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An Additional Branch to U.S. Military?

Space Force Scrutiny

Autor(en): Maria Cordes am Montag, 13. August 2018
Tags: , , , ,
Quelle: Nasa

Satelite ©Nasa

The Trump administration announces its plan to add a military branch called the 'Space Force', dedicated to space security and militarization.

Announcement of Space Force

Vice President Mike Pence announced during a speech on Thursday, August 9th that the Trump administration is proposing a new branch to the U.S. military, the U.S. “Space Force”. The Space Force, would be dedicated to fighting threats in space, because in President Trump’s words, “It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space; we must have American dominance in space.” Pending approval from Congress, the Trump administration is hoping to have the Space Force join the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force by 2020.

Space Threats & Security

In his speech, Pence continues to mention why the administration thinks it is a necessary addition. The Vice President stated that the environment of space has changed in recent years, and that, “What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial.” Threats from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran were included in his speech, and the need to protect American assets in space, such as satellites and communication networks. The U.S. Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, originally gave his disapproval of the initiative, but recently declared his support for the Space Force. Despite his new-found support, the proposal is met with considerable criticism.

Critics’ Response

Part of the criticism has to do with the initial budget request of 8 billion dollars, and also the fact that the Air Force already has a Space Command unit that deals with these types of concerns. Former astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, Scott Kelly, commented on the proposal saying, “I also think we currently have a great capability within the U.S. military in the U.S. Air Force and you know adding another layer of government bureaucracy to the tune of $8 billion initially is probably not a good use of our taxpayer dollars.” Another target of criticism is the potential logos that were sent out to supporters of the Trump administration, asking them to vote on which logo they liked the best, and giving them the option to buy Space Force “swag” or merchandise. Kelly mentioned that this move seemed like more of a political ploy rather than a legitimate initiative. Many adversaries of the Space Force Proposal also suggest that this should not be a top priority at the moment with other issues happening in the United States right now. Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, “Maybe, just maybe, we should make sure our people are not dying because they lack health insurance before we start spending billions to militarize outer space. #SpaceForce

When Can We Expect the Space Force?

So, while there is mixed response to the proposal of the sixth military branch, the Space Force still needs approval from Congress to be further developed. President Trump made clear that he wants the implementation to begin by the end of 2018, and have it up and fully operational by 2020. On the day of the announcement, President Trump tweeted, “Space Force all the way!” Despite President Trump’s excitement, it may be difficult for the proposed defense budget to pass, especially considering Congress actually voted down a legislative proposal to create the Space Force last November.

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