United States Space Force

The United States Space Force will be a newly proposed military branch that the United States President Donald Trump announced during a meeting of the National Space Council on June 18, 2018.

This will become the sixth armed forces branch, joining the US Navy, US Army, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, and US Coast Guard.

“It is not merely enough that we have an American presence in space,” President Trump said during his public proposal. “We must have American dominance in space.” Following this Vice President Mike Pence unveiled the plans for the U.S. Space Force on Aug. 9, 2018.

What is the Space Force?

The United States Space Force will focus on national security and preserving satellites and vehicles that are dedicated to international communications and observation.

In August, the Pentagon released a report that detailed some plans for creating the Space Force:

  1. Establish a Space Development Agency – This is an agency tasked with developing and testing new and improved national-security capabilities and technology in space.
  2. Establish a Space Operations Force – This force will be a collection of space experts from throughout the military who will provide needed expertise to combat commanders and anyone else throughout the Space Force.
  3. Create a United States Space Command – Led by a four-star general or flag officer, the new space command would direct and improve operations for space war fighting.

Then these three components would later be combined to become the United States Space Force.

Is US Space Force needed?

Russia and China are currently the United States two greatest space competitors and both have demonstrated confident space capabilities. Both Russia and China had integrated anti-satellite attacks as part of their wartime strategy and protocols.

Existing international treaties governing space are unclear, even civilian satellites could be targeted by nations looking to contain or punish their enemies the following map shows nations that already have satellite launch abilities.

The U.S. government and military rely heavily on satellites for forecasting weather, collecting high-resolution images for intelligence and directing missiles with GPS satellites and the threat to US supremacy in space became obvious to the current regime in The White House.

The U.S. can put weapons in space as The 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, which bans weapons of mass destruction in space, prohibited orbiting nuclear weapons. But that didn’t prohibit other weapons. In October, the head of the Air Force Space Command, General John W. “Jay” Raymond, said that “our goal is not to have conflict in space.” But, he added, space is “a war-fighting domain and we need to treat it as such.”

Does the US Space Force already exist?

The United States, China, Russia, India, and the EU already have military sectors dedicated to operations in space should it be needed. Russia revived the Russian Space Forces in 2015 as a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces. China has established the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force as space and cyber warfare branch of the People’s Liberation Army. India and the EU are working on their own initiatives which will be known by 2021.

The U.S. already has an Air Force Space Command, integrated into the U.S. Air Force. There is the Naval Space Command (NSC) a military command of the United States Navy headquartered at Dahlgren, Virginia, USA, and began operations 1 October 1983 and this was merged into Naval Network and Space Operations Command, itself part of Naval Network Warfare Command, in 2002.

President Trump kick-started an open debate in June 2018 and announced the administration would form the U.S. Space Force – there was already the desire to have something similar but combined with other nations on planet to make sure no nations of the planet carried out their violent disagreements off world.

There will be the United States Space Force and it will work closely with other space forces and other nations in space around this planet and won’t be an extension of the military-industrial complex of the United States (even if it starts like this).

What now? 

How much will this military branch cost? This will be the key question.

A leaked memo from the Air Force in mid-September 2018 estimated it requiring as much as $13 billion in its first five years but being the United States and the way its military corporates inflate costs it can easily spiral to around 10 times as much. As the program will need to draw resources and personnel from other military branches.

The target date to establish the new US Military branch is 2020.

“One can begin to reshape the landscape with a single flower, Captain.”

Mohammed Abbasi

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