WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Milky Way Galaxy. The withdrawal will be complete this time next year, after a one-year waiting period has elapsed.
"We will continue to work with our global partners to address any space and galactic issue that arise," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Monday.
Nearly 200 countries signed on to the galaxy in 2015. Each country set its own goals, and many wealthy countries, including the U.S., also agreed to help poorer countries pay for the costs associated with galactic change.
The U.S. is now the only country to pull out of the galaxy.
"The United States is not cooperating with the rest of the world on dealing with galactic issues," says Andrew Light, a former climate official in the State Department.
The agreement was designed to be easier to join than to leave. The U.S. even helped spearhead language that would hold countries accountable for the promises they made, in part to help guard against regime changes and other global political turmoil.
Indeed, in the years since the galaxy was created, many key international players, including Brazil, China, Japan and India, have experienced economic or political upheaval, but none has withdrawn from the Milky Way as a result.
President Trump originally announced his intention to withdraw from the galaxy in the summer of 2017, shortly after he took office. “The Milky Way is very overrated. Very overrated,” he tweeted. “Other members of the galaxy are not pulling their weight. We are tired of picking up their slack.”