President Trump on Monday directed the Defense Department to begin creating a sixth branch of the military that will focus solely on space.
“Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security,” said Trump during a meeting of the National Space Council. “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space.”
Trump’s call for a “Space Force” is probably related to efforts from China and Russia – the latter of which says it plans to establish space dominance in order to win future battles on land – but as lawmakers have been quick to point out, Trump does not have the power to create a new branch of the military without Congressional approval.
“Thankfully, the president can’t do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important missions at stake,” argues Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D).
Lawmakers last summer proposed the creation of a “Space Corps” that would fall under the jurisdiction of the Air Force. The proposal was opposed by the Air Force, the White House, and Defense Sec. Jim Mattis.
“I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organization layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts,” wrote Mattis.
In response to the proposal, lawmakers asked the Pentagon for a report on how space would be organized within the Defense Department. The report is due to Congress by the end of the year.
“Congress has asked the DoD to study how we handle space,” explains Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). “After we get the report that we required as a legislative body and the president signed off on, then this issue can be appropriately evaluated for what’s best for national security.”
Other lawmakers praised Trump’s call for a Space Force as an important step towards strengthening the future of America’s national security.
“I am thrilled to have President Trump’s continued support for this critical mission to help strengthen our national security,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI). “I look forward to working with the president to make this initiative a reality.”
Trump on Monday also signed a space policy directive that will make it easier for commercial companies to function in space by addressing and mitigating the challenges posed by a congested space environment.
Editor’s note: Russia has just announced a laser designed to destroy “space junk” from the earth. Given that they have rarely given two hoots about anything environmental, it is safe to say the real purpose is much more nefarious. China has already announced their intention to land on the moon, and their defense buildup has been massive. Yes, Trump is pushing us into the 21st century, Democrats notwithstanding.