No Thanks, Donald—We Don’t Need No Space Cadets!

When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” the president of the United States announced the other day. “We must have American dominance in space.”

To pursue this galactic ambition, the commander-in-chief proposes to create a new branch of the armed forces. If Trump has his way, a Space Force will soon take its place alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. While Trump’s vision may seem far-fetched — making Ronald Reagan’s abandoned “Star Wars” missile shield look positively modest by comparison — it is perfectly congruent with the trajectory of U.S. national security strategy since the end of the Cold War.