Regardless of one’s assessment of former President Donald Trump, I think we should be mature enough as human beings to evaluate the merit of his administration’s actions on a per-issue basis. If that is the case, then the Space Force is good for America because it accelerates technology.
Admittedly, when I first learned about a U.S. Space Force, I couldn’t help but think about movies like Starship Troopers. But, fan-fiction aside, there are many valid reasons to believe that forming a Space Force is a good idea. One consideration is the opportunities that it will create.
Personally, I think that a U.S. Space Force is a good for America because the offshoots of the program will create jobs, a renewed sense of space exploration, advancements in new and current technologies, and an increased awareness of the risks and opportunities of our cosmos. Certainly the universe doesn’t need any new weapons; we have plenty already to completely destroy ourselves. But in working to provide a viable defense system, we may speed up our technological progress as a nation by making increased technological development a national priority.
Of course, the argument could be made that the Space Force represents unnecessary spending for which taxpayers will have to foot the bill. It could also be argued that there are other social ills that need to be addressed first. I would be the first to acknowledge public issues surrounding disease, poverty, mental illness, and a bevy of other concerns that should be on local, state, and national agendas immediately.
But, that being said, a strong national defense is a role of even the most limited governments, and it is often the case that advancements in technological development provide the tools to address social ills more quickly. This is so because tech tends to be good at aggregating data and doing things to scale.
Moreover, I think that a U.S. Space Force, properly framed, could be an opportunity to help humanity recognize its caretaking responsibilities over Earth and the cosmos. For humans to seriously consider our opportunities to traverse our solar system and begin exploration and development could be a unifying endeavor. It also might be a historic opportunity for humans as a species to appreciate and recognize the importance of our home planet Earth. Might a Space Force give us a greater sense of the finitude of our planet and thus our responsibility to care for it?
CBS News interviewed famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to discuss this sixth potential military branch in space. DeGrasse Tyson initially pointed out that the U.S. military being engaged in space is nothing new. For instance, the U.S. Air Force presently has a U.S. Space Command. DeGrasse Tyson noted that he had spoken with many U.S. Generals that are happy to retain their current authority over those present responsibilities.
But, he wisely suggested that if we are going to take away the existing powers that currently reside under the U.S. Air Force and place them under a U.S. Space Force, then we should consider including some additional protective measures. One of those new initiatives might be an asteroid defense program. When asked how big a threat it was that an asteroid might hit Earth, deGrasse Tyson said:
“One could come and render us extinct – so I would consider that a big threat.”
Reality Changing Observations:
1. Do you support a U.S. Space Force, and why or why not?
2. What do you think our first technological priority should be in the United States?
3. In your opinion, what priority should technological development be for any country?