Under Trump, GOP to Give Space Weapons Close Look

Missile defense and military space programs are likely to get a substantial funding boost under the incoming Republican-dominated government, lawmakers and analysts say. Coming soon are a greater number of more capable anti-missile interceptors and radars deployed around the globe — on land, at sea and possibly in space, say these legislators and experts, several of whom have consulted with President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers. More government money will be directed at protecting U.S. satellites from attack — potentially including systems that can ram into or otherwise disable another country’s satellites. And senior Republicans who oversee Pentagon spending said in interviews this week that they support considering all such systems. “I believe we need lots of platforms for every eventuality, including those,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the New Jersey Republican who is expected to chair the House Appropriations Committee in the next Congress. Trump’s thoughts on missile defense and military space programs have gotten next to no attention, as compared to the president-elect’s other defense proposals, such as growing the Army and building more warships. As a candidate, Trump said little on the subject. But experts expect such programs to account for a significant share of what is likely to be a defense budget boost, potentially amounting to $500 billion or more in the coming decade. Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican on House Armed Services, said the GOP’s newly strengthened hand in Washington means a big payday is coming for programs aimed at developing weapons that can be deployed in space. “It was a Democrat mindset that caused us to step back from space-based defense assets to ostensibly not ‘weaponize space,’ while our enemies proceeded to do just that, and now, we find ourselves in a grave deficit,” Franks said. “In every area of warfare, within the Geneva Conventions, America should be second to none. That includes satellite warfare, if it’s necessary. We cannot be victims of our own decency here.” One of Trump’s only mentions of missile defense came in a September speech on national security in Philadelphia. The GOP nominee promised more missile defense systems to protect against North Korea and Iran, including ships in an expanded Navy. “We propose to rebuild the key tools of missile defense, starting with the Navy cruisers that are the foundation of our missile defense capabilities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East,” Trump said. “As we expand our Navy toward the goal of 350 ships, we will also procure additional modern destroyers that are designed to handle the missile defense mission in the coming years.” Riki Ellison, chairman and founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes anti-missile systems, said his organization responded to a request from the Trump campaign for a briefing earlier this year and has had extensive consultations. Ellison believes the Pentagon programs coming down the line include not only those mentioned by Trump and his attorney general nominee, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, but also a new battery of anti-missile interceptors on the East Coast of the United States, plus lasers and weapons capable of being launched either from or into space.

Exciting news!!  From day one here at The Daily Buzz, we’ve been screaming for more funding of BOTH civilian AND military space agencies.  Looks like the new Trump administration may be making some positive steps in that area.  Excellent!!   🙂

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