Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump orders US military to form ‘Space Force’

Trump orders US military to form ‘Space Force’

Mr. Trump called out China and Russian Federation as rivals and vowed to beat them, saying: "We don't want China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us... Separate but equal, it is going to be something, so important", Trump said. Space-related missions are now handled by the Air Force. We've seen repeatedly where the Air Force has reached into space program funds to put them against fighter jets, bombers, tankers.

"I'm not too keen on ripping space out of the Air Force and creating a space corps", Nelson said, during a briefing with U.S. Strategic Command head Gen. John Hyten. "There's going to have to be legislation".

The Pentagon and NASA track more than 500,000 pieces of space junk circling the Earth, including about 1,730 operating satellites.

The "Space Force" would become the sixth branch of the US military, joining the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard.

The president signed an executive order Monday following his speech, but a summary of the order provided by the White House makes no mention of Trump's Space Force announcement. And no Pentagon entity can operate without congressionally appropriated funding.

"My administration is reclaiming America's heritage as the world's greatest spacefaring nation", Trump said in the East Room, joined by members of his space council. Congress has to rewrite Title 10 of the United States Code that outlines the roles and missions of the armed forces. The service would be presumably be responsible for the extensive array of surveillance and communication satellites operated by the US Armed Forces, and more controversially for potential anti-satellite weapons and deterrence.

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That spending authorization bill was ultimately approved, but the space corps proposal was left on the cutting floor. In a letter last summer to Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who spearheaded the congressional effort against the Space Corps, Mattis said he was opposed to the idea.

Dunford replied, "We got it".

Trump had initially endorsed the idea of a Space Force in March, proclaiming, in a bit of Reagan-esque rhetoric, that "space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea".

Russian Federation under president Vladimir Putin has become increasingly aggressive, annexing Crimea, deploying more sophisticated nuclear weapons and waging conventional warfare in eastern Ukraine and Syria.

If Trump's desire to set up a Space Force can stifle resistance within the Pentagon, then only the Senate will stand between him and Space Force.

But his directive will task the Defense Department to begin the process of establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces.

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The establishment of an independent space force was mentioned by Trump in a March speech to service members in California, but it has faced opposition since it could create an expensive new headquarters bureaucracy and trigger complex and divisive battles between the agencies that now control part of the space mission.

"I think a lot of that resistance has been backstopped by the Air Force", Harrison said.

Congress will nearly certainly wait to act on Space Force until the Pentagon produces its report on the force.

If the Space Force becomes a reality, it would either be strictly limited or be in violation of worldwide law.

"I think this increases the odds of something happening significantly", Harrison said.

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