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.

Then there are many that fall somewhere between the two camps — concerned that they’re both probably right.

Russia and China, the two nations that pose the largest potential threat to America’s orbital infrastructure of satellites relied on for everything from navigation to communications, both already have space-specific military branches in operation, bolstering calls for America’s own. However, the Air Force isn’t ready to give up space as an area of responsibility without a fight.

Let there be no doubt, as the service responsible for 90 percent of the Department of Defense’s space architecture and the professional force with the sacred duty to defend it, we must and will embrace space superiority with the same passion and sense of ownership as we apply to air superiority today,” Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein, the branch’s chief of staff, said at the recent 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In his remarks, Goldfein seemed to borrow a page from the Marine Corps’ traditional “every Marine a rifleman” mentality, adjusting the scope to adhere to the role the Air Force needs to play in orbital defense if the branch is to retain its grip on space-based operations. Further, Goldfein placed an emphasis on a growing trend in the Defense Department: inter-service cooperation.