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Pentagon really doesn't like Trump's ridiculous 'space force' idea

Trump keeps pushing for a ‘Space Force’ because it works as an applause line at his rallies. But the Pentagon doesn’t want it at all.

By Oliver Willis - August 09, 2018
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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration is moving forward with plans for a so-called “Space Force,” even as top figures at the Pentagon see the idea as a waste of time and resources.

The Trump administration has been pushing for a completely new branch of the military, something the existing military has not asked for.

The L.A. Times gets to the heart of the unnecessary push, noting, “Trump has never explained at length why he favors creation of a space force as an additional military service, but the concept often draws loud cheers at rallies.”

Chanting at a rally is not a serious or practical reason for a massive new bureaucracy, and the Pentagon knows it.

Recently, Pentagon wrote in a congressionally mandated report that is will call for the creation of a U.S. Space Command, similar to existing structures like Central Command, which coordinates military operations around the world. But not a “space force.”

Trump would need Congress to create the new branch he keeps talking about at his rallies. But with the Pentagon already doing what they can to handle Trump’s ranting, Congress won’t likely make a strong push for it.

Trump’s own Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, said in a letter to Congress he opposed “the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions.”

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters last year that “the Pentagon is complicated enough” without the increased bureaucracy of a space force. She added, “This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart and cost more money. If I had more money, I would put it into lethality, not bureaucracy.”

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein also said at the time, “Now is not the time to build seams and segregate or separate. Now’s the time to further integrate.”

Trump has shown a steadfast refusal to ignore military advise if it runs contrary to his ill-informed rhetoric and ideas.

He has continued to push for a military parade in the style of flamboyant, autocratic dictators, even as military officials have said it does not make sense given the cost and resources do not make sense. One official made it extremely clear: “There is only one person who wants this parade” … Trump.

Trump also chose to pander to fellow bigots among his base with a drive to impose a ban on transgender military service. But a report from the Pentagon itself showed that inclusion of transgender troops hasn’t damaged unit cohesion or morale.

“Space Force” is a rallying cry Trump uses as a cheap applause line at his rallies, in-between offering childish nicknames for Democrats, whining about cable news, and calling immigrants “animals.” It isn’t a serious idea, or something the military wants to be wasting time on.

The Pentagon knows that, and they don’t support Trump on it.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

 


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