Trumps Calls for Establishment of Space Force as the Sixth Military Branch

The Air Force's X-37B space plane

The Air Force's X-37B space plane

But the proposal has languished in Congress, most recently when the House last month rejected a plan that would have carved out space-related combat functions from the Air Force. The two go hand in hand as the tens of thousands of pieces of space junk drifting around Earth pose an increasing threat to costly spacecraft and satellites.

"It is not enough merely to have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space". She warned that the militarization of space "could be fraught with consequences no less harmful than the nuclear arms race".

But the issue has been contested, and even Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed some early reluctance to creating a new military service citing the expense and broader effort to integrate warfighting.

He likewise required the Pentagon to make another "Space Force" that would turn into the 6th branch of the American military, in spite of the fact that this requires Congressional endorsement to produce results. It was also brought up when addressing the West Point football team during their visit to the White House, when he told his guests, "We're getting very big in space, both militarily and for other reasons, and we are seriously thinking of the Space Force".

Russia's Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday that US military plans for dominating outer space could reignite an arms race between the former Cold War rivals.

Trump will need a lot more than a verbal command to get his Space Force rolling. Protecting those space-based assets also is critical given the development of anti-satellite weapons by China and Russian Federation.

"The future of war will be fought in space, and we must stay diligent and ahead of other countries for our own national security".

Putin has previously teased that Russian engineers are working to develop what's called a hypersonic glide vehicle, meaning it can launch into space and navigate through the atmosphere undetected. "The US is respected again", he said. It includes more than 36,000 personnel around the world that provide space and cyber capabilities for the Defense Department.

Dr. Jack Burns, a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at the University of Colorado, says to think of it more as an upgrade to our space infrastructure. "Our country is not interested in tackling any tasks in space with the use of attack weapons.". "We are urging Washington to display common sense and avoid repeating mistakes made in the past".

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