At the risk of being attacked by the reincarnation of Darth Vader, I say Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is off course in his support of establishing a Space Force. Cramer recently wrote an op-ed that appeared in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, where he praised the idea. That proposal, of course, came from President Trump. There are two main reasons to oppose the Space Force: We don’t need it, and we can’t afford it.

We already have agencies doing the work of a Space Force. The main one is the Air Force Space Command, which is headquartered in Colorado. The AFSC employs more than 38,000 people at 88 locations around the world. It deals with military satellites, cyberwarfare operations, rocket launches and weapons that fly through space. The AFSC says it, “provides military focused space capabilities with a global perspective to the joint warfighting team.” In June 2016, a Space Mission Force was created, which operates like an expeditionary force.

Not to be overlooked is the National Reconnaissance Office, which is an agency of the Defense Department. According to Wikipedia, the NRO, “develops and operates space reconnaissance systems and conducts intelligence-related activities for U.S. national security.” So, a Space Force would duplicate the missions of the AFSC and NRO, making them less efficient and creating another level of bureaucracy.

Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the Air Force, says top military leaders are against creating a Space Force. When he was Defense Secretary, James Mattis voiced his opposition when he wrote, “I do not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations.”

Beyond that, establishing and maintaining a Space Force would cost billions of dollars. We don’t have the money. The Trump tax cuts, which Cramer enthusiastically supported, have ballooned the federal budget deficit to dangerous levels. Cramer promised those tax cuts would pay for themselves, which was a preposterous claim.

In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the “military-industrial complex.” The unnecessary Space Force is an excellent example of what Eisenhower was talking about. It’s no surprise that Cramer favors the Space Force. With his promise to support Trump 100% of the time, he has already joined the dark side.

  • Delighted to see that Cramer has introduced legislation that could drastically reduce the price of insulin. The skyrocketing price of insulin, which is a life-saving drug for many diabetics, is outrageous. Many Americans with diabetes are dying because they can’t afford their insulin. Some have dangerously tried rationing their insulin because of the cost. Cramer’s bill could really make a difference and save lives. Unfortunately, Cramer still wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act. That would cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance. Some of them undoubtedly suffer from diabetes and need that health insurance to purchase insulin.
  • I was chosen to write this column.