Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Space Force Is Here: Vice President Pence Announces Sixth Military Branch

Pentagon to create new command for fighting in space but resists Trump's proposed 'space force' President Trump’s plan for a new military service focused on space-based operations faces an uncertain future
Andrew Cummings | 10 August, 2018, 01:34

This year, Gen. John Hyten, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said that "rather than going through the difficulty of new organizational constructs, I believe the leadership we have now can execute the missions that we need to".

However, before it gets off the ground - Space Force still needs Congress to pass new legislation. Except Mars has nothing to do with Trump's proposed Space Force and none of them are as fun as the ones that Bloomberg came up with. His visit comes less than two months after President Trump rallied for Stauber, and held a roundtable about mining. The first step would be to create a US Space Command by the end of the year, a new combatant command that would have dedicated resources, be led by a four-star general, and be tasked with defending space, the way the Pentagon's Pacific Command oversees the ocean.

During his speech, Pence outlined four specific actions the Trump administration sees as the fundamental first steps in creating the Space Force.

It's 2018 and Space Force is, somehow, a real thing.

Pence said that President Trump will request $8 billion over the next five years to support military operations in space.

Even if everything goes smoothly on the political and military fronts, there are still legal and technical obstacles to the Trump-Pence vision of a US Space Force. At the time, Defense Secretary James Mattis was against the idea of a sixth branch.

Critics note that the creation of a new military branch would require congressional legislation, and that it would probably balloon the Department of Defense's already massive budget.

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The creation of the Space Operations Force.

But, earlier this week, Mr Mattis said he is in "complete alignment" with Mr Trump's concerns about U.S. space assets.

At an event for Marines, Trump said "I was saying it the other day - 'cause we're doing a tremendous amount of work in space - I said, maybe we need a new force". Nobody in the Pentagon believes creating a Space Force makes sense.

Pence described space as a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested but has now become crowded and adversarial.

Former astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain Mark Kelly on Thursday said a separate military branch devoted to space was redundant and wasteful, and that while Pence was right about the threats in outer space, the military was already handling them.

It is also a way for the United States to overcome the recent successes competitor nations in China and Russian Federation have had in space. Space is vital to the way the United States wages war; The Pentagon's satellites are used for missile-defence warnings, guiding precision munitions, and providing communications and reconnaissance.

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