Like it or not, space is already being militarized
For those of us old enough to remember the Cold War — ah, simpler times, when all we had to worry about was the horrifyingly real possibility of nuclear annihilation at any moment without warning — the idea of the United States creating a real Space Force worthy of the name, and thus militarizing space, can be a little shocking. After all the U.S. and its deadly foe, the USSR, had wisely agreed not to deploy weapons in space and mostly kept their word, simply because they both realized it would have been a pointless escalation.
In the context of the era’s preferred weapon, the multi-megaton thermonuclear warhead, the idea of positioning thousands of nukes in space to rain unstoppable destruction on your enemy — with the assurance that they would do the exact same thing — would have been even more destabilizing than ICBMs, with no payoff. The one space weapons project, Ronald Reagan’s “Strategic Defense Initiative,” better known as “Star Wars,” was ultimately a geopolitical gambit to keep the Soviets guessing (to this day no one knows if Reagan was serious — seriously).
But times have changed. The cost of putting payloads in orbit has fallen dramatically, meaning any rogue nation can put satellites in space — for whatever purpose, good or ill. Meanwhile China and India have both tested ground-based weapons that can destroy satellites in space, and other anti-satellite systems are in the works, just as an ever-greater proportion of the world’s information and commerce is flowing via satellite — meaning space is already being militarized by other players whether we like it or not. Furthermore, asymmetrical dynamics mean that a small, relatively limited attack could do untold damage here on earth.
In short, it’s time for the United States to have a Space Force with teeth, if only for defensive purposes, as called for by President Trump — but this obvious idea, which ought to have clear bipartisan support, is held up in Congress. Mona Salama lays out the argument in favor in a new post for TES.
— Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
— Richard Tren, TES Contributor
— Mercedes Colombres, Media Director, Libertad y Progreso
— By Veronique de Rugy, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center
— Tim Worstall, Adam Smith Institute
— Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, CapX
Policy At Work…
WASHINGTON BEYOND THE HEADLINES
What a week! President Trump uses a global stage at the UN to criticize globalism and call for nationalism, while back in Washington Congress decides to waste a lot of taxpayer money trying to un-elect the elected President with yet more fruitless impeachment action. Not wasting any taxpayer money, free market conservatives continue advancing ideas to move America forward. Here’s a roundup of the week’s activity in Washington…
- The Proposed Healthcare Price Control System — Does the CBO Have it All Wrong? ndp analytics has done a very thorough assessment of S.1895 The Lower Healthcare Costs Act and their findings are disturbing. While surprise medical bill are a heated topic and an ugly reality (Univ. of Chicago says about 57% of Americans have received one), the current legislation may be a bigger problem than solution. ndp/analytics says, contrary to Congressional Budget Office findings, that the bill would result in the loss in the number of available physicians, reduced patient quality and a rise in healthcare expenses. Read the report here.
- More About Money — Four Budget Pitfalls Congress Should Avoid. It may seem like Congress plays fast and loose with our money but there are mistakes even they should avoid. Justin Bogie points out 4 pitfalls Congress should avoid in 2020 appropriations including (1) not increasing spending to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 level; (2) not attaching disaster relief and emergency funding; (3) rejecting gimmicks to increase spending and: (4 )not including unrelated legislative provisions in appropriations bills. Read his reasoning here.
- Is the GM Strike About Union Workers…or Union Bosses? When you find out the details of just how much General Motors currently pays its union workers, and the generous contract they offered, you have to wonder just why the UAW is out on strike…until you look at the motivations of the UAW bosses. Nolan Finley examines the facts in the case, as well as the motivations behind the strike and the hypocrisy of Democrat politicians here.
- Speaking of Labor…California Has Plans. There is nothing that Government can’t make more complicated…the bigger the government, the bigger the complications. And big government hates independence. Now California is taking it out on Independent Contractors…with new laws and regulations that significantly restrict an individual’s right to work in that sate as an independent contractor. Tying entrepreneurs hands with red tape is the latest effort in the Golden State to support unions and punish employers and businesses, as well as entrepreneurs. The Coalition to Promote Independent Entrepreneurs will walk you through it at www.iccoalition.org.
- Fighting CON Laws is NOT Ambulance Chasing. Certificate of Need, or CON, laws are used to protect local companies, businesses and services from unwanted competition. But Kentucky’s CON law required a family to wait over two hours for transport to a hospital when there was a ambulance seven minutes away across the river in Ohio. It’s not just ambulances…until recently Kentucky had a CON law for moving companies, preventing competition from out of state. The Pacific Legal Foundation won that CON case and are fighting others (there are 36 states that have Certificate Of Need laws). For more information about CON laws and if they affect you, visit here.
- Mitt Romney Opposes Trump, And Himself, on California Auto Waiver. It must be confusing to lose a presidential race. At least Mitt Romney seems confused, and determined to oppose the man who did what he couldn’t no matter where he himself may have stood in the past. While campaigning for President in 2008 and 2012 Mitt Romney vehemently opposed California’s CAFE standards for auto efficiency, calling them “disadvantageous”, “an anvil on Michigan” and “extreme” among other things. Now, as President Trump cuts California’s arbitrary demand on automakers (and consumers’ pocketbooks), Mitt suddenly is on California’s side. Maybe it’s California’s sunny weather that has Romney putting on his flip flops. Read about it here.
- Meet the Candidates. It’s that season again (does it ever stop?) and political hopefuls are visiting Washington to look around, gain support and meet the people who might matter. We’ll introduce the hopefuls as they come across our path: Lisa Song Sutton is a serial entrepreneur, community leader, Forbes Magazine Contributor, professional model, former Miss Nevada and more. A conservative woman running for the U.S. Congress in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. Check her out at www.lisa4nevada.com. Howard Steele is running in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District to “Keep Texas Great”. To learn about the ‘tough as steele’ candidate visit www.howardsteele.com.
Upcoming events: Washington is getting busy, with lots of interesting and important events coming up. Don’t forget to RSVP!
- FDA REFORM. Saving Money, Saving Lives. Taxpayers Protection Alliance Panel Discussion. Wednesday, October 2, 12 PM – 1 PM, Senate Russell Building R-188. Lunch will be served. RSVP to Grace Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- RONALD REAGAN AND THE SPACE FRONTIER. Presentation by the author: John M. Logsdon. Wednesday, October 2, 12 PM. The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.
- SHOULD THE PRESS BE RESTRAINED? Re-examining Libel Laws. Panel Discussion. Thursday, October 3, 12 PM – PM, The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.
- RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. Panel Discussion with key officials from DOJ, DOE and HHS. Tuesday, October 8, 12 PM – 1 PM, The Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/Events/terms/com.
- SUMMIT ON PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SEXUALIZATION. Panels of Culture, Health and Education. Wednesday, October 9, 9 AM – 12 PM. The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. RSVP: org/events.
- COSM, A National Technology Summt Presented by Discovery Institute. October 23-25, Seattle, WA. Info at cosm.technology.
- DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION Annual Gala. Courage Under Fire Award: The Honorable Lindsey Graham. October 30, The Mayflower Hotel, Washington. Cocktails 6 PM, Dinner 7 PM, Dancing 8:30 PM. Info: haley@DailyCallerNewsFoundation.org.
- Austrian Economics Center, Hayek Institut, and Fundacion Internacional Bases, are organizing a conference with top tier intellectual contributors on the subject, Austrian School of Economics in the 21st Century, November 13-14, Vienna, Austria. Web site.