On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence unveiled ‘details of plans to build a US Space Force’ that would become the sixth branch of America’s massive military, saying the time has come to prepare for “the next battlefield.”
“The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation,” Pence told an audience at the Pentagon.
“The time has come to establish the United States, Space Force,” he said, repeating Trump’s call for Congress to invest an additional $8 billion in US space security systems over the next five years.
President Donald Trump ordered the creation of Space Force in June, arguing the Pentagon needs it to tackle vulnerabilities in space and assert US dominance in orbit. Its creation, however, is not a done deal, as it needs to be approved by Congress, and the concept has met with some skepticism from lawmakers and defense officials wary of the cost and added bureaucracy.
The US military presently consists of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
“Maybe, just maybe, we should make sure our people are not dying because they lack health insurance before we start spending billions to militarize outer space,” Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted.
Democratic Senator Brian Schatz said Space Force “won’t happen.”
No Republican is willing to tell Trump it’s a “dumb idea,” added the lawmaker from Hawaii. “It’s dangerous to have a leader who cannot be talked out of crazy ideas.”
The document outlines how America’s military is at risk in space due to adversaries pursuing “counter-space” capabilities to neutralize America’s satellites during a conflict, such as by jamming or hacking them.
“It is imperative that the United States adapts its policies, doctrine, and capabilities to protect our interests,” the document states.