COLUMN: Why the Space Force is America's next greatest strength


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a spacecraft lifts off April 18, 2018, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. During the State of the Union Address, President Trump brought up the importance of sending American astronauts to space on American rockets. Tribune News Service

During the State of the Union address, President Trump brought up the importance of sending American astronauts to space on American rockets. It’s a prospect we should strive for. 

In particular, his comments revived some views I have about Trump’s Space Force. It’s certainly an ambitious proposal. Adding another branch to the military is extremely serious but certainly necessary. 

A lot of people have reservations about the Space Force. Many critics wonder why we need a Space Force when we have NASA. They don’t realize the clear difference between the two. 

For starters, NASA is a government program, not a branch of the military. Saying that NASA and the Space Force are the same thing is like saying the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the same as the U.S. Navy. 

NASA has a completely alternative purpose. They primarily strive for discovery. They’re planning journeys to Mars and creating more observation satellites. These are respectable causes, and I certainly hope they receive proper funding to get their hard work off the ground again via American rockets. 

However, they aren’t a militaristic program. That’s where the Space Force comes in.

The goal of the Space Force would be to secure the safety of all Americans by using methods of protection from space. China and Russia, unfortunately, are a few steps ahead of us. China has already developed weapons such as anti-satellite missiles that leave fields of dangerous debris in their wake. 

You may think the idea of a Space Force is ridiculous. Well, it’s important to look back at the way past branches of the military were formed. There was a time when the first flights over the Atlantic were taking place. 

The last thing many people thought about when they saw these winged death machines was that they deserved their own branch of the military. The skies were still a very new means of transportation for Americans. 

The U.S., however, certainly persisted, and eventually the magnitude and demand for these planes merited the creation of a completely new branch of the military. An idea that, at one time, seemed so inconceivable became a building block of our military, and many are quite grateful for it today. 

All militaristic operations that occur in space currently come directly from the space subdivision of the Air Force. The Air Force doesn’t have the proper time or resources to successfully secure and improve our status in space due to their primary focus on combat in other areas of the globe. Our advancements in space technology and experience are telltale signs that we’re more than ready for this space subdivision to emerge as a full blown Space Force. 

Again, the United States must surpass other nations. We’ve always been pioneering the next technological step and championing cutting-edge ideals. We can’t allow ourselves to miss this opportunity just because other countries haven’t successfully executed the idea of a space force yet. 

If anything, that’s all the more reason for us to do it ourselves. We must afford ourselves every advantage possible. We’ve been a world leader for decades. There is absolutely no reason we should stop now.  

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