Pence outlines Trump administration’s plans for Space Force


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In a speech today vice president Mike Pence laid out the Trump administration’s plans for eventually establishing a new Space Force branch in the military.

The first step would be to create a U.S. Space Command by the end of the year, a new combatant command that would have dedicated resources, be led by a four-star general and be tasked with defending space, the way the Pentagon’s Pacific Command oversees the ocean. The Pentagon will also begin pulling space experts from across the military and setting up a separate acquisitions office, dedicated to buying satellites and developing new technology to help it win wars in space.

…In his speech, Pence acknowledged the difficulties in standing up a new service, and said the Pentagon would create an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space, a new top level civilian position reporting to the Secretary of Defense “to oversee the growth and expansion of the sixth branch of service.”

The new command and reorganization “should be budget neutral,” Scott Pace, the executive secretary of the National Space Council, said in an interview. “However, going forward there probably will need to be an increase in resources to buy improved capabilities and more warfighters as the Space Force matures.”

The White House has pushed for Congress to invest an additional $8 billion in national security space systems over the next five years. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted sentences explain everything. The fundamental goal here is not really to improve the country’s space defenses. The real goal is to funnel more money into the federal bureaucracy.

Reorganizing how the Defense Department runs its space operations makes great sense. And it appears the Defense Department has been moving to do so in the past few years. This push for a Space Force now however has nothing to do with that reorganization, as indicated by the opposition in Defense to Trump’s proposed Space Force. To quote the article again:

The creation of a Space Force has met with opposition, inside and out of the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a memo last year to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) he opposed “the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting functions.”

They don’t need it right now, and it will only grow their bureaucracy unnecessarily, which will actually interfere with their effort to streamline and reorganize its space operations.

This effort by Trump to create this new bureaucracy illustrates why he is not the conservative some people imagine him to be. He might shrink the government in some places (EPA), but he is eager to grow it elsewhere. And the last thing we need now is a bigger federal government in any department. None function well, and they all cost too much and are sucking the life out of the American dream.

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26 comments

  • Kirk

    That first step, the creation of a U.S. Space Command, is going to happen because it is in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act which the president said he will sign at Ft. Drum on Monday.

    Sec. 1601. “Improvements to acquisition system, personnel, and organization of space forces.” establishes the United States Space Command as a subordinate unified command under the United States Strategic Command. (A unified command is one composed of forces from multiple military departments.)

    Also of interest is Sec. 1603. “Rapid, responsive, and reliable space launch.” which renames the EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle) program to the “National Security Space Launch program” effective March 1, 2019, and also contains language to encourage the consideration of reusable launch vehicles.

  • wodun

    The highlighted sentences explain everything. The fundamental goal here is not really to improve the country’s space defenses. The real goal is to funnel more money into the federal bureaucracy.

    I think they are acting in good faith. If the real goal was to funnel more money into federal bureaucracy, they could just do that without creating a Space Command. Having a Space Command makes sense, just like we have other theatre level commands. Anyone who claims it isn’t something we need, hasn’t been paying attention to our competition.

    It could, very probably, lead to more military spending even if operations from other branches were consolidated. That is what happens when you ask the military to do more things. Just like NASA might need increased funding to have a lunar base and do the other things we ask of NASA, especially if we still have an ISS.

    They don’t need it right now, and it will only grow their bureaucracy unnecessarily,

    Ideally, you have things like this in place before you need them. After you need them is a little late to implement them and would put us behind. Who can say what the size of it will be just yet or if the size will negatively impact operations any more than any other government department.

    This effort by Trump to create this new bureaucracy illustrates why he is not the conservative some people imagine him to be.

    When we debate the role of government in society, usually defending the country is considered by conservatives to be one of the few things laid out in the constitution that the government is responsible for. You could have an argument against spending but money is fungible and we could say that this budget item is worth the expense while others aren’t.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a memo last year

    This isn’t last year. Mattis has said he is in full agreement with Trump’s goals.

    The last time people freaked out over having a Space Force, people overlooked that Trump directed Mattis and others to look into what could be done. There was nothing set in stone about what Trump wanted. We should wait and see what Mattis comes up with because it is likely that Trump is more concerned about addressing the problems we face rather than any specific way to address them.

    Our society depends so much on space that it is imperative that we take it just as seriously as we do other missions given the military and because of intra-military squabbling, it is important to have a group with explicit responsibilities. We also can’t ignore how other countries are acting in space. We need to be prepared.

  • Tom Billings

    Bob, you are missing key points about bureaucracies.

    First and foremost, the hierarchy that is the USAF has to do its planning through an Air Staff. That Air Staff has spent their careers focusing 99+% of their attention keeping atmospheric flying machines flying, not on keeping orbital vehicles operational. So their priorities are skewed to what their experiences are, in flying, rather than in orbiting anywhere for any reason.

    That means the Air Staff, for at least the last 15 years, has made continual “funds reprogramming” recommendations to the AFSEC. that pull funding *out* of MilSpace, and *into* keeping fighter squadrons combat ready, without the AFSec. having to fight for more money in her budget to keep those squadrons flying. That behavior will not change under the changes that will happen under current law, without a new hierarchy. There must be a “Space Staff” that answers only to a dedicated Space Force Secretary through a Space Force Chair General officer to ensure that funds do not continue being bled off of MilSpace projects into other objectives for the USAF. An example is the need to fund OPIR (Orbiting Presistent Infrared Recon) program through DARPA, because Air Staff would not put the money into it. Another example is “responsive launch”, that has been talked of since 2007, and that is being funded through DARPA, slowly, because Air Staff refuses to place the needed priority on funding it.

    The USAF is too big, doing too many things, and the agency costs of its internal hierarchy are too high, in relation to MilSpace needs, to tolerate anymore. Yes, the budget will rise because of this additional Service being stood up, but very little of that will be because of a “Space Staff”. That will be because Trump recognizes that the agency costs of *Congress*itself* are the major agency costs, that *cannot* be dodged without major technological and constitutional changes that will take far longer than adding a new service, and probably far longer than his presidency.

  • Tom Billings: You are missing my point. I agree that the military right now needs to streamline and reorganize the bureaucracy that runs its space operations. This should even involve a distinct space office in the Pentagon, which is what I understand the Defense Department has wanted to do, modeled after the Army Air Corp, which preceded the Air Force as part of the Army.

    What I object to is the creation of a whole new military branch, at this time. It merely creates another bureaucratic layer, at a time we don’t need it, and at a time when the military and the federal government already has too much of this kind of thing.

  • Jwing

    In 1947 there was much outcrying about separating the US Army Air Corps into a new bureaucracy called the Air Force.
    The Air Force has truly benefited our country. I speak with prejudice as a former USAF Reserve Flight Nurse!🇺🇸

    I believe the 21st Century requires that we adapt to the present and future existential threats from “infinity and beyond”.💫🚀

  • Jwing: In 1947 the U.S. federal government functioned more like a private company, effectively, efficiently, and with brains. In fact, it was the private sector that generally ran things, with the federal bureaucracy, including a new military branch like the Air Force, depending on that efficient private sector to get things done right.

    Today, we have a bankrupt, insolvent federal government that can do nothing right, while spending far too much money screwing things up. The last thing we need right now is another bureaucracy in the Pentagon, especially if it is going to end up costing us more.

    Remember also, in 1947 there was a real need for military airplanes, pilots to fly them, and to use them in battle. What need have we now for such things in space? Practically none.

    There are better ways to get this done. I guarantee the way they propose doing it, with a new bureaucracy, will not work.

  • Jason

    I agree on your analysis, creating this additional department would be detrimental in the efforts to shrink the size of government. It is also interesting to point out all the people who jumped on this “Space Force” bandwagon, seemingly JUST because Trump suggested it. Another point to make is the scenario where another administration comes in and uses this government control in space for unconstitutional means… We can see NASA is already trying to slow SpaceX and others down, who knows what a federal bureaucracy would do if they had too much control of the heavens.

  • wodun

    It is also interesting to point out all the people who jumped on this “Space Force” bandwagon, seemingly JUST because Trump suggested it.

    It is hard to support something before someone suggests it. Is it because of Trump or because people agree with the suggestion? And is the reverse true that some people only reject it because Trump suggested it?

    There were a lot of space cadets talking up the Space Guard concept long before Trump. Personally, I like the Space Guard concept better because it is focused more on supporting commerce and expanding American laws and customs.

    A combatant command is a good step and may be all that is needed because we use combined arms warfare.

    I haven’t seen any reporting about what a Space Force would be like, just some scant speculation and knee-jerk rejections. As things solidify, we might get some good analysis and debate. Then congress can vote on it.

    Because lead times are so long in space related stuff, space is so important to our country, space is the next frontier, and our competition has already weaponized space, I want out country to err on the side of being prepared rather than being complacent. If people have suggestions on how to address concerns like these or how to have the military be limited but engaged, I would like to read about them.

  • pzatchok

    The military is a reactive force.

    They can do NOTHING to protect our space assets. Its not like they have some magic space shield that can be placed around our civilian and military satellites.

    The Army Navy and Air Force are already working on small launchers to either take out enemy assets or quickly and for the short term replace the ones we lose.
    Each is working on different approaches to this just like the Air Force worked on chemical Lasers and the Navy worked on electronic ones. The best solution is being adopted now. Electronic ones.

    And quite frankly as our tech goes up our enemies tech goes up. Eventually even the cheap terrorist can afford to launch a small sat. And who is governing them? No one. So again any Space Military we create is nothing more than a reactive force. And 90% of that reaction will be centered on the enemy launch and control facility.

    unless you think we should make a Space Guard like the Coast Guard. inspecting and interdicting the worlds Space launches.
    I think the rest of the world would have something to say about that.

    Its a few years early for ant kind of Space Force but a military group that will evaluate and approve up and coming tech and equipment for the growing space assets our various branches use and will use would be good. that way they do not research the very same thing and waste money and time. And one something is developed to approve it for all the branches so we are not buying three different systems when one could do the job.
    Basically an office with about 4 guys working in it.

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “They can do NOTHING to protect our space assets

    This is not strictly true. There are defensive measures that can and should be but aren’t taken or aren’t built into our assets. The idea behind the Space Force is to have one organization that assures that our space assets are built defensively, and that when defense fails those assets that are lost are replaced quickly. Right now it is all uncoordinated hodgepodge of indefensible assets, with no other solution in sight. An office with four guys is not going succeed with this job.

    Robert may be correct in thinking that government is not yet prepared to create a streamlined, efficient organization. It is difficult to identify any such organizations, right now. One would think that NASA would be such an organization, because they are smart, over there, but Congress is using it more as a jobs program than the innovative, quick response, technical agency that it was supposed to be. If Congress is not willing to make NASA and the military lean, mean, innovative machines, then we have little hope that they are prepared to do that with a Space Force.

  • pzatchok

    Exactly what can we do to protect what we already have in space?
    Put laser weapons in orbit with them? I can see the progressives going for that one. And of course other nations would think its nothing but roses and daisies.

    And when do you pull the trigger and start shooting? When someones satellite accidentally gets close or after it hits? And whose are you going to retaliate on? And what are you going to do if some university student, who is supposed to have control of their own cubesat, goes batty and uses it offensively?
    Terrorists are not just bearded turban wearing fanatics.

    Plus the airforce already has their space plane that is reconfigurable and capable of staying in orbit for years, plus it lands by itself anyplace its told to. We already have a platform, we just need a weapon to put on it. Just build more.

    Ground based weapons are easier to protect, upgrade, and maintain. So why expose them to space and the enemy?

  • pzatchok

    And putting NASA engineers in charge or military assets is akin to just never using them. They will never pull the trigger.

    And putting the military in charge of NASA just gets us the space shuttle.

    Leave each group to what they do best.

  • pzatchok asked, “Exactly what can we do to protect what we already have in space?”

    The easiest solution is to launch many many smaller and cheaper and redundant satellites, rather than the very expensive once-in-a-decade gold-plated monster satellites the Air Force has been launching for the past four decades. If one of these monsters fails or is knocked out by a hostile power, you are screwed. If you have many redundant small satellites, it is far more difficult for a hostile power to harm your assets.

    There are powerful individuals in the Air Force space command structure who have been pushing for this. I worry that the Trump push for a “Space Force” might end up distracting from this shift.

  • mike shupp

    So … Let’s suppose we spend the next ten years or so really getting the Space Force off the ground. We come up with snazzy new uniforms and rank insignia; we get a decent 50-70 billion dollar budget for the new service branch; we have a Space Force Academy to train new officers; we come up with a nice slogan as a recruiting pitch; a couple thousand university poly sci professors crank out papers on what the implications of this new military branch will be; hundreds of think tanks have conferences to discuss the matter.

    Yadda yadda yadda. Space Force is an absolutely wonderful success and we’ll all be proud of it. Sure.

    Will this bring a manned lunar base any sooner? Is it going to speed up putting colonists on Mars? Is it going to increase the odds of getting another spacecraft out to Pluto before the century ends? Does it make it more likely or less that human beings launch micro-sized spacecraft to the stars within our lifetimes?

    I’d like to have warm feelings here, but y’know? I don’t.

  • wodun

    They can do NOTHING to protect our space assets. Its not like they have some magic space shield that can be placed around our civilian and military satellites.

    Edward has it right that it is not necessarily protecting but replacing assets. The Space Force or Space Command, would also be tasked with coordinating with the various branches what capabilities are needed and how to deploy limited resources effectively. It is more of a logistical concept than a pew pew pew concept. Consider that one suggestion is using BFS to ship cargo ptp and maybe people? But perhaps the people wouldn’t be Space Marines but just Marines.

    And yeah, NASA would be a poor choice to direct our efforts in space aside from the narrow responsibilities that agency is given. There are far too many people at NASA who want to exert fascistic control over commerce and the activities that people can engage in in space and on other planets and moons.

  • wodun

    The easiest solution is to launch many many smaller and cheaper and redundant satellites, rather than the very expensive once-in-a-decade gold-plated monster satellites the Air Force has been launching for the past four decades.

    This is certainly a talked about trend and it could work well in certain situations and there are other solutions that could be employed that don’t utilize space but do replicate capabilities a tiny bit closer to the Earth’s surface. Even looking at a middle ground between one-offs and cube sats, having a line of satellites that min max for different things could be produced in larger quantities for less than, or the same, the cost of the traditional satellites we use today.

    I worry that the Trump push for a “Space Force” might end up distracting from this shift.

    It could but probably not under Trump. All of his actions to date suggest that he would support using whatever the military thought was the best way to get something done.

  • wodun

    Will this bring a manned lunar base any sooner? Is it going to speed up putting colonists on Mars?

    These are all separate issues. The Space Force isn’t intended to colonize Mars or the Moon. It is intended to protect our country. Could there be some overlap between developing technologies or the companies who supply services? Sure.

    We already have a separation between what the military does and what NASA does, for the most part. NASA isn’t suffering for money because of the military and gets pretty much all the money they can ask for. But there certainly is an ideological battle over how federal funds are spent. It really isn’t NASA vs the military but NASA vs all the other spending people think are important from food stamps and Medicare to the FBI and the IRS.

    The military is going to do its own thing and the way forward for the expansion into the solar system is to enable our people to pursue their desires. So far, Trump has been continuing what the past two Presidents have been doing and we really need to see what the lunar focus is going to look at. Trump better hurry. He can be deposed in a coup or hamstrung by an opposition congress who thinks putting people on the Moon is white supremacy or even face a black swan event.

  • mike shupp

    Woden … I’m 71 years old. I’m not a child. I spent 30 years of my life as an engineer working on NASA programs. I really do understand that “The Space Force isn’t intended to colonize Mars or the Moon.”

    But. Do Donald Trump. Mike Pence, and other folks in the White House really have so much interest in outer space that they will all push for a military space program — The Space Force — AND an ambitious civilian space program which might lead to planetary colonization? Do our Congressmen (and Congress Ladies) pay so much attention to space issues that they can distinguish the two issues? Is Fox News going to give half an hour to explaining the differences to its audience? Or even 30 seconds?

    Or are we going to get a really screwed up ineffective military expansion that we’re all supposed to support because its about America and Leadership, while manned space programs languish, because American politicians can’t keep two thoughts in their heads simultaneously and voters aren’t any better? Are Trump and his crew going to push military space programs so energetically that virtually no one even thinks any more about what NASA could be doing?

  • pzatchok

    I think we all agree on quite a bit.

    We do not need a Shiny New Space Force military branch.
    But instead just an office of coordination between the various branches with space capability. Some place to recommend ways to save money and time in their separate research and ways to use the same equipment when possible.
    Just an office in the pentagon.

    We seem to agree that there is no way to actively protect anything we put into space.
    So instead we work towards small cheaper sats that will do the jobs we need.
    Placing more of them in space as a form of redundancy or back ups until more can be launched. But knowing people, they will want to use them to offset their launched cost. then soon they will be needed and necessary. Then we will have to launch back ups for all of them. And so on and so on.

    As it is trending though the military is looking more and more at drones as a replacement for communication satellites and surveillance satellites. They are cheaper, reusable, and quicker to deploy.

    Anything they want to put into space will have more of an offensive nature.

    As for the civilian market they can and will do their own thing.

  • pzatchok: An office of coordination for space is what the military has been trying to establish, not a space force. The problem here is that the Trump administration and a number of people in Congress are focused not on the most efficient way to accomplish this, but on a bright shiny toy through which lots of pork can be funded.

  • Edward

    pzatchok asked: “Exactly what can we do to protect what we already have in space?
    The lack of ability to protect our assets is exactly the problem that is to be solved. What is in space now is already committed and difficult to defend, but if we continue to put up the same unprotected and unprotectable stuff, then we aren’t improving the situation. So far, the various branches that use space are not doing much to create protectable assets, and that needs to change sooner rather than later.

    Part of the idea of the Space Force has been to change acquisitions to a more efficient and effective methodology, which the current branches of the military are having a hard time doing. Another part is to change from the large vulnerable satellites to constellations of smaller satellites, each of which still has some vulnerability, but there would have to be a large expenditure of enemy resources in order to adversely affect the constellation’s mission.

    One problem with the current acquisition system is that there is momentum (read: “policy”) that favors large satellites over constellations of smaller satellites. It has been very difficult to change direction within the current military structure. This is a problem with creating a bureaucracy; it tends to develop difficult-to-change rules and procedures, so it is less agile to changing situations, environments, or threats.

    So the real question is whether a Space Force can be less rigid — and whether the rest of the military can also be made more adaptable to a changing world. Can we stop fighting the last war and start preparing for the next war?

    Ground based weapons are easier to protect, upgrade, and maintain. So why expose them to space and the enemy?

    What is in space is necessary to be in space. Weather satellites are more comprehensive in their observations than ground based weather stations. Space communication satellites have more flexibility and capability than ground based relays — and they can be harder to attack. Space based early warning satellites and “spy” satellites are really the only way to observe opposition sites and launches, because overflying other nations’ airspace has always been problematic. Other types of satellites also have their advantages over ground based systems. This is why we expose them to space and our enemies.

    Leave each group to what they do best.

    A Space Force would not change the relationship between NASA and the military. Each group would still be left to what they do best — or to what Congressional budgets direct them to do.

    mike shupp asked: “Will this bring a manned lunar base any sooner? Is it going to speed up putting colonists on Mars? Is it going to increase the odds of getting another spacecraft out to Pluto before the century ends? Does it make it more likely or less that human beings launch micro-sized spacecraft to the stars within our lifetimes?

    Perhaps your questions could have been phrased differently, maybe with a different lead-up, because I had a similar reaction to them as wodun. We both missed your point. You seemed to be thinking more about snazzy uniforms and slogans than Congressional attention spans.

    Or are we going to get a really screwed up ineffective military expansion that we’re all supposed to support because its about America and Leadership, while manned space programs languish, because American politicians can’t keep two thoughts in their heads simultaneously and voters aren’t any better?

    I think that this is what Robert is concerned about, right now.

    Congress seems more interested in jobs programs than productive programs; they don’t seem to care that a freshly dug ditch gets filled in, just so long as people are paid for each of the two jobs — and that the contract is for heavy equipment, rather than for spoons (a la Milton Friedman). To Congress, our money is no object to get in their way of their next re-election. They will spend as much of our money as it takes, because half the voters don’t pay taxes, thus aren’t worried about the effectiveness of any government program.

  • wodun

    But. Do Donald Trump. Mike Pence, and other folks in the White House really have so much interest in outer space that they will all push for a military space program — The Space Force — AND an ambitious civilian space program which might lead to planetary colonization?

    NASA has always existed along side other government programs and done just fine, although its best years are ahead of it as free enterprise is just now being embraced. Because the two agencies are tasked with different things, I don’t think we need to worry about NASA losing its focus. This is especially true if the push to democratize space and engage in free enterprise is successful because it won’t be up to the government what happens.

    There is only one time in history I can think of when NASA had politicians overly interested in the agency. While they achieved great things, the way they were done was counter productive over the long term. Maybe doing things another way wasn’t really possible, though, and we should just be happy where we are now and how the future can be different. The past is never perfect and we can’t predict how things would have been different had only other choices been made.

    Space is only important to a small number of people. We shouldn’t expect politicians at any level to devote too much time to it. It could even be argued that it wouldn’t be beneficial if they did. Rather than worrying if Trump will pay attention enough to micromanage NASA, we should be concerned if he picked the right people to run the organization and if his proposed plans will be effective. We have yet to see what is proposed for NASA.

    However, it does look like Trump thinks space is important enough to make changes in the military and continue the transition at NASA into an agency that embraces free enterprise. Both efforts are likely to continue being supported but in both cases the work is going to be done by delegating responsibility.

  • wodun

    Rather than reading articles that reference what the DoD said in their report, you can read the report. I am not sure why none of these articles provide a link to it. I think this is one we need to read rather than rely on journalists to explain. They just pick out a coupe things for their articles rather than look at it in its entirety.

    Incidentally, the report doesn’t say anything about pork. It can be argued that any government spending is pork spending and I would agree that there is always some degree of pork when the government does something. But that isn’t any reason not to do what is needed to be done. Focusing on increased spending is more persuasive to me than framing the spending as pork. What would be even more persuasive is going through the stated concerns and objectives and then saying how those are not things to be concerned about or how the objectives wont alleviate those concerns.

    The report is out and now it is time to elevate criticism or support of the proposal and when NASA let’s us know what their lunar plans are, the same will be true.

    Here are some unrolled tweets that provide a few good reasons for Trump’s proposal.

  • wodun: If you honestly believe a report like this would ever “say anything about pork,” you are more naive that I can imagine. (said with a smile)

    The report clearly outlines the creation of at least two new bureaucracies, a Space Development Agency and the Space Force itself. Neither are really needed at this point, at the scale and size as described in the report. This is the pork, and the report does what these reports always do, provide justification, no matter how sliim, for such pork. Without these bureaucracies the sky will most certainly fall!

    What is needed is the Space Command position the report describes, with a sufficient structure and responsibility and independent power to handle the some of the necessary changes outlined in the report to improve U.S. space defense operations. This is simple, straightforward, and efficient. It would get the job done. And it would not waste resources.

    It will also not happen that way. We have a corrupt Washington culture, designed to gather power and money to Washington. And Americans too easily buy into its demands.

  • wodun

    Well, at least we are in partial agreement on some things.

    People have laid out some excellent reasons for why it is needed right now but those reasons might be met with just a Space Command and the services providing career paths to get into it.

    I am not so sure about a Space Development Agency. I am going to have to give that one more thought. It could be good if it was like DARPA.

    Rather than a Space Force, a Space Guard would have been a better choice. Congress are the ones that have to approve this so it is unlikely that we will see a Space Force but getting members of both parties to go along on a Space Guard would have been an easier sell. It also would have allowed a great crossover with civilian efforts in space.

  • Edward

    wodun wrote: “Space is only important to a small number of people.

    Actually, space is important to almost everyone. It is like hot and cold running water or electricity; most people don’t bother with how it all happens but depend upon them every day. Instead, most people concern themselves about (what seems important to them) what celebrities do or what they say on political topics of the day and whether anyone is going to take a knee this year.

    Politicians rarely focus much on the necessities of life, because they tend to run just fine, thank you, but they focus on the luxuries that will get them reelected. This is where the pork comes in. Politicians are also as ignorant as most citizens as to how the electricity gets to the wall outlet, the water to the tap, or the GPS signal directs us (or our packages) to our destinations. The details are complex and are unnecessary to know when using the products. This also explains why California’s politicians, two decades ago, mandated 10% electric cars on its roads at the same time that they mucked up the state’s power generation and distribution, and it explains why California is now in constant drought conditions mode.

    Protecting our space assets is also a complex topic, and as with most things it depends upon the basic design of those assets. Those in charge have to be smarter and more knowledgeable than California’s politicians (however, that is not a high bar to hurdle). A straw house may protect us from the elements, but the big bad wolf can get in much more easily than he can get into the brick house. Better coordination between military branches may help us make our space assets defensible as brick houses rather than the straw houses that they are now and may help us react faster to the changing threats.

    Or it might just end up being yet another Congressional pork project.

    There was a time, around WWII, when the phrase “good enough for government work” meant excellent craftsmanship. Now it is a joke about low expectations of our government.

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