Is it possible to have a “Space Force”?

The thought of developing a space force is not new to the world. Many Presidents of the United States have shown a keen interest in the space, as a zone for non-aggressive military activities and self-defense.  However, President Donald Trump seems to have an extra bit of willingness to take these ideas to another level.

Recently, President Trump advocated for a “Space Force.” Observers are concerned about this move as this does not seem to be in the best interests of everyone. The reason is that it signifies that the U.S is considering the space as a potential war-fighting zone. Whatever the possibilities may be, but what will a space force look like?

According to researchers, it is likely that the center of this space would be the Air Force Space Command, which has controlled the U.S’s military activities since 1982. The command isn’t completely void of space technology right now. It employs above 36,000 workers and uses various kinds of military technology in space, including the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and a mysterious space plane. Moreover, it is believed that they spend more than $7 billion each year, that too only on unclassified space tech.

As for the power of the space force, it is believed that it would have similar functionalities as the Army and Navy, with offices and service academy just like West Point. However, it can be more elaborated upon only after corresponding laws are passed, which aren’t expected to move any time sooner. 

Military action in space still faces questions on its legality. According to legal experts, the international law would restrict the activity of space forces if they ever came online. Also, major space powers like the U.S, China, and Russia are party to the Outer Space Treaty 1967 which states that a single nation-state cannot claim any territory in outer space. This prevents storage of weapons of mass destruction, like nuclear weapons, at any place in the outer space. Adding to that, it says that no military action or weapon testing can take place on other “celestial bodies.”

The Outer Space Treaty and other space treaties may be playing their part in maintaining order, but they fail to regulate the use of conventional weapons in space stations or open space. For precedence, the Soviet Union covertly tested a cannon on its Almaz space station.