White House presses forward with Trump's Space Command

White House to press forward with Trump's Space Command

The White House says it is pushing ahead with plans to establish a new USA space force, but the first steps will stop short of creating a sixth branch of the military as touted earlier this year by President Donald Trump.

Creating a new branch of the military would be subject to Congress' approval, but the council, led by Vice President Mike Pence, is recommending that the nation build a Space Force and structures that would usher it into existence.

Trump's vision, he said is that the United States builds a space force like the airforce was launched after World War II and then evolve it into ensuring that America remains as dominant in outer space militarily as it is here on Earth.

Vice President Mike Pence chose not rule out the possibility of nuclear weapons in space, telling The Washington Post on Tuesday that "peace comes through strength".

According to the Vice President around 60,000 people are now working on space security in the United States, across various branches of the military and intelligence services.

"I think we have a good chance next year of officially doing our Space Force", Trump told reporters in a brief interaction during a meeting with military officials on Tuesday.

A lack of centralized leadership and accountability threatened USA ability to "advance our national security in space", Pence said.

With the help of the Congress, the United States Space Force will be created as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

Space is a potential battlefield. "The time has come to stop studying the problem and start fixing it". Pence promised that the new troops will be established no later than 2020.

The head of the US Air Force said in September that creating a Space Force would cost about US$13 billion (S$18 billion) for a force of 13,000 people in the first five years.

Critics, including some Democratic lawmakers, have said the creation of Space Command would be an expensive duplication of work already being done by other services like the Air Force. It also calls for $10 million per year for five years starting in 2020 to fund the commerce arm.

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