Russia Warns of 'Tough Response' to New US Military Space Force

Clay Curtis
June 22, 2018

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he will direct the Defense Department and the Pentagon to create a new military branch called the "Space Force".

You may recall that about this time a year ago, the House of Representatives put together a budget that included funding for a brand new military branch dubbed the Space Force. "We must have American dominance in space", Trump said before a meeting of his National Space Council.

Trump previously endorsed the creation of a Space Force in May during a speech with military personnel in San Diego, according to The Hill.

Russian outside service Maria Zakharova said at a preparation that Russia "noticed the U.S. president's directions... to isolate space powers from the aviation based armed forces", saying "the most disturbing thing about this news is the point of his guidelines, to be specific to guarantee (US) mastery in space".

He also signed a new Space Policy Directive, which will establish new protocols and procedures to manage and monitor the satellites in low-Earth orbit. He also said, "We don't want China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us". "Just go ahead. If you beat us to Mars, we'll be very happy and you'll be even more famous".

By contrast, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel, welcomed Trump's announcement.

"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force", he said.

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He also revealed plans to conquer Mars and journey to the moon.

Despite what it sounds like, it's not going to be like Luke Skywalker fighting wars in space.

Space is a critical element in US military operations, providing satellite-based intelligence, secure communications, weather forecasting and weapons command and control. Creating a new joint military command is largely the purview of Congress, which would have to provide the authority and any funding or shifting of money to a new unit.

The president framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want "China and Russian Federation and other countries leading us". In May, he said, "But to look at the problem means we have to look afresh at it, and where are the specific problems, break them down, and if an organizational construct has to change, then I'm wide open to it".

Now, it's well-known that NASA and the American government has always wanted dominance in space. The creation of a new military branch will take time, as well as agreements from Congress.

Historically it has been left to the US Air Force to oversee the command of the military's existing satellite systems such as reconnaissance satellites, missile-warning systems, GPS and communications platforms, however, with the US military and intelligence agencies increasingly concerned about the vulnerability of such critical units, there are calls by some for a separate entity to protect these space-based assets.

"It's probably time as a country that we start to talk about this", said Wilson.

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