Recently, President Trump renewed the call for the establishment of a new branch of the U.S. military dedicated specifically to space defense. This “space force” already passed a vote in Congress as a part of their fiscal year 2018 defense budget, but was removed when that measure was reconciled with the Senate’s own budget legislation.
The idea has been the subject of debate among defense officials and lawmakers alike, with valid and important points raised on either side. The camp calling for a space-specific branch points out that the Air Force has not allotted sufficient authority or funding to its space command to make it effective amid ongoing combat operations that have taken priority over nearly two decades of ongoing combat operations.
That’s really my biggest frustration. We’ve heard Air Force leaders talk about the increasing threats we face in space and declare that space is a priority mission. Yet, when the rubber meets the road, we see space programs given a backseat behind other Air Force programs.” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said last month.
Those opposed, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, worry that the immense cost and effort associated with standing up an entirely new military branch would drain money and resources long before it could manage the battlespace.