The packed crowd watching Vice President Mike Pence's speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today really seemed to like the idea of the Space Force.
The Space Force, of course, is President Donald Trump's proposed sixth branch of the military. As the name suggests, it's meant to project U.S. dominance into, well, space.
"We're modernizing our nuclear arsenal, updating missile defense, and before the year is out, President Trump will launch the sixth branch of our armed forces: The United States Space Force," Pence said. That statement got big cheers from the crowd, with many even giving it a standing ovation. It sounds like someone tried to start a "U.S.A." chant, though that didn't really catch on:
"SPACE FORCE" gets a standing ovation from CPAC when Mike Pence mentions it pic.twitter.com/xonsdwpli5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 1, 2019
"Under this commander in chief, we'll make sure that American is as dominant in space as it is on air and land and sea," the vice president added.
Lest one think attendees only cared about the Space Force, there were also wild cheers when Pence called for a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. (This time, a "Build the Wall" chant did catch on.) On the brighter side, the crowd also clapped when Pence said Trump was bringing American troops home, though the reaction to that statement was lukewarm compared to the other remarks.
Pence mentioned the Space Force one day after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sent the Penatgon's official proposal for the new military branch to Congress. Under this plan, the Space Force will start as the U.S. Space Command, and it will technically be part of the Air Force, likely in a similar manner to how the Marine Corps is technically part of the Navy.
Despite the CPAC crowd's enthusiasm, the Space Force is a bad idea for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that the U.S. military already has plenty of entities that deal with space, making you wonder if we really need to add to the alphabet soup of government agencies. But hey, at least we're getting a Steve Carrell show out of it.