as building a 60+ billion dollar wall that can be defeated by a 50 dollar ladder. Pew, pew!

  18. Maybe after we've spent a gazillion on some sort of general-bloated space command, we can finally get around to fixing the Flint water supply, those bridges on every interstate highway, etc, etc, etc.

  19. @Mark Or perhaps an electricity supply for Puerto Rico?

  20. I'm completely IN, as long as Trump is the first, actual Space Fighter. Bone Spurs shouldn't matter, in space. RIGHT ???

  21. @Phyliss Dalmatian I LOVE IT!!

  22. Good grief.

    Could we focus instead on repairing our nation's crumbling infrastructure?

  23. Space Cadets to the rescue!! How perfect for this administration and their Dear Leader.

  24. It’s quite remarkable that money can be found to fund imaginary wars of the future. But, there’s no money to be found anywhere for education, health care, or infrastructure.

  25. @Nancy

    Or social security or medicare, Nancy.

    Ridiculous.

  26. @Nancy.

    I concur with you, while I add that there are people in the United States who have been left hungry &/or homeless to the list.

    The reason that there is money to be found to fund imaginary wars of the future, and not to feed the hungry of the present, house the homeless of the present, treat the ill of the present, etc is because those who have proposed the Space Command do not care about the hungry, sick, uninsured, and those less fortunate than themselves, in general.

  27. Space force?!

    What Americans need is a Cyber Force!

    The future wars/battles will be about cyber space, stealing intelligence and taking over data operational systems (power grid), AI!

    Ugh Pence! He's such a loser!

  28. The US Air Force already has a Space Command; Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; Development and operation of military space and cyberspace technologies

  29. "The future wars/battles will be about cyber space, stealing intelligence and taking over data operational systems (power grid), AI!"

    Which is exactly why he's making a space farce instead—it wastes tax money that could stop Russian breaches, it distracts from said Russian breaches, and it provokes other countries like Russia to start preemptive space militarization. Pence and his immediate boss could not be more charitable to, or collaborative with, their ultimate boss putin!

    This top-down impeachment will be the easiest EVER.

  30. @Dolores so right

  31. There are some issues. Although "Space Force" operations are logically a part of the Air Force, which increasingly needs to work in low earth orbit for hypersonic aircraft and other missions, there is already a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) under the NSA which manages space surveillance. Combining them MIGHT be helpful, but is likely to generate more inter-service rivalry. The real reason for a separate command is to provide another way to distract from the other bad decisions the administration is making.

  32. I think there are more important things to spend money on than a space force. Some things that come to my mind are health care; education, especially early childhood education; infrastructure; mental health programs; ending poverty; feeding the hungry, etc. My list would go on practically forever before I got to a space force.

    Maybe we need some type of military protection for space, but a whole new force with its own expensive and complicated bureaucracy? No.

  33. This is just another dumb rally cry for his minions.

  34. Will the new Space Force be able to clean up the Pence Family's gas station hazmat sites in Indiana?

  35. Before we start spending all this money on places where no one lives yet, how about we do take care of those who are already alive and just happen to inhabit this very planet we all share.

    Du-uh, Mr. Pence.

    11/6/18. VOTE.

  36. Be cheaper to give a compass, watch and astrolabe to every ship, plane and army squad.

  37. We're never going to make it off this rock.

    Not with this attitude, anyway. If we are that worried about other countries hitting our satellites, reopen the Outer Space Treaty, start limiting the launching of US military-only satellites, and put all the gobs of resources we will save (seriously, we need new uniforms?!?) into NASA and the EPA.

    Then figure out how to either get us onto another little blue gem, how to turn Mars into a little blue gem, or how to keep our little blue gem stable indefinitely (for the next 10,000 years anyway).

    Space is the final frontier, not the final battleground (Earth seems squarely lined up for that "honor").

  38. @htg: NO, no! The plan is to outsource it to private industry who will then create something like Skynet (from Terminator) with which to extract ransom from the rest of us poor schnooks.

  39. Wow! Another arm of the Congressional, Military, Industrial Complex that we don't need.

    How about setting up a Cyber Warfare Force to keep us safe. For example, we know that almost anyone, including that 400 pound kid on his bed, can bring down the electric grid and cause havoc in the banking system. How is a new Space Force going to help us there? How will this new Force fight terrorism?

    Just saying.

  40. Can we please stop Trump from continuing to waste our hard earned middle class tax payer dollars!

  41. He must have watched "Starship Troopers" recently. Hey !! It's fiction.

  42. This Space Force is a drumpf ego force. He knows nothing about the military factors that would go into this decision, including how the Air Force would react to having a responsibility that they are handling quite effectively taken away at this juncture. A momentous decision should not be made in drumpf's short time in the White House. This is a decision that should be made after he is impeached.

  43. What ever happened to the peaceful use of space? Pence has zero idea of what he's doing.

  44. This smacks of another avenue for public funds to disappear into the "black hole...of space" all in the name of national defense. Is there no end to ways that the MIC can drain the citizens of this country of their hard earned (and paltry) income? you can bet that Trump would somehow benefit from this. If Trump wants a Space Force let him fund it after de-funding equal amounts of money from the other services. Do you think that will happen? No, neither do I.

  45. I'm living in a cartoon. Space Ghost for Secretary of Space Force.

  46. Major Matt Mason to lead space team!

  47. How long before Pence dresses in a silver unitard?

  48. @Northern Perspective
    Now you’ve done it...and I can’t unsee it in my imagination!

  49. The last person in the White House that wanted to do something in space was Reagan, and it went no where. I doubt trumps will go very far either, we should all realize its not really about anything more than putting his name on something. I can only imagine that if Congress won't give him money for projects here on earth(like his wall), then to believe they will for a 'star wars force" were he can be the head Jedi, me thinks they can use the space between his ears and save a lot of tax payers money for real projects, like infrastructure.

  50. There will be military force used in space but given all the current conditions, the intelligent strategy would be to start using JPL to develop weapons systems for space, use NASA to develop systems for achieving the "high ground" in space, use the existing armed forces and astronaut programs to train and develop personnel, and when all of this is well underway, determine what kind of administrative arrangement and command and control is appropriate. By that time, about a decade will have passed, and our fiscal situation might have become adequate for the enormous demands that a space based armed service would need. Right now, it's nothing but another vanity program for our narcissist in the White House.

  51. We can't educate children properly, provide decent healthcare and good paying jobs for all, but idiot politicians want to spend billions (trillions) weaponizing space. Humans (by no small measure Americans) have trashed earth almost to a tipping point. Why not concentrate on going to Mars -- and sending our politicians there.

  52. “Mr. Pence…… called for Congress to allocate an additional $8 billion for space security”

    How’s about fixing our infrastructure first. Before you know it we won’t be able to move equipment and parts from one part of the country to the other. The bridges and highways are struggling as it is. Talk about getting the cart before the horse. Oh, and maybe we should focus a little better at cleaning up the mess in Afghanistan. We’ve been there for 17 years!

    I do think we could spend a few bucks though on a one shot, one way space mission for two (T&P). Just a thought.

  53. Sure, let's spend another $8 billion that we don't currently have. What's difference does a $1 trillion deficit make. Just add it to the tab for "the wall". Oh, and the rich and corporations won't have to fund it because we're going to make sure they get additional tax cuts. This administration has lost it's mind. Maybe it's floating out in space and they need a space force to go find it...

  54. The US government must say, from the highest levels and on a regular basis, that destruction of American strategic satellites will result in a full thermonuclear attack. It should b crystal clear to all.

  55. @Chris McClure
    This is serious.

    If we make a big mess in orbit we will never be able to leave the Planet.

    Sorry. Meant to say NEVER.

  56. Hopefully there will be enough money in the budget for exploration of the space between the president's ears.

  57. @RNS

    I imagine that the technologies and energies devoted to the Space Force can be extrapolated and used for purposes other than military such as space exploration. Similar to how GPS was for military use initially, now routine in our daily civilian lives.

  58. @RNS Just brilliant. Thanks, I needed that.

  59. @RNS

    I really wouldn't want to go there, Nope, not at all.

  60. Oh Lordy, here we go again. I just have a feeling that this is another one of those crazy obsessive ideas like the WALL, the military parade, infrastructure week. You know, Donald gets to trot out props like the prototype wall or the Space Force logos that his base can vote on. Or he gets his photo taken in a fire truck, throttling the wheel and apparently screaming. I believe this is what Donald actually understood the presidency to be when he decided to run, a series of produced events.

    I keep hearing Frank Sinatra floating in the background, " Fly me to the moon and let me live among the stars, let me see what spring is like on A-Jupiter and Mars."

    Do bone spurs hurt in space? Asking for a friend.

  61. @Njlatelifemom
    Bone spurs, not so much. Hemmeroids though...

  62. @Njlatelifemom: Add Reagan's "missile defense" that is easily overcome by anyone with missiles.

  63. This is a terrible idea. Right now, space is the only peaceful spot remaining on Earth, a 21st century oasis where all are welcome and weapons are left at the door. Priorities like weather satellites and GPS satellites are jointly managed by international scientific community for the benefit of all humanity, not just the rich and aggressive nations. Please give me one good reason to divide space into nations.

  64. Space is not on earth and it is not an oasis. It’s actually pretty much the complete opposite of an oasis. Really, really inhospitable.

  65. @Rebecca
    I believe the main reason would be so that US defense contractors would get large amounts of money to try & design & implement such a notion. The money would come from all us fearful taxpayers who thankfully acknowledge that only Trump & Pence are smart enough & brave enough to stand up to the threats they assure us are everywhere.
    Lots of money to be made in arms races!

  66. @Rebecca
    I love that you think space is still beautiful. Check out NASA's actual photos of space garbage.

  67. I'm seeing Dr Strangelove meets Marvin the Martian here. A boffo box-office certainty. $30+ billion dollar first year receipts for Aerospace Producers!

  68. The rationale that we need to protect GPS satellites is bogus. The same GPS satellites are used by all nations. Any military power that shot them down would be ruining their own capabilities. It would be like shooting yourself in the head.

    Pence platitudinously says peace only comes through strength. The US has been the strongest military in the world since WW 2 but we've hardly had a moment's peace. Pence is wrong. Peace comes from mutual good will and understanding and restraint.

    Peace also comes from holding war criminals responsible. Pence knows who unrestrainedly lied us into Iraq and Afghanistan. We haven't heard him call for their being held responsible.

  69. Didn't the Pence notice that the US and Canada are on fire and there no sign of rain for days? Or maybe he thinks he can find shelter from the forthcoming environmental apocalypse in outer space, close to his "heaven?" Cooler heads want to save the planet before pouring billions on a trump whim.

  70. Space force or space farce? This move can only expand the bloated military-industrial complex as it siphons away money from projects that are far more deserving. It's a jingoistic maneuver that titillates the base without any gain in security.

  71. Article one section 8 says this is unconstitutional unless Congress appropriates the money. It is all talk until then--the military will certainly refuse to do go beyond talk without congressional approval.

  72. @Peter McIlroy
    Unacknowledged special access program. Translation : Black Budget. This is all ready to go, has been for a while. But until now, there has been no one crazy enough to want to do it.

    Perhaps this is where the twenty first century really begins. It is certainly different than anything that has ever happened before.

    "Let's go into Space with Guns!"
    Godboy.

    What do you suppose the Aliens are going to think?

  73. @Peter McIlroy If a Congressman thinks that building the Tholian Web and capturing the Enterprise would bring pork to his district, he'll be for this.

  74. @Peter McIlroy And the reason the NASA Manned Space Center is in Houston is ? And the other one is in Huntsville AL ? More pork, different barrel.

  75. So, 8 Billion, meaning the proposed wall on the Southern border will cost anywhere from 3 to 8 times the cost of a new branch of the armed forces? Why do I suspect the figure will rise? Certainly we need to have security for satellites, etc. but many changes have been taken on and dealt with by the existing branches of the military and/or intelligence community. Why can't the Air Force expand to cover these needs? Is anyone else getting bone weary of this administration putting out ideas without thought, research, input from experts, a back-up plan? We deserve better use of our tax dollars.

  76. I have my own concerns about government and it's spending priorities, but the highest priorities of which I can think, would actually be #1-The preservation of our planet (as a whole) & #2-The preservation of our country (regardless of who is the leader). There may come a time where the weaponizing of space becomes directly tied to the preservation of our planet, though I hope that time is still very far away.
    Fact is, if we don't defend our investments up in space, that leaves them vulnerable to aggression. Given enough time, the 'parking' of missiles and lasers up in space is inevitable, even if the U.S. were to opt-out. Better to be prepared than to be caught defenseless. Apart from that and as an upside, imagine all the industry and jobs that will be created and sustained because of it. In my humble opinion, these decisions represent long-overdue advancements as well as long term economic investments into what eventually becomes a strong economy, paid-for homes, and stable retirements.

  77. @Jon. L, exactly, we need to defend against alien invaders from space. Make this a #1 priority over healthcare, environment, education, renewable energy, social justice, all those fake liberal deep state ideals. While we’re at it, let’s weaponize Heaven too!

  78. The United States Air Force existed before 1947 in the form of the Army Air Corp, then it was decided to form an air corp solely for the purpose of taking command of the skies.

    If this organization is so important they should first come under the control of the Air Force until such time as they also need to be spun off.

    What Trump and Pence are proposing is to turn the USA into a military power house, which this country needs a good military but not one that makes the rest of the world wonder where we are going.

    This is where we need to get congress to do their job and tell them it's our responsibility to create the military we need, not theirs.

  79. If people are worried about our investments in space, which are mostly satellites, then we need to be focusing on cyber attacks that could crash the system. The next world war is not going to begin as a physical conflict, it is going to be electronic.

  80. Man, I thought things were tough when I got drafted. At least I didn't get orders to be fired off into orbit.

  81. This is either an effort at distraction or a grandiose re-enactment of SDI, which cost taxpayers lots of money and ended up being impractical and therefore abandoned. Rich son-of-a-guns and their groupies sure do know how to waste our hard earned money.

  82. @Patricia A Comparatively speaking, SDI was a much better and more practical idea...which says something.

  83. how about we treat professionals with a deference, not a defense

  84. OMG so much comic material and so little space to capture it all in as I am working with 1500 characters only for the comment section.

    Out of tribute to the classic movie, Fantastic Voyage, I think a spaceship should be miniaturized and sent into the vast unknown, uncharted, unexplored inner space vacuums of Trump and Pence's collective minds.

    Can Trump tweets be sent off into space so that he can make potentially hundreds of civilizations crazy with fear from his bombastic threats? (Hello, I am receiving another antagonistic signal from someone calling himself the president of the United States on planet earth. Should I respond, Commander? Should I rally our forces?)

    Will Trump, and Pence wear Space Cadet uniforms and be honorary members of this military space force? Will there be a new pledge of allegiance to the Space Force that members of the force will not be allowed to kneel to?

    Will the Trump space handle for intergalactic communications be Dr. Strangelove for the purpose of anonymity?

    Will Zinke be fracking on the moon?

    Will Jr. and Kushner simply bounce their communications directly off the Russian satellite? Will this be the backchannel to the Kremlin that Kushner tried to establish?

    Trump and Pence - LOST IN SPACE!

  85. Just another slab of pork for the military-industrial complex paid for by the taxpayers. Our military budget is already bloated, this will add to the bloat.

  86. How about making a serious commitment to fight the real cyberwar that Trump, Pence and Co. choose to ignore.

  87. This farce should do a great job at increasing the national debt. And to think the Republicans once stood for balancing the budget.

  88. Cyber force is more important than a space force at this moment. These people must stop watching Moonraker.

  89. All we hear in the news is how our secrets are compromised and how our technology is stolen. This may be an idea whose time has come, that is up for debate, but the time for our most important secrets and technology, our edge if you will, needs to be secure and safe. That is how you keep America safe. I would hate to see all of the tax dollars this will cost in development alone to be overshadowed by the headline "China steals US space force technology."

  90. We need to protect ourselves from ourselves, first.

    Meaning, we are quickly trashing our only habitable home. Forget the politics. Look at the science. The trends are daunting and now we want to discover new ways to be violent against each other. From space!?

    Where is the money going to come from? The Kochs, or Waltons, or Mercers, or Trump Industries?

    Lower taxes and higher deficits. Wake me up from this nightmare, please.

  91. We need to leave all of our warmonger mindset on this planet. If we are to survive as a species we need to ensure that space exploration is peaceful and scientifically based. Leave the weapons, leave the religions, leave all the things that make us lesser, behind. We need to evolve beyond what we are, or we'll never survive.

  92. Not professing to be 100% correct, but I thought we had entered into an agreement in the 70s or 80s with Russia and the UK to not ever militarize space. I would appreciate clarification on this. Surely sounds like that is the US plan. Help!

  93. A Space Force . . .
    Because we can't waste taxpayer dollars on the least fortunate and those in need among us.

    They don't own military tech and weapons systems development firms.

  94. Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate a treaty with other countries that would prevent the use of weapons in space, or is that asking too much? Something on the order of a non-proliferation agreement might be useful.

    This reminds me of the Stanley Kubrick film, “Dr. Strangeglove,” where the Russians fear a “gap” in technology that doesn’t yet exist.

  95. This sounds like another great opportunity to spend huge sums of money on military contractors. If the US really wants to create a new force to combat modern threats, it seems a new "US Cyber Force" would make a lot more sense and address a much greater threat.

    But of course, this would be much, much cheaper and the money would go to former hackers with laptops, rather than to campaign contributors.

  96. The Air Force already has something like that.

  97. So the administration that whined and complained about the supposed lack of resources being supplied to the existing military commands is going to create a new military command that takes resources away from the existing fighting forces? Yep, takes a real stable genius to come up with such plans! Not to mention the futility of using spaced-based weapons to protect communication and spy operations that are jeopardized first and foremost by ground based weapons and hacks. . . .

  98. Suggesting that the US needs to assert its dominance in space is just ludicrous. Pretty much everyone with a working brain has seen how well militarizing has worked here on earth. Exporting it into space would clearly be as brilliant an idea as any other from this administration.

    Seen from a different planet or point in space many light-years from us, I'm betting we look pretty silly, hardly a species deserving of existence. The sooner earth encounters a giant meteor or astroid the better.

  99. @Charles Sager

    You could be right, I have it based on good authority that "Klaatu" and "Gort" are on the way.

  100. ...and the gravy train to the defense contracting continues. Make no mistake, this proposal has very little to do with the security of the country, and everything to do with insuring government dollars flow ever more to a bloated defense industry and the pockets of those who run those industries.

  101. @Daset

    And gives Trump an excuse to slash NASA which is full of pesky scientists ("civilians") who do not actually report directly to the Commandant-in-Chief, unlike the branches of the military who do...

  102. The effort should be focused on a global treaty to keep space a war free zone not opening a new military frontier.

  103. @Lee We are a party to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, that forms the basis of international space law. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of April 2018, 107 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.

  104. My big question is, being a former US Marine, if I become a Space Marine... does doing 23 pull-ups in zero gravity count as a perfect score?

  105. Thank you for your service and sense of humor.

  106. @P Kane

    Absolutely, and if you do them with one arm you get twice the number of points!

    Of course it's not totally effortless, you're weightless however your mass remains the same.....Rod.

  107. I guess we are not, as a nation, far enough in debt yet, let's spend some more borrowed money on outlandish idea of "Space Farce".

  108. We don't need a sixth branch of the military and, with it, five more interfaces between branches. But we do need attention to our increasing reliance upon satellites. Why not give this duty to a branch that already works on cyber-security to guard our national infrastructure?

    Oh yeah, I forgot, we're not really working on that.

  109. i do not believe a man who walked on water would be interested in Pence/Trump space/Spoof Force. The need is not there, all these MIC proponents doing is to provide more scared resources to inhumane projects. We need the money right here on this planet and not in outside space. The Pentagon has problem account for misappropriation on this earth, now we need to track in outer space.

  110. If, and it's a big IF, Congress approves the creation of a space force, it will not be Trump's space force. It will be the United States Space Force. Or whatever. Trump's minions have already referred to it as "his space force." That alone is enough to say no.

  111. @Vanessa Hall I think to some extent this is because nobody wants to take credit for this stupidity. The US already spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined. Pence is calling for a budget of 8 billion dollars to create a branch of the military that no other country in the world has. To put that into context, the annual NIH budget is about 37 billion dollars. I'm perfectly fine calling this stupid waste of money Trumps Space force, just like the wall will be Trumps Wall. I don't want ownership of these monuments to human stupidity.

  112. @Vanessa Hall, he has himself referred to "my generals," "my military," and even "my government." He said he wants "my people to sit up straight" when he talks, as the Korean dictator's do. He believes that he owns the nation, and as a result of its brute power, the world. If he hasn't thought of putting his name in huge letters on the moon for all the earth to admire, I'd be surprised. It's just a matter of time.

  113. If all the monies the world's nations spend on military defense could be used to make the world cleaner, safer, healthier and happier, think how much better our lives would be.

    Peace, love and understanding beats war, disease and poverty every day.

  114. @Ronny
    But if they cannot have more than you or I how will we all know how much better than us they are?

  115. @Ronny not to mention all the money we'd still have leftover even after we did all that!!

  116. Apart from the Buck Rogers cess of the whole thing, it makes sense to focus attention on space, for the reasons proponents claim: our earthborn military assets are too exposed to machinations by China, Russia and even others from space.

    However, Mattis was originally right about wanting to avoid adding “additional organizational and administrative tail to the military.” More than sixty years ago, Ike, first as the Army Chief of Staff then as president, argued for removing service distinctions from our military – putting them all in the same uniform while maintaining specialized training. Like Nixon with China, he really was the only person who swung enough weight to make the idea salable. And he tried hard, but failed, up against the combined interests of all the services that wished to remain independent of one another.

    And now we want to create yet another of these monsters.

    Time to resuscitate Ike’s idea about a single uniform, and fold this new “Space Command” into it, avoiding Mattis’s “organizational and administrative tail”.

  117. There is some merit here in the thought that tech in space is vunerable. However I believe the need belongs more to a "Cyber Force" than a"Space Force". Things such as our power grids are much more vulnerable to attack and seriously incapicating the country.

    Having said that, I can also see the need for a relatively small unit equipped to operate in space. There may come a time when important repairs are needed, rescues are required, or, even the possibility of having to deal with a rogue asteroid. Tomorrow? No. By 2020, probably not. But in the future, yes. To me, 2028 is a reasonable goal, perhaps an Air Force Wing with a handful of craft capable of flying into space, returning and carrying a crew or payload.

  118. There already is the unit you are referring to: the 20,000 people rich Air Force Space Command - created in 1982 and headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
    Motto: ""Guardians of the High Frontier"

  119. Good to know. But if it's been around since 1982, shouldn't it actually be in space? Seems to me that's 20,000 people not being used very effectively.

  120. We need Healthcare-for-all before any Space Force.

    How is the Space Force fiscally responsible? Why is it a better use of funds than protecting Americans from a collapsing and unaffordable healthcare system?

    Why do we need a Space Force when Republicans vote down money for securing U.S. elections from interference by a hostile power?

    What a colossal waste of money.

  121. SPACE COMMAND as in Tactical Air Command or Strategic Air Command... "military command structures".

    There is strong and almost unanimous opposition to weaponization of space has been expressed in the United Nations Conference on Disarmament. China and Russia have drafted text for a treaty to ban space weapons. The United States, however, has refused to enter negotiations on such a treaty.

    The Outer Space Treaty entered into effect in October 1967. It is the second "nonarmament" treaty (the first being the Antarctic Treaty of 1961). There is no expiration date.

    The first three articles of the treaty set general principles for the use of space; the rest of the articles are intended to guide the behavior of treaty parties.

    You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. Albert Einstein

  122. And the students at the to-be-built Space Academy will be known as Space Cadets. Seems appropriate.

  123. Militarizing space was a horrible idea back in the Reagan administration. But it is an even more dangerous idea when pushed by a religious zealot like Mr. Pence, with his world view that his god (the right god!) will miraculously protect him. The combination of modern technology and fundamentalist religion is a prescription for the quick end of civilization, and much of life on earth.

  124. Another $8 billion in national debt? We can't yet determine the impacts of their great tax cut. I recognize the dependence we have on satellites, etc. so too other nations. Anyone with a cell phone can use GPS. Shoot them down, then what, pocket compasses?

    This technology is as vital as our power grid, just like our adversaries grids. Simply make it clear interference with these things will be considered an overt act of war and we will respond accordingly.. just as I assume our adversaries would. There, $8 billion saved.

  125. Many people are saying that Starfleet Command is the principal service responsible for interstellar defense.

    To quote Wikipedia, "Starfleet is a service maintained by the United Federation of Planets ("the Federation") as the principal means for conducting deep-space exploration, research, defense, peacekeeping, and diplomacy."

    As the United Federation of Planets won't be founded until the year 2161, which is longer than a short period of time, may I suggest the $8,000,000,000.00 Mr. Pence suggests we spend on his premature "space force" instead be used for more immediate needs, such as locating and reuniting the 700 families separated at the southern border?

  126. You'd think that a one trillion dollar deficit was no big deal. Going for two are they?

  127. Of all the priorities (enedemic poverty, mass shootings, income inequality, police violence, etc.) is this even remotely comparable? Is it worth spending time and taxpayer dollars on?

  128. Bottom line from this: Pence/Trump want more money for the military for more weapons, 8 Billion more dollars to be exact. How they came up with this number is beyond me, since there are no real plans yet, right? And Defense Secretary Mattis is now behind it? Of course he's behind getting 8 Billion more dollars in his budget. And we're doing this for security reasons? Guess reforms in healthcare, Russia hacking, infrastructure, education, immigration, environmental issues (and the list goes on) do not fall into that category. AND this "Makes America Great Again"? Congress, stay clear of this idea!

  129. “Peace through strength.”

    Does anyone else find Pence’s statement Orwellian?

    Suppression and chaos through America’s continuing insistence upon military strong-arm-style dominance, more like.

  130. Rule 1 Anything can be hacked.
    Rule 2 If it hasn't been hacked, it will be hacked.
    Rule 3 If you're not hacking, you're being hacked.
    Rule 4 aAmost everything has already been hacked by someone.

    Now, seriously, Russia and China are engaged in establishing their own GPS systems, recognizing that the US takes advantage of signals management in both cellular tech and in GPS in conflict zones. It is unfortunate that our capabilities in signals intercepts have been revealed and are now being actively evaded.

    So Star Trek/Buck Rogers fantasies of a space force are fine, but they are not a true defense of our country.

    The best defense we need to mount is the one that no one knows about. A little more chess-like game might suit us just fine.

    Thanks, Sun Tzu!

  131. Sign me up for the Space Academy! I've always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

  132. Leave it to this country to attempt to militarize space. There is so much exploration and wonder, but the powerful in America have a tiny imagination that only allows for war and money.

  133. If we pitched the idea to Trump of allocating 8 billion to pay teachers more and funding public education, but give it a flashy name like Learning Force, do you think he would go for it?

  134. @Ken Quinney

    Not a chance Ken, education is a Liberal plot to undermine "real" Americans.

  135. In the meantime, back on earth, nobody in the Trump administration, especially not the President himself, mention anything about the problems we have with a planet that obviously can't stand us anymore.

  136. I have two questions about the Space Force:
    1) When will the people of Flint, Michigan get a water source that they can confidently and safely drink, bathe in and cook with?
    2) When will the people of Puerto Rico get consistent electrical power and the level of post disaster support usually accorded American citizens?

  137. Wouldn't all this money be better spent on a cyber force capable of preventing a Trump from ever happening again?

  138. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and top brass at the Pentagon KNOW that this "Space Force" is a pure propaganda play (not to mention a giant sinkhole for billions of our tax dollars if this insane proposal ever gets off the ground).

    The Air Force already has the 50th Space Wing headquartered at Schriever AFB near Colorado Springs which tracks all satellites and space debris. Nearby NORAD also "watches the skies" for signs of hostile intent from beyond our atmosphere.

    Yes, the Russians and Chinese have tinkered with weapons systems targeted at satellites. But our military has been very active in this same area - testing both rockets and lasers mounted on high-altitude aircraft which could also destroy "hostile" satellites.

    And as many of us recall, Ronnie Raygun wasted tens of billions on so-called "Star Wars" technology. Some of the videos released for public consumption to demonstrate progress with this technology were later proven to be rigged to look spectacularly successful to the untrained eye - but were totally bogus.

    And the majority of anti-ballistic missile tests ("hitting a bullet with a bullet") have been utter failures. The technology just isn't mature yet.

    So the last thing our battered budget needs is another Buck Rogers P. R. stunt. Meanwhile, existing research (in all sorts of budgetary and bureaucratic "black holes") is proceeding as rapidly as the technology will permit. Area 51 is a real place where aerospace weapons research has been ongoing for 50 years.

  139. Mike Pence, the evangelist, feels the moral obligation to justify his salary to the taxpayers or, at least, his existence.

  140. How about just getting our actual and potential adversaries to promise not to attack our space assets? Something similar to Kim's and Putin's pledges to Trump that they aren't doing x or won't do y and our president buys in, tweeting success, problem solved.

  141. The militarization of space defies the previous cooperative efforts of space exploration that has involved cooperation with Russia and other nations. Now we can look forward to weapons in space. What do we do when Russia and China and perhaps even North Korea have their nuclear-armed missiles sitting in a geosynchronous orbit directly over the U.S.? We need a U.N.. not a U.S., space force not one that will immeasurably escalate the risk of nuclear annihilation. And who is going to pay for this when the country could use that money down here on earth to repair our outdated and deteriorated infrastructure and keep our environment clean for human survival? Now is not the time for Star Wars; it's time for the promised high-speed rail system, improved airports, bridges and roads. Let's stop the silliness and start being serious and save planet earth before we have to evacuate it.

  142. Right. That's certainly high my list of my family's needs. Still waiting for that "cheaper, better health insurance that covers everybody."

  143. @abigail49

    It's amazing that Americans have no money to solve their main life safety issues such as global warming or universal healthcare however you have trillions of dollars to militarize space.
    Trump would say, sad.
    s

  144. This is another distraction from the Mueller investigation. Trump can't manage a thing here on Earth, so he wants to play - yes - Rocket Man.

  145. @Deb Pascoe

    In competition with the one Trump dubbed "Little Rocket Man", Trump will be "Bigliest Rocket Man".

    Trump di8dn't like getting played by Kim Jong Un.

  146. There is some merit to at least explore the feasibility of a small force. But Pence and the administration had to take the "WE MUST DOMINATE" position. No we don't.

  147. How can you feel anything but total cynicism, suspicion and lack of confidence about a space force plan coming from VP Pence? Is this a man in an administration that has given a strong ear to what scientists have to say. Whatever merit exists in the urgency to address the world of global positioning satellite or ground based systems, the worst politicians I can imagine to address such an issue are with the new Republican Party.

    And lest we forget, it was Reagan who, 25 years ago, announced the Strategic Defense Initiative which numerous scientists in and out of the military, expressed great skepticism.

  148. trump: "Pence needs a job. He has absolutely nothing to do, let him spend billions of dollars."

    GOP: "Tax the poor and middle class, and spend it on the Billionaires'...

  149. I doubt this administration could create a lemonade stand let alone a space branch of the military. I think most Americans and people in other countries would rather see cooperative ventures like the International space station instead of militarizing space.

  150. The Pentagon will do anything to get even more money to waste. Their attitude is: make sure you spend all the money Congress allocates, and always ask for more money. Once you have a budget, they won't be able to cut the budget. Or, if they do, it won't hurt as much.

    That's how it works, and that's why everyone is on board now. Mattis had a few moments of integrity, then somebody said, for heaven's sake, Mad Dog, grab the money.

    I just love how we're trying to cut government costs to pay off our debt.

    There's plenty of fat to cut at the Pentagon. WaPo did a big investigation into it a couple of years ago. Just Google it, read it yourself. Like everything else, WaPo has a paywall now, so I don't know if the report will be available. But, it will be easy to find other discussions on the $125 billion in waste the Pentagon buried. They could have easily funded this $8 billion program by shifting resources around within the Pentagon.

    I'll guess we'll just have to finance this by cutting stuff like the food stamps program.

  151. I support funding this idea contingent on one condition: they send an exploratory rocket (1 way) into space manned by Capt. Trump, with 1st Lieutenant Pence behind him. Just for good measure, the entire cabinet can go along for support. Then I'll really feel safe. Whew!

  152. 56 years ago the President of the United States said

    "Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war."

    If we choose to create this new force, then we will have decided to become a lesser nation not a greater one and all of humanity will be lessened by it.

  153. If the Administration and the Congressional GOP thought climate change was real, they might take some of that infinite military budget to create or enlarge response forces to deal with floods, hurricanes, fires, and their consequences. But in this Republican Party, actual Americans are usually left stranded. America first?

  154. Is this going to be “so easy” like the wonderful health insurance we’re supposedly all getting and waiting for?

    This admin is a horror show.

  155. Didn't the other celebrity President want something similar? Something about space? Or weapons in space?

  156. If over 50 years ago, we had leaders who would of foresaw military interventions, as mostly fatal, including Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, we could of spent the money on a single Payer health care system eliminating 8 separate government bureaucracies, and cutting the costs by doing this. The system would be fashioned after the one in Switzerland, per person, sliding fee schedule according to income. But no, we are bogged down in death, debt, and war, in the middle east, and now the stupid idea of a Space Force. Anyone who wants that is so ignorant, in that we can't pay for all the government we currently have, and have promised to over 100 million people in the next 25 years.

  157. This kind of crazy from Pence is exactly why we should consider whether impeaching Trump is a good idea.

  158. Vice President Roger Ramjet reporting for duty, President Trump.

  159. This administration cannot even stop gun violence in a small neighborhood in Chicago, but they want to police space, are we serious here.

  160. Just what the USA needs ... a "Space Force"!

    The rest of the world is laughing its head off. The USA can't even provide proper health care, housing or education, to say nothing of the school shootings and planet-wide war mongering.

    Yes - great move Donald!

  161. China has been working day and night stealing our intellectual property to design and military solution to end America’s lead in deep space.
    Bravo Trump!

  162. With Russia deeply embedded in our national infrastructure, Mike “Six” Pence should be focusing his boss’s attention on the (failing and daily-growing) wreck that America has become on Earth.

    I wouldn’t trust any Pence proposition. Under Donald Trump’s direction, this “space force” would be utilized for every evil that he could devise. And I don’t trust this rubber-stamp of a Capitol Hill delegation to put the interests of American citizens first. Who would get rich off this? Trump. Pence. Bolton. McConnell. Ryan. Scalise. McCarthy. Gowdy. Nunes. Graham. Cornyn.

    That’s who.

  163. “The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation,”

    This Pence speech about war and domination and battlefields does not seem to be the word of a peaceful, Christian man.

  164. After we've completely spoiled the planet Earth some will be able to make a safe getaway.

  165. Aside from the truly fantastic expense Pence is fantasizing about, while also fantasizing about slicing off social security, medicare, medicare, food stamps and section 8, past the short hairs, and then cutting taxes again (not for you), the speech is all alone and by itself the handkerchief dropping at an UN announced backroad drag race into space with the most and most powerful weapons we can, or China can, or Russia can, because everyone knows the battle goes to whoever gets there the firstest with the mostest.

    And then Jesus will come back. And we won't have to worry about global warming.

  166. And, Mr. Vice President, where does the funding come from? Do you plan to increase the debt beyond the $1 trillion already projected or should Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries plan on cuts now? I realize that the GOP Congress charges and spends with total freedom now, but it sure would be nice to know before Election Day.

    P.S. If you tell us not to worry, try again.