US President Donald Trump has signed a presidential statement establishing the Space Force. This will become part of the military armed forces and will fall under the air force.
According to the plan, the Space Force will become more or less the sixth branch of the US military forces, although it will not yet be on an equal footing with the navy, land or air forces. The new army unit will be part of the Air Force and will have a civilian as the second highest-ranking boss who is appointed by the president and approved by the Senate, writes The Washington Times.
Mike Pence, the US vice president, already underlined the importance of the creation of the Space Force last year. According to him, the United States must “meet emerging threats on this new battlefield,” probably referring to the increasing activities of China, Russia and Iran in space, among other things. He states that these countries are developing new weapons to disable satellites. The Space Force must counter that.
This plan of a Space Force has been criticized before, such as fears of an arms race in space, the claim that there are better and non-military means to protect satellites, or the finding that the plan is inconsistent. with international law. Elon Musk, the director of SpaceX, is not one of the critics; he stated last year that a Space Force could be very helpful in expanding our civilization in space.
With the signing of the proposal, a budget proposal for the Space Force can be submitted to the US Congress in 2020. With the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, the question is whether there will also be approval there. Perhaps the House will enforce significant changes. It is unclear exactly how much money will be released. The Pentagon would have estimated $13 billion, but the White House’s initial proposal would only be $100 million.