While key members of his administration oppose him, Donald Trump seems intent on forging ahead with plans to create a sixth military branch–in outer space, as Renee Parsons reports.
By Renee Parsons
At a recent meeting of the newly-revived National Space Council, President Donald Trump announced the Space Policy Directive: National Space Traffic Management (STM) Policy and ordered the Department of Defense to establish a Space Force as a sixth branch of the US military.
Creating a “separate but equal” Space Corps would need Congressional authorization, however, which could abort Trump’s lift off.
Members of Trump’s own cabinet, including the secretary of defense, are opposed to creating a new military branch, meaning the president’s plans could be left on the launching pad.
The Directive suggests an overly-ambitious mission of broad, wide-ranging goals with no timeline or funding under the guise of a ‘space junk directive’ to clean up a “congested and contested” cosmos. That promises to keep the military industries happy while making space safe for the coming commercial space industry (CSI).
Specifically, the Directive provides a role for the Department of Defense “to protect and defend US space assets and interests.” The Director of National Intelligence is supposed to provide a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) of “knowledge and characterization of space objects.” Expanding on the U.S. role in outer space, Trump could not be clearer about his intentions: “Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security. We must have American dominance in space.”
As the U.S. presumes to act on behalf of other countries on the planet and commercial space endeavors, the Directive proposes to establish operational criteria with the assumption that all players will accept such U.S. dominance.
Opposition within the Trump Administration has been vocal, with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson suggesting that, “The Pentagon is complicated enough. This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart, and cost more money.”
In an October, 2017 letter on the National Defense Authorization Act 2018, Defense Secretary James Mattis commented: “I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint war-fighting functions.”
In a second letter to Congress, Mattis reiterated, “I do not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations.”
Outer Space, Out of Mind
Despite Pentagon opposition, an administration witness told a recent House Armed Services subcommittee that “the President has prioritized space. He recognized the threats that have evolved and the pace at which they evolve.”
In March, the president endorsed a Space Force during a White House ceremony, saying, “We’re getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons,” suggesting that the true purpose of a Space Force may be more than the equivalent of a celestial traffic cop.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, there are 1,738 operational satellites with 803 US satellites in orbit (476 commercial, 150 government, 159 military and 18 civil). Russia has 142 operational satellites and China has 204. There are also 2,600 non-functional human-made satellites, most of which weigh less than 5 tons and fly in a low orbit specifically programmed to burn out and fall to earth after 25 years.
It is difficult to conjure up the effects of a “growing threat” from human-made orbital clutter and debris floating in the infinite vastness of outer space as significant enough to qualify as a national security risk. Nor would U.S. global dominance be required to sweep the cosmos clean of said debris. What could Trump be thinking in pushing this idea against the wishes of the top brass? Perhaps he is referring to something other than debris and clutter.
While outer space is a wide-open, limitless expanse that remains as clandestine as any black ops project, global citizens are familiar with the noteworthy increase of reported extra terrestrial activity across the planet.
Especially intriguing are former astronauts who have commented on their experiences as well as members of the U.S. military who have described sightings that move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion or that hover with no apparent means of lift and can change direction or speed on a dime.
Revealed in December 2017, the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which prepared a 500-page document of worldwide UFO sightings, was Congressionally funded by former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). In a CNN interview, retired AATIP director Luis Elizondo, who resigned in protest over “excessive secrecy” said, “My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone.”
Two events that dared challenge the government’s decades of secrecy with open disclosure were two press conferences at the National Press Club in Washington featuring retired military personnel providing public comment on their direct experiences with an extra terrestrial world in their official capacity. The first press conference occurred on September, 10, 2001, one day before the 911 attacks and another on September 27, 2010. Both press conferences were organized by Dr. Steven Greer of the Disclosure Project, who also produced the videos Sirius and Unacknowledged.
In responding to the Directive, Greer claimed he has been “talking about this for years and has spoken to multiple witnesses who said that at least since the 1960s the U.S. has had military assets in space. They (Trump administration) are acknowledging something that is already there. However, what is not being talked about, even now, is that those military assets are tracking and targeting ET craft.”
On the edge of human consciousness lies a more subtle, potentially less obvious presence than the usual political adversaries as the U.S. continues to lay specious claim to ownership of Outer Space.
A version of this article was first published on Global Research.
Renee Parsons served on the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and as president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and a staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31