Donald Trump's 'Space Force' meets resistance in Pentagon, insiders say

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The report calls for the creation of a new major unified Combatant Command called US Space Command, which would be akin to the operational commands that oversee US troops in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific.

Pence: "The time has come to establish the United States Space Force".

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson has said such a move would "rip the Air Force apart".

Space warfare capabilities are now overseen by the US Air Force. The Department will build a legislative proposal for congressional consideration as a part of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget cycle. Pence has been the administration's point man for space issues and the White House decided he should be the administration official rolling out the DoD report.

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"There's not a mission today that we do in the military that doesn't in some way depend upon space", Air Force Sec.

The Pentagon will also begin pulling space experts from across the military and setting up a separate acquisitions office, dedicated to buying satellites and developing new technology to help it win wars in space.

And he said that "we are going to have the Air Force, and we are going to have the Space Force - separate but equal". The second phase requires Congress to combine these components into the sixth branch of the armed forces.

In addition to a Space Operations Command, Pence described plans for a Space Development Agency that would harness innovation in the field and deter bureaucratic drag.

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Mattis had previously opposed the creation of a separate military branch focused on space, writing to Rep. Mike Turner of OH in July of 2017 that he did "not wish to add a separate service that would likely present a narrower and even parochial approach to space operations".

To provide context, Nasa is a civilian branch of government whereas the Space Force will be a branch of the USA military. "This report reviews the national security space activities within the Department of Defense, and it identifies concrete steps that our administration will take to lay the foundation for a new department of the Space Force".

"By 1945, the American military had almost 30 times the number of planes and 85 times the number of pilots and support crews compared to just six years earlier", he said.

Even before Trump's comments, the Defense Department was under orders to formulate a "concept of operations" document for space war fighting. Space is vital to the way the United States wages war; The Pentagon's satellites are used for missile-defence warnings, guiding precision munitions, and providing communications and reconnaissance.

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Russian and China have made significant advancements, challenging the United States' assets in space. In 2007, China fired a missile to destroy an aged weather satellite, demonstrating in a dramatic fashion its ability to deploy anti-satellite weapons.

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