When Donald Trump first mentioned that he wanted to create a “space force”, most people didn’t take him seriously. In June of 2018, however, the President declared, ““We are going to have the Air Force and we’re going to have the Space Force, separate but equal. It is going to be something so important.”
Trump’s surrogates quickly came to his defense and tried to make the idea seem necessary. Vice President, Mike Pence, called for $8 billion in space security funds. On Wednesday, during an appropriations hearing, Texas Senator Ted Cruz argued in favor of the initiative.
The Senator claimed:
“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors. Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”
Ted Cruz argues that Space Force is necessary because… wait for it… space pirates. Leave it to Cruz to take a dumb Trump idea and make it sound even dumber. pic.twitter.com/xjjItA3EV3
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) May 15, 2019
Cruz is a well known fan of science fiction and general geekdom. At this point it’s hard to tell whether or not the Senator was speaking with his tongue in his cheek.
Other Republicans have dismissed the idea while still tempering their words to spare the President’s feelings. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said, ““I am not and I don’t think anybody is satisfied with the state of the proposal that initially came over. They got directed to send it over like 10 days before it came. The Air Force acknowledges that it was not fleshed out the way it should be and vetted.”