The Strategic Defense Initiative (a plan for the militarization of outer space that surfaced during the Ronald Reagan administration) is back in the form of President Donald Trump’s Space Force.

According to a Wikipedia article on the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO):

“It was set up in 1984 within the United States Department of Defense to oversee development. A wide array of advanced weapon concepts, including lasers, particle beam weapons and ground- and space-based missile systems were studied, along with various sensor, command and control, and high-performance computer systems that would be needed to control a system consisting of hundreds of combat centers and satellites spanning the entire globe.”

Simplistically, this complex system was designed to create a protective shield over the United States in case a nuclear attack was detected. The proposal was highly controversial and was abandoned early in the 1980s.

President Trump has concocted a new iteration of the proposal commonly known as Star Wars. It is known as Space Force. The details are yet to be sorted out, but it is likely to be as convoluted as SDIO. The technology required to create a viable defense shield will undoubtedly be complicated, and its political consequences will be dramatic.

The determination of Trump to occupy outer space for the sake of national security is folly.

Louis Borgenicht, Salt Lake City