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Space must remain conflict-free

Aug 16,2018 - Last updated at Aug 16,2018

There is never a dull moment when it comes to the rule of US President Donald Trump. Most recently, Trump surprised his country, and the world, by announcing a plan that aims to create a sixth branch of the US military to be called Space Force.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, quickly endorsed the idea and called it a futuristic necessity. Other US astronauts objected and called the idea insane and irresponsible.

US Vice President Mike Pence introduced the plan on behalf of his country and hailed it as something that would fill the gap in the existing US military establishment. Pence insisted that the plan is to ensure the US dominance in space, as if this is a worthy cause.

Yet, such an initiative can only escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow and even Beijing for starters and take the theatre of wars from the surface of planet Earth to space, and even outer space in due course.

It is as if the international community does not have enough reasons to wage wars among themselves, President Trump wants to add another dimension to warfare by militarising space, and in due course, outer space.

Although the idea is not supposed to come to fruition before 2020, it would be wise to nip it in the bud before it reaches the stage of no return. Space must remain free of conflicts, especially the military kind.

Instead of militarising space, the big powers should aim to keep it as an area for the promotion of peace and harmony among nations, and not a theatre for armed conflicts and military conquests.

There are already UN resolutions aiming to make space a military free zone but President Trump aims to change all that for the worse. Military experts in the US must spearhead a determined effort to abort Trump's plan to militarise space before it is too late.

If the US president is left free to introduce arms to space, other major powers can be expected to react swiftly and reciprocate the US plan. No wonder sane people across the world were quick to condemn an idea and called for an immediate international effort to abort it before it gets off the ground. Otherwise, this ominous idea could become the end of civilisation as we know it.

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