This year, U.S. President Trump authorized the creation of the United States Space Command after months of talk about a “space force.” According to Trump, it is “the next war-fighting domain,” and the command will be the first big step towards creating an official Space Force. If it happens, it will become the sixth branch of the military. All of this has sparked some to revisit a decades-old question - Should the United States military seek to weaponize space?
It's part of a country's defense system
According to proponents of the move, Space Force is needed to defend American satellites and spacecrafts. Currently, they are under the protection of the U.S. Air Force, but it is a massive task for a branch of the military that deals with so much already. There is a serious and legitimate threat in space that leads many to believe there is a necessity to weaponize it. Many adversary nations can attempt to destroy or disable satellites, something that happened in 2007 when China used a ballistic missile to destroy a weather satellite. Russia is currently testing weapons capable of shooting down objects in space. This could lead to massive problems within communication, and even civilian satellites could be targeted. The United States is not alone in its concerns; Russia created Aerospace Forces in 2015, and China’s space program is directly linked to the military.
Space Force brings harm to the globe
Many who oppose the idea view this as another arms race with the possibility of bringing serious harm to the globe. One of the problems with weaponizing space is that once things began to get destroyed, nobody knows where they’ll end up. After a while, massive amounts of debris could end up floating around space, destroying much in their path including satellites. The amount of money needed to operate weapons in space would be extremely high, once again revamping arguments about military spending. Many people in the country already believe defense spending is outrageous, and they want to see the money allocated to other areas like education. On top of all of this, the consequences of weaponizing space are largely unknown, and it could lead to serious devastation if nations began to conduct war there.
This debate has been going on for decades, and it will continue. Many people strongly believe that weaponizing space is a step too far, and others think that there’s no choice since adversary nations have already begun the process. So, should the United States military seek to weaponize space?