Retired Astronaut Says We Don't Need Trump's Space Force

Retired Astronaut Says We Don't Need Trump's Space Force

Retired Astronaut Says We Don't Need Trump's Space Force

President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday outlined an aggressive plan for creating a sixth branch of the US military by 2020 - a Space Force to better confront emerging security threats - but the proposal will need approval from a divided Congress.

The creation of a US Space Force reflects the drastically changed reality of space's role in national security.

"Both China and Russian Federation have been conducting highly sophisticated "on-orbit" activities that could enable them to maneuver their satellites into close proximity with ours, posing unprecedented new dangers to our space systems", Pence said. And Russia is working on an airborne laser to disrupt space-based systems, he added.

"Creating a separate service will just add to dysfunction at the Defense Department", he said.

It's going to take a lot more than a few grandiose speeches from Trump and Pence in order for the Space Force idea to come to fruition, though. 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.

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 U.S. is "reclaiming its heritage as the world's greatest space-faring nation", the White House said. These would include a secretary of the Space Force, which will eventually reach the same status as the secretary of the Army or Navy and have a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So, before we can "have the Space Force", as Trump put it, the White House will have to convince lawmakers that the USA really needs it. It leaves no doubt that the Pentagon is on board with the Space Force plan despite earlier reservations.

President Donald Trump holds up the space policy directive that he signed during a National Space Council meeting in Washington, June 18, 2018.

Military leaders "are in complete alignment with the president's concern about protecting our assets in space to contribute to our security to our economy, and we're going to have to address it as other countries show a capability to attack those assets", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told The Post. "Next February in the president's budget, we will call on the Congress to marshal the resources we need to stand up".

Still, the proposal faces an uncertain fate in Congress, particularly if Democrats capture either the House or Senate in November elections. This would be the first new branch since the Air Force was established in 1947 after World War II.

Rep. Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican and one of Congress' most outspoken Space Force proponents, said it's past time for the move forward.

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

The Pentagon proposal delivered to Congress Thursday lays out plans to consolidate US warfighting space forces and make organizational changes to boost the acquisition and development of technologies.

The US is a member of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, a document which represents the basic legal framework of global space law.

The Defense Department is already active in space, of course, with the Air Force in charge.

Related news