Last March, President Donald Trump told U.S. Marines that his administration was looking into creating a new military division. “We’re doing a tremendous amount of work in space, and I said, maybe we need a new force,” he spitballed from the podium. “We’ll call it the ‘Space Force.'” Unsurprisingly, his use of the words “space” and “force” together in the same phrase generated plenty of criticism, serious and otherwise, online and elsewhere. Five months later, however, Vice President Mike Pence addressed top military brass and reporters at the Pentagon, confirming Trump’s prior quips were now official policy.
“Just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield,” Pence declared. “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force.” So yes, the “United States Space Force” is literally going to be a thing, and no, this is not the beginning of an in-production summer blockbuster competing for the Academy’s new controversial popular film category. The president even confirmed Pence’s talking points on Twitter, saying — in true Trump fashion — “Space Force all the way!”
Welcome to a reality in which the U.S. Military will now be funneling taxpayer dollars into a new branch specifically intent on defending America’s interests against any and all possible space-born threats, terrestrial and otherwise. Most people are understandably rattled by the declaration, seeing as how it will be spending money that could otherwise go to healthcare, emergency crises or other notable causes: