Space, the last frontier…. Read this retired air force officers take on the ‘new’ air force here

The air force’s vision of total domination used to stop at the stratosphere. Yet, according to its grandiose website, it now extends “to the shining stars and beyond”. I hesitate to ask what lies beyond. God? Certainly, there’s something unbounded, almost god-like, in the air force’s space fantasy.

When it turns to space, the air force readily admits its desire to dominate all potential foes. As Peter B Teets, a former air force under secretary and director of the National Reconnaissance Office, declared in 2002, “If we do not exploit space to the fullest advantage across every conceivable mode of war fighting, then someone else will – and we allow this at our own peril.”

There’s nothing surprising about this “king of the hill” mentality. A decade ago, as a uniformed officer, I attended a space conference in Colorado Springs. Major topics of discussion included space weaponry already on the drawing board and being funded. Included were space-based directed energy weapons (“10 to 20 years away” was the prediction then) and “Brilliant Pebbles”, a constellation of thousands of miniature killer-satellites, proposed in the 1980s, that would be used to intercept ballistic missiles and which, fortunately, went unfielded, though not for want of lobbying to revive the project.