Pentagon not waiting for Congress to create space force: report


The Department of Defense is reportedly planning to create a new Space Operations Force in upcoming months at the direction of President Trump, despite lacking congressional approval for the new military service branch.

Defense One reports that the Pentagon has laid out its plan to create the new space force in a 14-page report that will be given to lawmakers later this week. Defense One reports that it has reviewed a draft copy of the report dated July 30.

The plan as it is currently laid out in the draft includes creating a space force with four parts, three of which will be established over the next few months. A combatant command for space, a joint agency that will purchase military satellites and a new warfighting community are among the three parts to be established in the near future.

“The Department of Defense is establishing a space force to protect our economy through deterrence of malicious activities, ensure our space systems meet national security requirements and provide vital capabilities to joint and coalition forces across the spectrum of conflict,” the draft report reads, according to Defense One.{mosads}

Defense One also reports that defense officials are drafting a legislative plan for Congress to pass next year as part of Trump’s 2020 budget proposal. The Pentagon will start working on the space force before official approval from lawmakers, however. 

Trump officially directed the Pentagon to create a space force in June, despite a lack of support from military leaders.

“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 said during a June meeting with members of the National Space Council.

“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal,” Trump said at the time.

The House Armed Services Committee last year attempted but failed to establish in the annual defense policy bill a separate space corps within the Air Force. Air Force leaders, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford all opposed it.

Military leaders called the creation of a separate space force premature and burdensome.

However, supporters argue that Russia and China have created separate military arms for their space operations. 

Tags Donald Trump James Mattis
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