On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) suggested that we need the new military arm in order to ward off space pirates — and the Texan is uniquely positioned to comment on intergalactic marauders, as he’s the chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space.
It’s not exactly clear what the “Space Force” would do, but President Donald Trump has been proposing his Space Force for a few years, and though there aren’t any actual troops in this intergalactic war machine, it’s been the topic of a lot of conversations. There are even mock-ups of Space Force logos.
Here are Cruz’s full remarks:
“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors. Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration.”
It’s unclear how we’re going to be encountering any pirates from the great beyond anytime soon.
Some Republicans have suggested that maybe the Space Force isn’t really necessary and that it’s going to be a very costly endeavor. Space News cited Department of Defense officials as saying that the new military branch will cost around $500 million annually.
That hefty price tag has left some Republicans, especially deficit hawks, weary. When the plan for the Space Force was first unveiled, the Republican Party couldn’t exactly unite behind the idea.
While some lawmakers said they were behind it, others didn’t seem so sure that the huge dollar signs are needed or would really improve the safety of the nation.