Trump Orders DoD to Begin Creating Space Force in Coming Months
President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Defense (DoD) to begin creation of the “Space Force” within the coming months, without the support of Congress.
DoD leaders are creating three of four components of what Trump calls the “Space Force,” including a new combatant command for space, a new joint agency to buy satellites and a new space war-fighting community with members from all service branches, according to a draft report. This can be done without lawmakers’ approval, Defense One reported Tuesday.
To create the fourth component, a completely new branch of military, it will need congressional approval. The rest of 2018 will be dedicated to creating a “legislative proposal for the authorities necessary to fully establish the Space Force,” which would be a part of Trump’s 2020 budget proposal, according to the draft.
Lawmakers are expected to receive the 14-page plan, developed by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, on Wednesday.
Officially called the U.S. Space Command, the eleventh unified combatant command, it will reportedly complete establishment by the end of 2018, according to the draft report.
“The Department of Defense is establishing a Space Force to protect our economy through deterrence of malicious activities, ensure our space systems meet national security requirements and provide vital capabilities to joint and coalition forces across the spectrum of conflict,” says the draft report, obtained first by Defense One.
The report adds: “DoD will usher in a new age of space technology and field new systems in order to deter, and if necessary degrade, deny, disrupt, destroy and manipulate adversary capabilities to protect U.S. interests, assets and way of life … This new age will unlock growth in the U.S. industrial base, expand the commercial space economy and strengthen partnerships with our allies.”
Trump officially order the Pentagon to create the Space Force on June 18, The Daily Caller reported. Space Force now has an implementation plan.
“I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process of establishing a Space Force as a sixth branch of the armed forces,” Trump said.
The head of a Russian parliamentary committee on defense and security, Viktor Bondarev, said on June 19 that Russia will have a “tough response” if the U.S. creates the Space Force. Bondarev is concerned the U.S. might have nuclear weapons in space — a violation of a treaty between the two countries, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
“Let’s hope the American political elite still have the remnants of reason and common sense,” Bondarev told Russian media. “But if the United States withdraws from the 1967 treaty banning nuclear weapons in outer space, then, of course, not only ours, but also other states, will follow with a tough response aimed at ensuring world security.”
Trump supporters seem to love the idea of the Space Force. When Trump visited Duluth, Minnesota, on June 20 to deliver a speech, the crowd went wild when he mentioned returning the U.S. to space.
“We are going to be — Going to space,” the president said to roaring applause.
The crowd chanted: “Space force! Space force! Space force!”
“We have the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, but we have the Air Force and now we will have the Space Force,” Trump added. “We need it. We need it. As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, we will never, ever fail. There is no place like our place. There is no place.”
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