President Trump is intent on creating a new military branch; the “space force”. In a speech to the football team of West Point, Trump wants this space force to fight wars even beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
When giving a speech to members of the military in California, Trump had previously iterated the idea. It has received Congress’ support and disapproval from the Pentagon. After the establishment of the Air Force in 1947, this would be the first instance of a branch of the military being created.
According to Terry Virts, ex-commander of the ISS (International Space Station) and a U.S. Air Force veteran, operations in space had been conducted by the military long time back. Every country on Earth having substantial military power has also invested in space in some way. He feels the military can make it more efficient and more structure to it.
U.S. Air Force Space Command attends to USA’s military operations in space. The space command enforces situational awareness in space, which is done by tracking objects and also keeping a note of what other nations are going about in space. Events likely to affect the Army or the Air Force’s operations keep happening. It does not sit well with Pentagon. They feel it will make the Defense Department bureaucracy somewhat complicated. It will result in added costs and complicated bureaucratic structures. Representatives Mike Rogers and Jim Cooper initiated an effort for shifting Air Force Space Command’s duties to a separate service. The Senate did not warm up to this plan.
According to Roger, Russia and China were overtaking the US in their space capabilities. Thus, having a team for handling military operations in space would be advisable. Roger and Cooper’s proposal of creating a new space force would not have impacted NASA. Its purpose was to shield military space budget. Space force concept goes back to the Cold War. Donald Rumsfeld proposed the creation of space corps in 2000. He was Bush’s defense secretary. However, the wars in Iran and Afghanistan, along with the World Trade Center tragedy stopped the plan. Some critics do not want the USA to increment its military any further. However, space has already been associated with the military, with military satellites in orbit.
It will not adversely impact the forces present on Earth. The dilemma is not about increasing weapons or forces; it has more to do with efficient organization of those forces. With growing number, organizational structure suffers.