Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Pence Urges Congress to Establish Space Force as Threats Mount

Susan Walsh  AP Susan Walsh AP
Patty Aguilar | 11 August, 2018, 15:05

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

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, in an address at the Pentagon, described the Space Force as 'an idea whose time has come'.

Politicians who back Trump's plan argue that the U.S. Air Force has historically not allocated enough of their budget to space threats.Mattis argues the issue is a matter of military budget constraints, especially when he is mandated to cut spending.

Is this what a Space Force fighter would look like?

The Space Force would essentially serve the same goal, but for space.

Finally, the report calls for clear lines of responsibility and accountability to manage the process of establishing and growing the Space Force, including the appointment of an assistant secretary of defense for space, the vice president said. The first step is creating a new US Space Command by the end of the year, which would be led by a four-star general, the way the Pentagon's Indo-Pacific Command oversees those regions.

As part of the recommendation, a Space Development Agency would be created to create technologies for the new division. The Defense Department will ask Congress for $8 billion in space security systems over the next five years.

The president's re-election team trumpeted the proposal, asking supporters to help select Space Force's new official logo - to go on merchandise sold by his campaign. "It's expensive. It will take a decade or more to unravel space operations, which are built into all the services".

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Space is "becoming a contested war-fighting domain", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday. Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Cybersecurity subcommittee, some sway.

The Pentagon's role in space has been under scrutiny because of a recognition that the United States is increasingly reliant on satellites that are hard to protect in space. "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. It has made progress in developing its space capabilities - including on satellites, launches and a space station as well as human space flight missions - though it is still far behind the US, according to a report by the US National Institute for Public Policy past year. The U.S. already has the largest constellation of military satellites in the world-159 according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, compared to 75 for Russian and 35 for China.

Critics argue that Trump's Space Force would be stepping on the toes of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, which now oversees the nation's military operations in space.

The "Space Force" (I can't not put that in quotation marks) may even implicate Canada. Just use the force.

The email came hours after Mr Pence gave a speech at the Pentagon, where he argued that the U.S. must invest in creating a new force in order to counter Russian and Chinese operations.

The concept of a Space Force was first proposed in 2000. James said she thinks they're now "stuck because the president announced this by surprise".

The president has said nothing to explain how his administration will prevent Air Force brass from blocking - or slow rolling - his plans. Wilson was travelling on business and not at the Pentagon when Pence made his announcement.

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