There has been much in the way of focus on all the different ways Congress has devised to fight with itself as of recent, with most of that revolving around stupid partisan bickering and political posturing. Still, there are real proposals on the table, and currently the 2018 defense budget is one of them. We've already talked about some recent changes in DoD recruitment strategies that seek to get with the times, as it were. But where those changes were made to stave off dwindling rosters of soldiers at CYBERCOM, the House proposal for 2018 includes the creation of a brand new military branch.
Don't get your hopes up too high about becoming a space marine quite yet. But if the House of Representatives' version of the 2018 defense budget goes through, you may soon be able to enlist in the US Space Corps.
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has breathed new life into those old plans by including a provision in the House version of the 2018 US defense budget that would create a separate military service dedicated to the cause of space as a warfare domain: the US Space Corps. It would also create a separate joint command, the US Space Command, breaking the role out of the US Strategic Command much in the way that was done with the US Cyber Command.
The biggest surprise in all of this might well be that it took this long, actually. Cyber Command's battleground is mere decades old, whereas we have been exploring space for more than half a century. Still, there is something unnerving about formalizing Earth's place at the cosmic table as a potential war theater. That said, the proposal does enjoy the rare consensus of bi-partisan support and it's not difficult to understand why. More than ever, we rely on assets outside of our immediate atmosphere to power all sorts of things key to our national security and power. The branch that currently oversees space defense and strategy, the Air Force, is no longer seen as capable of handling the job.
There’s been nothing shortsighted about this. We started working on it vigorously in September, and we’ve had countless meetings with a number of experts who have advised us as to how this should be construed. GAO has done three studies on this, all of which tell us that you cannot maintain the current organizational construct of the Air Force and solve the acquisition problems and the operational problems that we have. The Air Force is like any other bureaucracy. They don’t want to change.
At some level, this was inevitable. We are humans and, where we go, we fight. So don your helmets and fire up that chainsaw, future space marines, because the next battleground may be the inky blackness of the void. If so, it seems the House of Representatives, at least, wants to be prepared for it.