On May 14, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a speech in support of Congress moving forward with the creation of Space Force as a new branch of the US military. Cruz gave an intriguing perspective on what the proposed new military branch would protect the country from – space pirates!
Cruz said the following in his Space Force speech at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, which he chairs:
Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors. Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we, too, must now recognize the necessity of a space force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.
Cruz’s implicit reference to “space pirates” quickly garnered much internet attention, particularly on Twitter’s “moments” news thread, where tweets of multiple people mocking him appeared. Cruz fired back at Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter, for not giving equal coverage to his responses:
Hey @jack how come Twitter’s “moment” quotes all the snarky leftists making fun of my comments, but doesn’t include my tweets in response explaining the real point that NATIONS like China have already developed & tested weapons to destroy satellites? https://twitter.com/i/moments/1128794276677029888 …27.8K8:53 PM – May 15, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacyTexas Sen. Ted Cruz wants the Space Force to defend the US against space piratesUS newsSenator Cruz (R-TX), who is the chairman of the subcommittee on aviation and space for the US government, made a comparison of the space force to American naval forces, stating the need to protect…Moments22.7K people are talking about this
President Donald’s Trump’s proposed Space Force is currently being debated in the US Congress which is considering legislation officially creating it as a new military branch under the US Air Force.
The Pentagon has come out in support of Space Force being created, despite initial oppositionby the Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, and its Chief of Staff, David Goldfein. Patrick Shanahan, the Acting Secretary of Defense, has been the driving force behind the Pentagon getting behind Trump’s proposal.
A two stage process was outlined by the Pentagon on August 9, 2018, for realizing Trump’s goal. One of the four components in the first stage was was the elevation of the Air Force’s current Space Command into one of the Pentagon’s unified combatant commands. Currently there are ten combatant commands that are at the apex for command and control of different geographical regions and specific functions performed by all branches of the US military.
On March 27, 2019, John William “Jay” Raymond, a four-star general who is the current head of Air Force Space Command (2016-), was proposed by President Trump to head up the new Space Command.
In his February 19, 2019, Space Policy Directive 4, Trump proposed that legislation be created for the formal establishment of a Space Force as a separate military branch initially placed under the Department of the Air Force. Trump’s desire for a separate Department of the Space Force, would be revisited at a later stage.
Legislation for Space Force was submitted to Congress in February by Secretary Shanahan and is currently being debated in various congressional committees, including Cruz’s. The Space Force legislation is a major test for whether or not the new military branch has enough Congressional support to have its creation passed into law.
While the partisan nature of the current Congress makes any passage of policies proposed by Trump challenging, there is still strong bipartisan support for policies supported by the Pentagon. A letter of support from 43 former Pentagon officials is proving to be very influential in overcoming doubts expressed by members of Congress. The letter states that Space Force will:
… develop military space culture and ethos; recruit, train, educate, promote, and retain scientists, engineers, and warriors with world-class space skills and talent; advocate for space requirements and resources; develop space doctrine and operational art; develop, field, and deliver advanced space capabilities; and steward resources to sustain America’s strategic advantage and preeminence in national security space activities.
Consequently, because Shanahan and other Pentagon officials are committed to the creation of Space Force, it’s very likely that Congress will pass the proposed legislation and authorize its creation.
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