1. Trump Pulling U.S. Troops out of Syria and Afghanistan and its Effects

The Trump administration has ordered the military to pull all American troops from Syria and approximately 7,000 troops from Afghanistan. This comes after President Donald Trump stated ISIS has “been defeated” in Syria and Iraq. The actions by President Trump seem to ignore the importance of why America is present in the Middle East, to eradicate the ideology of radical Islam, not only to destroy ISIS.

Unlike Communism and other radical ideologies in the past, the ideology of the radical Islamic groups birthed from the Muslim Brotherhood is based on a fundamentalist stance of Islam set on destroying society in order to create an Islamic caliphate. One of the hardest parts of stopping radical Islamic terrorism in the modern age is today’s political left-wing, who are so fragile when it comes to calling out Muslims for, in many ways, promoting fundamentalist ideas. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization championed by those who believe Islam is a peaceful religion, states its main goal as instilling the Quran as the sole reference point for the individual, community, and state, essentially calling for Sharia law. This primary goal of the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t much different from the goals of groups including ISIS and al Qaeda, which is to establish an Islamic caliphate with Sharia law. Groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are another version of radical Islam.

The future of America in the Middle East has become bleaker in recent weeks, as it seems the Trump Administration believes the southern border wall is a more important issue than fighting radical Islamic terrorism and Russian expansion in the Middle East. Although the issue of the southern border is an important homeland security issue, the readers of PAI know and understand radical Islamic terrorism is a far larger threat.

When looking at the current situation in the Middle East, after American forces pull out of Syria, it is more than likely the world will see Déjà vu of when then President Obama pulled the majority of American troops out of Iraq in 2011. Not only will the Kurds have a large setback in holding stability in areas of Syria and Iraq, but it is likely another ISIS like group will emerge in the region of particularly Iraq. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched either for al-Shabaab to move into the region as they have close ties to al-Qaeda. The Sunni terrorist group al-Shabaab has seen a significant increase in support in recent months as they are spreading through the horn of Africa. They even have a high ranking leader running for a government position in what is left of Somalia. Another possibility, although slim, is for Blackwater, now known as Academi, to play some role in the Middle East. The private military contractor company has made some odd statements in recent weeks pointing towards their involvement in areas including Afghanistan.

The worst part of the situation of pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan is the weakening of American influence in the region The Trump administration is likely going to appoint a new Secretary of Defense who supports Trump’s plan to pull troops out of the Middle East, something many claim was a reason for Secretary Mattis resigning. Unfortunately, it is a possibility the Russian government’s influence will continue to move into the region now with nothing to stop them. The situation of removing troops from Syria and Afghanistan sets America back almost a decade as signs of progress will be lost.

2. Space Force Resides Under Air Force

Nobody has heard much news from the Trump administration about the Space Force since it was announced during later summer. In recent weeks, news has come out that the Space Force isn’t going to be its own branch of the American military as anticipated by many in the SDI and national security community. The plan for the Space Force in the near future is to become absorbed by the Air Force where a legislative proposal will be presented to Congress in the 2020 fiscal budget.

Though many people within the Air Force rejoice as they will likely be receiving a significant budget increase, there could be some worry when it comes to capabilities. As Donald Trump said during his announcement of the Space Force, the Space Force will be “separate but equal” to the Air Force. As seen, this is not going to be the case, at least initially. What is likely going to happen to the Space Force is something similar to the Marine Corps being under the discretion of the Navy. Although the Space Force won’t be as powerful as previously intended and won’t have as large a budget as expected, they will make a significant impact when it comes to space defenses.

As it stands, this is what seems to be the current future for the creation of the Space Force. Expect the future of the Space Force to be heavily established on protecting and establishing satellites in space. Another large possibility is the creation of the missile defense system in space. This could include the creation of anything from skyhooks to better missile technology deployable from space. Not only is the Space Force going to make a significant impact on technology, but also a large step forward for NUTS theorists seeking to create a missile defense system in space.

3. Laser-based Energy Weapons in Missile Defense Now Possible

The idea of missile defense technology has been around since the Reagan years, and now many of the ideas are finally a possibility with increased technological advances. Allen Hamilton, The Vice President of Booz, an American technological development company, has stated the direct energy possibilities within a war is limitless and is a possibility in the near future.

This entails numerous technological possibilities for the United States. Much like how GPS guided missiles changed the wartime strategy for the United States during Operation Desert Storm, the use of direct energy weapons is coming close to being a reality to change the way war works. When considering theories such as missile defense, the use of direct energy, commonly referred to the public as lasers, could dramatically improve defense capabilities. Direct energy moves at the speed of light, meaning the disablement of an ICBM could be almost instant, especially considering the speed of light is almost 60,000 times faster than most typical ICBMs.

Although this sounds fantastic, there is a cost. Before NUTS theorists start salivating at these ideas, they should first be told the estimated $700 billion Allen Hamilton stated it would initially cost. As it is possible to have these capabilities what seemed to be only possible in the movie Star Wars, it is likely this won’t happen anytime soon, especially since Democrats and Republicans shut the government down over $5 billion towards a border wall.

The technology of lasers and direct energy weapons is coming closer and closer. As this is the case, it is evident the Chinese and Russians could also be working on these technological improvements. The uses of direct energy weapons could do everything from destroy multiple missiles in seconds to immobilize battlefield vehicles. As this technology looms in the near future, the United States should invest slowly towards the technology until it is more affordable. It is apparent direct energy weapons are a feasible possibility within many Americans lifetime, waiting only until funding is put towards missile defense and laser technology