Donald Trump launches the United States’ newest military division: the Space Force, and in doing so, begins what Ronald Reagan started. I’m of course referring to dementia, not “Star Wars.” Trump’s impetus for the Space Force, like what remains of his frontal lobe, is unclear. Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly rather charitably called Trump’s Space Force “a dumb idea.” Let me be clear: the Space Force is among Trump’s worst ideas, and could potentially end up being his absolute worst idea, depending on how bad wars get in the future.
The main criticism for Space Force, as far as I’m concerned, is the main criticism for Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (a.k.a. “Star Wars”). Namely, putting defenses in space will incentivize other nations to do the same, or to weaponize space more broadly. This would effectively make no square inch on earth safe from annihilation. I don’t know about you, but the threat of that doesn’t exactly make me feel good.
It doesn’t make Trump’s buddy Vladimir Putin feel good either, and making Putin act on how to combat a threat in space can only lead to one thing — Russian space weapons. Just as a reminder: Russia has more nukes than we do, and as far as is known to the public, they made the biggest ones ever and we use Russian Soyuz rockets to get to the International Space Station. In other words, they have the knowhow and the incentive to start their own powerful space force.
Trump’s astonishing talent to inch the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight never ceases to make me feel sick, but this is such a wildly stupid idea it really does make me wonder if he’s completely lost it. This decision comes from a man who has repeatedly said he doesn’t like wars, and to be fair, he did very conveniently grow crippling bone spurs just to avoid serving in Vietnam. A man with that kind of willpower to avoid conflict should know better than to start a military program to weaponize the last frontier.
This isn’t even to mention the less existentially distressing effects the Space Force could have on satellites that we desperately rely on to make modern society function, such as telecommunications satellites. My advice: ditch the Space Force, Trump. Imagine how many boxes of chocolates you’ll have to buy Putin to make him like you again even if you just have NASA tape some handguns to a football and put it in orbit.