In my most recent op-ed at Space News, the leading industry paper on all things related to space policy, I argue that President Trump erred with his tweet last week about the moon.
The president’s recent tweet undercutting his administration’s moon-Mars plan underscores a terrible misconception about space policy on the president’s part. It’s not just about taking a pretty picture on the Red Planet. It’s about taking territory before our rivals can. Therefore, taking the moon first and then pushing on to Mars is the only way to get Americans in space permanently.
The “Deep State” not only threatens the president with a #FakeNews story of Russia “collusion.” They are now seriously undermining American national security all in the name of “resisting” the dreaded “Orange Man” president. Sad!
Washington’s Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party will be our undoing. Either we act decisively today or we risk a Pearl Harbor in space tomorrow.
India’s anti-satellite weapons test should be a wake-up call for Washington: great power politics is here, and the next great arms race is in space… and the United States is behind.
It remains to be seen whether the president’s space policy agenda will pan out. One thing is certain, though: the president failed to achieve his objective of creating a fully independent, robust, and highly capable Space Force. The bureaucracy and the Democrats managed to hem him in. And, it is unlikely that the more ambitious aspects of the president’s space agenda will be enacted in a timely manner — allowing for both the Chinese and the Russians to exploit space for their own strategic ends (and at America’s expense).
“The president’s space force idea is not new—and it should be taken seriously. But because everyone hates Trump in the media, in academia, and in the government, the concept will be marginalized and ultimately abandoned. While the “creatives” in Hollywood give Americans a comedic view of space and of those who would take it seriously, the Chinese people are reinforced in the belief that it is their rightful place to take space and hold it.”
“China has been playing the greatest game of geopolitical, technological and economic catch-up with the West in history. With their recent strides in all three fields, China has caught up. What’s more, China is poised to beat the United States in the new space race—a race that America, apparently, isn’t even interested in taking part in.”
“The Trump Administration’s announcement of a Space Force is the first vital step in America’s reclaiming its rightful place as the dominant nation in space. Further, it is the only way to protect critical American space systems that are currently susceptible to enemy disruption and attack. Should those satellite constellations be destroyed or even disrupted, the strategic and economic consequences to the United States are simply too frightful to contemplate.
Space is the ultimate high ground, and whichever force dominates that high ground will dominate the rest of the world. It’s human nature.”
“America faces a world of severe threats with rapidly growing capabilities to threaten the United States—from space. A succession of American administrations have watched the threat grow over the last 30 years and done little to deter it. Now the threats are metastasizing. The solution, as Donald Trump has shown since 2016, is in nationalism—that is, space nationalism.”