31: That is the number of months elapsed since Alabama was officially announced as the location for U.S. Space Command headquarters.
3: That is the number of independent studies conducted by the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Government Accounting Office that rate Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal as the best place for U.S. Space Command headquarters.
5: That is where President Joe Biden’s preferred state of Colorado ranks on the list of states qualified to house U.S. Space Command.
31 … 3 … 5.
Those three simple numbers are all the evidence needed to demonstrate that the Biden administration has fully politicized the most important long-term strategic decision that Pentagon officials have made in decades.
During his more lucid moments, Biden has made no secret that he prefers to place U.S. Space Command in a blue state like Colorado that aligns more closely with his own ultra-liberal views, rather than a red state like Alabama that fiercely embraces conservative principles and strongly supported President Donald Trump’s candidacy in both 2016 and 2020.
But with space serving as the newest battlefield in potential conflicts with hostile nations like Russia, China, and North Korea, politicizing what should be a decision based solely upon military advantage harms our defensive posture and puts the lives of roughly 335 million U.S. residents at risk.
The members of Alabama’s congressional delegation, even those whose districts are located at the opposite extreme of the Tennessee Valley, are currently fighting a tremendous battle against Biden’s politicization in the corridors, committee rooms, and chambers of the U.S. Capitol building.
U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Katie Britt (R-Ala.) both recently met with General James Dickinson, the commanding general of U.S. Space Command. They publicly reported they received his assurance that Alabama remains the unequivocal choice for the agency’s headquarters among members of the nation’s military leadership. U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) received the same affirmation from Dickinson.
U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Saks), a veteran congressman from the Anniston area with more than two decades of service, has inserted a provision in legislation that bans any construction related to Space Command headquarters from taking place until the Air Force confirms Alabama as the permanent location. The Rogers amendment also freezes half of the Air Force secretary’s travel budget until a permanent announcement is forthcoming.
Likewise, U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) both serve on the House Appropriations Committee and have also inserted clauses pausing Space Command construction and other military development until an official announcement that is “in alignment” with the independent selection process is made.
And after the Air Force leadership obliquely suggested that the criteria for locating Space Command may have secretly “changed” without public notice, Rogers has opened an Armed Service Committee investigation into the delay surrounding the headquarters. Every email, memo, letter, note, and other material touching upon the topic will be subject to congressional subpoena.
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), and even U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), a fellow member of Biden’s party, have also communicated with the Air Force secretary and are equally committed to championing Redstone Arsenal’s cause.
With the 2024 presidential election fast approaching, the stench of politics surrounding Space Command becomes exponentially stronger with each passing day.
A final, firm, and committed Pentagon announcement that Redstone Arsenal secured the selection was supposed to occur in December, but openness and accountability have been replaced with silence and stonewalling.
Despite Biden’s ongoing efforts to corrupt a fair and independent process, Alabamians can remain secure in the knowledge that our congressional delegation is daily working hard to fight the smoke and mirrors approach being pushed by the White House and return honesty and fairness to the Space Command headquarters selection.
For that, we can all be thankful.
Will Ainsworth is the Lt. Gov. of Alabama.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819news.com.
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