Trump sets goal to create U.S. military Space Force by 2020

Susan Walsh  AP

Congress, which would need to authorize the creation of a new branch of the military, did not provide funding for the Space Force in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, and the administration said it will request funding in the president's 2020 budget set for release in February.

Form a Space Operations Force made up of an elite group of joint warfighters specializing in the space domain to "form the backbone" of the new service.

Pence said an independent Space Force was essential to counter Russian Federation and China, which are "aggressively" working toward anti-satellite capabilities.

Mattis once voiced opposition to creating a new branch of the United States military to focus on space-based military assets, saying in a 2017 letter to a lawmaker that would likely "present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations". Before that, the Pentagon will create the U.S. Space Command, which will be led by a four-star officer and draw forces from the other armed services.

"The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation", Pence told an audience at the Pentagon. "The time has come to establish the United States Space Force".

Critics view the creation of a Space Force as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavour and scoff at comparisons to the establishment of the Air Force in 1947.

Space is now protected (think satellites) by the Air Force (apparently). How?

But just a year ago, Mattis voiced skepticism on the need to create a separate Space Force.

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"Creating a new branch of the military is not a simple process", Pence noted.

PENCE: Russia's been designing an airborne laser to disrupt our space-based system, and it claims to be developing missiles that can be launched from an aircraft mid-flight to destroy American satellites.

Trump, the champion of the plan, tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

When the proposal for a separate force was launched past year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resisted it.

Create a new Space Development Agency to develop new space capabilities.

"As their actions make clear, our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already, and the United States will not shrink from this challenge", he said.

When Trump announced in June that he was calling on the Pentagon to create the Space Force, it reportedly caught many military officials by surprise.

Parscale then asked supporters to choose from six logos, one of which includes the phrase: "Mars awaits".

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