EDITORIAL: Leaked report should doom the Space Command move | Editorials | #elections | #alabama

Finally, it is official. A leaked report says Colorado Springs was and remains the best location for the permanent headquarters of Space Command. President Joe Biden should quickly reverse then-President Donald Trump’s vengeful decision to move it from Peterson Space Force Base as retribution for Colorado supporting Biden and ousting Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.

Trump’s political indulgence was predictable, and we predicted it. Trump staged a 2020 rally in Colorado Springs and said he would make a Space Command decision sometime after the election. In other words, read between the lines and don’t be stupid. If you want Space Command, vote for Trump.

That did not happen, so Trump rejected the advice of his top military officials. After ordering the relocation of the command, Trump bragged on the radio about single-handedly giving Space Command to Alabama — a state that supported him by 62%. After Trump’s Space Command stunt, Alabama’s congressional delegation fought harder than any other to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump’s dangerous decision to move the command led to investigations by the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General.

The inspector general’s report leaked to the media Tuesday. It shows that a Pentagon study instructed Trump that Colorado Springs was the best permanent location for Space Command. Colorado politicians briefed on the upcoming release of the GAO report said it will also reveal Colorado Springs as the Pentagon’s favored Space Command location.

The report says the Pentagon’s choice of Colorado Springs was based on the “best military judgment” of top military leaders. Those leaders include SPACECOM leader Gen. James Dickinson, Space Force chief Gen. Jay Raymond and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten.

Instead of taking that advice, Trump chose Huntsville, Ala., for obvious political reasons. He rewarded a state that voted for him and punished one that did not.

The decision was never in the best interests of defending our country, but today it is outright dangerous. Since that decision, Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin — controlling the world’s largest nuclear arsenal — has taken to openly threatening nuclear war. He is unhinged, in the twilight of life, and he probably means it.

Within the past year, and since Trump’s horrific relocation decision, Russia, China and India have tested anti-satellite missiles. All major enemies of the United States are in a military race to dominate space.

We don’t have time to start over with this essential military space asset as the world increasingly faces the prospect of World War III. Imagine Space Command trying to stop an Electromagnetic Pulse attack as our best and brightest space scientists relocate households and offices from Peterson to an Army base in Huntsville, Alabama — 1,200-plus miles away.

Since Trump’s basing decision, our country’s economy has fallen into peril and cannot afford tens of billions to fulfill this self-indulgent decision by a former commander-in-chief.

Colorado Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, along with Democratic Gov. Jared Polis and all members of the House delegation have explained this dilemma to President Biden. As of yesterday, if not earlier, Biden knew of the inspector general’s findings.

During Biden’s recent visit to the Boulder area, to see neighborhoods destroyed by wildfires, the president promised Bennet, Hickenlooper, Polis, and other Colorado officials he would consider their concerns about the Space Command move.

Reversing Trump’s decision would be an easy win for a beleaguered President Biden as the looming mid-term elections threaten to devastate his party. It would show who leads as commander-in-chief today. He won an election, so the decision belongs to him. More importantly, it would enable his country to get Space Command fully up to speed within a year as world conflicts escalate.

We don’t have years to move Space Command as our country’s economy and world peace stand in imminent jeopardy. President Biden should read the inspector general’s report and quickly reverse Trump’s decision. By doing so, he would restore stability to the never-more-important Space Command.

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