Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Pence outlines plan to create U.S. Space Force by 2020

Pence outlines plan to create U.S. Space Force by 2020

"Just as we've done in ages past, the United States meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield", he said. This force will draw from across the military to provide space expertise in times of crisis and conflict, Pence said.

In June, President Trump called for the creation of a separate military service - a Space Force.

More broadly, specialists argue the entire concept of a Space Force as a wholly separate branch of the military is one that many Defense Department officials privately don't support, but that they're being strong-armed by an administration eager to make a lasting mark on US military doctrine and to further cement American dominance in space.

"Our adversaries have transformed same into a war fighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge".

In the meantime, White House officials have been working with national security leaders to aggressively move ahead without Congress.

Donald Trump has called for a "separate but equal" space force.

Should it be approved, the Space Force would mark the first time a branch has been added to the military since 1947, when the Air Force was created following World War II.

In addition to a Space Operations Command, Pence described plans for a Space Development Agency that would harness innovation in the field and deter bureaucratic drag.

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Mr Pence cited the threat of China and Russian Federation as a basis for establishing the new military branch, claiming both Beijing and Moscow are "aggressively" developing anti-satellite capabilities.

When the idea of creating a space corps within the Air Force was brought before Congress in 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis rejected the idea as a superfluous "additional organizational and administrative tail" on the military. "We must have American dominance in space".

Pence said that the Space Force would not be created from scratch, but rather re-organize existing space programs and personnel.

The Pentagon's role in space has been under scrutiny because of a recognition that the United States is increasingly reliant on satellites that are hard to protect in space.

The U.S. military now has 77 satellites in orbit that could be vulnerable to potential attack from adversaries like Russian Federation and China that have taken aggressive postures in space.

Despite no details, and no timetable, the Space Force will require congressional approval.

"In 2007, China launched a missile which tracked and destroyed one of its own satellites, a highly provocative demonstration of China's growing capability to militarise space". "But history proves that peace only comes through strength".

David Cicilline, who sits in the House of Representatives, asked if "no Republican" would tell the president "what a dumb idea Space Force is".

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