WASHINGTON, U.S. - In his quest to create history, the U.S. President Donald Trump has now set out on a brand new path - to set up America’s first new military brand in over half a century, the ‘Space Force.’
In June this year, Trump first unveiled his plans to rule the heavens, through the establishment of a “Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”
Ushering in a new ‘Space Force’ as the sixth branch of the military by 2020 forms the core of the U.S. President’s ambitious plans, which were outlined in detail by the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday.
Outlining the Trump administration’s plan for establishing a ‘Space Force,’ - Pence said the new branch would operate as an entirely new military branch that would defend U.S. assets in space.
In a fiery speech at the Pentagon, Pence declared, “The time has come to establish the United States Space Force. Our administration will soon take action to implement these recommendations with the objective of establishing the United States Department of the Space Force by the year 2020.”
The Vice President said that the proposed sixth branch of the U.S. military will "confront the emerging threats in the boundless expanse of space.”
He repeated Trump’s earlier statement, in which the President declared, “America’s dominance in space” was imperative.
Trump had stated in June, “Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea.”
Further detailing Trump’s proposed plan, Pence explained, "The U.S. Space Force will strengthen security, ensure our prosperity and it will also carry American ideals into the boundless expanse of space.”
He pointed out that the new military branch will be needed in order to protect American national security as the "space environment has fundamentally changed in the last generation."
Pence said, "What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial. America will always seek peace, in space as on the Earth. But history proves that peace only comes through strength. And in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength."
However, Trump’s plans didn’t go down well with everyone.
Several pockets of Washington were skeptical if Trump’s proposal will get a liftoff in a divided Congress, while many critics scorned at the idea and questioned whether it’s necessary and would be worth the cost and additional bureaucracy.
Yet, the biggest obstacle to the creation of a Space Force is Congress since the establishment of a new branch of the U.S. military requires congressional approval.
In an attempt to deal with the criticism that the administration has faced due to this proposal, Pence pointed at the developments being made by peers and rivals powers on the global stage - especially Russia and China.
He said, "Recently our adversaries have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself.”
Pence pointed out that Beijing and Moscow have been developing missiles, lasers and other technologies with the aim of targeting U.S. satellites.
Further, he said that Russia and China were developing weapons, such as hypersonic missiles, to launch attacks from space here on Earth.
The Vice President pointed out, "What was once peaceful and uncontested is now crowded and adversarial, today other nations are seeking to disrupt our space based systems and challenge American supremacy in space. Our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already and the United States will not shrink from this challenge.”
In June, while announcing his plans for the Space Force for the first time, Trump had also ordered the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to being the process of creating the sixth branch of the military.
On Thursday, Pence laid out the Congressionally-mandated Pentagon report on building the Space Force.
The report is said to have laid out the changes that the Pentagon can introduce without Congressional approval - to further the president’s order to create the Space Force.
The Pentagon's report was provided to Congress shortly before Pence's speech.