Space Force?

Asteroids

So, Donald wants a SPACE FORCE. Remarks yesterday by 45's #1 sidekick (His VP) would seem to indicate that Donald thinks he can militarize space.

"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space — we must have American dominance in space. And so we will," Pence said. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea."

He added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead."

Can he?  Isn't there some kind of rule or treaty? Funny you should ask.

Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Let's break it down. Here is Article 1

Article I

The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.

That seems pretty straightforward. Space exploration should benefit ALL the citizens of Planet Earth.

Article II

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Also, pretty straightforward. No country can claim space or any celestial bodies (planets, moons, stars)

Article III

States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.

There are rules everybody has to abide by when exploring space or celestial bodies.

Article IV

States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.

The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military maneuvers on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the Moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited.

Weaponizing of space is strictly prohibited.

Article 5

States Parties to the Treaty shall regard astronauts as envoys of mankind in outer space and shall render to them all possible assistance in the event of accident, distress, or emergency landing on the territory of another State Party or on the high seas. When astronauts make such a landing, they shall be safely and promptly returned to the State of registry of their space vehicle.

Astronauts from every country are protected.

The substance of the arms control provisions is in Article IV. This article restricts activities in two ways:

First, it contains an undertaking not to place in orbit around the Earth, install on the moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise station in outer space, nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction.

Second, it limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies exclusively to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for establishing military bases, installation, or fortifications; testing weapons of any kind; or conducting military maneuvers.

After the Treaty entered into force, the United States and the Soviet Union collaborated in jointly planned and manned space enterprises.

There are, in all, seventeen articles to the treaty and I encourage you to read the entire text. At the bottom of the page linked, you will find the list of signatories to this treaty.

How a military Space Force would not violate this treaty is beyond me.

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