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May the Space Force Be With You

And it’s official. The world’s first ever dedicated space army was formally announced last week by America’s finest, Donald Trump and his sidekick, Mike Pence. 
The five-point declaration signed by the president and made public on August 9 marks the birth of the Army's sixth military branch, and is the first to be added in over 70 years.

What this Space Force will be up to, as well as the whys and hows announced by the administration are summed up in the lines below.WHY
Because of China and Russia, of course. The United States fought neither directly on Earth, ever, but now plans to take warfare to the skies above us, “to deter and defeat a new generation of threats.”

Those threats are, of course, space-based or space-bound weapons, not some enemy army division bent on invading the U.S. from above. Both China and Russia are hard at work with creating weapons that can touch the outer space and then come back to wreak havoc down on Earth.

As per Mike Pence’s statements, Russia is working on an airborne laser with the goal to "disrupt our space-based system."  China is developing satellite-killer missiles, while both countries pursue the Holy Graal of unstoppable hypersonic missiles.

Both, says Pence, accompanied by the army of North Korea, are trying to create weapons to “jam, blind, and disable our navigation and communications satellites” using ground-based weapons.

And a jammed, blinded and disabled America is a sitting space duck.HOW
A Space Development Agency will be created. Unlike the first bearer of the name, the Japanese National Space Development Agency (NASDA), this one will not be in charge with the development and the promotion of the peaceful use of space, but with weaponizing it.

More precisely, it will be “developing and fielding new next-generation capabilities for national security space development.” The agency, under the president’s National Defense Strategy, will accelerate the creation of space weapons.

The people tasked with the use of the said weapons will come together under the Space Operations Force badge. People that will make it up will come from “our nation’s space programs.” Meaning from SpaceX? Probably not. NASA? Perhaps. The Air Force? Most definitely.

The men and women of the Space Operations Force, armed with tech created by the Space Development Agency, will take orders from the soon-to-be United States Space Command, “a unified combatant command, to improve, evolve, and plan space warfighting.

Overseeing what these guys are up to in space will be a single civilian position, reporting to the Secretary of Defense. The person occupying this position will be called Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space and will be only a stepping stone to the planned creation of the independent position of Secretary of the Space Force.

The plan is to have the entire Space Force organization up and running by the year 2020. For this to happen, the president will ask for some cash from Congress next February. He’ll probably get it. By the end of 2019, the Space Force will be included in the National Defense Authorization Act.THE OUTER SPACE TREATY
Back in the 1960s, when the world was living in fear of total annihilation, the U.S., Russia, and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. The Outer Space treaty, for short. 

It banned states that signed it (107 nations in 2018) from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, on the Moon and elsewhere in outer space.

More importantly, it also prohibits the testing of weapons, military maneuvers, the establishment of military bases, installations, and fortifications in space.

Is the U.S. in violation of this treaty? Have your say by reading the Treaty's text attached in the document below, especially Article IV.

A reaction from both China and Russia is to be expected in the coming months. And their reaction might not be as transparent and bombastic as that of the U.S.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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