Pence details plan for creation of Space Force

Pence details plan for creation of Space Force

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must have American dominance in space”, said Vice President Pence, 
outlining an ambitious plan on Thursday, August 9 that would begin 
creating a military command – “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the 
U.S. military as early as 2020.

Pence warned of the advancements that 
potential adversaries were making and issued what amounted to a call to 
arms to preserve the military’s dominance in space.

“Just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States
 will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield,” he said in a 
speech at the Pentagon. “The time has come to establish the United 
States Space Force.”

But the monumental task of standing up a
 new military department, which would require approval by a Congress 
that shelved the idea last year, may require significant new spending 
and a reorganization of the largest bureaucracy in the world. And the 
idea has already run into fierce opposition inside and out of the 
Pentagon, particularly from the Air Force, which could lose some of its 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last year 
said he opposed a new department of the military “at a time when we are 
focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting 

This week, Mattis said the Pentagon and 
White House “are in complete alignment” on the need to view space as a 
warfighting domain. But he stopped short of endorsing a full-fledged 
Space Force. In a briefing with reporters after Pence’s speech, Deputy 
Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan suggested that Mattis’s comments 
opposing the Space Force were made at a different time, before the 
Pentagon received a bolstered budget.

White House officials have been working 
with national security leaders to aggressively move ahead without 
Congress. The first step is creating a new U.S. Space Command by the end
 of the year, which would be led by a four-star general, the way the 
Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific Command oversees those regions.

The new command would pull space experts
 from across the armed services, and there would be a separate 
acquisitions office, dedicated to buying satellites and developing new 
technology to help the military win wars in space.

After the announcement Thursday, President Trump tweeted, “Space Force all the way!”

For months, Trump has been calling for a
 Space Force, a new, free-standing military department, with its own 
chain of command and uniforms.

The White House intends to work with 
lawmakers in submitting legislation by early next year, a senior 
administration official said, with the hopes of standing up the first 
new military department since the Air Force in 1947.

Some members of Congress and military 
leaders have been warning space is no longer a peaceful sanctuary, but a
 domain of conflict that needs more attention and resources. Space is 
vital to the way the United States wages war; The Pentagon’s satellites 
are used for missile-defense warnings, guiding precision munitions and 
providing communications and reconnaissance.

Russia and China have made significant advancements, challenging the United States’ assets in space.

After Pence’s speech, Reps. Mike Rogers 
(R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), members of the House Armed Services 
Committee, praised the move, saying a Space Force “will result in a 
safer, stronger America.”

“We have been warning for years of the 
need to protect our space assets and to develop more capable space 
systems,” they said in a joint statement.

In his speech, Pence urged the audience to support the administration’s effort to create the new department.


Speaking to a room made up mostly of 
U.S. troops in uniform, Pence said their “Commander-in-Chief is going to
 continue to work tirelessly toward this goal, and we expect you all to 
do the same.”

“The only thing we can’t afford is inaction,” he said.


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