“I mean, this is about money.” https://t.co/6Cvsx67LWa
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) August 18, 2018
Should’ve known there was more to Lord Smallgloves’ sudden emotional investment in SPACE! FARCE! than selling a few branded tchotches. Per the LA Times:
… The concept had been pushed unsuccessfully since 2016 by a small group of current and former government officials, some with deep financial ties to the aerospace industry, who see creation of the sixth military service as a surefire way to hike Pentagon spending on satellite and other space systems.
Still, when Trump abruptly embraced the idea at Miramar — and began promoting it to wild applause at other rallies — a moribund notion opposed by much of the Pentagon hierarchy and senior members of the Senate became a real possibility.
A few days after the San Diego speech, Trump took a phone call at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida from Rep. Mike D. Rogers, an Alabama Republican who is chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. He had been promoting the space force to Trump and his advisors for months.
“This is something we have to do,” Rogers said he told Trump. “It’s a national security imperative.”
“I’m all in,” Trump replied, according to Rogers. “We are going to have a space force.”…
Last summer, Rogers and Cooper inserted an amendment in the annual defense policy bill to create a separate service they called the space corps. It would be part of the Air Force, just as the Marine Corps is technically in the Navy.
But Rogers worried that putting it in the Air Force might not fly. The Air Force is dominated by fliers more interested in warplanes than in outer space, he noted in a speech last year, explaining Air Force opposition to a separate service…
Rogers, who was first elected to Congress by a razor-thin margin in 2002, has solidified control of his rural district, with a campaign war chest swelled with money from the aerospace industry. Defense industry firms have contributed $395,000 to his campaign committee and leadership PAC since 2017, becoming by far his largest industry donor, according to Open Secrets, a campaign spending database.
Also key in pushing for the space corps was Douglas L. Loverro, a retired Air Force officer and the former executive director of its Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo. Loverro said in an interview that a dedicated corps of space experts would be necessary to ensure a space force could fulfill its mission…
The aerospace industry, which was initially cool to the plan, began to come around as well, seeing it as a lucrative avenue not just for expensive new space systems but potentially for uniforms, constructions projects, support services and other trappings of a new military service
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called a space force “an excellent way to bypass the bureaucratic resistance President Trump would have faced had he tried to push our terrestrial service branches into focusing resources outside the atmosphere.”
Gingrich, a space enthusiast and informal Trump advisor, credited Trump’s marketing instinct with turning the space corps into the space force. “The genesis of the name was him writing it into a speech,” he said in an interview…
Vanity project for a Potemkin president.
Two weeks ago Trump made a comment that Boeing should really like him–just before the announcement. Boeing has facilities in Alabama & Rep. Mike D. Rogers is chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. Pork for AL & FL so Trump can brag about funding.
— Kay Shan (@KHShan) August 18, 2018