Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

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jserraglio
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Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:04 am

SpaceNews

https://www.space.com/41101-wall-street ... force.html

WASHINGTON — President Trump has become "fixated" on the idea of a new military branch for space and appears to be ignoring legitimate arguments for why the plan should not move forward at this time, the Wall Street Journal editorial board cautioned in its July 4 editorial titled, "Houston, We Have a Space Force."

"This plan is not ready for the launchpad, even if Mr. Trump is right about the threat," the board wrote.

The Journal's take on the Space Force underscores just how politicized this issue has become since the president on June 18 at a White House space policy event ordered Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to "immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces." The Pentagon has strongly opposed the idea after the leaders of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee floated legislation in 2016 to create a Space Corps. After Trump's announcement, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the Pentagon would follow the president's guidance. [Military Space: Spacecraft, Weapons and Tech]

The formation of a new military service under any circumstance requires congressional authorization but the WSJ board does not see that as a major impediment. "Members of both parties seem willing, albeit after a fight over whose district will host the space cadets."

The president should "proceed with caution," the editorial warns. The issue is not that space doesn't deserve attention, but that the military is weighed down by a bloated bureaucracy and overhead costs and can ill afford to take on the additional expense of a Space Force.

The board credits the Air Force — which now oversees 90 percent of military space activities — for taking on inefficiency. "Secretary Heather Wilson has made fixing some of the dysfunction a priority by streamlining duplicative procurement." A wholly separate space forcewould "replicate these problems on a larger scale," the Journal's editorial said. "Branches of the military form their own cultures but also their own civilian workforces and back-end offices to manage operations. Service chiefs compete for dollars from Congress, and budget fights can be more about preserving power centers than national security." A Space Force will bring added personnel costs because the Air Force will try to avoid surrendering its personnel and dollars to a new branch.

Trump and congressional proponents of a separate Space Force are correct to identify space as a military domain that has to be better defended as foreign powers like Russia and China pose challenges, the editorial noted. But it urged the president to rethink this idea as the military already is financially strained by rising personnel costs and still recovering from a readiness crisis.

The president, meanwhile, continues to bring up the Space Force at military events and political rallies, where every mention draws applause and cheers from crowds.

"You've probably been hearing we may add a little thing called 'Space Force,'" Trump said to a cheering crowd July 3 during the Salute to Service dinner at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. "We're thinking very seriously about it because space is becoming very important militarily, as well as other reasons."

At a July 4 military appreciation event at the White House, Trump delivered a similar line: "We have the Air Force — and by the way, I might add, we very well may soon have the Space Force. You've been hearing about that. Applause) Everyone is very excited about that."

This story was provided by SpaceNews, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.
________________________________________________

WSJ
Houston, We Have a Space Force
https://www.wsj.com/articles/houston-we ... ?mod=e2two
A new military service isn’t needed to compete above the Earth.
By The Editorial Board
July 4, 2018

For most Presidents an event about space regulation wouldn’t produce headline news, but then there’s President Trump. At such an event last month Mr. Trump ordered the Pentagon to develop a de novo military branch dedicated to space. This plan is not ready for the launchpad, even if Mr. Trump is right about the threat.

President Trump’s idea of a “separate but equal” Space Force isn’t novel: The House last year passed a proposal for an independent space branch, and Congress ended up commissioning a study. The argument is that the Air Force is ill-equipped to manage threats from Russia and China, which are aggressively expanding military capabilities in space.

An artist concept of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) that will track how Earth’s weather and space weather interact.
An artist concept of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) that will track how Earth’s weather and space weather interact. PHOTO: NASA HANDOUT/EUROPEAN PRESS AGENCY/SHUTTERSTOCK
The proponents have a point. The U.S. relies on satellites for essential functions like GPS but also weather and directing military efforts on the ground. The threats include jamming or spoofing signals, hacking, antisatellite missiles, and perhaps more the public doesn’t know. Periodic classified briefings to Congress appear to terrify Members.

A 2016 study from the Government Accountability Office revealed 60 distinct entities that deal with assets in space, either managing or acquiring technology, sprawled across government. The Air Force handles about 90% of unclassified space dollars, though the Army and Navy also have outfits that deal with space. GAO cited all the usual suspects of Pentagon projects, including cost overruns and leadership churn. To her credit, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has made fixing some of the dysfunction a priority by streamlining duplicative procurement.

A wholly separate space force would replicate these problems on a larger scale. Branches of the military form their own cultures but also their own civilian workforces and back-end offices to manage operations. Service chiefs compete for dollars from Congress, and budget fights can be more about preserving power centers than national security.

Note too that personnel costs, particularly health care, are already crowding out other Pentagon priorities. Worse, entitlements like Medicare are crowding out Pentagon funding. This means in the future a lower portion of a lower budget will be dedicated to core competencies of war.

Air Force Space Command already employs 36,000 people at 134 locations, and don’t believe those who say these functions would be absorbed by a new Space Force with no added staff. A new headquarters alone would spawn hundreds of new aides and staffers. The Air Force will try to avoid surrendering its personnel and dollars to a new branch, even if the Space Force is designed as a subsidiary, much like the Marines are of the Navy.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis summed it up last year when this idea was floated in Congress: “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 warfighting functions.”

But Mr. Trump is fixated on the prospect, and in response to his June remarks Secretary Mattis said the Pentagon would start the process. Congress would have to authorize a new branch, but Members of both parties seem willing, albeit after a fight over whose district will host the space cadets.

Yet proceed with caution. Congress is free to dedicate money to research and development in space or do a wholesale restructuring of Air Force Space Command. Congress can also continue to propose discrete ideas. One is Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan’s proposal to put sensors in space that would help missile-defense systems communicate with one another.

Republicans in Congress had to swallow tens of billions in domestic spending this year to win even a modest increase in funding for the armed services. That will be a waste if the GOP sets up a space force that copies and pastes the military’s culture of inefficiency.

jbuck919
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Re: Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:50 am

If you're trying to make things up, try again. Are you aware that there are Trump "base" supporters who can't get more excited about anything else than space force? These people live in a fantasy world where as long as they are healthy and not starving to death everything Trump suggests is better than rocket science plus a new take on apple pie. That is the real news, and the bad news.

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/7bw209/th ... ace-force-

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:15 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:50 am
If you're trying to make things up, try again . . . . That is the real news, and the bad news.
If you revisit the two articles, you might conclude that your point was more or less the same one made in more temperate language by both Space.com News and the WSJ editorial:
President Trump has become "fixated" on the idea of a new military branch for space and appears to be ignoring legitimate arguments for why the plan should not move forward at this time . . . ."
Mr. Trump ordered the Pentagon to develop a de novo military branch dedicated to space. This plan is not ready for the launchpad, even if Mr. Trump is right about the threat . . . . But Mr. Trump is fixated on the prospect . . . .
Addressing the ad hominem tenor of your post ("If you're trying to make things up"): Whether or not you approve, I will get my information where I please and how it suits me. You, of course, are free to challenge it in whatever way you feel most comfortable with.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26748
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
Location: Stony Creek, New York

Re: Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:00 am

This is not ad hominem. Obviously, silence implies consent regarding the great majority of your posts. In the past you have complained that you are bearing the burden of what's wrong with the world with little response and I have responded that there is little point in preaching to the choir and expecting a chorus of "amens." By all means, keep it up, but if anything, my remarks recently have been ad impressum (addressed to the quality of the reporting press), and this one is no different. The key phrase in your reply is "in more temperate language." Exactly how do you want extreme situations to be tempered? I could produce half a dozen other posts about how giddy Trump supporters are about space force as though it were candy on Halloween and gifts under the tree at Christmas at the same time. Without exception, IMO, they are complete fools, and they should be called on the carpet as such.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:23 am

I don't recall ever saying that I feel I am bearing a burden or am miffed by any lack of response. Others have said that, but if I ever did or even agreed with them, then I retract it.

What others do or not do, say or not say, is frankly none of my business. In fact, I vigorously (rather too vigorously) defended CMG from an attack based solely on our silence about a terrorist event in Manhattan. So remaining silent is something I deeply believe in as a moral right in all but the most exceptional cases.

Assurances to the contrary, you say I may be "trying to make things up". if that is not ad hominem, surely it flirts with it. Your supposition has nothing to do with the quality of WSJ's reporting (for the most part, first-rate) or its editorials (provocative even when I disagree with them).

I intend to further explore this great newspaper as a counterweight to my own partisanship.

jbuck919
Military Band Specialist
Posts: 26748
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:15 pm
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Re: Wall Street Journal Shoots Down Space Force

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:27 am

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:23 am
I don't recall ever saying that I feel I am bearing a burden or am miffed by any lack of response. Others have said that, but if I ever did or even agreed with them, then I retract it.

What others do or not do, say or not say, is frankly none of my business. In fact, I vigorously (rather too vigorously) defended CMG from an attack based solely on our silence about a terrorist event in Manhattan. So remaining silent is something I deeply believe in as a moral right in all but the most exceptional cases.

Assurances to the contrary, you say I may be "trying to make things up". if that is not ad hominem, surely it flirts with it. Your supposition has nothing to do with the quality of WSJ's reporting (for the most part, first-rate) or its editorials (provocative even when I disagree with them).

I intend to further explore this great newspaper as a counterweight to my own partisanship.
OK, you do that, as one of our senior members was once fond of posting on "conservative" commentators such as David Brooks when he himself is a liberal. There is no longer any room for maneuver in this milieu. This is now war.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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