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Pentagon is moving toward establishing Trump's Space Force

Pentagon is moving toward establishing Trump's Space Force

Pence outlined a series of steps the Pentagon will undertake ahead of the creation of Space Force.

Indeed, insiders say the fact that the Pentagon delayed its long-awaited study on setting up a Space Force - initially scheduled to be released last week - could be evidence of behind-the-scenes dissension between military leaders and political officials inside the Trump administration.

In June, Trump called for the new branch to be created, despite resistance from the Air Force, which now oversees military space programs. The Department of Defense has prepared a report laying out the phases of creating the new branch, which will ultimately have to be reviewed and approved by Congress.

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

Mr Trump "knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity and is a vital domain for national defence" while, under his direction, the United States is "reclaiming its heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", the White House said.

"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal".

"Just as we've done in ages past, the United States meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield", he said.

The U.S. already has a space-based military footprint.

The report lays out four steps that it will take to start the reorganization the military with a goal of creating a fully independent Space Force within a few years, depending on how quickly Congress moves to pass legislation.




In his speech, Pence acknowledged the difficulties in standing up a new service, and said the Pentagon would create an Assistant Secretary of Defence for Space, a new top level civilian position reporting to the Secretary of Defence "to oversee the growth and expansion of the sixth branch of service".

The Defense Department has to "prepare for the next battlefield", said Pence.

"By 1945, the American military had almost 30 times the number of planes and 85 times the number of pilots and support crews compared to just six years earlier", he said.

The Pentagon's report was welcomed by some members of Congress.

While speaking at the Pentagon Thursday, Pence argued it is the next and natural evolution of American military strength. Trump, the champion of the plan, tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

Under the plan, the Pentagon will recruit a civilian Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space, and set up an office to develop tech and buy satellites to help the United States in space combat.

One of the arguments in favor of devoting more resources to a Space Force or Space Command is that American rivals like Russian Federation and China appear increasingly ready to strike USA space-based capabilities in the event of a conflict. "But recently, our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself". He said Beijing and Moscow have been developing missiles, lasers and other technologies with the aim of targeting U.S. satellites.

The creation of the Space Development Agency.

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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