WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump wants to be a Space Force, a new military service, which he says is needed to ensure American dominance in space. But the idea is gaining little traction on the Pentagon, where the president of the defence of the head of Jim Mattis, says it will add burdensome bureaucracy and unwanted costs.
The Pentagon recognizes the need for renewal of the much-criticized approach to the defense of the U.S. economic and security interests in space, and it is moving in that direction. But it is unclear whether this will satisfy Trump, who wants to go further by creating a separate military space service.
The directors plan is next week the results of a Pentagon study, which is expected to call for the creation of a new military command — us Space Command — to consolidate the space warfare forces and making other organizational changes short of establishing a separate service, which only Congress can do. Any legislative proposal to create a separate service would probably not be put on the table until next year.
Mattis, who said prior to the Trump’s “Space Force” announcement in June that he opposes the creation of a new branch of the army for the space, said afterward that this would require “a lot of detailed planning.”
Mattis is connected with major Republicans on Capitol Hill, including Sen. James Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who opposes a separate Space Force, but is open for the creation of a Space Command. The command would coordinate the use of the space forces of the existing services, such as those who are active military satellites, but it would not be a separate service.
Mattis, the chief spokeswoman, Dana W. White, said Friday he believes that the consolidation of space functions “to make sure we are moving at the speed of relevance. The space is a joint warfighting domain that the U.S. must dominate.”
Trump mentioned recently Tuesday that he had ordered the Pentagon to begin the process of creation of a Space Force as a new branch of the army, but he did not repeat the phrase which he used in June — a ‘separate but equal’. That opens up the possibility of the Pentagon proposal establishing a framework of space experts who would be part of a “space corps” attached to the air force and not as a separate service.
Trump’s focus on this has led to an unusual level of talk about the space, but with little clarity.
“At this moment there is no concrete proposal on the table for a Space of Power will look like or what it will do,” said Brian Weeden, an air force veteran who is director of the program in planning at the Secure World Foundation, which promotes the peaceful use of outer space. “It’s just kind of a theoretical concept.”
Weeden points out that the creation of a new service would not address what is generally seen as a need for a more coherent force to defend AMERICAN interests in space, because the law is a service recruits, trains, and equips forces, but not combat. That is the reason why a Space Mission is considered, as it is the combat of the arm for a lot of space as the Central Command, the organization responsible for the control of operations in the Middle East.
Apart from the organisational problems, the Pentagon’s role in space is under control because of a recognition that the United States is increasingly dependent on satellites, which are difficult to protect in the space. Satellites provide communications, navigation, intelligence, and other services of vital importance for the military and the economy. Whereas the space has long been America’s technological edge, it is increasingly seen as the achilles ‘ heel.
War in space is not just Hollywood fiction. The AMERICAN intelligence reported earlier this year that China and Russia are pursuing “non-destructive and destructive” anti-satellite weapons for use during a future war.
A related problem is that the Pentagon has struggled to address is the slow pace of the development and acquisition of satellites by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, which can be replaced by a new space development agency.
In an interim report to Congress in March on ways to reorganize the space agencies, the Pentagon said that the changes to be made to ensure that we are prepared for possible conflicts in the area. This includes making satellites more resilient to potential attack by Russia or China.
Deborah James, who is the civilian leader of the air force for the last three years of the Obama administration, ” he said in a think-tank forum Monday that the creation of a separate Space Force has no relation to the legitimate concerns about the AMERICAN space defense. One of the points of criticism of the air force, which is the main service responsible for military satellites, is that they spend too little money and attention to the space.
“If money is your problem, Space, Strength is not your answer,” she said. If the logic of creating a separate space in the service were applied broadly, she said, it would mean that there will be other profound changes, such as creating a single nuclear services provided by the management of the strategic nuclear weapons of the air force and the Navy, which no one is seen.
Associated Press reporter Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.