Author Topic: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?  (Read 25718 times)

Online Thorny

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #120 on: 08/20/2018 06:42 PM »
It was at the end of the WWII, once Germany and Japan were defeated. There were no other rivals.

For a brief moment. Then the MiG-15 arrived on the scene. The F-86 was hastily rushed into service when F-80 and F-84 were clearly outclassed in Korea.

Online Lar

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #121 on: 08/20/2018 07:55 PM »
Let's not go too far down the US air superiority rathole.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #122 on: 08/21/2018 02:43 AM »
Let's not go too far down the US air superiority rathole.

It's not a "rathole", it's the entirety of what this thread is about!

So long as people giggle when they hear the words "Space Force", the justification for a separate branch of the military should be pretty self-evident. Despite public demonstration of ASAT weapons by multiple countries, people who talk about a Pearl Harbor in space are laughed at, or accused of scaremongering.

In my industry we had the exact same thing but no-one's giggling now are they? Ya know why? Iran's cyber Pearl Harbor: Stuxnet. The US learnt the lesson once. Let's hope they're applying the lesson again with Space.

I hate all this stuff... militarism is a cancer... but it makes no sense to just stick your head in the sand.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Online Lar

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #123 on: 08/21/2018 03:24 PM »
I said air superiority, not space superiority. There's a difference. Talking about  Billy Mitchell, carriers, the air corps formation, and so forth, historical trends, is fine. History informs us.  But we were going down a rathole when we started talking about the various MiG models and which F model was best to combat which MiG.  Capiche?
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Offline Proponent

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #124 on: 08/24/2018 05:25 PM »
The US then quickly developed an appreciation for air superiority and achieved it -- without creating and independent air force..

Hardly! US air superiority didn't become a certainty until the mid to late 50's.

If I understand correctly, you're saying that only by becoming an independent service was the USAF able to escape inside-the-box thinking and transform itself.  My point would be, first of all, what's the evidence that that transformation wouldn't have happened had the USAF remained part of the Army?  And while it seems plausible that a newly independent entity might for a while be more innovative, the USAF's demonstrated air inferiority in September 2001 shows that it was quite capable of being trapped within boxes of its own making.

More generally, I'm not arguing that a space force is necessarily a ridiculous idea.  But it would be a very major change.  Shouldn't the government produce a solid analysis showing that such a change would be beneficial and worthwhile?  As far as I know, the concrete statements we have on the matter are a GAO report recommending studying the possibility of a space force, a DoD report on how a space force would be created, and straightforward statement from defense secretary Mattis that a space force is not a good idea.  Kinda reminds me of SLS:  lots of enthusiasts, but even the people behind it have not made a comprehensive argument as to why its needed or even desirable.

If the problem is that the USAF isn't giving its space responsibilities their due (not the only problem that is mentioned, but usually the first), then instead of creating a new bureaucracy, which will in time develop its own pathologies, maybe the solution is to kick some blue-suited butt.  Fire a few generals to encourage the others to take space seriously.  Or ask the Army and the Navy to bid on taking over the USAF's space business.  There is precedent for that:  when the USAF failed to take spy satellites seriously enough (Dwayne Day had a fascinating series of article in the Space Review about this: part of the problem was that USAF wanted to use spysats to back-door its way into the man-in-space business), the mission was transferred to the spooks.
« Last Edit: 08/24/2018 05:37 PM by Proponent »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #125 on: 08/25/2018 04:18 AM »
And while it seems plausible that a newly independent entity might for a while be more innovative, the USAF's demonstrated air inferiority in September 2001 shows that it was quite capable of being trapped within boxes of its own making.

I honestly hoped you wouldn't repeat that... it was dumb the first time you said it, and it's outright insulting to many people who had friends and family die on that day. Think before you type.

I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Proponent

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #126 on: 08/27/2018 02:10 PM »
If you believe my post is insulting, then by all means report it to the moderators.  However, I believe it to be correct and relevant and do not understand how a reference to the event in any way diminishes the tragedy.

Offline woods170

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #127 on: 08/27/2018 05:47 PM »
And while it seems plausible that a newly independent entity might for a while be more innovative, the USAF's demonstrated air inferiority in September 2001 shows that it was quite capable of being trapped within boxes of its own making.

I honestly hoped you wouldn't repeat that... it was dumb the first time you said it, and it's outright insulting to many people who had friends and family die on that day. Think before you type.

That tragic event happened because of a lack of imagination. One that is similar to the lack of imagination that made possible the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Offline D_Dom

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #128 on: 08/27/2018 08:15 PM »
Lets limit the commentary regarding "why" tragedy happened. Maybe focus instead on "how" we think a separate branch of the military will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
 Or how it will not, as you wish.
« Last Edit: 08/27/2018 08:26 PM by D_Dom »
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #129 on: 08/29/2018 02:50 AM »
Back on topic.
Is a "space force" necessary?
IMHO Absolutely yes, it is. At least one of the other major super powers already has a fully militarized program. If you want to stay ahead of what they are going to be doing in the very near future, you have to build one as well. That much is obvious.

Here is the real question that nobody wants to answer: How are you going to PAY for this thing, when you can barely pay for the existing military you already have due to faults, corruption, graft, and mis-managed programs? Especially when it's getting harder and harder to justify the outrageous amount of money being spent to maintain the existing forces? Defense spending is now topping 1 TRILLION dollars annually. And it's all being financed by deficit spending, we don't actually have that money we keep throwing it on top of an amount of debt which is already unsustainable.

It's far more likely the "space force" end's up being shutdown or cut when austerity hits. Whether that will be in a few years or in 20 years is hard to say, but given the fact that the fed already has no idea what to do to avoid default in the coming years, I predict it happening sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile China will be headed to the moon while we are stuck trying to figure out how to pay the bills.
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Offline AncientU

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #130 on: 08/29/2018 12:54 PM »
Back on topic.
Is a "space force" necessary?
IMHO Absolutely yes, it is. At least one of the other major super powers already has a fully militarized program. If you want to stay ahead of what they are going to be doing in the very near future, you have to build one as well. That much is obvious.

Here is the real question that nobody wants to answer: How are you going to PAY for this thing, when you can barely pay for the existing military you already have due to faults, corruption, graft, and mis-managed programs? Especially when it's getting harder and harder to justify the outrageous amount of money being spent to maintain the existing forces? Defense spending is now topping 1 TRILLION dollars annually. And it's all being financed by deficit spending, we don't actually have that money we keep throwing it on top of an amount of debt which is already unsustainable.

It's far more likely the "space force" end's up being shutdown or cut when austerity hits. Whether that will be in a few years or in 20 years is hard to say, but given the fact that the fed already has no idea what to do to avoid default in the coming years, I predict it happening sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile China will be headed to the moon while we are stuck trying to figure out how to pay the bills.

Paying for the 'minor' plus-up should be trivial with a trillion dollar defense budget -- move the funds where needed the most.

I would actually prefer a 10-15% budget cut for the military.  Make it 9-14% and presto, a 'free' ten billion dollars.
« Last Edit: 08/29/2018 12:57 PM by AncientU »
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #131 on: 09/07/2018 09:01 AM »
Back on topic.
Is a "space force" necessary?
IMHO Absolutely yes, it is. At least one of the other major super powers already has a fully militarized program. If you want to stay ahead of what they are going to be doing in the very near future, you have to build one as well. That much is obvious.

Here is the real question that nobody wants to answer: How are you going to PAY for this thing, when you can barely pay for the existing military you already have due to faults, corruption, graft, and mis-managed programs? Especially when it's getting harder and harder to justify the outrageous amount of money being spent to maintain the existing forces? Defense spending is now topping 1 TRILLION dollars annually. And it's all being financed by deficit spending, we don't actually have that money we keep throwing it on top of an amount of debt which is already unsustainable.

It's far more likely the "space force" end's up being shutdown or cut when austerity hits. Whether that will be in a few years or in 20 years is hard to say, but given the fact that the fed already has no idea what to do to avoid default in the coming years, I predict it happening sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile China will be headed to the moon while we are stuck trying to figure out how to pay the bills.

Paying for the 'minor' plus-up should be trivial with a trillion dollar defense budget -- move the funds where needed the most.

I would actually prefer a 10-15% budget cut for the military.  Make it 9-14% and presto, a 'free' ten billion dollars.
A free ten billion dollars which don't exist except on paper since the remaining budget is still so massive it must be financed exclusively with deficit spending. No such thing as free money or free freedom.
Space force could be a great thing if it is done efficiently but given the current defense spending climate efficiency is a dirty word right now. What you need is a more efficient military that can meet the same or better goals without consuming so much cash. It's doable it would just require a sea change in how things are done and the attitudes people take in Congress about how to run large programs.
This is why I don't see this working out. On the face of it yes, initially at least it won't cost hardly anything in comparison to the rest of the DOD spending. In the mid to long term though in-efficiency will hurt it.
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Online tyrred

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #132 on: 09/07/2018 11:01 AM »
What could Space Force accomplish more effectively than the Air Force anyway?  Orbital military assets are most effective against... what, exactly?  Opposing force orbital assets?  Opposing force cis-lunar assets that do not exist?  Future threats?  Even FOBS can be targeted by current ABM systems, though the effective "stopping power" remains uncertain.  As with everything ABM.

I understand the desire for the US to retain superpower status, but let's be clear.  Surface targets are much easier to hit with existing surface/naval/aerial assets.  ICBMS/SLBMS/ALBMS were perfected for a reason.  Orbital warfare platforms, targeting surface assets, suffer from the fact that orbital parameters can be deduced and compensated for.  "Rods from God" raining down on the enemy from orbit sure sound sexy, but which enemy exactly would allow these types of assets to orbit over their surface assets without compensating politically and militarily?  There is no stealth in space, only uncertainty.

ISTM that, presently, protecting orbital assets, which have clear orbital parameters, even if their exact nature is not public knowledge, is the only reason for a Space Force to exist.  GPS and other valuable satellite assets are essential to the modern terrestrial battlefield, and are thus well worth protecting.  Yet, how far can Space Force even go towards a defensive capability?  Even the X-37 can be found, even with plane-change maneuvers, though perhaps too late for the other guy...  As a one-time advantage.

Surface-based and air-based ASAT "tests" have clearly shown the catastrophes that can result, for all players.  How would space-based ASAT systems have any advantage?  Encapsulating opponent's satellites in something that renders them neutral, yet does not produce swarms of debris?  Orbital Glue Guns?  Imagine the consequences Earth-side.  Even with clever inventions, if it comes to a shooting war scenario in space, it's still MAD.  Treaties aren't worth toilet paper when it comes to all-out war.

Methinks the cart is being put before the horse.  Space war scenarios, for the foreseeable future, are just an extension of the perpetual arms race, a scheme of siphoning off the resources of the populace in the interest of military hegemony.


Offline Jim

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #133 on: 09/07/2018 02:45 PM »
What could Space Force accomplish more effectively than the Air Force anyway? 

No, the point is that is managed separate from the Air Force and doesn't compete with pilot centric priorities.
It has nothing to with offensive or defensive weapons in space.

Online tyrred

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #134 on: 09/11/2018 11:16 AM »
What could Space Force accomplish more effectively than the Air Force anyway? 

No, the point is that is managed separate from the Air Force and doesn't compete with pilot centric priorities.
It has nothing to with offensive or defensive weapons in space.

Ah, I think I see your point.  Return the Air Force to focus on the pilots and the airplanes.  Makes sense in the big picture.

It's the gray areas that are muddy.

Will plane-launched ASAT weapons  be the responsibility of the Air Force?

Will ground-based ASAT weapons be the responsibility of the Space Force?  Or the Army?

What is the most agile way for the military to do it's job?


Offline vulture4

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #135 on: 09/13/2018 08:09 PM »
This is just my opinion and probably not worth much, but USAF is spending hundreds of billions on the new manned B-21 bomber and F-35 fighter in an era when the air combat mission in the field is usually accomplished by drones (recon and attack) or missiles (air defense and strategic bombing). This is a problem, but the solution is NOT to create yet another named service to lobby for more money for spacecraft.

Has anyone heard of the Department of Defense? The reason it was created was that rivalries and divisions between the military services were a problem, not a solution. It's still true. The only solution to poor management is better management. Space should not be a separate service because every military activity in space supports forces on the ground.

Online Lar

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #136 on: 09/13/2018 10:20 PM »
Has anyone heard of the Department of Defense? The reason it was created was that rivalries and divisions between the military services were a problem, not a solution. It's still true. The only solution to poor management is better management. Space should not be a separate service because every military activity in space supports forces on the ground.

The Department of Defense was created because War Department was considered too warlike sounding. War Department is one of the oldest cabinet posts, and has been with us since the founding of the republic, managing whatever branches of service existed at the time. That did not stop rivalries and divisions ... those are endemic to organizations I think.
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Online RonM

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #137 on: 09/13/2018 11:06 PM »
Has anyone heard of the Department of Defense? The reason it was created was that rivalries and divisions between the military services were a problem, not a solution. It's still true. The only solution to poor management is better management. Space should not be a separate service because every military activity in space supports forces on the ground.

The Department of Defense was created because War Department was considered too warlike sounding. War Department is one of the oldest cabinet posts, and has been with us since the founding of the republic, managing whatever branches of service existed at the time. That did not stop rivalries and divisions ... those are endemic to organizations I think.

The Department of War and the Department of the Navy were separate orginazations prior to the formantion of the Department of Defense.

Offline Proponent

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #138 on: 10/26/2018 08:12 PM »
SpaceNews has posted an op-ed in promoting a space force.

Like many space-force advocates, the author draws a parallel with the creation of the US Air Force.  He points out that the US military failed to appreciate important aspects of air power until the disaster of Pearl Harbor drove the point home.  He fails to mention, however, that the disaster of 9/11 demonstrated a similar failure by the independent USAF.  The creation of an independent force is no cure-all for a lack of vision.

He laments the demise in the 1960's of the USAF's man-in-space projects, Dyna-Soar and MOL.  But they were cancelled for good reason: they contributed little to the defense of the US, and drained resources from more sensible activities.  Imagine they had been run by a US Space Force (which was proposed in the early 1960's).  As key projects of the USSF, central to its existence, they would have been much more difficult to cancel (compare NASA's Orion/SLS today).

The the author then goes on to present several space-related military matters (ASAT's, missile defense, off-Earth policing).  Rather than actually explaining why these would be best dealt with by an independent space force, he leaves the reader to leap to that conclusion.

It may well be that the USAF is mishandling space.  It may well be that a reorganization of the US military's space capabilities, possibly including the creation of an independent space force, is desirable.  But I've learned (the hard way) that when people make bad arguments for something, it's usually because there are no good arguments.  This op-ed makes me more, not less, skeptical of the merit of a space force.

Online rcoppola

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Re: US Space Force - US to Militarise Space?
« Reply #139 on: 10/26/2018 09:00 PM »
Space has always been militarized. Did anyone honestly think that those 9 reference orbits and what we place there, would remain uncontested? And while it's in no one's interest to initiate a Kessler Syndrome, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of non-explosive ways to either disrupt, take over or destroy critical orbiting assets. We need new offensive and defensive doctrines, strategies and acquisitions.

To that end and to the great many things we know not even the questions to ask yet, I think a Space Force, with it's own leadership, philosophy, culture, budget, acquisition, training, etc.. is more than warranted. It's time.
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