Welcome to 2018, where the prospect of wars in space could be just a “matter of years away," according to a top dog in the US Air Force. If the US wants to hold on to their geopolitical dominance, he added, they need to promptly establish a military presence in space. Eep.
David L Goldfein, a General in the US Air Force who currently serves as the Air Force Chief of Staff, recently made these bold assertions at the Air Force Association’s 34th annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Florida, as reported by Air Force Magazine.
“I believe we’re going to be fighting from space in a matter of years,” General Goldfein told the crowd of active servicemen. “And we are the service that must lead joint war fighting in this new contested domain. This is what the nation demands.”
“It is time for us as a service, regardless of specialty badge, to embrace space superiority with the same passion and sense of ownership as we apply to air superiority today,” he added.
As startling as the claim sounds, this is not just arm-swaggering military rhetoric.
The Air Force has requested an 18 percent increase in funding for space technology in its upcoming budget, according to Space News. This amounts to a five-year investment of $44.3 billion on the development and deployment of space systems.
In Summer last year, the US Armed Forces floated the idea of creating a Space Corps, a new branch of the Air Force tasked with establishing a military presence in space. While the initial plans were originally scrapped, experts say the idea is still not totally off the table.
“This issue is not dead at all,” Todd Harrison, defense budget analyst and director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Hill in 2017. “I think [Space Corps] is inevitable, as in within my lifetime.”
Way back in 1967, the United Nations recognized "The common interest of all mankind in the progress of the exploration and use of outer space,” adding that other planets must be explored and used “exclusively for peaceful purposes”.
Despite this, the militarization of space became a recurring theme during the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. While these plans never properly came to fruition, it looks like we could be on the verge of another resurgence of the idea.