Published: Fri, October 26, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Trump's 'Space Force' to be built in stages by 2020

Trump's 'Space Force' to be built in stages by 2020

He said that the national space Council referred the recommendations to the President.

During a speech before the National Space Council, the vice president declared that developing a space force is a top priority for President Donald Trump.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said that "right now what we're going to do is set up a combatant command", and the military would be working with the Congress on it.

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The proposed bill would create the Bureau of Space Commerce under the US Department of Commerce to liaise with industry representatives and organizations, according to a copy provided to Reuters.

According to Pence, about 60,000 people are now working on space security in the United States, across various branches of the military and intelligence services.

US Vice President Mike Pence envisions a US "Space Force" by 2020, but not initially as a separate branch of the military.

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Pence's remarks on Tuesday came during a "Transformers: Space" policy summit hosted by the Post at its Washington headquarters, where he provided an outline of the Trump administration's plans for space in the coming year. Previously, the notion of immediately creating a Space Force on par with the US Army or Air Force sparked controversy among lawmakers, some of whom want space to remain under the guise of the Air Force.

Pence said the administration would work with Congress, starting next year, on drafting a law creating an independent space force by 2020. The Air Force has estimated that Space Force could cost $3 billion in its first year and would likely need $13 billion in its first five years.

The space force proposal has been criticized for stepping up the militarization of space, despite worldwide treaties supposedly designating space as a peaceful domain. He explained that they are working to bring weapons above the atmosphere to target satellites and develop "highly threatening on-orbit activities".

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Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday declined to rule out the idea of deploying nuclear weapons in space, saying the current ban on their use is "in the interest of every nation" but the issue should be decided on "the principle that peace comes through strength".

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