By Craig Hastings
“Space Force” – President Trump some months ago created this new branch of the American military presence. I believe some of his advisers would have preferred to simply incorporate this effort as part of the Air Force. Me, I would have created it as its own entity to better showcase the progress of the program. It could too easily get caught up and mixed in with the Air Force’s newest and upcoming jet aircraft. How better to showcase the progress of the program than to grow it as its own. But what is a Space Force? Does the United States need a Space Force? If so, why now do we need a it?
I can tell what I think based on limited information available. For obvious reasons our government is keeping quiet. The brilliant military minds at work at the Pentagon have presented to the President reason enough to convince him there is a national security risk developing in the stars. And how could there not be? Russia, China, The United States already have numerous satellites orbiting about and many other countries will soon have a presence, too. Most of you reading this are probably like myself and can’t even imagine with any real intelligence the capabilities of these satellites. We all know that most everything any of us do in our day-to-day activities involves a signal or a bounce back from a satellite. Everything we do with our smart phones includes some function from one of many satellites orbiting the earth in outer space. i.e. “The Cloud.” Your cloud is really a satellite forwarding all of the information you feed it back to an on earth computer bank; probably in California.
It is a clever moniker, I think. “The Cloud” is an image we would associate with a place soft, safe, clean and white, and…we can look right up in the sky during the day and see our own little fluffy white cloud! Really?! I would rather the techno geeks would just call it what it really is! I don’t need stroked and comforted into thinking everything I do on my phone is perfectly secure in some random fluffy white cloud when it’s not! Haven’t we all seen plenty of evidence that proves nothing we do on our phones is absolutely secure? I move we rename “The Cloud” too “The Vulnerable Satellite.” Now, doesn’t this moniker suggest less than perfect security and storage some place in deep dark outer space? More in line with the truth? But we can’t do that though because every government wants all of us to feel safe to send and store all of our most vital information and communications to “The Cloud.” Once your information arrives to this imaginary cloud it becomes available to a host of hackers and internet thieves.
So how do we stop this espionage war? And we do have to come up with a mechanism of some sort to stop our enemies from stealing the fluff from our clouds right!? For sure Russian guy Putin can’t do anything more than get a good laugh from your family reunion pictures you sent to all of your friends last summer, but what about those clouds that store our military secrets and strategies? Like everything else that makes this world go around, our military must use encrypted computer messaging and storage as their way of doing their day-to-day business. But, what if? What if a satellite launched into orbit by China is loaded with new techno wizardry specifically designed to first steal and second then destroy any and/or all of our information sent from our devices. (And no; not that imaginary cloud we’re supposed to believe.) Military secrets and technology secrets are at risk now more than ever before.
I’ve heard in the news that all of the “experts” predict the next world war will be fought in Cyberspace. Folks it’s already in progress! Up until recently it may have made the world leaders angry and embarrassed but has been forgiven; up to a point. A sanction here or there, an official condemnation, or maybe a public scorning but nothing of real substance, because, as far as we know. nothing of substance has happened as a result of space thievery. As a matter of fact; watching the news it appears the most damning information collected secretly from “The Cloud” to date is information Americans used against other Americans! Not just ordinary Americans either! Our own Criminal Justice employees, FBI employees, and operatives of the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign are implicated in an illegal information-gathering scheme to undermine the Donald Trump Presidential Campaign! This Cloud is pouring information rain like cats and dogs to investigators.
Seriously though, it is scary to think that power grids that control everything we do, how we travel, how we power our homes, our businesses, our hospitals, everything incorporated via computer information travel could be brought to a complete stand still should our enemies discover the way in to our cyber systems. If that should ever happen, what is our only probable response? An immediate military strike right? But how? I just told you all systems are down. Down here on the ground, on earth. But what about an orbiting space station? What about maybe a space colony on the moon or somewhere else orbiting the earth? Some place operating on its own independent from earth? What branch of our military would be our only line of defense and offense should such an escalation of differences among our world leaders happen? Enter the Space Force.
Those of you my age; aren’t you glad you didn’t have to live your life worrying about such things? I am, for sure. My god, life was so much simpler and care free than it is today. We passed our secret messages hand-to-hand on pieces of paper or we whispered one into an ear. The only thing we knew about space was that there is a moon and a million stars. Looking up into the night sky was a beautiful and peaceful thing to do. If I told you something of interest the only place to store that information was in your brain. Why couldn’t all of this space stuff have stopped when we first walked on the moon? Wasn’t that enough?
Now is when I could start talking about one of my favorite shows: Ancient Aliens.” If you really get into this series you’ll be like me and take the opinion that it really doesn’t matter what we do here on this speck of dirt we call Earth. At any moment we could be either be overrun by a more powerful foe or we could be saved and pointed in the right direction. The direction of world peace forever or else be extinguished in favor of a new race, our choice. It’s happened before; once by flood water and another time by an asteroid impact. Last thought tonight. I think “Space Force” sounds a little cartoonish. I want to go with something like “American Space Command” or maybe “Space Command 1.”