White House presses forward with Trump's Space Command

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According to Mr Pence, about 60,000 people are now working on space security in the U.S., across various branches of the military and intelligence services.

Pence further said that the question of nuclear weapons is "the president's determination", and that while it's in the interest of every nation to keep nukes out of space for now, at some point this may prove to be an way to show more "strength".

Pence's remarks on Tuesday came during a "Transformers: Space" policy summit hosted by the Post at its Washington headquarters, where he provided an outline of the Trump administration's plans for space in the coming year.

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"The National Space Council is making recommendations to the president to essentially begin with establishing a unified space command, much in the way that we established a Special Forces command", he said.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said that "right now what we're going to do is set up a combatant command", and the military would be working with the Congress on it. In a conversation with the Washington Post during its "Transformers: Space" summit, Pence was asked if the United States was looking to renegotiate the terms of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which now bans 'weapons of mass destruction, ' but still allows for conventional weapons in orbit.

"Our warfighters on the ground regularly rely on information that is obtained, images that are captured, by satellite technology", he said.

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Space is a potential battlefield. "President Trump has stated forcefully a truth that the leaders of the National Defense University have long understood: That space is a war fighting domain, just like the air, land and sea, and America will be just as dominant there as we are here on earth".

With his demand that the Pentagon create a new military service - a Space Force to assure "American dominance in space" - President Donald Trump has injected urgency into a long-meandering debate over the best way to protect US interests in space, both military and commercial.

"Russia, in the very same year, assigned a part of its aerospace division to a space force", the vice president said.

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He said: 'It will not in the first instance look like other branches of the service that were stood up.