President Donald Trump really, really wants to build an Army in space. In fact, he’s so adamant to have what he wants, he’s ordered the Pentagon to establish one.
The controversial commander-in-chief has stated on previous occasions he wants to build a ‘space force’, which would be the sixth branch of the US military, to protect US citizens in space.
However, it seems both Congress and the Senate aren’t buying what Trump is selling – something I’m sure the President is not used to hearing.
Maybe he’s been watching too many films, maybe he knows whether aliens exist and they’re coming to take over Earth? Whatever the reasons are, it’s got Trump convinced America needs a military division in space.
He signed an executive order today, (June 18) which is meant to create his desired space force. He asked Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, to oversee its formation.
If it goes forward, the US Air Force will most likely have to give up its space duties, a prospect they, and Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, do not relish.
However, Trump is determined to get his own way and during a speech at the White House he said:
We have the Air Force, and we’re going to have the space force.
Separate but equal.
He called for the creation of an army in space back in March, describing it as ‘like the Army and the Navy’ but for space – well duh.
However, Congress, the House and Senate all rejected the proposal, with the latter two preferring to keep the space budget with the Air Force, according to Vox.
Speaking to reporters in Summer last year, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said:
The Pentagon is complicated enough. This will make it more complex, add more boxes to the organization chart.
And in a letter to Congress, last October, Secretary of Defense Mattis said:
I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts.
Ironically one supporter for Trump’s space force comes from a former staff member from the Obama administration.
In an interview from July 2017, Deborah Lee James, who was President Barack Obama’s former congressional aide, said:
Space is no longer a peaceful domain. There is a real possibility that a conflict on Earth could bleed into space.
While it does sound fatalistic, with a hint of paranoia, the two main reasons for this space force comes in the form of Russia and China, the two main threats to the United States as a superpower – and Trump’s two favourite words.
A report from the Defense Intelligence Agency claims Russia wants to dominate space because they believe by controlling it, they gain an advantage to win future wars fought on Earth.
In late 2015, China formed the Strategic Support Force, a division which would streamline and advance their space cyber, and electronic warfare operations.
Furthermore, both China and Russia have been creating issues with anti-satellite technology, according to the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing back in May. He believes their interference could potentially compromise US satellites which are vital for their military operations.
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