• by Jeff Shear

Space Force


The White House has been flogging a new armed service, and it's now official. We have a Space Force to augment the military. Sorry for the obvious cliche, but what could go wrong?

Maybe our Space Force is just a knock off reversion of Star Trek. Notice the resemblance between the official Space Force patch and Gene Roddenberry's franchise.

Quick history: It was the US Army that flew into battle during WW II. It wasn't until after the war, the two were separated and the Air Force was born. There was good reason for the change: The nature of warfare changed. Nuclear weapons and the ensuing Cold War required strategic targeting. The key word is strategic, as in long range direct targeting, unlike anything we pursued in World War II. Think of ICBMs, the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that could wipe out cities within 30 minutes of launch. That's a strategic weapon designed for the Strategic Air Command. Key word here: Command, which gave the independent unit special powers but did not make it an outfit separate from the Air Force.

Check the photo above of the B-37. That's an "outer space" war machine. The X B-37. It's described as a test vehicle, which is nearly true. It is a test vehicle, but a test vehicle that flies realtime strategic missions. (Secret programs require public bullshit.) Not that I don't like the B-37, I really do. I'm the awfully nostalgic sort who longs for the old Space Shuttle, which this little monster resembles.

Look, put together, the B in B-37 is just a little too disingenuous. The Air Force's B designation has always stood for bomber. So is the B-37 an outer space bomber, or is it a reconnaissance aircraft, possibly a machine available to repair and retrieve parts from ailing war satellites? What's the B represent? I think I know.

The White House should know and may be shocked to learn that U.S. has had a defacto space force since 2010. (Then, of course, our current president didn't know that Finland was a sovereign state and not a Russian appendix.) Which makes me wonder what this "Space Force" is all about. Well, the answer is simple: a new military force requires budgeting, which is to say even more money for an over-bloated military budget. That's the real secret of the B-37: more money to the military, which means more money earmarked to the states, and that's what the B in B-37 actually stands for: Boondoggle.


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