back to article Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, on Thursday formally announced that his administration hopes to bankroll, no, not universal healthcare for all Americans. Not better support for armed forces veterans. Not improved public education. No, here in the Land of the Free, we're getting a space force by 2020. It …

DougS
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

It is almost like Trump is trolling us. The "Space Force" name is stupid enough, but you gotta be kidding me with those logos.

One can only hope he's impeached before Space Force is actually formalized, because once it is there's no hope of ever getting rid of it even though no one other than Trump really wants it. We ought to be reducing the branches, not adding to them. There's no reason for the Air Force to exist, when all the other branches already have their own air wings. The Coast Guard shouldn't be a service branch, they should be lumped in with Customs, INS, etc. under "Homeland Security" (another terrible name that we're unfortunately stuck with) and the Marines arguably are simply a cross between the Army and Navy...

Mongrel

Re: Which is worse ...

Although the bottom right one reminds me of No Mans Sky, whose launch was a massive wave of failure due to over-hyping and broken promises....

imanidiot
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

Your arguments on reducing the service branches seems to display quite a bit of ignorance over the raison d'etre of certain branches. Other forces having their own air wing isn't a good reason NOT to have an air force. There's plenty of air operations that have no connector to either ground or naval operations, thus having a separate air force makes sense. The ground forces having an air wing that is directly and closely tied to their ground operations (like helicopters for inserting and removing troops, provide close air support, etc) also makes sense and doesn't have to detract from the air forces as long as the tasks of each is taken into account. Same for the naval forces and their air operations. Naval air forces are closely tied to their own operations.

The marines are a different matter. Theoretically they are just another branch of the ground forces, but the formation history of marine corps across the world shows their operational premise (amphibious assault) is a universal one that many armed forces around the world have in use. The US marine corp is a bit bloated beyond this premise, but that is not an argument to abolish it completely.

Coast guard IS an armed force and was traditionally operated as a "navy in littoral waters", having different focus and operation from the normal naval forces because of this. While it's modern role might be a bit more "Homeland Security" it really doesn't quite fit in that group.

Don't get me wrong, I'd easily agree the US armed forces are a bloated mess with a lack of focus, but this seems more about Generals and Admirals having to be good politicians instead of good officers to keep their job.

IsJustabloke
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

@imanidiot

I agree, I would add that the US marines in particular are a traditional "expeditionary force" rather than say, the UK marines who are more commando / special forces.

Traditionally, marines were stationed aboard ships to protect against boarders and then more recently to "project force" as part of an amphibious assault

A US marine and a Royal Marine are very different beasts.

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

A US marine and a Royal Marine are very different beasts.

In more than the sense you mean. The Royal Marine Commandos are an endangered species, whereas the USMC are not.

If the dull, lifeless civil service bastards of HMT and MoD get their way, they'll shut down the Corps of Royal Marines, saving themselves a bob or two in operating costs to waste on shit (like F35 cost over-runs), they can then prise the Royal Navy's fingers off of HMS Bulwark and Albion that HMT have longed to sell or scrap for a decade or more, they can sell off Lympstone to their property developing mates along with less salubrious barracks, and they can contract out the defence of the Clyde submarine base and Coulport nuclear weapons store to Crapita or Serco.

joejack

Re: Which is worse ...

I'm more interested in the inevitable fake logos. Something with Zap Brannigan seems about right.

https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/trump-zapp.jpg?quality=80&strip=all&zoom=1&resize=644%2C429

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"There's no reason for the Air Force to exist"

It didn't exist until 1946 - before you had the Army Air Force and the Navy Air Service or whatever it was.

The advent of strategic bombers and nuclear weapons suggested it should have been a separate force. Then it became one with the great number of strategic mistakes, like the hyper-specialized 10x planes, removing guns from fighters, trying to force the Navy to adopt the F-111, and later destroying its long range fighter and attack capabilities to become the "only one", the F-35 which again repeats the mistake of a single plane for different roles...

Yes, shutting down the USAF will greatly increase US air power.

Loyal Commenter
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

Although the bottom right one reminds me of No Mans Sky, whose launch was a massive wave of failure due to over-hyping and broken promises....

To be fair to Hello Games, it has now delivered an arguably reasonable game a few years later, after several updates. This is far more than Trump will ever deliver.

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

Which is worse ...... dumping $8x10⁹ down the toilet or the proposed logos?

I couldn't say, but either are much better value than the probable £100bn outturn cost of HS2. Or the unknown cost of Wankley Point C. Or £20bn+ on "smart meters". Or the £12bn already frittered on solar PV panels in the UK. Or the circa £3bn a year every year spent by the Highways Agency to make things worse.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: "There's no reason for the Air Force to exist"

Speaking of which, "...the proposed organization would be the sixth branch of the armed forces, sitting alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, and so on."

So: Army (1), Navy (2), Air Force (3), Marines? (4), ??? (5) and Space Force (6).

What's (5)? The Denver Broncos?

Mark 85
Silver badge

Re: "There's no reason for the Air Force to exist"

{5) US Coast Guard

https://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/us-military-overview.html

stephanh
Silver badge

Re: "There's no reason for the Air Force to exist"

I think they still need something UNDERGROUND, the "Mole Force" perhaps?

Adelio

Re: Which is worse ...

Really, as far as the home consumer is concerned I cannot see ANY cost benefit to smart meters.

The benefits that there are are for the companies because they do not have to pay for the meters to get read and they can get a more detailed breakdown of consumption.

The only possible benefic for people at home is that they do not have the hassle of a meter reader.

I think i only looked at my "smart meter" display a couple of times when it was installed. Never looked at it since then.

My fridge, washing machine, boiler will use exactly the same amout of power wither i have a smar meter or not!

I have NO idea how the Goverment works out that people will use LESS power when they have a smark meter installed?

Sanguma

Re: Which is worse ... Zap Brannigan or ...

OMG! It's as if they're clones!!! Or twits - no, I mean, twins!!!

tfb
Silver badge

Re: Which is worse ...

[...] no one other than Trump really wants it [...]

Does he want it, or does he just want another mechanism to funnel money to his ownersfriends?

frank ly
Silver badge

The Expanse

They watched it and thought it was a drama-documentary.

VikiAi
Go

Re: The Expanse

Trump is just waiting for the 'Elon' drive to be invented.

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Unhappy

"and lead to outcomes never before thought possible,"

Or rather wished not to happen.

big_D
Silver badge

Excellent sub-head!

Join the Mobile Infantry and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

Yes please! Will I be serving under Rasczak?

diver_dave
Joke

Re: Excellent sub-head!

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity".

Notebooks of Lazarus Long. R.A.H.

Never a truer word, never a truer word.....

Kane
Silver badge
Alien

Re: Excellent sub-head!

"Yes please! Will I be serving under Rasczak?"

MEDIC!

Loyal Commenter
Silver badge

Re: Excellent sub-head!

If we're going for RAH quotes, lets not forget one that may well be apposite to Trump, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".

Rich 11
Silver badge

Re: Excellent sub-head!

No, I think Trump has displayed both malice and stupidity to significant degrees.

AceRimmer1980
Thumb Up

Re: Excellent sub-head!

Co-ed showers! I'm doing my part.

Rather a little *too* vigorously..

Chris G
Silver badge

AI in spaaaace

What could possibly go wrong?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: AI in spaaaace

We're fucked!

Pedigree-Pete
Bronze badge
Mushroom

Re: AI in spaaaace

"I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" ring any AI bells???PP

allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
Silver badge

Re: AI in spaaaace

Or a "Bomb 20" scenario...

VikiAi
Go

Re: AI in spaaaace

Best case scenario:

AI: Screw you guys, I'm going to Proxima.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

To Insanity and Beyond !

One is reminded of the 1980's Film "Top Gun" with a Midget in the Lead Role and reviewed as "They may as well have used Flying Penises'.

Allonymous Coward
Alien

I don't understand why they need it

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't understand why they need it

Everyone's saying that.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't understand why they need it

but still, they come.

Flocke Kroes
Silver badge

Re: why they need it

This is not about Mars Attacks! The US has plenty of military assets is space already for reconnaissance, communications and GPS. The plan is to separate these functions from existing armed services and create an extra chain of command, payroll and admin that spends an additional $8 billion on bureaucracy. The bonus feature is to let certain voters think they are getting a copy of / replacement for NASA that is not infested with libtards.

Persona

Re: I don't understand why they need it

Access to space is cheaper than it has ever been and about to get cheaper. Possibly much much cheaper, so for the first time it becomes financially possible. From a military perspective high ground gives you a tactical advantage. Space gives you a strategic one.

joejack

Re: I don't understand why they need it

For the same reason we 'need' a wall, even though the rate of illegal immigration has been on the decline for years. It distracts and emboldens the idiots who can't see past shiny logos and empty promises.

Aqua Marina
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

“Million to one”.

Yes but as any fule know, million to one chances happen 9 times out of 10!

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

From a military perspective high ground gives you a tactical advantage. Space gives you a strategic one.

A lovely little quote, but sadly a wrong one.

Having the highest level of control of LEO of any worldly power and absolute military control of the atmosphere in those regions doesn't seem to have helped that much in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran, does it? All those high tech comms, weapons, surveillance, a bottomless pit of money, and approaching two decades after they intervened in Afghanistan, the US are still failing to control a bunch of primitives who crap behind bushes and wear towels on their heads.

Even in Syria the "defeat" of IS announced back in March will seem to be "fake news" to the communities still being slaughtered in their hundreds.

Rich 11
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

a bunch of primitives who crap behind bushes and wear towels on their heads.

Oi, do you mind! I have some very good friends in Kentucky.

John Smith 19
Gold badge
Thumb Up

Oi, do you mind! I have some very good friends in Kentucky.

Quality line.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't understand why they need it

"Having the highest level of control of LEO of any worldly power and absolute military control of the atmosphere in those regions doesn't seem to have helped that much in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran, does it?"

In 2016 45,000 Isis fighters and 3 US soldiers were killed in the conflict. Personally I see a 15,000 to 1 kill ratio as evidence of a strategic military advantage.

Mark 85
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

Seems that the current military/civilian leadership ( such that it is ) lost sight of the basics in Vietham and haven't regained it. The basic rule is: "take the ground and hold it". If you don't do that, you'll never win a war but just spend money and lives and go home broke and in defeat.

Tom Chiverton 1

Re: I don't understand why they need it

This weekend is the 12th as well...

Sanguma

Re: I don't understand why they need it

From a military perspective high ground gives you a tactical advantage. Space gives you a strategic one.

For what purpose? You can't hold territory with aircraft - they're basically over-the-horizon artillery. So how do you hold it with spacecraft?

Bombing gets more problematic the higher you get, and the chances of making a precise hit gets worse - there is a reason why nukes and ICBMs evolved together. Nukes don't need to be precise at all.

Reconnaissance, control and command appear to be the only uses for satellites in Earth Orbit. And they're protected by simple physical realities - trash a satellite in Earth Orbit, and the pieces stay up there for a long time. Trash enough satellites in Earth Orbit and you effectively close off that orbit or sets of orbits to any future satellite usage for the foreseeable future.

These are simple physical realities. I know why President Chump doesn't understand that - he doesn't understand much of anything.

Jaybus

Re: I don't understand why they need it

Can't control them either, can they?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't understand why they need it

"Nukes don't need to be precise at all."

Nowadays a nuke is accurate to 20 meters. Technology exists to make it much more accurate but you don't need to with a nuke.

Kinetic kill projectiles from space will come in at about 5000mph with a flight time of a few minutes. With visual target tracking they aren't often going to miss. The concept has existed since the 1950's, but the guidance technology wasn't up to it back then and the launch costs were prohibitive. Now we have small cheap visual recognition technology and space launch costs an orders of magnitude lower.

You can't hold the ground but you can deny access to anyone else.

Ledswinger
Silver badge

Re: I don't understand why they need it

In 2016 45,000 Isis fighters and 3 US soldiers were killed in the conflict.

The US did very well to kill 45,000 IS fighters in 2016, given that the CIA estimated in early 2015 that IS could field 30,000 fighters. The most authoritative data source, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, estimates for 2016 were that "only" 21,500 anti-government combatants were killed, including Kurdish and non-IS militias. SOHR estimate that the number of IS fighters killed by the US was around 8,000 across the entire five years of the conflict.

Personally I see a 15,000 to 1 kill ratio as evidence of a strategic military advantage.

Do you now? Not only are your numbers crap, but you need to stop focusing on a Black Hawk Down style bodycount, and consider the military outcome. The US has reinforced the position of its enemy Assad, it has further stirred up Islamic discontent (as if it hadn't done enough of that elsewhere), it has failed to change the extremist narrative, it has failed to capture and contain the escaping fighters, and (as in all of its other colonial wars) it has failed to bring about a peaceful and lasting resolution. It has strengthened the regional hand of Iran, and reinforced Islamic sectarian divisions. And I might add that much of the weaponry and training of IS was actually provided by the US who were trying to support opponents of Assad. US costs so far in Syria are around $20 billion, judging by reports to Congress. So each IS fighter killed cost the US taxpayer $2.5m. You still call any of that a strategic advantage?

So I think my point stands - with command of the air (or LEO) you can rain death on poorly armed peoples with impunity. But it doesn't represent any advantage if it doesn't solve the conflict. And it is actually a strategic disadvantage if the actions simply spreads the conflict. Look at the facts: Since at least 2001 the US has been playing whack-a-mole, with a total bill credibly estimated at over $5.5 trillion. Every time it lands what it claims is a winning blow and announces the defeat of the enemy, job done, the mole pops up somewhere else. Tell me again, who's winning?

Sanguma

Re: I don't understand why they need it

Kinetic kill projectiles from space will come in at about 5000mph with a flight time of a few minutes. With visual target tracking they aren't often going to miss. The concept has existed since the 1950's, but the guidance technology wasn't up to it back then and the launch costs were prohibitive. Now we have small cheap visual recognition technology and space launch costs an orders of magnitude lower.

Yes, true, and so do the chances that LOLCAT is in your computer ... changing your target. So your doofuses(?)(doofi?) on the ground call up a Low Earth Orbit strike on some insurgency bases in Afghanistan, f'rxample. And said insurgency base intercepts call and reprograms the target. By bye doofuses! So long, s'been good to know you NOT!

Not to forget, the satellite moves at so many ks per minute in Low Earth Orbit, and has practically zero loiter capacity over any given target, and once it's on its way, can't be recalled, and the joys of friendly fire become overwhelming.

There are other reasons why orbit-based kinetic weapons have never been deployed, to the best of my knowledge. They're about as useful as tits on a bull (has anyone ever/yet shared the joke about the word Tora as in the film Tora! Tora! Tora!? Apparently the Japanese High Command had heard the Pentagon was experimenting in Hawaií with genetically modified animals, most notably the She-Bull, since it was only a US Territory at the time, not a State with representation in the US Congress. So they sent out three waves of reconnaissance aircraft to check it out, and told them to pretend to be Mexicans, and speak Spanish, so as to confuse Pearl Harbour. It worked, up to the point they actually spotted the She-Bull, which had escaped its pen, and one most excitable pilot shouted Tora! (She-Bull!) which everybody took as the Japanese word for Attack! instead of the Pidgin Spanish for She-Bull! (You have to watch out for these genetic scientists - they're a menace!))

AceRimmer1980
Alien

Re: One little sticking point

I will make it..legal..

Laura Kerr
Mushroom

Re: One little sticking point

@realLordDampnut

The Outer Space Treaty is a bad deal, a terrible deal, the worst ever deal, and unfairly discriminates against America. I will rip it up. Lunacy Reason will prevail! #covfefe

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