Pence Urges Congress to Establish Space Force as Threats Mount

NASA image of sunrise over Earth

Followers were emailed: "President Trump wants a SPACE FORCE - a groundbreaking endeavour for the future of America and the final frontier".

While the establishment of a new military service would require legislation to be passed by Congress, Pence's strong endorsement could signal new momentum for the creation of the first new branch of the armed forces since the Air Force was established in the 1940s.

He added that in 2014, China and Russian Federation had jointly proposed a draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects, but the U.S. dismissed it as "fundamentally flawed".

Democratic senator Brian Schatz, who is on the Defence Appropriations subcommittee, said the Space Force was a "dumb idea".

Trump has said the name "Space Force" began as a bit of a joke.

On MSNBC's "The Beat" with host Ari Melber, retired four-star Army General Barry McCaffrey explained exactly why "Space Force" is a awful idea. Much of the military's current space power is wielded by the Air Force Space Command, which has its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Before Trump's announcement in June that he wanted a Space Force, Mattis and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson had cautioned against creating new Pentagon bureaucracy to address space issues.

US military and NASA badges. Image Militarist  Shutterstock
US military and NASA badges. Image Militarist Shutterstock

In concurrence with Pence's speech, the Pentagon laid out its plans to form the new branch of the U.S. military in a 15-page report, identifying immediate steps of action.

"We must have American dominance in space", said Pence, declaring that a new Space Force would be able to respond to growing security threats presented by Russian Federation and China's own space capabilities, and "carry the cause of liberty and peace into the next great American frontier". "[O] ur assets are so critical in outer space and everything that we do is so dependent on outer space that we need a new force capable of focusing on that domain by itself", he said". With the end of shuttle missions in 2011, America pays Russian Federation to launch USA astronauts into space. It will literally be called Space Force.

Chinese analysts expect Washington's ambitious plan announced on Thursday to fuel an accelerating space arms race between the two nations and Russian Federation, even though China's technology still lags behind America's.

Kimmel even dug up footage from a TV show called "Space Force" that aired on NBC in the 1970s.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced plans for the creation of a Space Force as the sixth branch of the US military on Thursday. While the Air Force was created from an already somewhat independent service within the Army, no comparable space-focused entity exists today, meaning the Space Force would have to be created largely from scratch. "The Space Force will accelerate and unify the Department's space efforts and enable the delivery of next-generation space capabilities faster than potential adversaries can evolve", the Pentagon says in its report. The Space Development Agency will identify and develop new technologies.

Space is "becoming a contested war-fighting domain", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.

Pence in his speech asked Congress to approve $8bn over five years for space security systems, but a freestanding Space Force would likely cost far more than that. "We have a Navy to protect shipping lanes", she said.

Jury of six men, six women sworn in for Manafort trial
Gates has since pleaded guilty and agreed to help prosecutors with their case, as one of the government's star witnesses. District Court in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018. "That's what Rick Gates was being paid to do".

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