When Donald Trump announced the creation of "Space Force" a collective thud echoed through each ring of the Pentagon as the military brass started slamming their heads against their desks. The nightmarish boondoggle of creating a new military branch so Trump can get an extra footnote in the history books scares even the most gung-ho DC power players. The general consensus is Trump's Space Force is a white elephant, and there isn't a soul in Washington who wants to waste another unknown billions of dollars for Trump's latest vanity project.

On Monday, Politico reported that the Space Force has failed to take off because it butchers the most sacred cow in Washington: the defense budget. Initial proposals to fund THE FORCE suggest it will take money from the Marines, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force in order to create a new bureaucratic tentacle grasping for dollars every fiscal year. In Washington power circles that's the moral equivalent punching a baby.

In Congress, the anti-Space Force movement comprises both House Republicans and Democrats who, under normal circumstances, would be squawking and flapping their hawk wings at the chance to dump money into the military. Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, is leading the charge to keep the Space Force permanently grounded. Aside from staring down the #BlueWave, Coffman's district includes Buckley Air Force Base and the 460th Space Wing, two massive military resources that would undoubtedly get thrown into the foul goulash being cooked up to serve as the Space Force. In an interview with Defense News, Coffman says flat out, "I feel confident we can block this. The president will not have the votes." Coffman is backed by the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith, who told Politico last week that he's "100 percent opposed to a Space Force."

Grumbling from the Pentagon isn't as loud since the military is obligated to follow Trump into Hell, but the brass has already found ways stop the gears from turning. A leaked proposal from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson quotes a $13 billion price tag for the first five years, and pushes back against attempts to cram more bureaucrats in the Pentagon. Along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Wilson is on the record opposing Trump's "separate but equal" branch for space, but she and Mattis were constitutionally obligated to change their minds when Trump needed to distract everyone from his fucking baby jails in June.

Opponents are using the price tag to shoot the Space Force into a galaxy far, far away. Since we don't have any X-Wings on the shelf, the administration's plan to tape lasers to everything is being scoffed at by the defense industry. They want to know how much they're going to lose while Trump burns through cash to make space bases and space academies. Nobody wants their budgets to be cut, least of all the military, but all that money has to come from somewhere. In speaking with Politico, one anonymous military official said they could easily make Washington think it's not worth the effort charging $500,000 for a space hammer, and $1,000,000 for a space toilet seat.

"What I would do is put in every single cat and dog that I could possibly imagine for a service ... I'd make sure it had its own [military lawyers], I'd make sure it had its own dentists, its own IT. Make it the most expensive to separate from the Air Force as possible."

Politically speaking, it's perfectly acceptable to not increase the defense budget. Despite the belly-aching from bloodthirsty warhawks who have no reservations about using cancer patients to clear minefields, the military is rather content with whatever the current budget is -- as long as it doesn't go down. The brass might bitch about some fat cat's pet project, like Reagan's "Star Wars" program, or the "First Earth Battalion," but they won't care if tomorrow's check isn't any bigger than yesterday's. It's for this reason that the Space Force is already crashing and burning.

Everyone agrees the US needs to reconsider its current mission in space. Russia and China want to put big guns in orbit (again), and Elon Musk wants to play cowboys and aliens. The Air Force Space Command already does most of the things Trump's Space Force would, and (frozen poop meteors aside) they do a decent job watching the skies. Nobody wants Donald Trump to be remembered as the guy who created the Space Force ... unless it's got something to with Space Cats.

[Politico / Defense One / The Drive / Space News / Defense News ]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.


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