Trump Is Establishing the Space Force Today
Are you in favor of the Space Force?
by Axios | 2.19.19
President Trump will sign a directive on Tuesday that will formally establish the early version of a U.S. Space Force, though he will stop short of creating a 6th branch of the armed services.
The big picture: The president's directive, known as Space Policy Directive 4, would create the Space Force as an armed service within the Air Force. It would designate a chief of staff for the Space Force, who would sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as an undersecretary of defense for space.
- The order would stop short of, but keep the eventual goal of establishing a separate, 6th free-standing branch of the armed forces dedicated to space since requires congressional action, senior administration officials said on a press call.
What they're saying: Administration officials said the White House and Defense Department will submit a legislative proposal to Capitol Hill to form a 6th branch of the military, on par with the Navy and Air Force, that would be dedicated to space.
- Congress must approve the funds for the Space Force and will play a major role in determining how it is structured.
In the meantime, the administration is moving to set up a unified combatant command for space that will be separate from the existing Air Force Space Command. The White House said it would not release a cost estimate for these changes until its Fiscal Year 2020 budget release next month.
Why it matters: The Trump administration says it's moving to create the Space Force in response to adversaries' increased space capabilities, particularly China.
- The U.S. has long been dominant in space exploration and the military use of space, such as through spy satellites and a constellation of GPS satellites for navigation and weapons guidance.
- Now, however, China and other countries are launching ambitious space programs, including military capabilities that could threaten American space assets.
Go deeper: Axios' deep dive on space
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