The announcement of the planned creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military by 2020, to be known as the Space Force, has been met with scepticism, with critics viewing it as an unnecessary and expensive bureaucratic endeavour.
"What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial, today other nations are seeking to disrupt our space based systems and challenge American supremacy in space", Pence said.
One of the arguments in favor of devoting more resources to a Space Force or Space Command is that American rivals like Russian Federation and China appear increasingly ready to strike USA space-based capabilities in the event of a conflict. While this does allow a variety of conventional weapons in space, practical considerations should limit things like anti-satellite weapons, which have the potential to create debris fields that limit access to space by all nations.
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Trump followed through on that vision by reviving the National Space Council in 2017, an entity that lay dormant for almost a quarter-century.
According to Pence, this is how America seeks peace.
Despite the United States government's optimism, with President Trump tweeting: "Space Force all the way!", the plans have been met with fierce criticism both inside and outside of the White House. "We have got to adapt to that reality". First, the administration would create a new Space Command-similar to the military's current Cyber or Special Operations Command-by the end of the year.
"Across this department and our intelligence agencies, there are literally tens of thousands of military personnel, civilians and contractors operating and supporting our space systems - and together, they are the eyes and ears of America's warfighters around the globe", Pence said. "Of course I would join, but I have space spurs, '" Colbert joked, referencing that time Trump got out of the Vietnam War draft in the late 1960s by claiming he had bone spurs.
But adversaries are catching up, and these steps are only the beginning of a strategy to address the emerging threat.
"For many years, nations from Russian Federation and China to North Korea and Iran have pursued weapons to jam, blind and disable our navigation and communications satellites via electronic attacks from the ground", Pence said.More news: Unauthorised take-off of plane near Seattle
Space is "becoming a contested war-fighting domain", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday.
Speaking to an audience at the Pentagon, as he set out more details about the proposal, vice-president Mike Pence said: "The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces".
Key among these is the creation of US Space Command, a new organizational body that would draw in members of existing military branches.
The Space Command would be a unified center for coordinating, evolving, improving, and planning space warfighting. "We may even have a Space Force". That will be joined by a Space Development Agency that, by becoming part of the defense bureaucracy, is meant to be an antidote to bureaucracy and enable new thinking.
For months, Trump has been calling for a Space Force, a new, free-standing military department, with its own chain of command and uniforms.More news: The View From London: We're In A Full-Scale China Trade War