Trump confirms the future creation of the US Space Force in a context of international espionage
– News of June 19, 2018 –
President Trump gave a speech during the third session of his National Council of Space. The US president reiterated his desire to create the US Space Force as the sixth branch of the US military. It is not yet clear what missions will be assigned to this space corps, but this decision emphasizes the fact that the militarization of space is accelerating around the world. The space treaty ratified in 1967 theoretically limits the military use of the orbit. It prohibits, among other things, the storage of weapons of mass destruction outside the Earth’s atmosphere. This leaves the door open to many other approaches.
Thus, the armies of the great powers have not been slow to put satellites of espionage and telecommunications in orbit. But in recent years, a new trend is coming. French generals have repeatedly pointed out that there are inspector satellites. These spacecrafts would use orbital rendez-vous to get closer to the satellites of rival nations. This is what happened in 2016 to a Syracuse satellite that hosts the communications of the French army.
Few countries master the orbital rendez-vous. Only the Americans, the Russians or the Chinese are now able to do it. Maybe that’s the kind of mission that Boeing’s X-37B shuttle does, or the Zuma payload that was lost by the US military earlier this year. France is preparing to renew all the military space assets of the country. It currently operates eight military espionage or telecommunications satellites, which will be replaced by eight new satellites starting this year. It can be necessary to integrate in these platforms solutions to counter the inspector satellites.
The US Space Force, a space army, could soon be created by the USA
– News of July 11, 2017 –
The space was rather spared by military ambitions. There have been numerous attempts to militarize space, such as the famous star wars project, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency. But apart from that, we are limited for the moment to the use of spy satellites and to many research projects. This relative space peace is due to a treaty that was ratified during the Cold War, the space treaty. This treaty prohibits the use or stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction in orbit. It also limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies.
That’s why many observers were surprised by the US Defense Budget for the year 2018. There is indeed a recommendation for the creation of a new corps of the army, called US Space Force. Currently, US military space activities are managed by the NRO and the US Air Force. The US Air Force officials are opposed to this proposal, which would conflict with some of their activities, such as the operations of the X-37B space shuttle.
In concrete terms, the mission of the US Space Force is rather vague. The US Space Force would be responsible for providing armed forces to fight and win wars in space. Of course, the text does not specify against whom this new army corps is supposed to fight. Similarly, we still do not know the means that will be available. We imagine that the US Space Force will resume and centralize all US military operations related to space, but we do not know if the USSF will develop new ones.
The project has not been validated yet. The US Air Force will press for this not to happen. This, however, seems to be the beginning of renewed military interest in space. While most Western countries are concentrating on acquiring cybernetic warfare capabilities, the US military and its colossal budget is projecting into the future. The trend is worrisome, however, because if the United States of America and other countries develop offensive space capabilities, perhaps one day there will be a real star wars.
Image by USAF