Within the 29-Dec-2016 blog post Why the Moon Matters on his official US House of Representatives website are the paragraphs in block quotes below. The second paragraph of the block quote begins "It must be stated that constitutionally, the U.S. government is required to provide for the common defense." There is a discussion of a possible future cis-lunar economy, and I believe this is an argument that there is therefore a constitutional mandate to extend a military presence into space in order to protect this non-existent but potential future economy.
note: There is of course a sizable economic (and military) interest within Earth orbit; GPS, telecommunications, weather, mapping and other real-time data for example. But currently there does not seem to be much of an economy near the Moon, and it's that potential future economy that I'm referring to.
question: Is this a fairly standard use and application of the constitutional reference "to provide for the common defense", or is it a bit of a stretch? Would it automatically apply to a potential, future cis-lunar economy that does not yet exist? Is this cart-before-the-horse, or build it, they will come thinking, or is the extension of a military presence in anticipation of a non-existent but potential future economy a logical extension of providing for the common defense?
As the cis-lunar economy develops, competition for locations and resources on the Moon is inevitable. The Chinese currently have landers and rovers on the Moon. The United States does not. Very soon, the Chinese will be the first of humanity to explore the far side of the Moon and place robots at the poles. As my friend Congressman Bill Posey says, “They are not going there to collect rocks.” China has its own manned space station. The United States’ commitment to the International Space Station ends in 2024. China has a domestic capability to launch its Taikonauts into orbit. The United States relies on Russia. American adversaries are testing antisatellite weapons and proliferating satellite jamming, spoofing, and dazzling technologies. It is time for the United States to re-posture and assert true space leadership.
It must be stated that constitutionally, the U.S. government is required to provide for the common defense. This includes defending American military AND commercial assets in orbit, many of which have the dual role of providing commercial and military capabilities. The same applies for assets on and around the Moon. The U.S. government must establish a legal framework and be prepared to defend private and corporate rights and obligations, all keeping within the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The United States must have cis-lunar situational awareness, a cis-lunar presence, and eventually must be able to defend freedom of action in space. Cis-lunar development will proceed with American values and the rule of law if the United States leads.