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Pence outlines U.S. Space Force plan for 'next battlefield'

Pence outlines U.S. Space Force plan for 'next battlefield'

The Space Force would ultimately become the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and would be equal to the other five, Pence said.

It's unclear how these changes would be integrated into or exist alongside the creation of a separate Department of the Space Force should Congress authorize its existence next year.

Trump first broached the idea in March, reviving a debate that began nearly 20 years ago about whether the Pentagon's space activities should be moved to a new command. Twitter says, "Yes, but will Space Force members get to dress like Stormtroopers?"

"The U.S. Space Force will strengthen security, ensure our prosperity and it will also carry American ideals into the boundless expanse of space", Pence said on Thursday.

Social media users have been quick to mock the idea of a new military branch.

They said the Pentagon report was the start of a "multi-year process that we think will result in a safer, stronger America".

Donald Trump's goal of creating a new military branch has yet to take off, but his campaign is hoping it will fill their coffers to infinity and beyond.

"Today the Department of Defense will release a report outlining the first stages of our administration's plan to implement the President's guidance and turn his vision into a reality", Pence said. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis threw his support behind that idea on Tuesday. Namely, the Outer Space Treaty, to which the USA has been party since 1967, bans states from testing any weapons in outer space, or establishing military bases on the Moon and other celestial bodies.

U.S. defence secretary James Mattis has previously been against establishing a new military branch specifically for space.

While these events may not represent a coherent plan by an adversary to militarize space, Pence argued that they represent a situation where USA adversaries like China and Russian Federation have already made space what he termed a warfighting domain.

Shortly after Pence's speech, Trump tweeted: "Space Force all the way!".

On Thursday, Mattis said "space is one of our vital national interests" and is "no longer a new domain".

Should it be approved, the Space Force would mark the first time a branch has been added to the military since 1947, when the Air Force was created following World War II. "I don't think so". He also says that the current system, with the Air Force in charge of military space operations, is not ideal. The Air Force in particular might lose key responsibilities.

Whatever happens with the creation of the space force, United States doctrine will remain constrained by the Outer Space Treaty, which outlaws the positioning of weapons of mass destruction in space or any weaponry on the Moon.


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