Scientists are sounding the alarm about President Donald Trump's plan to launch a space force, warning that the US leader's attempt to create a military wing dedicated to managing threats in space could actually trigger an "arms race in space."
While the fight against potential threats in space is a task already incumbent on the Pentagon, Trump signed Tuesday an order calling on the Defense Department to draft a bill to create a special force dedicated to the mission to "deter and counter the threats" space. "
Scientists have warned that Trump's Space Force could be a "deeply evil idea" as it could inspire countries around the world to focus on the development of space weapons.
"If concentrating authority in a space force creates an incentive for nations to build space weapons that increase the likelihood of conflict, it would be a very bad idea," said Laura Grego, senior scientist at the US Air Force. Union of Concerned Scientists, in a statement posted on the monitoring group's website on Tuesday.
"President Trump has called space a new area of combat. It's important for the armies, that's true, but it's just a small piece of what's going on there, "said Grego. Eighty percent of the two thousand satellites are civilians, providing communications and economic services essential to the well-being of humanity. We must take care of the space. "
Grego said that in the protection of satellites, "space security can not be achieved unilaterally or solely by military means.It will require coordination and cooperation with other nations. spatial functions, which implies diplomacy ".
Noting that many international efforts have been made in recent years to "prevent an arms race in outer space", particularly with regard to the development of guidelines for the sustainability of the war. long-term space in the European Union proposal for an international code of conduct for space activities and a project of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on practical measures to prevent such a race to arms, said Grego in the United States of America.
"There are much better ways to protect satellites," said Grego. "Given that more than 40% of the satellites are American, the United States should take the lead and help create the conditions for a peaceful and long-term future in space."
Advocates of the Trump Space Force have argued that the United States is currently lagging behind other nations in their efforts to counter threats in space.
Proponents of the program argued that the country should pay greater attention to outer space, as other countries, including Russia and China, develop their own anti-satellite weapons that, according to them, could potentially endanger US satellites.
However, to carry out its Space Force projects, Trump will have to be approved by Congress. The US leader had initially hoped that the Space Force would be "distinct but equal" from other military services, but Congress and the Pentagon suggested that this is the responsibility of the air force, given that that the military branch is already overseeing the defense of space.
On its Web site, the Air Force describes itself as "the preeminent force of the world in the air, space and cyberspace fields," and says that those joining the "largest space program in the world" would be "part of the world". a team responsible for all satellites to assist rocket launches ".
The Trump administration has not yet provided cost estimates for the development of the President's Space Force. Estimates should be included in the 2020 budget proposal that Trump is expected to present to Congress next month.