Welcome our guest today, Roger Carlton, columnist for the Graham Star
Newspaper in Robbinsville, NC. This columnist has great respect for the military. Our son-in-law is a graduate of West Point and served with honor in Iraq. I considered both Roy Bahr and Mel Greene to be friends. They served in the military and supported veterans till they both recently passed on. In balance, there have been many military mistakes and successes over the years. Our country remains free due to the military's heroic actions. In fact, our right to dissent has been protected by the military and that is very important.
This past week, the White House took great pride in announcing that a new branch of the military had been established. The U.S. Space Force now joins the Air force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Just what we need in a time of multi-trillion dollar deficits, the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression and a country torn apart in the debate between scientific management of the coronavirus pandemic and the politics of pre-election economic ruin.
To go back in history, when President Kennedy gave his inaugural speech, he boldly went were no president had gone before by committing that we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. This was a response to the threat of the Russians who had gained an early lead in the space race. Sadly, President Kennedy did not live to see the delivery of his promise by the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) when we landed on the moon in 1969.
The great debate that was settled by President Johnson and Congress was that the military would provide the astronauts and the civilian NASA would provide the technology and governance of the program. This was a partnership and not a competition. Space would be shared by all humanity as would the next 50 years of technological wonders. This has worked even to the point that Russia launches missions to the International Space Station from their Bakonur facility because we gave up the Shuttle program. The astronauts come from different countries and live together in outer space.
The Space Force tosses that successful history into a Star Trek warp speed black hole. The insignia is remindful of a combination Nike swoosh and Star Trek uniform patch. There are many questions to be raised about scientific research for all humanity versus military dominance. Budgets come to mind as does the need for efficiency and enhancing cooperation among the military branches. If there is a need for this new branch, certainly no case has been made to the American public by our political or military leaders. More specifically, are we sending a signal to the world that we are weaponizing the space program?