Last week, amid all the news about immigration, President Trump made a great leap into the future of protecting our country’s investment in technology and military spending. He began the process to create a sixth branch of the armed forces: the Space Force.
The US has more than $1 trillion in assets flying above our heads, including satellites that are vital to things we use in everyday life, such as weather information and GPS, which is commonly available in almost every car and smartphone.
These much-needed assets currently are left undefended and vulnerable. Yet the announcement was received with little notice except for mockery.
While the name and concept sound a bit hokey to the cynics, remember the eyeballs that rolled 17 years ago when Apple’s Steve Jobs told the world he could fit an entire jukebox in your pocket when he introduced the first iPod? He proved the skeptics wrong.
In general, I am not a fan of government expansion, nor of creating new branches of anything except maybe the odd bank that will stay open past 5 p.m.
But here’s the thing: Visionaries like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and SpaceX’s Elon Musk believe the importance of space to our economy (think new technologies and raw materials, for example) will only grow — and they are backing that belief by spending big.
And government, which tends to be much less accurate than people like Jobs in foreseeing the future, ought to be taking its lead from those who put their money where their predictions are — and have been proven right time and again.
And its not just individuals: Companies like Boeing, Raytheon and United Technologies are developing ways to a rocket on a postage stamp platform instead of using a splashdown like the old days.
The upshot (so to speak): Those in the know are searching the stars for our economic future.
But sadly, it is a violent world, and our government needs a force to protect our future.