James Mattis, U.S. Defense Secretary, is pacing in a clipped military fashion, back and forth in his office. Snapping his fingers as he marches,
After four we raise our swords
One two three four…hup two
Three four…hup two three four
I need a problem, he says to himself. I gotta have a problem if I’m going to get onboard with this Space Force. Gotta have a problem that needs solving. Then we create the Space Force. Ok. What’s the problem?
Hup two three four…I mean, a year ago, I was opposing creation of a new military service; we were focusing on reducing overhead and integrating joint war-fighting functions, and now they’re talking about an entirely new branch of service? A Space Force? Come on..two three four. Hup two three four. Gotta have a problem.
Mattis stops his pacing at a window, and stares unblinking over the manicured lawns outside his office; slowly, it begins to coalesce. The problem he needs has been floating around in fragments, but now he is seeing it as a whole. I got it!! I’ve finally got it! All the reports, all the veiled threats; there is definitely a legitimate problem. And it’s just what I need. Oohrah!!
In a recent time and place Mantis sincerely explains to the press the conviction he was never in opposition to the President’s desire for a Space Force, nor was he trying to buck Congressional interest last year in creating a sixth branch of the military. He reminds them of the fiscal concerns he presented back then, and the responsibility he bears to manage the public’s money with care and restraint. He told them he was simply doing his job.
Then he spells out in detail the heavy U.S. military dependence upon space for reconnaissance, communications, and the ability to detect incoming missiles. The press hears what they already knew; Russia and China have been constructing surface-to-air missiles with enough power to take out a satellite. And, as a major point, Mattis reminds them all of the 2007 event when China shot down one of its own weather satellites, to test the strength of its technology. He has their rapt attention, and closes with a simple statement that it is imperative that the US protect its assets in space. Applause from press. Oohrah!
Jim Mattis has woven his tapestry of the need for military in space with skill and aplomb. Congratulating himself over his success, he reflects upon the simple and direct execution in explaining the President’s plan:
•A Space Force will be established by 2020
•There will be a Space Command to oversee and coordinate space operations
•There will be a Space Development Agency to accelerate development and fielding of space technologies for the military
•A larger number of service men and women who have expertise in space operations will be built up
Mattis is satisfied with purposeful energy coming from the Pentagon, and knows the war-fighting capability that is being organized within this new branch of service is yet another chapter that will be written in the United States history books. He exhales with relief. This country will be protected on land, sea, in the air, and to the far reaches of outer space. Oohrah!
(Photo courtesy of Ranger Up)