The Trump administration recently announced a plan to establish a new branch of the United States Armed Forces. This branch, according to Vice President Mike Pence, will be called the “Space Force,” and will serve to protect U.S. national security from up above.
Pence’s latest remarks showcase another absurdity to be launched by the current administration. Not only will such a plan be an astronomical waste of dollars, but will also elevate the likelihood of major-power conflict in the future.
This much is clear, or even self-explanatory from my perspective. However, it is simply not the case with the Trump administration and the Pentagon, who would strenuously object.
They would say, “If we don’t, they will.”
The “they” would most likely be a reference to one of the other major powers such as China or Russia, both of whom—according to Pence—are already in the business of militarizing space.
Such rhetoric would be unsurprising to me, and would only serve as an affirmation that American national security doctrine is largely guided by fear of competitors and adversaries.
In addition, it is not hard to tell that many of our elected officials and military leaders are highly invested in preventing our adversaries from gaining a leg up on our country, be it militarily or economically. This emphasis of theirs on repelling our adversaries often comes at the expense of the general population at home and abroad.
But such considerations are often extraneous in the minds of U.S. military elites and foreign policy officials. Many of them think in terms of what the American political theorist George Kennan called “straight power concepts.” This meaning that they solely devote their efforts to devising schemes by which the U.S. can maintain its military, political, and economic supremacy. Sadly enough, these efforts leave no room for thoughts of freedom, democracy, and human rights. They leave no thought for our constitutional ideals. They leave no thought for domestic and international law. And if they do, that is coincidental.
Such is the Kennan doctrine.
It leaves us only with a plan for eternal warfare. And this is the doctrine that the Trump administration and the Pentagon revere. They have come to believe in the Orwellian dictum that war is peace, and are now trying to sell it to us as others have done so in the past.